Monthly Archives: March 2013

New Queensryche song – ‘Redemption’

Check out the new song ‘Redemption,’ the first full track released by Queensryche from their forthcoming album in the video below. Just to be clear, that’s the Todd La Torre-fronted version of the band featuring original members Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson along with Parker Lundgren. Geoff Tate’s version of Queensryche is also releasing an album soon, but… okay, Geoff, I quite liked both your solo albums, but… preview clips from the Tate version’s forthcoming album Frequency Unknown are available on iTunes, and how do I say this…


The Wilton/Rockenfield/Jackson/Lundgren/La Torre version’s new stuff though… well… let’s let it speak for itself. Turn up yer speakers and dig into this:

REVIEW: Marshall JVM410HJS Joe Satriani amp


Joe Satriani needs his amps to cover a lot of ground during the course of a single gig, from vintage bluesy sweetness to chunky rock to screaming harmonically overstimulated lead. For years he’s (generally) used clean amps and distortion pedals for his tone, but when it came time to lay down some riffage with his supergroup Chickenfoot, Joe realised only Marshall would do. So they worked together on an amp based on the JVM410. Let’s let Joe explain: “It’s got four channels and three modes per channel, and we just set the thing up in the control room when we were doing overdubs (for Chickenfoot III) and we went from channel to channel, and I think the only time we used a different amp was when we plugged in a ’59 Fender Twin amp to add a little something to a ballad. Everything else was done through that amp. I never felt like I wasn’t punching enough or I never had enough gain or I wasn’t clean enough. It’s really an outstanding amp.” Continue reading

Hutchinson Viking V, Cybertech & Bronze Top



After last years success with three unique guitars designed and modified for James Hetfield of Metallica, Hutchinson Guitar Concepts summons up Norse mythology for the latest concept: the Viking V.

According to myth, Fenrir is a monstrous wolf who prophecies foretell as being destined to harm the gods. The gods prepared three fetters to restrain Fenrir. The first two: Leyding and Dromi were great iron fetters but could not bind Fenrir. The third was Gleipnir constructed by dwarfs from six mythical ingredients and while it appeared like silken ribbon it fully bound the mighty wolf and the gods fastened it to a great stone slab called Gjöll and anchored it in the ground by a rock. Continue reading

Cool Gear Alert: EHX Epitome

I always love getting emails from Bill Ruppert – Mr. Effectology – because it means my mind is about to be melted by hiterto-unexplored worlds of guitaristic colour. The latest such email reads simply: “Bill Ruppert, Mr. Effectology, fires up EHX’s newest multi-effect pedal: the Epitome. Bill takes full advantage of its Micro POG Polyphonic Octave Generator, Stereo Electric Mistress Flanger/Chorus, Holy Grail Plus Reverb and the new Shimmer effect to take you on a voyage of sonic exploration. Come along as this master of effects charts a course of discovery!” But that doesn’t really give you any real indication of what the Epitome is capable of. This video does a much better job, and you should probably turn your speakers up super loud first: Continue reading

Cool Band Alert: The Dead Daisies

deaddaisiesAussie rock supergroup The Dead Daisies are gonna be big news in the coming months. They’re already playing with ZZ Top, and they’ll also be special guests on the upcoming Aerosmith Australian and New Zealand dates. The band consists of vocalist Jon Stevens (Noiseworks, INXS); guitarist Richard Fortus (Guns N Roses); drummer Charley Drayton(The Divinyls, Cold Chisel); bass  (and sax) player Jim Hilbun (The Angels, The Divinyls); guitarist David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink, The Angels), and keyboard player Alan Mansfield (Robert Palmer, Dragon). And they’re collaborating with none other than Slash on a track too.  Continue reading

Satriani’s coolest album cover to date

Check out the cover for Joe’s next album, Unstoppable Momentum. Very cool! I’m not always a fan of Joe’s cover art but the last few albums seem to have been following a steady arc of increasing awesomeness.


Click here to order the album. Continue reading

A Moody Masterpiece

Y’know what’s hilarious? Watching this video of Vinnie Vincent (hanging with KISS fans in full makeup in 1996) with the sound off while listening to Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games.’ Try it!

INTERVIEW: Steve Stevens

Photo: Hristo Shindow

Steve Stevens is about to hit Australia for a clinic tour (an earlier scheduled tour was cancelled when Allans Billy Hyde went under – don’t worry, they’ve been bought by new owners now, but that’s another story). Stevens will be showcasing the latest and greatest gear from Roland and BOSS, including the Roland G-5 VG Stratocaster and Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer, as well as offering insights into guitar playing and generally sharing his decades of knowledge and experience. I Heart Guitar caught up with Stevens to talk clinics, gear and his new project with Sebastian Bach.

I Heart Guitar has two tickets to give away in Melbourne and two in Brisbane. Enter by emailing iheartguitarblog AT gmail dot com with STEVENS in the subject line and answer this question: which 80s rocker did Stevens work with in 1993?

Every clinic is different: what can we expect from yours?

Well Roland are bringing me to Australia, and I’ll be demoing the new GR-55 as well as their new G-5  which is made by Fender, and also their Virtual Guitar, the VG Guitar. Regardless of the whole electronics side of it, the guitars themselves are really great. You’re going to get a great Fender Stratocaster, to begin with, and all the other stuff is like an added bonus. I’ve found that touring with it I end up carrying a lot less guitars with me because one guitar can replicate a 12-string, a Dobro and all these other things. So it’s been really handy for me.


That technology has really come of age recently. I remember trying some stuff about 20 years ago that was cool for the time, but you look back on it and it’s like “…Oh.”

Yeah. I was actually the first person to bring the GR-700 into the States. I was in Japan to do press for Rebel Yell and they brought me up to this very secretive room at Roland and they had the GR-700 there. I convinced them to let me bring it with me because we were getting ready to do the Flesh For Fantasy video. That was like the first guitar synthesiser I had from them. Continue reading

REVIEW: David Bowie – The Next Day

David-Bowie-The-Next-Day1-1David Bowie’s always at his best when he’s fucking with your idea of who David Bowie is. He achieves that on The Next Day by shattering the idea that he’s a 66-year-old dude making his first album in ten years. It’s no mistake that the cover features a defacing of the artwork for Heroes – this album could fit in very neatly between Heroes and Scary Monsters, with additional little teases and hints here and there which recall moments from 1.Outside, Heathen, Tin Machine II, Station To Station and Let’s Dance. But perhaps the most overt ode to the Bowie of old is You Feel So Lonely You Could Die, which sounds suspiciously like a long-lost track from the Ziggy Stardust sessions, before confirming your sense of “this sounds familiar” by ending with the lonesome drum beat from Five Years. It’s one of those cheeky intertextual moves that Bowie weaves into his catalog so easily.  Continue reading

REVIEW: Schecter Blackjack SLS C-1 FR-S


Although Schecter was initially known for slightly more traditional guitars, they’ve really hit their stride in the past decade-plus as purveyors of fine high-performance axes aimed at the metal market. They still cater to the traditionalists – especially with the new USA Production Series unveiled at NAMM in January), but the SLS Blackjack C-1 FR-S is a great example of how Schecter unifies a whole stack of shred-friendly features that are unashamedly pitched at those who dwell on the dark side.

The SLS has a mahogany body with your choice of Crimson Red Burst or Satin Black finish. The latter is the model on review here: the finish seems particularly well applie, and nicely offset by multi-ply binding. The neck is made of three-piece maple for enhanced stability, and there are 24 Jumbo frets on the ebony fretboard. The headstock is a bound three-tuner-per-side variant featuring Grover Rotomatic tuners with an 18:1 gear ratio for smoother tuning and a higher degree of backlash elimination. The only inlay on the fretboard face of the Satin Black version is a ‘Hell’s Gate Skull’ which looks pretty bitchen’, and definitely positions this as a metal guitar. Personally I think it’d do fine without it, as on the Crimson Red Burst model which has offset dots instead, but it’s not a deal breaker. The set neck is carved into Schecter’s Ultra Access shape, which mimics a neck-thru instrument, and the profile is the Ultra Thin spec, which is 19mm at the first fret and 20mm at the 12th.

Continue reading

New Jackson 7 and 8-string USA Select models

Jackson B8DXMG Satin Black

Jackson USA Select B7

Dammit Jackson, I’m trying to not buy any new guitars this year.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (March 7, 2013) – Jackson is proud to announce the release of eight new seven and eight-string USA Select models.

The USA Select B7, USA Select B7 Deluxe, USA Select B8 and USA Select B8 Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount DiMarzio® D Activator 7™pickups (D Activator 8™pickups on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.

The USA Select B7MG, USA Select B7MG Deluxe, USA Select B8MG and USA Select B8MG Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount EMG® 707 neck (808 on eight-string models) and 81-7 bridge pickups (808 on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.

For more information, visit www.jacksonguitars.com

Fastback releases Ryan ‘Fluff’ Bruce Beard Combers pickups

Fastback has released the Beard Combers high gain pickups, signature model for Ryan “Fluff” Bruce of Riffs, Beards & Gear and Black Metal Bicycle. And these things sound monstrous! They’re designed to offer clarity in the high end with a fast balance low end response for a bold well rounded sound. They’re available in both six and seven string versions These passive pickups are built with Alnico 5 magnets, AWG 43 wire and four-conductor hookup cable, with the bridge model at 16K+ and the neck at 12K+.

The Beard Combers are sold in a tin case with black comb included, and the first 20 sets will come with a promotional free Jimmy Clip, which you place over the strings either on the bridge or headstock to control unwanted frequencies or overtones.

Street price for the Beard Combers in either the six or seven string version will be $120 single or $230 per set direct from fastbackguitars.com.


Merchant City Music

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 If you'd like to support the site, feel free to kick in a couple o'bucks using this donation button.

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