Wet Leg, Loud Guitars

Wet Leg, Loud Guitars
Wet Leg by Hollie Fernandez

I’m kind of hype-averse to the point of self-detriment – Not in a house, not with a mouse, not in a box, not with a fox! – but thought my initial disinterest in the Isle Of Wight’s hottest musical export since I have no idea who else is from the Isle Of Wight was based more on the fact that I found the initial singles that got everyone talking didn’t do much for me, a little too jokey and seemingly aiming for hot take/instant reaction culture that is today’s youth.

So the fact that their self-titled debut has actually won me over is genuine surprise to me. This is largely because I prefer the non-singles, which are still lyrically sharp but more emotionally rich and musically sophisticated and make the singles stronger by giving them context and contrast.

Amongst the endless feature pieces that accompany buzz bands have included a couple interviews with guitar magazines, which while long some of my favourite reading material, have not always been the most welcoming to young female artists.

Being based in the UK and traditionally more indie-friendly, it’s not that surprising that The Guitar Magazine just ran a big feature, talking to both Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers about their origins, musical dynamic, and always of interest to me, what gear they used:

Teasdale used a Mustang during recording, having played a Jazzmaster since she first picked up a guitar. There’s a Tele in the mix now too but it’s struggling to stake a claim. Now that people have started sending them free stuff too, the competition is about to get fierce. “I don’t really know how attached to it I feel, to be honest,” Teasdale says. “I’m still on that journey. I’m so new to it.”

Chambers uses a Hofner 173. “It has these really gross stuck-on gems that came with it,” she says. “It’s got quite a lot of knobs. I found it quite scary to begin with but now it’s like, ‘I know what you do, I know what you do…’”

Meet Wet Leg, the deadpan, self-deprecating duo delivering on the hype @ The Guitar Magazine

But they were beat to the punch by rivals Total Guitar, who interviewed the duo back in January when their full-length was still months away. That piece covers a lot of the same ground, but got Chambers to get a little more in-depth on their gear setups, through their pedal selections to their amps:

“I recorded with an [EHX] Soul Food overdrive and my Keeley Loomer fuzz/reverb,” she reveals. “The main tone is some fuzz from the Loomer with the Soul Food for the sort of scratchy lead line. For Chaise Longue, I was playing a Danelectro U2. For Wet Dream, I was playing the Hofner that I bought in lockdown. It’s so gorgeous – it’s got like nails in it holding it together, and stuck-on gems.

“Rhian bought a beautiful Surf Green Jazzmaster that’s her main guitar, and she puts that through a Supro combo. I used to have a Fender Deluxe, but it was very big so I swapped out for a Vox AC10. It was a hard decision because I loved the Fender’s spring reverb, but the AC10 sounds warmer.”

Wet Leg: “We didn’t set ourselves any boundaries. We’d just hit our guitars sometimes – actually hit them!” @ Total Guitar via Guitar World

That said, when they played The Tonight Show back in March, they were both playing new Fender Noventas – a Tele and Jazzmaster – and that made (a) headline:

Watch Wet Leg perform on The Tonight Show armed with Fender Noventas @ Guitar World

This is the nonsense I’m interested in, okay?

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