Unearth have been slogging it out on the metal scene for 15 years now and have proven themselves to be real stayers, helping to remind folks that seven-string guitars can be used for more than just open-string chugging and showing that you can combine the punishing groove of Pantera with the melodic sense of Sweden’s Gothenberg sound and the power of traditional metal, all filtered through an aggressive metalcore lens. New album Watchers of Rule (3Wise) is a consistently brutal chunk of metal by anyone’s standards. But this far into Unearth’s career, it’s almost exhilarating to hear them continuing to release vital albums full of songs that are destined to live on in the setlist. I caught up with guitarist Buz McGrath right after the album’s release.
Want to win a copy of the album? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Unearth’ in the subject line and I’ll draw five winners! Australia only.
Let’s start with the guitar stuff. What did you use on this album?
We used a Rhodes amp. I don’t know what it is. And I think we used one of Ken’s old custom Ibanez RGs that won the shoot-out. Usually what happens is we go through a stack of about 15 guitars and we record the same piece of music, the same riff, with each guitar, and you go through and listen to which guitar is sounding the best with what you’ve got, and that one won. It was between that one and, Ken had a custom three-pickup Ibanez Iceman with EMGs in it. That thing weighed a fucking tonne but it sounded sick. But the other one just beat it out by a little bit. We recorded with a Kemper via DI, and then [producer] Mark Lewis took it back to his studio and re-amped it through various amps, which I wasn’t a part of the process for. He would send me mixes with different amps and I’d say ‘this one sounds good.’ So I never even saw the amp. It’s a real weird way of doing it but it worked out good. Continue reading
The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them
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The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them
Whether you’ve realized it or not, you’ve sat through two different types of music in all sorts of media. From music videos to commercials to business presentations to Hollywood films, all of them use either one type or the other.
Think you know what I’m talking about already? I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with instruments or genre. It’s not royalty-free and licensed music either. No, these two types are much more comprehensive than that. And you’re going to want to know what they are so you can use music as effectively as possible in your videos. Continue reading
Grover Jackson altered the course of guitar design forever. His pioneering work in what we know of as the ‘superstrat’ would be enough to put him in the history books – and that’s before you even consider the long shadow cast by the guitars he designed with Randy Rhoads. Or his work with various companies in the period between leaving Jackson and starting his own company, GJ2 Guitars. Now there are plans for a film about Grover, his history and his contributions to the guitar. An Indiegogo campaign is underway to help fund the film, and there are all sorts of great perks from posters, DVDs and shirts to a shop tour, a Glendora guitar or custom axe. From the Indiegogo listing:
My name is Jon Gold , I am formerly the VP of Fender Guitars and now co-owner of GJ2 Guitars with Grover Jackson. We are making a history piece on the legendary guitar builder Grover Jackson. His humble beginnings and how he turned the guitar industry on his head in the 80’s with his crew of mostly 21 year old kids taking over the troubled Charvel repair shop. Continue reading
Devin Townsend’s Peavey V – the one offered up as one of the perks on his Casualties of Cool PledgeMusic drive – is being offered for sale by its new owner. This is Devin’s personal axe, the only production model he owned of his now-discontinued Peavey guitar. On the PledgeMusic drive, Devin said: “This guitar is my personal production model of the signature Peavey DT model that I’ve been playing for 4 years. I only recieved one of the production models, and this is it. Its a very special guitar to me and means a good amout to me. It’s a baritone 7 string Flying V with a mahogany body, and a maple cap. EMG pickups, Sperzel locking tuners and a custom DTP inlay on the 12th fret. It comes in a groovy coffin case and is just a beast of a guitar.” Click here to bid or to see plenty more pics. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE: The Retribution pickups were designed with Dino Cazares of Fear Factory and Divine Heresy to provide the essential attack, clarity and increased headroom that 7 and 8-string players like Dino have been asking for. They feature a specially tuned preamp with just the right amount of gain, enhanced attack definition and maximum string clarity. Like the standard Blackouts series and Mick Thomson EMTY Blackouts, they maintain an organic open sound that isn’t sterile but instead is huge and powerful with a lower noise level and an increased dynamic response compared to other active pickups. Continue reading
Overdrive pedals are a funny thing: some of us like to use them to get crunchy, amp-like warmth. Some of us like to use them to boost an already overdriven amp channel into the next level. And almost everyone defaults to a certain green box when they think of analog overdrive pedals. The Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive was designed with those classic tones in mind as a starting point but this pedal has significant differences from the Tube Screamer, beginning with the chip that powers its sound. While early development focused on the same chip, SD engineers eventually ended up with the MC33178 due to what they felt were superior sonic characteristics (along with a lower noise level and longer battery life).
PRESS RELEASE: Extreme II: Pornograffitti (A Funked Up Fairy Tale) first came out on A&M Records in August 1990, the follow-up to the band’s 1989 debut. The album is considered, according to the newly penned liner notes by Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome contained in the accompanying booklet, as the “definitive album” of the band’s career. “This was the album where we found ourselves,” says vocalist Gary Cherone. “Our first album showed us to be the bastard sons of Queen, Aerosmith and Van Halen. But on the second record, we discovered our style and sound.” Click here to preorder Extreme II: Pornograffitti [2CD Deluxe Edition] on Amazon.
PRESS RELEASE: Fender is extremely proud to announce the Dee Dee Ramone Precision Bass guitar, based on the instrument Dee Dee played with seminal punk rock band the Ramones. The bass guitar, which is debuting at the Dee Dee Ramone Exhibition located at New York Citys famed Hotel Chelsea from December 10 January 1, will be available for sale at authorized Fender dealers and on www.fender.com on January 22. Punk bass starts with Douglas Dee Dee Ramone Colvin. As the pounding heart of the Ramones, he pioneered a no-frills sound and style that left a permanent mark on rock music. On a white Fender Precision Bass slung impossibly low, he defined punk bass with simple but breakneck bass lines delivered with such pulverizing sound, speed and conviction that he singlehandedly set the template for generations of punk bassists to come. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE: DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of a signature ClipLock® Quick Release Guitar Strap specially designed for and with John Petrucci, Dream Theater guitarist extraordinaire and esteemed DiMarzio endorser. John Petrucci is a longtime user of our ClipLock® Quick Release Guitar Straps, and we are delighted to release a ClipLock® Guitar Strap made to John’s custom specifications. The John Petrucci ClipLock® Guitar Strap is 2-inch black nylon and features John’s JP shield logo in gray and black stitched to the lower front portion, just above the heavy-duty clip and bushing that attaches to your guitar. The strap is available with either blue or red topstitching.
Here’s one from the ‘adoy – how come nobody has thought of this before’ file: a clock in stomp box form that tells you the current time as well as how long you have until you’re supposed to be offstage and lets you time your songs or your set. And it even gives you a warning when the time is approaching to get your ass outta there (or, perhaps, when this particular set is about to end so you know you’ll be able to slam a beer or two down before your next set. Here’s the press release. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE: Line 6, Inc. today introduced the new AMPLIFi™ TT guitar tone processor, making it possible for guitarists to turn any speaker system into a guitar amp and Bluetooth® streaming system that mixes in guitar amp tones. AMPLIFi TT makes jamming, practicing, and recording easy and accessible, and enables guitarists to develop their musicianship while they interact with the music they love. The release builds on the growing momentum of the AMPLIFi product line, and provides guitarists with even more ways to play and enjoy music. “The AMPLIFi family is the most innovative and exciting line of products for guitarists,” said Marcus Ryle, Line 6 Chief Strategy Officer. “AMPLIFi TT delivers the AMPLIFi experience in an ultra-powerful yet compact size that fits everywhere, so guitarists can take advantage of every spare moment and enjoy playing guitar more often.” Click here to buy the Line 6 Amplifi Tt Guitar Table Top Multi-Effects Unit