The following is a press release on the QUEENSRŸCHE website.
QUEENSRŸCHE is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on its twelfth studio album, “American Soldier”. The concept effort, due this spring from Rhino/Atco, finds the band once again tackling some heavy subject matter, this time focusing on telling the story of war from a firsthand perspective. Singer and chief songwriter Geoff Tate has spent the last few years conducting extensive interviews with veterans and has crafted their thoughts into this epic tale. “American Soldier” examines American wars from World War II through Iraq from the viewpoint of those in the trenches and on the frontlines. Following the album’s release, QUEENSRŸCHE plans to present tracks from the album live on an extensive spring tour of the U.S., with international dates to follow later in 2009. The first date of the tour will be a hometown gig at Seattle’s Snoqualmie Casino on April 16.
“QUEENSRŸCHE has always had incredible support from members of the Armed Services,” says Tate. “It seems like after every show, I’d end up speaking with a fan that was or had been involved with the military. The more and more I began to hear their accounts and feelings, the more I really felt a conviction to tell their story. Over the last two years, I’ve conducted dozens of one-on-one interviews with veterans of many different American wars. I listened to their amazing and moving recounts and did my best to examine war through their eyes.”
Sweet. My favourite QUEENSRŸCHE stuff is when they’re working to a theme, such as the Promised Land album, not to mention the classic Operation:MINDcrime pair of albums.
Billy Sheehan’s new album, Holy Cow, is now available in Japan. The album features guest appearances from Doug Pinnick of King’s X, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Billy’s former Mr Big bandmate, Paul Gilbert.
1. In A Week Or Two (I’ll Give It Back To You)
2. Dynamic Exhilarator
3. A Lit’l Bit’l Do It To ‘Ya Ev’ry Time
4. A Bloodless Casualty
5. Make It To Another Day (I Keep Rolling On My Way)
6. Another Broken Promise
7. Just Another Humanoid
8. Turning Point
9. Two People Can Keep A Secret (If One Of Them Is Dead)
10. Theme From An Imaginary Sci Fi
11. Cell Towers
12. Swimming Underwater
Erik Mongrain’s album, Equilibrium, is released this week in the US.
Big props go to the Random Chatter Music blog for this one. Paul Gilbert and Freddie Nelson will play a few shows in Japan in 2009 to promote their new album, ‘United States.’ I’ll have a review of the album soon, but in the meantime you can read more about it here and here. The album is said to sound like a mix of Mr Big and Queen, and it’s Paul’s first vocal album since the brilliant Space Ship One.
Tokyo shows: Feb.1 17:00 open 18:00 start 2009, 2 / 1 (Sun) Shibuya KURABUKUATORO 17:00 open/18: 00 start 2009
Feb. 2 18:00 open 19:00 start 2009 2 / 2 (Monday) Shibuya KURABUKUATORO 18:00 open/19: 00 start 7,000 [Rate] 7000 (standing / 1 drink tax included) Contact 03-3477-8750 03-3477-8750 Shibuya KURABUKUATORO
Nagoya show: Feb. 3 18:00 open 19:00 start 2009 2 / 3 (Tuesday) Nagoya KURABUKUATORO 18:00 open/19: 00 start 7,000 [Rate] 7000 (standing / 1 drink tax included) Contact 052-264-8211 KURABUKUATORO Nagoya 052-264-8211
Osaka show: Feb. 4 18:00 open 19:00 start 2009, 2 / 4 (Wed), Shinsaibashi KURABUKUATORO 18:00 open/19: 00 start 7,000 [Rate] 7000 (standing / 1 drink tax included) Contact 06-6281-8181 KURABUKUATORO Shinsaibashi 06-6281-8181
Click here to buy ‘Get Out of My Yard’ on CD
Click here to buy the ‘Get Out of My Yard’ instructional DVD
Click here to buy ‘Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar’ on CD
Click here to buy the ‘Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar Guitar Instructional DVD & Shred Annex’
So I see over at Blabbermouth.net (via eGigs) that the rumours are true: Led Zeppelin are looking at touring with a different vocalist (and, dare I venture to guess, a different name, so fans don’t get all uppity about it?) because Robert Plant is too busy taking over the country music world through his bluegrass project with singer Alison Krauss.
At the Mansons Guitar Show in Exeter, Devon, UK, bass player John Paul Jones confirmed the band’s intentions, and said they’ve been trying out various singers. Jones is quoted as saying “I’m afraid, there’s no final answer yet. As you probably know, Jimmy [Page], Jason [Bonham] and I are actually rehearsing and we’ve had the odd singer come in and have a bash. As soon as we know — which we don’t — we will let you know. But we really hope that something is going to happen soon because we really want to do it and we’re having a lot of fun, actually, just rehearsing. Jason is actually tremendous… he’s really taking chances. He is a very brave man… Every other drummer in the world was watching him thinking [at the reunion show], ‘That could have been me.’ He’s creative and really fun.”
Rumour has it that singers to rehearse with the band include Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, and Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge. Interesting to note that both of these guys are quite proficient guitarists too: Could it be that Jimmy Page is open to the idea of having a second guitarist to more accurately reproduce his studio guitar orchestrations? Led Zep were always into the one-guitar thing live, but I guess if they’re willing to go out there and play these songs without Plant (or the zombie of Bonham), they might as well make further tweaks to the sound.
Jones also hinted that there’s a chance Plant might rejoin the band in a few years, when his commitments with Krauss have concluded. “We really want to do something and Robert doesn’t want to do this sort of thing, at least for the moment,” he said. “I don’t really know what his plans are. He is touring with Alison, as you know. . . He really doesn’t want to make loud music anymore. We do. I mean, I love acoustic music, but it doesn’t stop me from turning something up . . . And what we’ve done so far sounds absolutely fantastic. When it does come, it will come, and you’ll know about it.”
Personally I’m a huge fan of Plant’s solo work, especially the albums Fate of Nations and The Mighty Rearranger, and I’d love to see him perform his solo stuff one of these days. But maaaaaaaaaaaaan I’d love to see him with Page and Jones, so I hope he gets bitten by the rock bug again soon.
Photo: Getty Images via NME
Wanna read I Heart Guitar on your mobile device, but your tiny screen looks all cluttered due to all the images, logos, menu items, subscription links, links to other websites and blogs, etc etc etc? Then this link might be for you. It’ll give you a very plain-looking text version of the site. Just click on whichever titles pique your interest, and you’ll be taken to an easy-to-read (hopefully, I can’t make any guarantees cos I’m just a guitarist) version of the article and any images.
You won’t be able to jump immediately to any of the interviews, reviews, features or lessons this way, but it’ll help you to get your news fix while you’re out and about.
Click on any title to buy the album.
Living Colour: CBGB OMFUG Masters: August 19 2005 CBGB Records
This live set captures Living Colour about a month after I saw them at the Metro in Melbourne, as the band toured off the back of its reunion album, Collideoscope. This set features a few songs from that album as well as a lot of classic material, mainly drawn from the first two albums, which honks me off slightly because my favourite LC CD is ‘Stain,’ which is only represented by ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ here.
Megadeth – Rust in Peace (Vinyl reissue) Capitol
Another one of those ‘if you don’t have this, you can’t call yourself metal’ albums, Rust In Peace features the Megadeth debut of Marty Friedman, fresh from Cacophony and eager to fill every available corner of this album with exotic phrasing and unusual melodies.
Cradle of Filth – Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder (Special Edition 2 CD) Roadrunner
This is a concept album telling the story of Gilles De Rais, the world’s first serial killer and a good buddy of Joan of Arc. This one’s being hailed as the band’s most ‘aggressive and chilling’ album to date, and is a must for anyone who spends as much on white facepaint as I do on lattes.
Exodus – Let There Be Blood Megaforce
Thrash pioneers Exodus rerecord their classic Bonded By Blood with their new line-up, to bring the album’s sound up to date with their later recordings, and with a slightly less terrible cover. Produced by Exodus’s Gary Holt and mixed by can-he-do-no-wrong producer Andy Sneap.
Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare (Vinyl reissue) Sony Legacy
What is it with vinyl reissues? Not that I’m complaining, cos here’s another one I never had the chance to buy on vinyl when it was first released, and there’s a good chance I’ll probably buy this just for the sentimental value – I really wanted this on vinyl when it first came out (I was 12) and had to settle for the tape. Anyway, another classic of the genre, if you’ve never heard it you suck, etc etc etc.
The Cure – 4:13 Dream Geffen
The 13th album by The Cure, rearranged from the original plan to release a double album. This one contains the ‘light’ tracks, and the dark moody stuff will be released at a later date. The Cure is now down to just four members – Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson and Jason Cooper – and this album is suitably stripped back.
Steve Vai has long referred to himself as more composer than guitarist. Until now his compositional complexity has been somewhat masked by the undeniable ferocity of his guitar playing. In an effort to further feed his orchestral muse, and perhaps to be taken a little more seriously outside of guitar playing circles, Vai teamed up with Holland’s Metropole Orchestra in 2004 for a series of shows combining bombastic fury and the more intricate, little-black-dots aspects of his musical personality.
This DVD, culled from the second round of such shows in July 2005, includes the songs “Kill The Guy With The Ball”, “The God Eaters”, “The Murder Prologue”, “The Murder”, “Answers”, “Lotus Feet”, “I’m Becoming”, “Salamanders In The Sun”, “The Attitude Song”, “Gentle Ways”, “Liberty” and “For The Love Of God.” These tracks feature Vai (accompanied by bass player Bryan Beller) in conjunction with the Metropole. Two more tracks, “Shadows And Sparks” and Frangelica Pt. I & II,” are Vai-free, and allow the listener to more fully experience the little Italian virtuoso’s skills as a composer, free from the conceptual baggage that comes with having one of the world’s foremost electric guitar virtuosos standing in front of an orchestra.
The performance is world class, and Vai’s phrasing is more considered and more clear in this setting than it is on previous live releases, where his showman’s flair tends to get in the way of his playing to an extent.
The rearrangement of the opening of “For The Love Of God” is part sophisticated modern classical, part kung fu movie. “The Attitude Song,” which was recently nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, is even more over the top than the original. But the real joys of this DVD are the tracks “The God Eaters” and “Answers,” both of which were recorded with sampled instruments originally and are given new life here by the inclusion of real instruments and a cracking 5.1 surround sound mix.
“Salamanders In The Sun,” a somewhat forgotten track from Vai’s 1984 debut, ‘Flex-Able,’ is another stand-out, and again the orchestra adds dimension and colour to the track, while staying largely faithful to the original arrangement. “The Murder” is an obscure track from Vai’s box set, and its inclusion here is a bold one. The overall darkness of the melodic theme sits well with “Kill The Guy With The Ball” and helps keep the program from sounding too happy and bright throughout.
DVD features include an entertaining and informative audio commentary, 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound audio, PCM Stereo, an orchestra-only performance of “Bledsoe Bluvd”, a behind the scenes featurette, and an interview with Vai.
Those who wish to hear more of the Metropole Orchestra would do well to check out “The Universe Will Provide,” an album by another former Zappa guitarist (and former Steve Vai band member) Mike Keneally, recorded with the Metropole in 2004.
With the backing of Cole Clark, as well as a few interview segments where Spiegel talks glowingly of the Melbourne company’s innovative acoustic guitars, it would be tempting to see this DVD as just a promotional item for the company, but that would be doing this excellent concert film a disservice. From the very first fingerpicked flurry of notes in set opener ‘Statesboro Blues,’ it becomes apparent that this is a demonstration of finely honed, honest and powerful acoustic blues by a player who has unbelievable command over the instrument.
Lots of close-ups and crisp audio production present Spiegel’s Cole Clark acoustics in their best light (although in a few spots a microphone stand gets in the way of seeing exactly what his fingers are doing, dammit!), and the clarity of every note is outstanding, but there’s a lot to enjoy here even for non guitar-playing blues fans, including a monster version of ‘Killing Floor’ and the sinister ‘Guilty.’ There’s also a touching ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ which recalls Billy Thorpe’s famous rendition, yet could also be at home on a Gov’t Mule album.
Spiegel’s technique never falters and he has a very cool way of pushing the beat at times without ever sounding like he’s rushing. His open-string speedy fingerpicking licks could put a lot of shredders to shame, yet the quieter moments are just as powerful.
Cole Clark Records
Want! *grabs at screen* Check this out. The Hutchins Brian Jones Signature Series. It’s a remake of the Vox Teardrop played by Jones in the Rolling Stones. Only 250 are being made. 37 are going to the US.
2 Entwistle Single Coil Pickups
Premium Basswood Body
Mother of Pearl Dot Inlays
Bolt On Neck Attachment
1 11/16″ Nut Width
1 Volume, 1 Tone Control
3 Way Blade Switch
24 3/4″ Scale
21 Medium Frets
British Tweed Signature Hardshell Case
Hutchins started in 1996 and their designs seem heavily influenced by the guitars that were popular in the UK during the 60s. Check out their Retro Star, Saffron, Doodlebug and Venue models at their website. Oh and then there’s this…
Losin’ My Mind
A Love Divine
Doin’ What The Devils Says To Do
Mother Head’s Family Reunion
Full specs, pricing and pre-order package deals for the Paradise Guitars USA Jason Becker signature guitar have now been released. The Deluxe Package sells for $US2,699 and includes various goodies. The Standard Package is $US2,499, and still includes a lot of goodies.
The following is from Paradise Guitars:
The Jason Becker signature guitar from ParadiseGuitarsUSA.com is offering two special Pre-Order “PACKAGE DEALS” for the serial numbers 10-70. There will be the “Deluxe Package” and the “Standard Package”. Also, we want everyone to know that the headstock was mainly designed by Jason Becker himself and he had a huge amount of input into the entire design of the guitar. This was definitely a complete collaborative effort of talents from Jason Becker and the entire Paradise Guitars USA team.
Just email us at info@ParadiseGuitarsUSA.com and we will send you all the Pre-Order Package information immediately.
The two different Pre-Order “Package Deals” are as follows:
“DELUXE PACKAGE” includes a Jason Becker Signature Guitar with a SERIAL NUMBER from 10-40. The numbers will be given out in a first come, first served, basis.
The DELUXE PACKAGE includes the following:
1) A Jason Becker signature guitar from ParadiseGuitarsUSA with a serial number starting at 10. (Numbers will be given out on a first come, first served, basis)
2) A GuitarWheel from GuitarWheel.com
3) Jason’s upcoming NEW CD-The Jason Becker Collection – CD
4) An 8” x 10” Photo of Jason with his NEW Signature Guitar
5) A laser engraved, Guitar Pic shaped “Jason Becker” wall clock in mirror
6) A letter from Jason, written personally to you, thanking you for your order and loyalty
7) A Jason Becker pic
A “Letter of Authenticity” from Paradise Guitars USA confirming your serial number and authenticity of your guitar
This DELUXE PACKAGE sells for $2699. The guitar includes a custom form-fitted hardshell case. Add $35, for Standard Shipping via UPS Ground to anywhere in the 48 contiguous states and this includes insurance at no additional cost to you.
If outside the U.S., please email or call with your exact address and we will calculate shipping for you. Orders will start shipping in approximately 6-7 weeks from order date.
“STANDARD PACKAGE” includes a Jason Becker Signature Guitar with a SERIAL NUMBER from 41-70. The numbers will be given out in a first come, first served, basis.
The STANDARD PACKAGE includes the following:
1) A Jason Becker signature guitar from ParadiseGuitarsUSA with a serial number starting at 41. (Numbers will be given out on a first come, first served, basis)
2) A GuitarWheel from GuitarWheel.com
3) A letter from Jason, written personally to you, thanking you for your order and loyalty
4) A “Letter of Authenticity” from Paradise Guitars USA confirming your serial number and authenticity of your guitar
This STANDARD PACKAGE sells for $2499. The guitar includes a custom form-fitted hardshell case. Add $35, for Standard Shipping via UPS Ground to anywhere in the 48 contiguous states and this includes insurance at no additional cost to you.
If outside the U.S., please email or call with your exact address and we will calculate shipping for you. Orders will start shipping in approximately 6-8 weeks from order date.
The specs are as follows:
BODY: Genuine Alder
NECK: Maple neck with steel 2-way truss rod
FRET: 24, 6100 Jumbo thin fret
INLAY: Colored numbered fret markers
BRIDGE: Authentic Floyd Rose® Pro Style Tremolo floating (Black) with Floyd Rose® Tremolo stop
TUNERS: Sperzel® Red Satin Tuners
PICKUPS: Neck: DiMarzio® P.A.F. Pro-Custom Colored: Yellow/Red
Middle: DiMarzio® DP116 HS-2 : Green Bridge: DiMarzio® Tone Zone-Custom Colored: Blue/Pink
FINISH: Tung oil
HEADSTOCK & BACKPLATES: 14 degree tilt-back headstock with Inlaid “Black” Paradise logo and matching tremolo and electronics plates
500K volume pot with Purple 1-11 volume knob and 5-way blade switch
Photo by Paradise Guitars USA.