Meredith Coloma Gushes Over Gummi Bear Guitar Protoype
Meredith Coloma is the Vancouver-based founder/head luthier at Coloma Guitars, who have blown up the past couple of years following the introduction of the company's now-signature Freya guitar. It's a modernized, vibrantly-coloured take on a Mustang-style offset with a bolt-on neck, and more and more of them are going to be shipping out of Vancouver following some machinery and staffing upgrades at Coloma's shop in town.
I recently had the chance to get into all things Coloma with Meredith for Guitar World, where she spoke on her beginnings as a touring musician practicing luthier skills in the band van; the Pacific Wood Lab workshop she co-ran, teaching folks how to build guitars; locally-sourced wood; and more. While the piece certainly digs into the origins of the socials-favoured Freya, we also got into Coloma Guitar's other current design, the shred-style Dunvegan.
One instrument of Meredith's that hadn't made it out of R&D — or into the Guitar World piece — is the Gummi Bear guitar. It's a literally candy-coated, Les Paul-style six-string that still needs a bit of tooling, Meredith admitting that the prototype was a bit too squishy for its own good.
I thought this was a pretty sweet story, so what we've got here is a mini Gut Feeling gear talk with Meredith around that gummied guitar.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
So what was the Gummi Bear guitar?
MEREDITH COLOMA: I love gummi bears. It’s kind of a running joke that I am basically made out of gummi bears — it’s a problem — but this is a project that I will actually have to complete one day.
[Back in] in my old shop, I had a suitcase full of Haribo gummi bears, [and] I had a guitar that I called the “Dad-Rock” — an unofficial name, but it just looked like grandpa’s guitar, right? So, I put a bunch of Haribo gummi bears [onto the body of the guitar] and then epoxied the top. I was going to [build a] personal guitar that was made of gummi bears, but it got gushy, as it naturally would.
I was trying to rout out [Haribo bears from] the pickup cavities, [because] it was just gumming everything up. Eventually the gummies started deteriorating and the epoxy started eating it. It became this really weird slime. It was amazing, like a child’s science fair project. I’ve actually made a bunch of gummi bears out of epoxy resin now, and I will probably complete it.
Then there’s all these other crazy projects. I want to make the 7-11 special. If this were to work, it would have...a rotating hot dog, and maybe a space to warm your nacho cheese, [or] a place for taquitos. Obviously [it’d have] a Big Gulp holder. There are all these weird projects that I like to do on the side, just because. We’ll see if they ever happen.
Necking "Big Mouth" (as seen on Yellowjackets)
If you're not all caught up on everyone's favourite contemporary cannibal drama, Vancouver punk rock quartet Necking recently made a cameo in Yellowjackets while performing "Big Mouth," the first track off their 2019 debut full-length, Cut Your Teeth. Awesome and unexpected stuff to stream on a Friday night.
This was shot at Grandview Lanes on Commercial Drive, with Necking tucked into a corner of the bowling alley to barrel through the track with abandon — albeit as a bunch of hapless 10-pinners continue their games unaware. You only see the group for a few seconds, though the track plays in the background through the rest of the scene.
A few stray thoughts:
Necking are the latest Mint Records act to pop up in a locally-shot production. But unlike a New Town Animals poster in The Chris Isaak Show, or that Tough Age poster Hot Archie hung in his bedroom on Riverdale, I think this is the first time a Mint act got some actual screen time.
I honestly don't know if this is a thing, but while I was watching this I was wondering whether that was Necking's actual gear or instruments specifically selected by Yellowjackets' art directors. Turns out that is indeed guitarist Nada Hayek's sky blue Squier Jazzmaster.
Necking may or may not have new music in the works. Here's hoping it's the former
The timestamp for Necking's guest spot in the episode, titled Two Truths and a Lie, is 8:19-11:45, but you can stream the OG music video down below.
ODIE "Go Boy"
Another of April's surprises was the return of ODIE, an L.A.-by-way-of-Toronto singer-songwriter that caught me pleasantly off-guard with his Analogue LP in 2018.
While I loved that record, ODIE's new "Go Boy" single levels up big time via infectiously cloud-gazing production, low-key-but-lovely vocal lines, and a vintage kind of techno-pop breakbeat — neither of these are 1:1 comparisons, but for some reason I'm getting flooded with thoughts of Republica and Human Beings-era Seal when the beat drops.
The guitar is what anchors this piece, though. There's a bit of magic going on in that simple-yet-sigh-worthy string-skipping technique. Tremendously stoked on where ODIE could be taking things.