The Current's Guitar Collection: My Brightest Diamond - Fender Jaguar

My Brightest Diamond performs 'Champagne' in The Current studio, using her just-out-of-the-box Fender Jaguar. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova talks about guitars
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When My Brightest Diamond — aka Shara Nova — recently stopped at The Current studio for a session hosted by Mary Lucia, Nova had just received a brand-new Jaguar guitar direct from Fender. She took a few moments to talk about guitars with us.

That Fender Jaguar looks brand new; is it?

Yes! I just got a new Jaguar in the mail today from Fender, and I'm so excited! This was the maiden voyage. We literally got it out of the box and played it — so brand new!

I'm super pleased to have my new, shiny blue Jag to drive around today!

Have you played Fender guitars for a while?

Yes, I've been playing a Jazzmaster and a Mustang for about a year now on the road, and so those two guitars have become my daily guitars.

The Mustang is a great guitar, but it's kind of particular, so I'm happy to try the Jag out as well because I know that's a versatile, versatile sound.

You used both guitars during the course of this in-studio session. Is there something about the sound of the Mustang versus the Jaguar leads you use them for different songs?

I used to write in a different tuning for every album, and so that made a mess to tour with, and so I am glad to be able to play different guitars on different songs, mainly because of the tuning. But of course, the tone matters as well, but tuning makes a lot of that decision for me.

Although tuning does give you time to polish your stage banter…

(laughs) That's true! But then when you're on the fifth record, then it's a lot of joke-telling that has to happen!

The Jazzmaster really, really doesn't like to be de-tuned on stage, so that one I've kind of learned it likes to stay where it is.

When you were making your latest album, A Million and One, what instruments did you use to write and record?

Much of this record, because it is a dance record, was started with drum beats and vocals. I really wanted to focus on form in a way that I never had before, because I used a lot of classical instrumentation on my previous records, so this one was really drums and vocals.

"You Wanna See My Teeth" was written straight on guitar, and "Champagne" was a guitar song as well, but in the end, we took out almost all the guitar playing and switched everything to keyboards.

So during the writing process, you were writing on guitar a bit?

Yes, for sure. But I try to write from my mind and my imagination, and my imagination is better than my fingers are! (laughs) So for me, writing directly into the computer, I can sometimes construct things better than I can play them down.

You've lived in many places; do you happen to have a favorite guitar shop in one of those places?

Oh, man — I try to stay out of guitar shops as much as possible!

But one of the first memories of my life was of my grandfather: he had a red Epiphone semi-hollow body, and I remember being in church when I was about three years old and seeing my grandfather in a white suit with his white, patent-leather, shiny shoes and that red Epiphone, and it left such a deep impression on me. So when I had enough money to get a guitar, I went to Chicago Music Exchange and they had a Gibson 335 that I really fell in love with, and it reminded me of my grandfather's guitar. So that was the first kind of big purchase that I made.

External Links

My Brightest Diamond - official site

Fender Guitars

Chicago Music Exchange

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3 Photos

  • My Brightest Diamond performing in The Current studio
    Guitars belonging to My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • My Brightest Diamond performing in The Current studio
    My Brightest Diamond performing in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • My Brightest Diamond performing in The Current studio
    Fender Mustang belonging to My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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