Bodega’s Madison Velding-VanDam talks us through his favourite guitar parts on Shiny New Model
The Brooklyn quintet return with songs about adultery via sexting, the perils of modern consumption and one set inside a bodega itself.
Brooklyn’s Bodega are a whip-smart, playful yet deadpan group of musicians and creatives. The collective pushes the boundaries of modern rock music with their repertoire of thought-provoking art-infused music, driven by their own brand of pretension and razor-sharp wit. Formed in 2016 following the demise of previous outing Bodega Bay, the art-rock outfit now lays claim to two full length albums and an extended EP.
Playing on the themes of adultery via sexting, the perils of modern consumption and also offering a song set inside a bodega, Madison Velding-VanDam talks us through his favourite guitar parts on the EP, Shiny New Model, alongside her introduction to rock music and her work on Bodega’s previous releases.
“I started in rock music as an electric bass player with the classic-rock legend Mike Lutz, who co wrote Smokin’ In The Boyʼs Room, as a teacher. I was lucky to learn about music from the perspective of a rock musician, instead of someone who is classically trained, because he encouraged me to develop my own style. By the end of high school, I was hungry to write and sing my own songs, so I switched to guitar, a more useful instrument for singing over.
“Iʼm no loyalist to guitar though, and while living in Berlin I put the guitar away and pivoted to working with synthesisers and sequencers and focusing on production. For that reason, Bodega has been a beautiful experience, bringing me back to the nostalgia of being a teenager rocking out. This time around, my tastes are much broader and this has helped me reimagine my role. Now I draw as much inspiration from art and other mediums as I do music; I improvise meandering atonal solos like Miroʼs protozoan monochromatic shapes, or channel my fears and id like Francis Bacon with haunting feedback.
“I’ve only recently started to hone my rig, but I will say that how I play my guitar has stayed far more important than the colours I get from my amp and effects. I use only Reverend guitars, primarily the discontinued Warhawk II HB, because it’s the most versatile, full-sounding guitar I’ve ever played and the humbuckers allow me to create sustaining feedback.