New Korn – interesting!

Y’know, I’m in two minds about the new Korn album. On the one hand, I really liked their last one, Korn III: Remember Who You Are. The songwriting and performances were killer and I liked the production too. But on the other hand, any time I hear ‘collaboration’ I hear that screechy record needle sound. And that’s how I felt when I heard that Korn were working with Skillrex and a few other dubstep and electronica artists on their new album The Path Of Totality. But y’know what? I quite like this and now I’m really looking forward to it. 2011 has been a freaking killer year for new albums – The Aristocrats, Dream Theater, Mastodon, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Devin Townsend Project, Anthrax, Machine Head, Trivium, Chickenfoot (and I’ve heard the new Megadeth album because I interviewed Chris Broderick recently, and it kicks all sorts of ass) – could the new Korn be another one for the pile of great 2011 releases?



Korn will release their tenth studio album, The Path of Totality on December 2.

But this one is unlike any Korn record.  It’s even unlike any record released before.

The Path of Totality is an experimental album which finds Korn shifting gears and exploring new territory. That should hardly come as a shock to the band’s diehard fans, as Korn exploded onto the scene in the’90s and established themselves as hard rock game changers from that point on.

For The Path of Totality, the band collaborated with some of the leading dubstep and electronic producers in the world, including Skrillex, Excision, Datsik, Noisia, Kill the Noise, and 12th Planet. The result is something completely new, yet utterly and definitively Korn.  Leave it to a band like Korn to continue to reinvent itself two decades deep into its career.

“The title The Path of Totality refers to the fact that in order to see the sun in a full solar eclipse, you must be in the exact right place in the exact right time,” Korn frontman Jonathan Davis explained. “That’s how this album came together. I think all the producers feel the same way. I’m not sure it could ever happen again”

The band’s recent (and much lauded) collaboration with dubstep’s hottest producer, Skrillex, titled “Get Up!,” was the surprise rock hit of the summer, the buzz of which started in Coachella’s dance tent in April 2011, when Jonathan and Munky joined Skrillex on stage for a show stealing unannounced performance of the song.

That performance generated the start of a deafening buzz. The track  has sold over 150,000 downloads, while the lyric video has generated nearly two million views and counting.  The song, a Top 10 rock radio hit,  still continues to be one of the best testing songs on the format over 24 weeks after its release.

Adds James “Munky” Shaffer, “Get Up” started as a bit of an experiment, but we had such an amazing response from our fans and had such a great time collaborating that a full album of tracks came together in a couple of months. We couldn’t wait to get to the studio every day to finish the next song.”

Some of the song titles from The Path of Totality are: “Narcissistic Cannibal”, “Burn The Obedient.” “Illuminati,” “Kill Mercy Within,” and “Chaos Lives In Everything.”

The album will be released in two configurations: as a standard 11 song CD and a special edition CD that will include bonus tracks as well as a DVD of The Encounter, a full length video concert of Korn’s mind-blowing, once in a lifetime performance in the middle of a 900 ft long crop circle in a wheat field in Bakersfield.  The complete concert, previously seen last year on TV and online in an abbreviated form, will be offered in its entirety to those who purchase the deluxe version.

MI Effects blog

One thing that’s always broken my brain is, how do pedals start? How do these conglomerations of gadgets and gizmos turn into something that translates our every emotional nuance into musical expression? One very cool take on this topic is the MI Effects blog. Take a peek behind the curtain as MI ready new products! Marvel at pics of pedal guts! Revel in clips of sweet-ass prototypes! Go go go!

Junius debuts new track

October 11, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA – Dark-wave outfit Junius has premiered a new song, “A Universe without Stars,” exclusively today on  The track is featured on the band’s highly anticipated new album, Reports from the Threshold of Death, which is set for release on October 25 via Prosthetic Records.
With only weeks to go before the release of Junius’ third studio album, Reports from the Threshold of Death, rave reviews have already started rolling in.  See what critics are saying…

Gibson Humbuckers

This week my feature article on is about some of Gibson’s humbuckers. I wanted to draw attention to a few of my favourites – the Tony Iommi model and the ’57 Classic four-conductor version – as well as a few other neat pickups Gibson offer. Check it out! And if you ever get a chance to try the Iommi pickups, I’d love to know what you think.

COOL GEAR ALERT: Majik Box Kryptonite Overdrive

Freaky! I was just looking at the Majik Box Paul Gilbert Fuzz Universe in an issue of Young Guitar that Mrs I Heart Guitar brought back for me from her trip to Japan, and then I find this in my inbox. Looks cool!


Majik Box unveils the new Matt Roberts signature Kryptonite Overdrive pedal.

(TORRANCE, CA) October 5, 2011 – Majik Box, makers of the Paul Gilbert Fuzz Universe and Doug Aldrich Rocket Fuel pedals release their third signature pedal, the Kryptonite Overdrive. This pedal was designed to produce the “radio ready” signature guitar tones of Matt Roberts, lead guitarist of the multi-platinum rock act 3 Doors Down, who released their new album, Time of My Life in August.

The Kryptonite Overdrive is simple in concept, featuring only 3 knobs (drive, level and tone controls) making the pedal incredibly easy to use. Designed in close collaboration with Roberts, guitar tech Jeff Chase and Majik Box engineers, the Kryptonite Overdrive was carefully tuned to produce thick rhythm and saturated lead tones, when used in conjunction with any lightly distorted amp, suitable for all modern rock applications.

Read More …

REVIEW: Jet City ISO12

Before I get into the Jet City JetStream ISO12, let me give you a bit of background on how I usually record guitars. Often I use an older-model AxeTrak isolated speaker cabinet by JLH Products. It’s a neat little unit and I’ve got a lot of use out of it, and I do recommend it (especially later versions which have more features), but it has a few limitations that I have to work around. First of all, it has a small 6-inch speaker which, though carefully voiced, is still, well, a tiny speaker in a tiny box. Secondly, its internal mic is inaccessible and immovable (later models have a moveable mic via a thumbscrew, but that doesn’t help me!). Thirdly, the only way you can change the sound is via a removable bass port and a passive treble roll-off button. The AxeTrak needs some decent EQ-ing before it stops sounding honky, and you just can’t get much tonal variety out of it the way you could if you were to move a mic around to find the sweet spot for that particular amp, song or solo. So although it’s served me well, it has some limitations and if you’re considering an AxeTrak I would recommend that you look at more recent models than mine.

The Jet City ISO12, by contrast, offers a few things that the AxeTrak just can’t deliver. First of all, it features a full 12 inch speaker, by Eminence, no less. The speaker is custom-made by Eminence for Jet City, and it handles 100 watts RMS. The ability to have a full-sized speaker means there’s more area for the microphone to sense, and therefore more tonal variation to be achieved by moving the mic to different positions or angles.

And then there’s the mic: there isn’t one. The ISO12 instead gives you a gooseneck mic stand and an internally-attached XLR cable, so you can use your own mic – or, if you’re particularly adventurous, various different microphones. You can achieve a good degree of movement inside the cabinet, and whether you like your mic placed right up against the speaker, or back a few inches for a little more sonic depth, or at an angle to achieve unusual phase-cancelled sounds and what have you, the ISO12 will accommodate you.

Read More …