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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Eternal Descent + Calabash Animation = awesome

Eternal Descent and Calabash Animation launch Animated Series on IndieGoGo Star studded heavy metal series from IDW Publishing puts music and comics in motion.

The Eternal Descent comic series from IDW Publishing has bridged the worlds of music and comics like no other, with an army of chart topping heavy metal stars including Joe Satriani, Wayne Static, Gus G, Arch Enemy, Periphery, Shadows Fall, and many more appearing throughout the saga.

In our continued effort to explore the unholy alliance between heavy metal and high fantasy, we’ve teamed up with Calabash Animation, the acclaimed animation studio led by Sean Henry and Wayne Brejcha, to bring you an animated reimagining of Eternal Descent!

Having tested our mettle with a 2 minute animated preview, we’re now in pre-production for a 22 minute pilot episode, which would realize Eternal Descent as a fully animated TV show. It’s our pleasure to announce that Mike Sizemore is handling the script, and if you love animation, fantasy, and heavy guitars, then this could be the show you’ve been waiting for! See the preview and find out how you can get involved at: www.indiegogo.com/eternaldescent

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INTERVIEW: Nick Catanese

It can be an intimidating thing to stand up on stage with one of the greats and be expected to match them lick for lick, night after night. But that’s what Nick Catanese does. As second guitarist in Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Catanese has to keep up with Zakk’s killer riffs, hold down the fort when the Wylde one takes a solo, and even handle some pretty high-profile leads of his own when required. Catanese has a reputation as a hard-working, reliable player who gets the job done with efficiency, energy and stage presence. And although his role is mainly a live one, Catanese has put in the hard yards to earn a rather nice Paul Reed Smith SE signature model.

 

Catanese recently took the opportunity to redesign his SE model. The original version was a more modern-looking, aggressive black and red affair, while the new one has more of a classic look. “It’s basically the same weight, dimensions, frets, everything, but the red flame top, all the chrome, the Chrome EMG pickups… we’re trying to go with the ’57 Chevy look,” Catanese says. “But it has the same neck dimensions. I like thick necks. No fret markers. The thing that’s different with this one is, on my first one I thought I was being cool when I put red fret dots on it, which looked cool in the light, but when the lights went down I couldn’t see anything! I had no fret markers or dots, so I was pretty screwed!”

 

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INTERVIEW: Steve Lukather

steve-lukather-alls-well-that-ends-well-2010

How do I put this… y’know ‘music?’ If you’ve ever listened to it, the chances are extremely high that Steve Lukather was involved. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It?” Luke. Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” – Luke too. Richard Marx’s megahit album Repeat Offendor? Luke. Hell, he’s even contributed backing vocals to a few Van Halen songs. But session work is only part of the story. Lukather’s band Toto are legendary within hardcore musician circles as well as to general pop radio audiences – an almost impossible feat to pull off – and his solo albums somehow manage to bring together the whole breadth of his professional career under a single banner without sounding disjointed. In fact, recent albums like All’s Well That Ends Well and Ever Changing Times sound incredibly current.

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65amps presents The Ventura

New! 65amps presents high-quality portable amp, The Ventura

 

March 28, 2012, North Hollywood, CA - 65amps introduces The Ventura guitar amplifier, the latest addition to its more affordable “Working Pro” Red Line. The Ventura is a response to the over-saturation of “Lunch Box” amps in the market that are found lacking in quality for professional players. The Ventura illustrates that a compact, portable amp can be combined with high-level, professional functionality. The Ventura is made in 65amps’ factory in North Hollywood utilizing the high-level materials and engineering experience of the 65amps crew.

The Ventura uses a 2-6V6 power section and front end utilizing 65amps’ most popular circuits, the Color channel of the London and the Bump Circuit of the SoHo. This allows the Ventura to create a rich palette of American and British tones all with the signature flair that has made 65amps a major presence on top-level tours and recording studios around the world.

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Jaden Rose Guitars at NAMM 2012

Just stumbled across this video on YouTube of the fine folks from England’s Jaden Rose Guitars capering at the NAMM Show (including some great shreddage by Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders). These guys make incredible guitars that are especially shred and djent-friendly. Six-strings, seven-strings, eight-strings, fixed bridge, Floyd Rose, extended scale, multi-scale, exotic woods, DiMarzio pickups, ridiculously comfortable necks…   want!

 

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Stone Sour hit the studio

Great to hear that Stone Sour have returned to the studio to record the follow-up to Audio Secrecy. I gave that album the ‘drag it out after about a year and see if it still holds up’ test last week, in fact, and found myself drawn to it pretty strongly (read my interview with guitarist Jim Root about it here). So I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.

Here’s the press release.

STONE SOUR ENTER THE STUDIO TO RECORD FOURTH ALBUM

BAND RECORDING WITH PRODUCER DAVID BOTTRILL IN IOWA, USA

ALBUM TO BE RELEASED LATE 2012

Stone Sour, the Gold-certified, Grammy-nominated rock band, are proud to announce that they will begin recording their fourth album in March for longtime label Roadrunner Records. With most of thenew album already written, the band will soon head into Sound Farm Studios just outside of their native Des Moines, Iowa with producer David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, Staind). The album is expected in the Australian spring of 2012, two years after the band’s most recent long player Audio Secrecy, which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard chart, No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes Rock Album chart, and scored the highest international debuts of the band’s career including Top 5 charts in Germany, Japan and Austria, and Top 10 in the U.K. and Australia.

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A Strat Is Born

Check out this great video by Fender about the birth of a Fender Stratocaster. I was lucky enough to take the factory tour myself earlier this year, and I was surprised to see just how much handwork is still put into the guitars. You’ll see examples of that here: even though computer-controlled gadgetry is used in some steps, there’s still a huge amount of human involvement in the birth of a Fender guitar. Fine sanding, installing inlays, building bridges, installing truss rods, hammering in frets, shielding the electronics cavities, winding pickups… its’ just cool to see that there’s such a human element in every Fender.

It’s fun to compare it with the one below from 1959 and see how many things are different and how many are the same.

MUSIKMESSE 2012: Bart Provoost’s Guitar Effects Report

You regularly visit www.effectsdatabase.com, right? Bart Provoost’s site is one of the most informative on the web for pedal fans like you and I. He was recently on the ground at Musikmesse in Frankfurt and he filed this report. Some incredible stuff here by the likes of Amsterdam Cream, AMT Electronics, Bogner, Carl Martin, Ciocks, Dr. J, Ego Sonoro, Electro-Harmonix, Greenhouse Effects, GWires, JAM Pedals, Mooer Audio, Nux, Palmer Audio, Paul Landes, Roger Mayer, T-Rex, TC Electronics, Two Notes, and Yerasov.

Check out a track from Brendon Small’s GALAKTIKON

Now this is killer. In April, Brendon Small – Metalocalypse co-creator, mastermind of one of the coolest signature models Gibson ever produced and creator of the brilliant Home Movies will present to you GALAKTIKON, an incredible, melodic, heavy, colourful, frankly kickass album. I’ve been lucky enough to hear it and to interview Brendon (look for it closer to the album’s release date) and it’s something really special. The following is a press release about a track exclusively made available to CraveOnline. Check it out!

‘Metalocalypse’ Co-Creator BRENDON SMALL and CraveOnline.com Unveil New ‘BRENDON SMALL’s GALAKTIKON’ Track Today

 

New Album Coming April 2012!

CraveOnline.com and BRENDON SMALL are thrilled to finally unleash a brand new track from the METALOCALYPSE co-creator’s new side project,BRENDON SMALL’s GALAKTIKON. The new track, ‘On My Way’, is the closing track on the upcoming concept album. BRENDON SMALL’s GALAKTIKON hits stores in late April 2012.

 

“I’m thrilled to finally give people a taste of what I’ve been blabbing about doing for months,” states Brendon. “’On My Way’ is the last track on the record, where our hero confronts the villain and saves the girl, while complaining the whole time! Enjoy, and stay tuned for more tracks emerging soon.”

 

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REVIEW: Seymour Duncan Gus G. FIRE Blackouts

There are plenty of benefits to be gained from using active pickups, not the least of which are low noise and high signal integrity over long cable runs. But not everyone loves the sound of typical actives. EMGs are well known for their killer metal tone – they’ve driven the tones of players like Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield, Zakk Wylde and Devin Townsend to name just a few – and their single coils were long used by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. Seymour Duncan seems to be especially good at spotting holes in the market, and there was a pretty glaring one in the active sector: players who want the benefits of active pickups but would prefer a more organic tone. The Blackouts series of pickups do a great job of this, but the Blackouts Modular Preamp is another very clever approach to the issue.

Available separately and in the Blackouts Coil Pack and Gus G FIRE Blackouts System signature set (which is featured in some of Gus’s signature ESP and LTD guitar models), the BMP-1s replaces your existing volume pot, throws in a 9v battery, and allows you to get a high gain active guitar sound from any passive four-conductor pickup. In Gus’s case, the BMP-1s is combined with a matched pair of low-out Alnico 5-loaded passive humbuckers. Gus explains: “This system combines the massive tone, kick, and distortion of Blackouts with the rich tone and expressive feel of my favorite passive pickups. It responds perfectly to all my picking techniques, and more of my personality comes through than with any active pickup I’ve tried.” Naturally Gus needs plenty of sonic versatility within the rock/metal realm, since he does double time in Firewind and as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist.

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AmpKit gets Retina graphics, new gear

AmpKit, the killer amp sim app by Agile Partners, has just been updated to feature Retina display resolution as well as a few new gear models: the Trace Elliot 1215 bass amp, Rocktron Metal Planet Distortion and Rocktron HUSH Noise Reduction. And save 33-40% on new gear and 50% on AmpKit+ for a limited time.

Agile, of course, also recently announced AmpKit Link HD, an incredible new iOS interface which not only captures your guitar sound in higher fidelity than before, but also allows you to charge your iPad while still using it for your amp sim. Here’s a great video of Kenny Wayne Shepherd demonstrating AmpKit (and talking up the great Guitar World Lick Of The Day app) at NAMM 2012.

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Introducing Hutchinson Guitar Concepts

Wow. Just… just wow. Keep an eye out for these incredible instruments. I get the feeling they’re not kidding in the press release when they hint at these guitars showing up in some rather visible places in 2012.
Artisan Luthier ‘James Hutchinson’ launches Hutchinson Guitar Concepts

 

Guitar builder crafts roadworthy instruments into functioning works of art!
Fitting custom string gauges, installing aftermarket pickups, and swapping out hardware are all modifications made by guitarists to personalise their instruments. UK-based artisan luthier, James Hutchinson, is taking guitar design, customisation and personalisation to its absolute zenith, with Hutchinson Guitar Concepts. Offering a bespoke service limited only by imagination, any guitar can become a functioning work of art.

 

The Hutchinson Guitar Concepts website features a portfolio of finished guitars that exert design inspiration from genres and themes as diverse as Steampunk, Natural Disasters, and Chinese dynasties. The Cybertech, Molten Lava, and Bronze Top guitars are just a few examples of what can be achieved through intricate wood carving, masterful finishing and state of the art electronics. James puts hundreds of hours of work into every fine detail, ensuring that each Tibetan symbol is perfectly engraved, and each ripple of molten lava oozes and glows with incredible LED lighting effects.

 

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Guthrie Govan

Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com

I Heart Guitar Weekly