Gretchen Menn on Not Being Beholden to Expectations

[Photo by Cheryl Alterman]

“I think it’s easy to have preconceived notions of what we’re supposed to do as guitarists, or what’s expected of us,” says Gretchen Menn. “But rather than have that be a voice of wisdom guiding us, it can become a burden and a creative limitation. I don’t worry about what people like to hear in guitar-instrumental music. I just want to do something interesting. So I put myself in service to the concept or the piece at hand, and I write what’s true for me. I’ve always believed that if you do something you can really stand behind, do it to the best of your ability, and keep the integrity of your vision intact, there will be people who appreciate it. One of the worst offenses an artist can do is pander. I feel like it insults you, it insults your audience, and it insults the art.”

Guardian Gretchen Menn is a brilliant solo artist—just check out her latest album, Abandon All Hope—as well as guitarist in the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, Zepparella.

Author: Michael Molenda

Founder of Guardians of Guitar. Longest-serving Editor in Chief of GUITAR PLAYER (1997-2018). Long live Link Wray and Mick Ronson!


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