Devin Townsend Project Oz Tour

DTP - Press Pic 2012_1MBWoo! Devin Townsend is heading back to Australia in October to once again spread his particular and peculiar blend of intensity, good vibes, crushing metal, haunting melodicism and fart jokes across four states. Devin was last here for the 2012 Soundwave festival and he has a long history of killer Australian shows. The first time I saw him was in 1997 when Strapping Young Lad toured in support of City and I’ve caught many shows since. The Palace here in Melbourne is a great venue for this and I’ll be there for sure. Here’s the press release: Read More …

New James LaBrie Track – ‘Agony’

labrieimpermanentIf you haven’t heard James LaBrie’s Static Impulse, you seriously have to check it out. The songwriting is great, the vocal performances are kickass, the performances are amazing, the mix is pretty damn cool – it’s really got it all. Which is why I’m stoked to hear Agony, the first track to be released from its follow-up, Impermanent Resonance, which will be released on August 6 in North America and July 29 in Europe via InsideOut Music. The new album features the same line-up as Static Impulse: Songwriter/producer/keyboard player Matt Guillory. Marco Sfogli on guitar, Ray Riendeau (Halford, Machines of Loving Grace) on bass, and Peter Wildoer (Darkane and a very memorable Dream Theater audition) on drums and growly vocals. And former Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers contributed songwriting and guitars too. Listen to Agony in the YouTube video below, or download it for free here.
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MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion

SuperBadassBlogCROPIs there any cooler pedal than the MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion? Well, maybe, but it’s a pretty tough one to top. Just listen to that thing. But the team behind that possibly-underappreciated Dude You Totally Have To Try It pedal have just announced their newest offering, the Super Badass Distortion, which allows you to further personalise your distortion sound with separate Bass, Mid and Treble controls and nice broad range of distortion levels. Jim Dunlop has a great blog post where they discuss the pedal with the design team, and you can check that out here. But here’s the press release: Read More …

The Mighty Ibanez BTB7 7-string Bass

BTB7 ThumbnailYou might remember that yesterday I was pondering the rise of the 7-string, and how the music is dictating the development of the instrument. A similar thing happened when 5-string basses appeared on the scene. Then there were 6-string basses, which remain something of a niche instrument for jazz and prog guys, really: you don’t tend to see them in punk bands. Just sayin.’ Anyway, so as to not feel left out by the rise of the 8-string guitar, Ibanez has created the BTB7 Limited Edition 7-string bass. Compared to a regular four-string bass it adds one extra low string and two extra high ones: it’s tuned (low to high) B E A D G C F. Read More …

REVIEW: Ibanez RGIR28FE Iron Label 8-string

496-1Ibanez was at the forefront of 7-string guitar development when they launched the Universe more than 20 years ago, and they’ve continued to innovate in extended-range instruments at all price points, from inexpensive GIO 7-strings to J.Custom 8-strings. The Iron Label series of 6, 7 and 8-string guitars includes RG and S models all of which are designed specifically for metal players, yet the styling is clean and neat enough to appeal to, if not every player, then certainly a wide cross-section of the guitar community.

On paper, the RGIR28FE 8-string (I bought mine from Ibanez Guitar Centre) reads pretty similarly to much of the RG line: super-thin neck (in this case a five-piece Maple, Walnut Nitro Wizard-8 profile), Basswood body, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard and Jumbo frets. Read More …

Jackson Unveils Summer 2013 Models

jacksonjsSeven and eight string guitars aren’t going anywhere, by the looks of things. Sure, there’s a bit of resistance from the traditionalists (and here’s how to respond to people who say ‘Seven strings? I have enough trouble with six!) but guitarists have been tuning down for decades now and I like the idea of music dictating the development of the instrument, rather than being restrained by it. So while there’ll always be a place in my heart and guitar rack for six-stringers, I’m glad that companies like Jackson are as serious about their extended-range offerings as the players are who are using them. Jackson is releasing three new models for the summer season, and all of them have an upped string count. Here’s the press release: Read More …

Stream The New Queensryche Album Now!

queensrycheWhoa! With week left until its release, Queensryche (that’s the version featuring the mighty Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson, Parker Lundgren and new vocalist Todd La Torre), have put their new self-titled album up online for all to crank. And it’s killer. I especially like In This Light: with all the talk of how heavy this album was going to be, I was hoping they’d still find room for more melodic stuff. And they have! This album feels like a very, very good start indeed for this new era of Queensryche as a recording entity (they’ve already proven themselves on the stage) and I hope they make it down here to Oz on tour some time soon. You can listen on the band’s site here.

Win A YouRock MIDI Guitar

Making Music MagazineHey! Here’s something cool. Making Music Magazine is holding a sweepstakes for someone to win a YouRock MIDI Guitar. The MIDI Guitar is a really innovative instrument that plays just like any other guitar, but without the strings and tuning pegs. You can plug it into your computer and take lessons, play games and even add percussion to your guitar playing, plus it has countless settings. And you can see my review of it here, including a sound clip of me using one to pull off some cool sitar-sounding stuff. But more importantly, you can enter to win one here! It’s a great tool for the home recordist, especially those of us who kinda suck at playing keyboards (that would be me) but still want to add some keys to their tracks without manually drawing them into the MIDI edit window.