Spotlight: Kate McGuire of VOIID

VOIID
(Image credit: Seamus Platt)

KATE MCGUIRE

HAILS FROM: Meanjin/Brisbane, QLD
PLAYS IN: VOIID
SOUNDS LIKE: Thrashy, white-hot dive-bar punk
LATEST DROP: ‘Lexapro’ (single out now via Damaged)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
Hands down a Fender Jazzmaster – preferably one that I’ve covered in a variety of cheap stickers, like the ones you buy from dollar stores. Sonic Youth is without a doubt one of my favourite bands in the whole world, so I fell in love with the Jazzmaster through them, and adjacent bands that played Jazzmasters like Dinosaur Jr. It’s just the coolest looking guitar ever and sounds like nothing else I’ve played. 

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
My first guitar was a cheap dark blue/green Ashton, which I was gifted on my sixth birthday and still have at my house. I fell in love with the guitar when I first watched School Of Rock, and from there I really just couldn’t stop obsessing. When I was a kid I would climb on top of my dad’s trailer and pretend to be Billie Joe Armstrong. I even wrote, in a third-grade questionnaire, that I wanted to be a guitarist when I grow up. I don’t know, I guess it’s just something I could never separate from myself, and I never wanted to.

What inspires you as a player?
When it comes to playing live, one of my biggest influences is Billie Joe Armstrong. Ever since I was a little kid. His power stance is something I always took with me when I started playing live –to me it’s just the coolest looking way to play guitar. I’m also really inspired by Kim Gordon and the way she takes up space on a stage. Her presence is so captivating and emotive. Thurston Moore, as well, with the way he attacks his guitar. I get so bored watching people play guitar without any emotion or movement, I guess they’re doing what they want but that’s just not for me. Anyway, there’s so many people. I could go on about people I look up to forever. 

Are you much of a gear nerd?
Not really. I love gear but I barely know anything when it comes down to the technicalities. But give me a JCM800 and a Big Muff and I’ll be sweet. 

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
Not particularly, I just want to be like Kevin Shields [of My Bloody Valentine] and own like 20 Jazzmasters.

What would your signature model look like?
An offset, obviously, and it would be cool if it had stickers inside the paint job. That’d be epic.

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
Kurt Cobain. I have no idea what we’d play – we’d probably just jam a bunch of Breeders songs. 

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Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Their bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (on which they also serve as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Their go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, they only picked up after they’d joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped them see the light…