Spotlight: Marie Ulven Ringheim, a.k.a. Girl In Red

Girl In Red
(Image credit: Isak Jenssen)


HAILS FROM: Horten, Norway
PLAYS: Solo (as Girl In Red)
SOUNDS LIKE: Kaleidoscopic indie-pop with an edge
LATEST DROP: If I Could Make It Go Quiet (LP out now via AWAL)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
My current go-to is a Fender Telecaster. I’ve been fangirling over Telecasters ever since I saw the vocalist of The Wombats with one when I was 15 or 16. He had a blue one with a bunch of flowers on it. I got my first Telecaster when I was 18 – I loved it, but now I have a really nice red one that Fender gave to me. It’s really exciting because I feel like a cool rockstar when I get guitars sent in the mail! It’s really good to play and just sounds great. I have a Fender amp as well – it sounds great and I love the tone.

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
My first guitar was a nylon-string Morgan that I got for Christmas in 2012. I didn’t really fall in love with it at first. I remember I put it back in the box and it stayed there for a while, then I picked it up again and really started getting into it. I still have that one. I never want to give it away since it’s a catalyst for the person I am today. I don’t know if that counts as an “axe” because an axe sounds like some hardcore electric guitar stuff, but that was really my first guitar! 

What inspires you as a player?
It’s just seeing artists I’ve looked up to playing cool guitars and thinking, “Wow, this baby blue Telecaster looks really cool.” I’ve never been like, “Wow, I want to shred like Eric Clapton” or anything. I don’t really know who my main influences would be – maybe it would be Taylor Swift. I’m a part of the Taylor Swift guitar generation, and she was a real inspiration for me starting out.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
Mostly when it comes to production. I do have distortion pedals, reverbs, and shit like that. Right now I have a Stomp pedal that you program shit onto, because we’re changing the live setup a bit, and I bought some Helix pedals for my band. I’m mostly into speakers and monitors and more production shit like plug-ins.

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
Not right now. I feel really content with everything I have. I recently got an Acoustasonic, which I’d wanted for a while because it’s such a cool studio instrument to play around with. I feel like I have everything I want right now, which is weird to say as a guitarist because I think you can never have enough guitars. My friend (and the guitarist in my band) had like 13 guitars at one point and was like, “Yeah, I still want more!” It’s kind of an addiction. You get your first one and you have it for a long time, and then you start opening up to the possibilities of getting more guitars and then never stop. 

What would your signature model look like?
I’ve actually thought I could make a custom guitar with the ‘world in red’ theme. The body would be a world in red planet-shaped body with a maple neck. I haven’t come that far in the design process for that guitar, but I want to make something weird!

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
I have no idea what we would play together, but just because I was a real Nirvana fan when I was younger and I went to this crazy music museum in Seattle, I would probably want to hang out with Kurt Cobain and feel his vibe. I want to look at him and smoke and then play his guitar. I feel like that image of him smoking and playing guitar is imprinted into my head. Maybe we would play “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Let’s say I would sing and he would play guitar.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

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. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…