Just got a new set of pickups for the Fernandes Jazz Bass I wrote about a while ago. The stock pickups are already pretty cool but they’re a bit noisy which won’t do when I start piling on the gain for some of the rowdier stuff I write. The Area J pickups are designed to sound like vintage J Bass pickups without the hum. Awesome.
Here’s what DiMarzio says:
I’m going to record some clips of the bass before and after the new pickup installation so you can hear the difference, so keep an eye out for that.
I was just checking out CD Japan and I came across these links to buy the DVD, Blu Ray and CD of Mr Big’s current reunion tour. Cool! It seems the release date is September 16. I’m not sure if/when these will be available in other countries but I’m not waiting to find out!
Just a heads-up, there’s an interview with me over at the always-awesome Jemsite blog. You can see the interview HERE. In the interview we talk about topics such as my first guitar, my favourite players, when and why I started playing, and some other fun stuff. Check it out, it was really fun to do.
Jemsite Blog also mentioned I Heart Guitar HERE a few weeks ago, and I’ve written two guest posts: I Want Candy about my Ibanez Talman, and I Was A Teenage Ibanez Geek, about, well, the title pretty much explains it.
Just found this awesome video of Paul Gilbert rocking his new Ibanez Kikusui Ginjo Junmai Fireman guitar (the one he wrote about for I Heart Guitar in his guest post HERE). The song is ‘Addicted To That Rush.’
CLICK HERE to buy Next Time Around – Best Of MR.BIG from CDJapan. Warner Japan is also re-releasing four Mr. Big DVDs: Lean Into It, Live And Kickin’, Live and Big. Bigger. Biggest! The Best Of MR.BIG. Click any of the titles to buy the DVDs from CDJapan.
For starters we have a single cutaway electric guitar with two humbucking pickups, 22 frets, and a fixed bridge. The body outline is somewhere between a melted Fender Telecaster and a custom Manson guitar like those used by Matt Bellamy of Muse.
What makes this guitar different to the similar-looking Sheena model offered by First Act is its built in preamp. First Act says this system is designed to work with a stere, desktop recording console, mixing board, computer, headphones, or even through a standard guitar amplifier. The preamp utilizes V-Stack analog modeling technology to impart a little valve-inspired tone. The guitar itself features a basswood body in a very funky metallic platinum colour which further enhances the slight Manson look. The maple neck has a rather un-flashy rosewood fretboard, and the Alnco 5 pickups are of First Act’s classy semi-enclosed design. The guitar’s playability was fine straight out of the box, with the perfect amount of neck pitch to make the bolt-on neck feel more like a set-neck design. Those used to Les Pauls will feel immediately comfortable with this guitar.
The preamp has an on/off switch, a clean/distortion switch, and a voicing switch. One of the voices is round and full of harmonic overtones, almost like a wah wah pedal left in the stationary position. In clean mode, this is a good setting for jazz, but in distortion mode it’s a great, expressive lead sound. The other voicing sounds nice and sparkly in clean mode, and in distortion mode it creates a very listenable, nearly “Van Halen brown sound on a budget” kind of tone, especially through headphones or a mixing desk. This system would be perfect if there was some kind of ambience option, but as it is it’s a great way of getting very usable recorded sounds down, or to practice without the hassle of a tiny amp or a bunch of cords – just plug in a pair of headphones and off you go.
The preamp is also a great addition to a regular guitar amp, because you can kick the distortion in as a solo boost, or completely change your tone with the voicing switch. I found the distortion setting to be especially effective at squeezing a little more juice out of the crunch channel of my Marshall DSL50 head.
ELECTRONICS: 2 Alnico 5 Humbuckers, V-Stack Preamp
EXTRAS: Soft case, headphones.
Hey, I figured out why the new Epiphone Zakk Wylde Graveyard Disciple guitar looks so familiar.
King Zarcon of Voltron, you diabolical dictator, I expect you’ll be modifying your coffin-shaped ID badge with a Floyd Rose now?
Devin Townsend has updated his website with info – including the cover – for his next CD, Addicted. Take it away, Dev!
We are just readying the release of album 2, Addicted so here’s a few brief words:
With Ki, I kind of strode out in uncharted territories for myself musically, and loved the experience. But during the course of writing this 4 record project, it was inevitable that I would end up writing a selection of tunes that were very much in line with my back catalogue. This group of songs is the second record in the series, and it is called ADDICTED.
Musically, Addicted is along the lines of the big, wall of sound hard rock / heavy metal of Ocean Machine and Accelerated Evolution (even Physicist at points). It is a very direct and ‘to the point’ album with an emphasis on groove and the chorus. In the past, lots of my records end up taking a kind of Pink Floyd-ish route (between song meandering etc.) … Addicted is really simple: 11 rocking songs and no bullshit.
I wanted to make a record that was heavy, without being dark or depressing. When I got into metal it was for the energy behind it, but somewhere along the way that energy started getting really negative. In music right now, there’s a ton of heavy bands that are really depressing to listen to loudly. I wanted to make a record without any real deep metaphor on the surface. Something that sounds good, has a good beat, and a positive feeling. It is still heavy as-all-get-out, but I think there’s a differentiation to be made between being ‘peaceful’, and being peaceful but wanting to celebrate loud, crushing music.
The vocal duties on this record are handled by myself and Anneke van Giersbergen. (I wanted to have male and female vocals kind of ‘tell the story’ so to speak). It’s an honour to work with her and she has a lovely, lovely energy. The other musicians on this record are Ryan Van Poederooyen on drums, Brian Waddell on bass, and Mark Cimino on guitars.
I love this record, it affects me in a way that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s a fully rocking album of optimism. If you just want to ‘play it loud’ without any crazy metaphor, this album might be for you!
On other notes:
I have been rehearsing with a new band, and we will start touring in early 2010, representing all the back catalogue of solo material, from Ki, Addicted, Physicist, Ziltoid, Terria, Ocean Machine, dtb, Infinity etc… I have some big plans for this and rehearsals are sounding amazing. The touring entity will be called ‘Devin Townsend’ and is essentially a way for me to get out there and interact again and showcase 15 years of music that never really got it’s fair shake. We look forward to seeing you out there!
I will start the work on the fourth record Deconstruction in Los Angeles in October, some great plans for that… (and btw, THAT is a heavy record with a lot of metaphor…) news on that as it comes!
So I hope you will enjoy Addicted, in the theme of the dtp, the reason Addicted exists is maybe a little deeper than what the record sounds like up front. But up front, it kind of states: ‘Life is tough, the world can be an ugly place…so lets forget about the dramas and ROCK – here’s some heavy guitars, big choruses and killer beats’
UNIVERSE IN A BALL
BEND IT LIKE BENDER!
THE WAY HOME
Haven’t got Ki yet? What’s wrong with you! Buy it from Riot Act.
Check out this video of the next evolutionary step for the groundbreaking Moog Guitar. I’m sure I’d be blathering on about how awesome this video is if YouTube worked on this dodgy office computer, but it doesn’t so I can’t. You go ahead and enjoy it though, and tell me what you think!
Since its introduction at the Summer NAMM tradeshow in 2008, the Moog Guitar has received numerous industry honors including Guitar Player Magazine’s 2009 Reader’s Choice Award, Electronic Musician Magazine’s 2009 Editor’s Choice Award, 2008 Summer NAMM “Best In Show” honors, a 2008 Best of Whats New Award from Popular Science magazine and a 2009 Mix Foundation TEC Award nomination. More importantly, it has inspired players to new creative heights, and opened the door to totally new forms of expression with a guitar.
Introducing the next step in the evolution of The Moog Guitar: The Model E1.
The Model E1 is the production model of The Moog Guitar. It uses the same innovative electronics and pick-ups as the original Paul Vo Collector Edition, with some exciting new changes. Its available in three new finishes; Butterscotch, Candy Red and Black, and now sports chrome hardware, a solid alder body, a choice of fixed or tremolo bridges and a new lower price tag.
Visit moogguitar.com for more information
Scary Good Looks! You may have already caught a glimpse on YouTube of Zakk performing on the 2009 “Peddle to the Metal” tour and caught a glimpse of this monster on stage. Designed by Zakk in cooperation with Epiphone, the new Graveyard Disciple combines killer sound with equally killer looks. Shaped like a coffin, the edges of the body are tapered and “pin-striped” in silver giving it a striking visual appearance and depth while providing for a comfortable feel. Pick one up on stage and you will raise the dead!
Dying to be Played: While looks are important, the new Graveyard Disciple doesn’t compromise in the performance department either. As with most all Zakk’s guitars, the neck is made of Hard Maple for bright attack and glued into a solid Mahogany body adding a touch of warm and of course, sustain. The neck features a “D” profile, SlimTaper neck with a smooth, satin finish for fast and effortless lead work. Top it off with a bound, Ebony fingerboard and medium-jumbo frets with easy access to all 22 frets and you’ve got a real performance guitar that’s dying to be played.
EMG Pickups and Floyd Rose Tremolo: Perfectly paired for hard rock and metal, the Graveyard Disciple combines an original Floyd Rose(tm) tremolo with EMG HZ pickups. The tremolo cavity allows for serious dive bombing as well as pull-ups. The EMG HZ-4A is positioned in the bridge position for optimized lead performance while the EMG HZ-4 is voiced for and positioned in the neck position. Designed to emulate the sound of their active counterparts (the EMG 81 and 85), these HZ’s are probably the quietest passive pickups available. And unlike actives, you never have to worry about these babies showing up dead.
Attention to Detail: Other features on the new Graveyard Disciple include a multi-bound headstock with mother-of-pearl “cross” inlay, black hardware with premium 16:1 ratio Grover(tm) machine heads, Mother-of-Pearl topped metal knobs, Epiphone’s non-rotating output jack and Zakk’s signature silhouette on the back of the headstock. For added comfort and convenience while playing in the seated position, the guitar features the brilliantly designed and patented Steinberger LegRest. Fold it down and rest it on your leg. Fold it up and it practically disappears.
Premium Add-Ons: With a guitar like this, you need to carry it in style and so it comes with a custom-made Coffin(tm) case featuring the “Graveyard Disciple” artwork on it. And for this limited edition model, you also get a Certificate of Authenticity.
It may look dead but it will last a lifetime! As with every Epiphone, it features their Limited Lifetime warranty backed by world famous 24/7/365 day Gibson Customer Service. Plug one in and wake the dead today!
I just got an email from my buddy, Geisha guitarist and journalist extraordinaire Joe Matera (you may remember his recent guest post about Martin guitars HERE) telling me about a book he is featured in, All Pens Blazing: A Heavy Metal Writer’s Handbook.
I’m nothing if not a geeky collector of music books, and this sounds brilliant! Can’t wait to pick up a copy.
ALL PENS BLAZING: A HEAVY METAL WRITER’S HANDBOOK
By NEIL DANIELS
(Foreword by MARTIN POPOFF)
Ever wondered what it takes to be a heavy metal journalist? In this comprehensive collection, Neil Daniels has interviewed a staggering 65 of the world’s most successful writers of heavy metal and hard rock. Many of these writers are successful biographers, editors and long-standing freelancers who have interviewed some of the genre’s leading artists from KISS to Metallica and Black Sabbath to Slayer. They’ve travelled the world over, lived in tour buses, got drunk with their idols, attended some of the greatest gigs in history and are still alive to tell the tale. It’s all here; the wild stories, the anecdotes…and the advice!
All Pens Blazing offers a potted history of the genre as well as the publishing industry from the legendary Sounds and Melody Maker to metal bibles Kerrang! and Metal Hammer to modern day magazines like Terrorizer, Powerplay and Classic Rock. There’s also a wealth of information on fanzines and webzines as well as long-gone magazines like Metal Forces, RIP and RAW. With a foreword by the Canadian metal historian Martin Popoff, this collection makes essential reading for the heavy metal fan. It is also a worthy historical document for the serious enthusiast and can be used as a handy reference tool for the aspiring metal writer.
Includes exclusive interviews with: Geoff Barton, Dante Bonutto, Paul Brannigan, Steffan Chirazi, Ian Christe, Dave Dickson, Malcolm Dome, Paul Elliott, Lonn Friend, Neil Jeffries, Howard Johnson, Dave Lewis, Dave Ling, Peter Makowski, Matthias Madder, Joe Matera, Joel McIver, Alexander Milas, Derek Oliver, Martin Popoff, Greg Prato, Dave Reynolds, Steven Rosen, Xavier Russell, Brian Slagel, Paul Suter and Jeb Wright, et al.