NEWS: Silverchair goes into ‘indefinite hibernation’

Silverchair are calling time out, at least for now, after almost 20 years of rockin’. They’re not calling it a break-up but rather ‘indefinite hibernation.’ I like that. It makes me think of Yogi’s First Christmas. Who knows, maybe they’ll go into this with the intention of hibernating for a long, long time but will instead be woken up by Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy arriving to celebrate Christmas.

Here’s the message from their site.

“We formed Silverchair nearly 20 years ago when we were just 12 years old. Today we stand by the same rules now as we did back then … if the band stops being fun and if it’s no longer fulfilling creatively, then we need to stop.

Therefore after much soul searching we wanted to let you know that we’re putting Silverchair into “indefinite hibernation” and we’ve decided to each do our own thing for the foreseeable future.

We assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly. In fact we’ve been struggling with it for quite a while now.

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REVIEW: Blackstar Series One 50

Blackstar offers some pretty innovative designs in its rapidly expanding catalog. The Series One 50 is a 50 watt head is designed to deliver fully rocktastic Class A-style tones at all volume levels thanks to a very clever power reduction feature. But before we get to that, let’s look at the rest of the goodies.

The Series One 50’s tube quiver includes one ECC82, three ECC83s and a pair of EL34s. There are four channels: Bright Clean, Warm Clean, Crunch and Super Crunch. The two clean channels share Gain and Volume controls, as do the two overdrive channels. Next we have Bass, Middle, Treble and Blackstar’s famous ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) tone voicing control, a master section with Resonance, Presence and Volume, and the DPR (Dynamic Power Reduction) knob. When the amp arrived, most of the preamp tubes were cracked and the amp was unusable. I assume this is something that happened in transit, and after the local distributor supplied some replacement tubes, the amp fired up without a problem, so whatever wiped out the tubes wasn’t enough to kill them amp. The amp feels a little bit plasticy and it sorta smells funny, but obviously the construction seems pretty tough.

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NEWS: EVH talks Smithsonian donation

Eddie Van Halen has done a little interview with Smithsonian Magazine over his donation of ‘Frank 2,’ a replica of his original Frankie, to the museum. I don’t think Eddie would hand over just any old $25,000 Frankie replica – I wonder if this one is from his personal stash? He used a few of them on the most recent Van Halen tour and I doubt he’d give a guitar with relatively little sentimental value to something as prestigious as the Smithsonian.

Anyway, the interview’s pretty brief and there’s not much new info there, but it’s always cool to hear from EVH. Here’s a little snippet:

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Anyone wanna take a guitar lesson over Skype?

Heyhey. Registering interest here. Anybody wanna take guitar lessons from yours truly over Skype?

I write one of Australia’s longest-running instructional columns, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, for Mixdown magazine, I’ve been playing guitar for 24 years (I started when I was 8), and you can hear examples of my playing here, here and here.

Register your interest by emailing me: iheartguitarblog (AT)

I’ll also be teaching at World of Music in Brighton East here in Melbourne if you’re interested in one-on-one lessons in a music store environment.