How “Hot for Teacher,” a homemade mic, and a B.B. King-inspired signature axe factor into a repertoire that mixes Queens of the Stone Age sizzle with modern pop hooks.

Here is Emily’s first real guitar—a late 2000s Epiphone Sheraton that is completely stock. Three very important factors played into her acquiring the semi-hollow: the price was right for the frugal college student, it was black (her favorite color), and it reminded her of B.B. King’s “Lucille” 355. She attributes getting this guitar to taking her from a person that played the instrument to a burgeoning songwriter out to develop her own voice. She confesses that the peculiarities of this instrument (lower-valued pots and dull humbuckers) have shaped, influenced, and directed every tonal decision she’s made since buying this instrument. As for its specs, it’s the same as the day she bought it off the wall. And like the rest of her guitars, she equips them with Ernie Ball Slinky Cobalt strings (.010–.046).

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