INTERVIEW: Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser

andreas kisserSepultura are stayers. They’ve weathered all sorts of line-up changes and shifts in musical style – not to mention shifts in overriding heavy music trends occurring around them – and yet they’ve never given up and never made the same album twice. Their latest, The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart, finds the band (guitarist Andreas Kisser, vocalist Derrick Green, bassist Paulo Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande) working with producer Ross Robinson for the first time since 1996’s Roots with incredible results. Inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis, the album is dark, foreboding, mysterious, aggressive and energetic, bursting with intense guitar work and Green’s trademark guttural vocals. It’s been far too long since Sepultura visited Australia, but they’ll be back in October with dates in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. I caught up with guitarist Andreas Kisser.  Read More …

Cool Gear Alert: Pettyjohn PreDrive

Man, this thing looks so cool! The PreDrive is a studio grade, dual foot-switchable guitar preamp designed to be the first pedal in your chain. Built in the USA with two discrete opamp chips and audiophile components throughout, the PreDrive will preserve every detail of any instrument plugged into it. Its preamp was designed to serve the unique needs of a matching impedances of magnetic pickups, and can be used as a preamp for almost any instrument outfitted with a magnetic pickup. With a full frequency range and a transformer coupled Direct Output you can capture great direct in tones in the studio, perfect for reamping, using virtual amps or even use the PreDrive in front of digital effects units to add extra dimension and clarity to your tone. More info on Pettyjohn here. Read More …

Keeley Limited Release Black Glass British Fuzz

BlackGlassSplashPRESSS RELEASE: Keeley Electronics today announced it is building the Black Glass British Fuzz effect pedal. The pedal will be limited to 150 units.  The 100% hand-built Black Glass is a modern compact circuit of the classic OC81 based design and was created for the most demanding fuzz effects lovers. The Black Glass offers a wealth of tone bending vintage musical MkIII sounds with reduced noise and treble response and a modern power supply. With controls for FUZZ, TONE, and LEVEL the Black Glass makes it easy for players to dial in very wild amounts of fuzz. Modifications to the circuit allow for an increased high frequency not heard of before as well as ultra-low noise.  Furthermore, design modifications have solved temperature problems that can affect vintage fuzz units.  Players have the needed power supply inversion so that they can use a regular 9 Volt power supply.  Read More …

REVIEW: Mayones Regius PRO 7

Mayones Guitars have been around for decades but in recent years they’ve really risen to prominence, partly through better distribution, partly through home high-profile players such as Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, and partly because the world is finally catching up to their extremely high quality. You can ogle photos of a Mayones online all you want but that doesn’t tell you the whole story: they feel as great as they look, and you get a definite sense of ‘Daaaaaamn that’s a high-quality guitar’ when you pick one up. Read More …

REVIEW: Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun

Mastodon Once More Round The SunIf I may be indulged with an overwrought metaphor, being a Mastodon fan is kind of like driving along the coast and gazing out the window: the view in the near field keeps changing – buildings, beach, cliffs – but the view out to the horizon remains more or less the same, give or take a few clouds or whatever. Whatever Mastodon does, it has a certain emotional, ragged-yet-anthemic quality which is always there, but sometimes the more up-front aspects are expressed in a psychedelic, unpredictable way and sometimes the attitude is more blatant and direct. Thus far Crack The Skye is the epitome of the more abstract approach, while The Hunter went for directness, especially in terms of groove. Now Once More ‘Round The Sun further refines the latter approach, but this time the melody is cranked up to 10. A great example is the chorus of “The Motherload.” It’s practically arena rock – albeit a rather skewed, dark take on arena rock. “High Road” does a great job of building upon the sound established on The Hunter, while “Chimes At Midnight” returns to some of the more moody-then-chaotic moments of Crack The Skye but without quite the same level of sophistication. Read More …

How To Photograph Guitars

Michael Kelly Guitars 1957

Whether you need a photo of your guitar for an eBay listing, to show off your new acquisition on your favourite guitar forum, for social media or even a magazine article, you owe it to yourself and your guitar (and maybe your editor or boss) to take the nicest photos possible. Photos that show the instrument in its best light as an object of aspiration. Now, I’m not a trained photographer at all and I don’t have pro-level equipment (my camera is ‘prosumer’ quality), but I do like to research stuff, and I’ve found a few ways to bring out the best in my guitar pics whether they’re for my blog, Instagram, Facebook or a magazine article. Here are a few tips which should hopefully help you out no matter what you’re shooting with, if you’re an amateur like me. A lot of these are “Don’ts” that I’ve observed from way too many years of seeing poorly shot guitar pics online, rather than “Do’s” which tell you exactly how to set up a shot, but sometimes it’s the things you don’t do that really make the difference. These also apply to things like pedals, amps, product boxes and accessories. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Dan Sultan

Dan Sultan is something of a rarity in the Australian music scene, let’s admit it: a dude with charisma, talent and opinions who isn’t afraid to use all three. Often the dreaded ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ gets in the way of letting artists truly express themselves but Sultan seems to just go for it with a purity of will and utterly without pretence. He doesn’t feel the need to talk himself up, but he doesn’t talk himself down either. That makes him a pretty damn refreshing interview. And it also makes Blackbird, his new studio album, something very special. Named after Black Studios in Nashville, where it was recorded, it’s Sultan’s first album in five years and the follow-up to his acclaimed Get Out While You Can. A lot can happen in five years, especially when you carry the burden of expectation on your shoulders, but Sultan is taking it all in his stride. With producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings Of Leon), Sultan has crafted a varied, expressive album which sounds at once brand new and comfortable. It’s familiar and yet exciting. And its’ loaded with great guitar tones. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani

Across 14 studio albums Joe Satriani has redefined instrumental guitar, led the charge in popularising shred, introduced all sorts of techniques to the guitarists’ lexicon, and spearheaded innovations in gear that have influenced countless luthiers and modders. While Joe is always looking forward – to the next guitar, the next gig, the next album – 2014 finds him also taking stock of how he got to this point, if only for a moment. This year has already seen the release of TThe Complete Studio Recordings, a 15-disc box set which brings together each of his albums (the studio disc of the two-CD Time Machine album is represented) plus a disc of alternate mixes, unheard tracks and rarities. And he has also released Strange Beautiful Music: A Musical Memoir, which explores his creative output album-by-album, offering unprecedented incites into the conception and execution of his albums, the origins of the G3 tour, the success of Chickenfoot and of course those early days teaching guitar to the likes of Steve Vai, Alex Skolnick, Kirk Hammett and Larry LaLonde. With plenty of touring booked for this year already, Joe has just announced a tour of Australia for November, which means it’s high time we had another chat. Read More …