A Mess – With A Purpose

1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?

Fender Twin Reverb

I love my amp Fender Twin Reverb with original speaker parts from the early seventies. I bought it mainly because of its superb reverb. Depending on which band I play in – noiserock with Two Trick Pony – I dial the button to the max – or my current indieproject A Mess – I only turn it to 4 as I like a more dry sound.

It looks cool as well without its coating I think, although I bought it secondhand and didn’t do the make-over.
I am very inspired by the ‘wall of sound’ guitar sound and this reverb does the trick.

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

I have tried a lot of different pedal setups, but now I am quite satisfied. Especially with the overdrive pedals. I miss space for my electro-harmonix tremolo though, but when I play on my own amp I don’t need the Holy Grail and I switch them up.

3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?

Yamaha Travel Guitar

My travel guitar with a pick up, it fits nicely in on the train, but sadly enough it isn’t small enough as hand luggage on a plane. I sometimes use my iRig pro, so I can record bits on my iPad when I am on the go.

iRig Pro

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I wish that my Twin Reverb wasn’t that heavy and it would sound as good live on an amp-simulator pad. But it doesn’t. I need that authentic feedback.

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

I love my Bariton Fender Jaguar, but it is very hard to play and I haven’t played on it live yet. I find it difficult due to the different tuning and the neck distance is of course much wider than on my normal Strat.

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

Definitely my pink Fender Strat American model – I choose and mixed the colour myself when I got it repainted. It inspires me, and gives me the ‘don’t give a fuck riot grrl’ push to create when I am low on self esteem and energy.

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

I wish I had invested in the vocal pedal TC Helicon ages ago. I use the dub effect a lot to give my voice a fuller body (yes I am body positive!). And it boosts my perception of my own vocal capability.

TC Helicon Voicelive Play

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

My shoe gazer pedal – custom made – which I found on a venue where a band had forgotten about it and never returned to fetch it. So now I use it for white noise, but it is really sensitive and the buttons are loose, so I never know if I push it to far. And when it is pushed to far, then it is unbearable to listen to.

9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

How much easier it is to make lead guitar riffs when you use a loop station, it is great for composing and practice. But hard as fuck to use live.


Artist or Band name?

A Mess aka. Dorte Hartmann.

Genre?

A one-A one-woman army in front armed with electric guitar, honest as hell. The sound relies on early nineties vibes and current indie. Imagine if The Breeders actually breeded Wolf Alice and wrote songs sent with Snail Mail over the Atlantic to arrive in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Selfie?

Where are you from?

Northern Jutland in Denmark, but currently residing in Copenhagen.

How did you get into music?

My boyfriend in high school played the guitar very passionately and I made a choice either to hate the guitar and be jealous of it OR get a guitar and learn to play myself. I chose the latter. And these days he is a graphic designer and doesn’t play anymore although he was extremely talented. I still play.

What still drives you to make music?

I am not very good at playing guitar, it has been very hard for me. I am lefthanded but play right hand guitar, so it has always been a challenge to get the rhythm right. I am self-taught as well. A lot of people over the years have laughed at me and my music behind my back, even my own family. I guess I am born very stubborn, they shouldn’t get the last laugh. So I still play.
Though I wish that I had taken some lessons earlier on both guitar technique, audio recording and general music theory, it would have helped me a lot and maybe boosted my confidence earlier on. And I love music, it’s my greatest love and maybe the only one that’ll last forever.

How do you most often start a new track?

By playing around on the guitar until I find a nice riff or chord structure.

How do you know when a track is finished?

When I remember it the day after without having recorded it.

Show us your current studio

A Mess’s studio surprisingly not a mess

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

If you apologize to the listeners during a listening session of the track, it is not finished. Finish it and correct the flaws.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

Are You Allowed:

  • to fuck your way to the top?
  • hate average people, but be quite ordinary?
  • get drunk on life – and on the cheapest champagne you can buy?

YES? Then here’s your soundtrack.

Dorte Hartmann is the woman behind A Mess. The name ‘A Mess’ is in Danish called ‘Et Rod’ – the same as D o r t e spelled backwards.  She is head on and fucks with predefined notions and expectations. A one-woman army in front armed with electric guitar, honest as hell. The sound relies on early nineties vibes and current indie. Imagine if The Breeders actually breeded Wolf Alice and wrote songs sent with Snail Mail over the Atlantic to arrive in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark.

A Mess already received Danish national airplay even before her first single is out: A Mess is loaded with feminine stories on topics such as not wanting to have kids, binging sex partners and fucking your way up the career latter. Her upcoming release ‘Snapshots of a WO/man’ – is in the making. It is a crossover of music, web-documentary and gender discussions. Live in concert, A Mess is a two-piece, with just drums and guitar.

I am working on releasing my first debut single as a part of a art project ‘Snapshots of a Wo/Man’ which is in the making. It is a crossover of music, web-documentary and gender discussions.  So follow my insta account. Here the beast will be released in 2020  – loaded with feminine stories on topics as not wanting to have kids, binging sex partners and fucking your way up the career latter.

Find me on:

Instagram

[Editor: Do you have any of the gear in this article? Then why not share a tip or trick? Leave a comment below]


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Martin

Is a composer of ambient lofi beats with soundscapes on top, also sometimes a writer of alt-folk songs with a unique lyrical shock.

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