I’ve just been reading through the Guitar Hero series on the Jemsite blog. This is a very cool ongoing section which Jemsite describes thusly:
The Guitar Hero series on Jemsite features interviews with guitarists and musicians who may not have star status YET, but their current situations have shaped them to be who they are–determined, fond of their craft, and heroes in their own right. Perhaps you’ll see in these upcoming entries the next Jimi Hendrix, Melissa Etheridge, or Duane Allman. Or perhaps they’ll become household names by doing what they do best–ripping a mean riff!
Some of the heroes covered thus far include I Heart Guitar’s good buddies JP Stratoblogster of the Strat-O-Blogster guitar blog, Mark Lee from Third Day, who also has an online guitar community called Six String Lounge, Matt Warnock from Guitar Player Daily, and Tony Hogan from Acoustic Guitarist Blog and Acoustic Guitar Player.
Eastwood Introduces the Seafoam Green Airline® ’59 Custom 3P Model
July 28, 2009
Eastwood Guitars has added the ever-so-popular “seafoam green” color to the highly successful Airline ’59 Custom 3P guitar line-up. This ultimate retro color has never been offered on the flagship Airline 3P model and with the option of a matching seafoam green Custom Airline leather strap, it will become an essential part of a style-loving guitarists wardrobe.
The Seafoam Green Airline ’59 Custom 3P features a unique white rubber binding that surrounds the tone-chambered mahogany body. The vintage style pinstriped pickguard and the aluminum tone switch plate are further details linked to the original Airline guitars. The ’59 custom series also includes the upgraded AIRLINE VVSC pickups. Each guitar has individual volume and tone, master volume, 5-way switch, Bigsby Tremolo, and the classic 25-1/2 scale. It ships in the Vintage Style Deluxe form-fit AIRLINE hardshell case with steel plate logo. To find your nearest dealer along with video and sound samples of the Airline guitar family go to www.eastwoodguitars.com.
“The Airline ’59 Custom series has been a run-away hit since the January launch” said Mike Robinson, President and founder of Eastwood Guitars “and the Seafoam Green Airline ’59 Custom 3P totally nails the vibe of Airline Guitars and demonstrates why this brand continues to be important 50 years later.”
For more information, visit their web site at http://www.eastwoodguitars.com/.
Dec. 01 – Auckland, New Zealand – Civic Theatre
Dec. 3 – Brisbane, Australia – Convention Centre
Dec. 05 – Sydney, Australia – Hordern Pavilion
Dec. 07 – Melbourne, Australia – Palais Theatre
Dec. 08 – Melbourne, Australia – Palais Theatre
Dec. 09 – Adelaide, Australia – Thebarton Theatre
Dec. 11 – Perth, Australia – Metro City
Check out this page for a recap of recent Geisha gigs, including pics, fan feedback and a few fan-filmed live videos from our Melbourne shows the other week.
For two evenings, the eighties returned to two Melbourne venues in the form of a re-vamped Geisha outfit playing a smattering of their classic hits mixed in with some rarer gems from their back catalogue, and also including their recently-released single “Birthday”.
On Friday 10th July 2009, the band played at Spensers Live and followed this up with a second gig played at the Toff In Town on 16 July 2009. At both venues, an appreciative audience was able to re-live the classic Geisha tunes or, in the case of those who were too young in the eighties to have known of the band, discover a piece of Aussie rock/pop history. Geisha delivered two sets of songs with frontman Chris Doheny offering the crowd some insights and stories relating to the band and songs’ histories. The crowd were also treated to an encore comprising of an intimate acoustic set of songs, which included the highlight “Kabuki”.
Check out the Geisha page for the video for Birthday.
Add this to the list of Cool Stuff I Find Out About First Thing In The Morning. Remember my DiMarzio Crunch Lab 7 and LiquiFire 7 review from last week? The great folks at DiMarzio liked the review and are now using the sound clips on the Crunch Lab 7 and LiquiFire 7 pages of their website. Go to http://www.dimarzio.com/ and click the links for the individual pickups in the 7 string category (see the photo at the end of this post).
This is super ultra exciting because I’ve been using DiMarzio stuff since I was about 14. In fact, aside from various straps, switches and potentiometers, here’s my DiMarzio list:
Ibanez UV777BK – Blaze bridge, Blaze middle, Blaze neck
Ibanez Jem7VWH – Evolution bridge, Evolution middle, Evolution neck
Ibanez RG550 – PAF Pro in the neck
Ibanez RG370 – Tone Zone bridge, Evolution neck
Ibanez RG7620 – Crunch Lab 7 bridge, LiquiFire 7 neck
Ibanez RG7420 – Tone Zone 7 bridge, Blaze neck
Ibanez custom (not yet finished) – EJ Custom bridge, Solo Pro middle, EJ Custom neck
In my parts box I also have New 7 neck and bridge humbuckers (which were stock in my RG7620), a spare Blaze neck pickup, an Evolution 7 (which sounds cool but had to come out to make way for the LiquiFire!) and another PAF Pro.
DiMarzio LiquiFire & Crunch Lab pickups on Musician’s Friend
DiMarzio DP227 LiquiFire Neck Humbucker Black Regular – $75.95
DiMarzio DP228 Crunch Lab Bridge Humbucker Black Regular – $79.95
6-string F-spaced (pole pieces spaced for guitars with whammy bars)
DiMarzio DP227 LiquiFire Neck Humbucker Black F Spaced - $75.95
DiMarzio DP228 Crunch Lab Bridge Humbucker Black F Spaced – $79.95
DiMarzio DP707 LiquiFire 7 String Neck Pickup Black – $79.95
DiMarzio DP708 Crunch Lab 7 String Bridge Pickup Black – $89.95
Here’s an interesting release coming up from everyone’s favourite donut-denier, Yngwie Malmsteen. Originally released in Japan in 2002, The Genesis is a collection of recordings originally made in 1980, when Yngwie was 16 or 17. It’s a rare chance to hear Yngwie’s wild fretboard skills before he shifted to the US, joined Steeler, jumped ship to join Alcatrazz, left Alcatrazz, recording Rising Force, then proceeded to hire and fire every backing musician ever to pick up an instrument.
Release date for the US edition of the album is August 25, and it will come with a bonus video from the same era.
The Genesis track listing:
01. Birth Of The Sun (9:25)
02. Plague In Lucifer’s Mind (4:30)
03. Dying Man (8:47)
04. Black Music Suite Op.3 (instrumental) (12:52)
05. Merlin’s Castle (4:55)
06. Voodoo Nights (instrumental) (8:42)
07. Hello (1:51)
08. Voodoo Child (jam) (12:18)
09. On A Serious Note (instrumental) (5:54)
Just as there are many different schools of metal – heavy metal, stoner metal, death metal, thrash, death-thrash, grindcore, gore-grind, industrial metal, black metal, TRUE black metal – there are also many different schools of metal guitar design. Radical shapes and extreme colours compete on the shelves against stripped back, simple but deadly designs. Active or passive pickups, fixed or floating bridge, 22 frets or 24 (don’t even joke about building a metal guitar with only 21 frets. How can you possibly be evil if you can only reach a high C#?). In many ways the C-1 Blackjack ATX FR is almost too classy to be a metal axe, with its carved top and chunky neck profile that are more likely to remind blindfolded players of a Les Paul than a day-glo heavy metal meat-axe. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of badass features in here for shredders and rhythm chuggers alike.
This bad boy features a solid mahogany body with a carved top and aged binding, and a 3-piece maple neck with 24 jumbo frets and a rather flat radius. The fretboard is ebony, the grain of which is extremely tight, giving the fretboard a very smooth feel, especially combined with those huge frets. The only inlay on the face of the fretboard is an ‘active’ symbol at the 12th fret, although there are side dots too so you can still find your way around. The neck is glued in, but carved with Schecter’s ‘Ultra Access’ shape, which makes it feel like a neck-through. The back of the neck is painted, which some players will love, and others, not so much. If it bugs you that much, a good tech can scrape it away neatly, but even though I’m a player who likes a good chunk of unfinished maple, I didn’t find the painted neck to be obstructive or distracting at all. The headstock is Schecter’s pointy 3-a-side design, which looks traditional and hard-edged at the same time.
The review model has an original Floyd Rose locking tremolo bridge. There’s also a fixed bridge version available in 6 and 7 string but frankly, as a shameless 7-string noodler and whammy bar abuser, I feel the range is just that little bit empty without a Floyd Rose-loaded 7-string version. There, I said it. Schecter, please don’t send Zacky Vengeance after me to enact his namesake.
The pickups are Seymour Duncan Blackout actives, with a volume control for each and, a global tone control. There’s a three-way pickup switch which selects between each humbucker or a combination of both: no split coil settings here, so the Blackjack’s clean tones lean more towards Metallica than Dream Theater. Seymour Duncan describes the Blackouts thusly: “The ‘other’ USA-made active humbuckers use unbalanced inputs in a differential preamp. The problem is, an unbalanced differential preamp is not very effective at cancelling hum. Our engineers figured out how to capture the tone that players want in an active design, but using balanced inputs. The result is 12dB to 14dB less noise, plus more lows, more highs, and more output. Simply put, Blackouts have more tone than other active pickups.”
The C-1 Blackjack ATX FR plays like a much more traditional guitar than a shredder’s plank thanks to the combination of the arched top and the neck carve, which is deeper and rounder than the majority of guitars oriented towards the speedier side of axemanship. The Blackout pickups are an interesting spin on the expected active metal pickup sound. They’re a little blunter and a bit warmer than you might expect, with more midrange and ‘woodiness’ than traditional actives. You can really hear the personality of the guitar, which isn’t always true with actives. The bridge unit has plenty of articulation and chunk – you’ll hear plenty of crunch and grind, which is especially great for ultra-fast, muted thrash riffage, while legato techniques have a real sense of movement and dynamics as overtones jump out. The neck pickup sounds round and vocal, responding especially well to huge vibrato, and again there’s a very musical pick attack. You know the kind of pick attack that sounds like an integral part of the note, rather than just a percussive bassy thud at its beginning? Well that’s what this baby excels at. Awesome. Both pickups are ideal for metal, but due to the warmer character they can be used for softer styles too. You may turn a few heads showing up at an indie gig to plug the C-1 Blackjack ATX into a small Fender combo for some ambient jangle, but it’ll fit the bill sonically, no problem.
My only niggle is the placement of the controls. The neck pickup volume is closest to the strings, with the bridge volume in the middle and then the tone control. This makes sense from one perspective – after all, it mirrors the placement of the pickups themselves – but practically, the bridge pickup will probably get the most use and it’s difficult to turn it down with the control in the second position. Easy enough to flip around if you know what you’re doing though if it becomes a problem, but I think the vast majority of players would prefer it to be swapped around to begin with.
This is a very powerful, great sounding and playing guitar with killer features and construction. While some guitars lend themselves more to either rhythm or lead playing, the C-1 BlackJack AX seems to cover it all pretty easily. It takes a lot to drag me away from my beloved neon shred axes but this monster could well do it.
Here’s a cool video of Dream Theater’s John Petrucci talking about his new Ernie Ball Music Man guitar and working with DiMarzio on pickups. He also talks about his live rig and how he approaches his sound in live performance compared to the studio.
Saw this on Blabbermouth. Remember a few weeks ago when it emerged Ozzy was looking around for another guitarist? Well Zakk says that while that may be so, he’s still in Osbourne employ for the foreseeable future, including touring commitments in 2010. Good to know everything’s cool and that Ozzy’s not messing with the awesome vibe Zakk brings to Ozzy gigs, even though he might try a few other guitarists in the studio.
By the way, remember years ago when Steve Vai did some stuff with Ozzy in the studio? It never surfaced (except for the song ‘My Little Man’ on Ozzmosis, but Zakk played the guitar instead of Steve). I wonder if that stuff will ever see the light of day.
David “Gus” Griesinger of BackstageAxxess.com recently conducted an interview with Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE). Watch the chat in three parts below.
When asked about the recent reports that Ozzy was auditioning other guitarists for his solo band, Zakk said, “Everything’s cool, man. I mean, Ozzy’s always jammed with other people — since we did ‘Down To Earth’ and all that other stuff. So it’s no big deal. If Ozzy’s gonna play with someone else, what am I gonna do anyways? At the end of the day, when we did the ‘Down To Earth’ record, Oz had other people coming in and writing with him. [I was like], ‘Boss, knock yourself out,’ you know what I mean?! What we’re supposed to do is there’s this date in August — August 20, I guess, down in Anaheim [at the BlizzCon convention] — and then after that, we’re supposed to finish the [new Ozzy] record up in September or something like that. We did 16 or 18 songs or something like that, so we’ll write some more, finish the record, and then we’re supposed to do like a year[-long] world tour.”
These guitars are en route to retailers now, and as soon as they’re available I’ll update my 8 Is Enough …For Now article about 8 string guitars. In the meantime here are a couple of 6-string Schecter reviews for you to sink your teeth into: