If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time you probably know I’m a massive Steve Vai nerd. I’ve interviewed Steve many times over the years and I just got the chance to chat with him again, this time to promote the new Generation Axe album.
Have you subscribed to the I Heart Guitar podcast yet? You’ll find it on most podcast services or you can listen direct on Spreaker. Guests have included Buddy Guy, St Vincent, Joe Satriani, Munky from Korn, Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains, Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap, comedian Earl Skakel, guitar effects legend Roger Mayer and plenty more. There are also Patreon bonuses where you’ll get subscriber-only episodes and out-of-print articles from the archive (this week’s article is my 2014 interview with Marc Maron).
Here’s the Devy episode. Enjoy!
AN EVENING WITH DEVIN TOWNSEND AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
THORNBURY THEATRE, MELBOURNE
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8 NEW SHOW ADDED
GOVERNOR HINDMARSH, ADELAIDE
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 10
OLD MUSEUM, BRISBANE
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 11
YORK THEATRE, SYDNEY
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13
THORNBURY THEATRE, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 14 SOLD OUT
Sharon Osbourne statement, on behalf of Ozzy Osbourne, about Donald Trump’s unauthorized use of Osbourne‘s “Crazy Train” in what amounts to a Trump/Pence political ad.
“Based on this morning’s unauthorized use of Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Crazy Train,” we are sending notice to the Trump campaign (or any other campaigns) that they are forbidden from using any of Ozzy Osbourne‘s music in political ads or in any political campaigns. Ozzy‘s music cannot be used for any means without approvals. In the meantime, I have a suggestion for Mr. Trump–perhaps he should reach out to some of his musician friends. Maybe Kayne West (“Gold Digger”), Kid Rock (“I Am the Bullgod”) or Ted Nugent (“Stranglehold”) will allow use of their music.”
Duesenberg lapsteel guitars have opened a new chapter in the history of horizontal guitars a few years ago. For the first time there were lapsteels like Duesenberg Pomona 6 and Fairytale on the scene which sport their own unique bender system for pedalsteel-like sounds and a built-in capodaster.
The third lapsteel of the house, the Alamo, has 2019 shown up on the steel guitar horizon. Like its two sisters, it is also equipped with the ingenious Multibender and the onboard Easy-Shift Capo. Its elegant body is made out of Korina, finished in a stunning Ebony, and the scale length is a long 648 mm. Together with the Duesenberg VintageTrouble pickups, classic Alnico single coils in neoclassical so-called Phonico covers, these specifications create a unique lapsteel sound. If desired, the Alamo can be crisp to biting, but also cool and elegant, thus providing a clear counterpoint to the more full-bodied sounding Pomona 6 and the Blues-to-Rock orientation of the Fairytale.
The Duesenberg Alamo is available in all Duesenberg stores and comes with the sturdy Duesenberg Custom Line Case.
The Supro Galaxy is a 50-watt channel-switching tube amp, designed to deliver more clean tone and more tube overdrive than any Supro ever made. The Galaxy amplifier combines the cleanest Supro preamp channel from our pedal-friendly Keeley model, with a Zinky-designed overdrive channel that has more than enough gain to seamlessly transition from the edge of breakup into complex tube saturation and sustain—without sacrificing dynamics or losing tonal balance at stage volume.
Fender has just announced the Vintera Series, which takes the place of the Classic series. The line is most definitely vintage-inspired but doesn’t aim to recreate specific model years; rather they embody classic features from general vintage eras. Geddit?
Along with the new line, Fender has announced the immediate discontinuation of the Road Worn series of pre-aged instruments BUT!!! the idea will be incorporated into the Vintera series in the form of limited-edition worn finishes.
Check out these various models (and learn more on the Vintera page)!
FENDER BLENDS STYLE AND SOUND WITH VINTAGE-INSPIRED CAMPAIGN LAUNCHING NEW VINTERA™ SERIES
In Collaboration with Stylist Heidi Bivens, Fashion Photographer Clarke Tolton and Director Duo Rubberband, Electric Guitar Campaign Showcases Fender’s Timeless Style For Today’s Players
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (June 25, 2019)— Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the launch of the Vintera Series, a line of vintage-inspired electric guitar and bass models that embody a period-specific vibe, including: the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Jaguar®, Mustang®, Jazzmaster®, Jazz Bass®, Precision Bass® and Mustang Bass. Each model delivers the authentic look and feel of its era, as well as decade-specific tones from the `50s, `60s and `70s.
The creative includes a 30-second digital commercial that introduces the instruments and overall feel of the Vintera Series, plus three artist performance videos, releasing on a later date, featuring contemporary, eclectic musicians. Each performance harkens back to a specific decade to showcase the vintage-inspired guitars and basses as well as the sound and style of the era. In addition to the performance videos, Fender captured each artist’s influences from the era of their performance, individual music style and what compelled them to pick up their first guitar and play.
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram taps into his blues roots, bringing viewers back to the `50s with a classic Seafoam Green Statocaster and a cover of “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Singer-songwriter Curtis Harding brings back the soul of the `60s playing a cover of Tommy James and The Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” on the Ice Blue Metallic `60s Jazzmaster. Reminiscent of the Woodstock Era, Mexican garage punk band Le Butcherettes, shredded on the `70s Telecaster Deluxe in Mocha for their punk rendition of “Ever Fallen In Love” by The Buzzcocks.
“The Vintera series celebrates the different vintage eras of Fender with the fundamental design of the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass remaining largely the same, but with each decade assuming its own unique feature sets,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Product at Fender. “Depending on your feature preferences, bands you love and the era that you grew up in, each of these decades has a different appeal in terms of sound, colours and pickups.”
To truly capture the essence of each decade within the Vintera Series, Fender partnered with a trio of creative experts to lead styling, photography, as well as directing and production design for the campaign’s creative. International fashion stylist and costume designer, Heidi Bivens, whose portfolio of work includes Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid 90’s and HBO’s Euphoria, meticulously curated each artist’s aesthetic to reflect fashions of the decade that inspired their performance.
Drawing inspiration from blues artists of the 1950s, psych rock and folk musicians from the 1960s and punk bands of the 1970s, as well as iconic fashion designers like Nazareno Fonticoli, Nudie Cohn and Kansai Yammamoto, Bivens let the style and sounds of the past inform her approach. From there, Bivens identified pieces that highlighted the Vintera Series in a subtle, authentic way. “The design and aesthetic of each instrument was very important to ensuring that the overall look was balanced and that every choice complemented the other, “ she said.“I especially love how Curtis Harding’s innate style shined through, and the guitar’s Ice Blue Metallic colour made his look pop for that genuine `60s vibe.”
Portrait, lifestyle and fashion photographer Clarke Tolton grew up in Southern California and his earliest photographs came from shooting punk and hardcore shows around the region. His impressive roster of work for other global brands like Nike, Kate Spade, Quiksilver and RayBan, paired with his innate love of music, made Tolton an obvious partner to lead photography for the Vintera Series campaign. In addition to shooting the instruments doing what they do best, Tolton favored capturing hidden moments on set noting, “the artists really weren’t aware of my presence during their performances, which allowed me to move freely around them looking for ‘that’ standout shot.” Fender also teamed up with New York-based director duo, rubberband., who directed the motion campaign.
“Our creative brand marketing is about about elevating guitar and giving a voice to artists,” said Jeremy Taylor, VP of Global Brand Creative and Content at Fender. “The Vintera Series campaign romances the cool, vintage look and style of each decade’s best models through a contemporary lens and approach that is less polished and more youthful. We’re thrilled to work with three amazing artists and production partners who have so effortlessly helped us define and showcase what vintage style for the modern era looks and sounds like. We set out to inspire the players who care about style as much as tone, quality, craftsmanship, or specs and believe this campaign will excite players to explore the endless possibilities these guitars offer.”
Fender’s Vintera Series models feature authentic specs from decades past, such as period-correct neck shapes, new pickups with decade-specific tones and a wider breadth of vintage colours, including: Mocha, Fiesta Red, Seafoam Green, Inca Silver, Burgundy Mist and Ice Blue Metallic. For nearly every decade correct model, there’s also a counterpart “modded” version that offers fresh features not available at the time of first release.
The Vintera Series electric guitars and basses feature 15 new models available at local dealers and on www.Fender.com. For additional inspiration, watch the Vintera Series campaign video.To learn more about the Vintera Series including detailed product/spec descriptions, click here. Product images can be accessed here.
Vintera Series `50s Stratocaster – $1,799 – $1,899
Vintera Series `50s Stratocaster Modified – $1,999
Vintera Series `50s Telecaster – $1,799
Vintera Series `50s Precision Bass – $1,799 – $1,899
Vintera Series `60s Stratocaster – $1,799
Vintera Series `60s Telecaster Modified – $1,799 – $1,999
Vintera Series `60s Telecaster Bigsby ® – $1,999 – $2,099
Vintera Series `60s Jazzmaster – $1,999
Vintera Series `60s Jazzmaster Modified – $2,199
Vintera Series `60s Jaguar – $2,099
Vintera Series `60s Jaguar Modified – $2,299
Vintera Series `60s Mustang – $1,799
Vintera Series `60s Mustang Bass – $1,899
Vintera Series `60s Jazz Bass – $1,999
Vintera Series `70s Stratocaster – $1,899
Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Deluxe – $1,799
Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Custom – $1,799
Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Thinline – $2,099
Vintera Series `70s Jazz Bass – $2,099 – $2,199
For detailed specs, additional information on new Fender products or to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.
Mr. John Petrucci of Dream Theater has a heck of a pair of ears on him for designing pickups. His DiMarzio Crunch Lab and LiquiFire set is one of my favourite combinations ever, and the Illuminators are no slouches either (I haven’t tried his Sonic Ecstasy set but I’m sure they’re badass too). His latest collaboration with DiMarzio is the Rainmaker neck and Dreamcatcher bridge humbucker set, which DiMarzio describes like this:
“The Dreamcatcher™ Bridge reflects John Petrucci’s continuing process of refining and expanding his sound. Although designed specifically for John’s neck-through signature Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty guitar, the basic performance shows the overall direction John said he wants to follow in pursuit of his personal sound. This pickup has an increased sensitivity to pick attack and more dynamic range overall. The Dreamcatcher™ Bridge focuses more power on the low mids to allow the bridge position to cut through the mix without brittle highs or muddy lows. The Rainmaker™ Neck has an interesting blend of both warmer highs and more open mids to blend classic and modern approaches to the neck pickup.”
“The Dreamcatcher™ Bridge is a heavyweight pickup that’s also light on its feet. It has power but is not ultra-high output. The power is concentrated on the low mids, and there is a small scoop in the upper mids to keep the overall sound both warm and defined. The split sound is both full and very focused for the middle position neck and bridge split combination that John Petrucci is known for.
Although it may seem odd, John Petrucci has recently requested more of a blues-based tone without sacrificing his signature Dream Theater sound. The Rainmaker™ Neck achieves this with a broader EQ than John’s other models, with open mids and a bit less output. The result is a sweet overdriven sound that can clean up when the volume is rolled down and remains solid and articulate with high gain.”
The pickups are available in six and seven-string configurations in a huge variety of colours, and you can learn more about them on Petrucci’s Artists Page on DiMarzio.com, along with the various other pickups he’s used over the years.
Since Carvin rolled down the shutters for the last time, Steve Vai fans have been wondering what Dr. Vai is going to do next amp-wise. At NAMM he was talking up Synergy Amps, whose interchangable modules are damn fine indeed. And today Vai his previewed his signature module. Thus tweeteth Steve:
Coming soon… My @SynergyAmps Signature Series Module! The final production model will be out in a couple of months, as we are finishing minor tweaks to make this module exactly what I envisioned! This thing completely blows me away, and I can’t wait to share this with you all! pic.twitter.com/WuWAs3kyFq
We can’t glean too much from the photo other than that it’s a two-channel preamp with three-band EQ and a couple of voicing switches. Typically with Synergy these are three-position Treble and Bass voicing switches. I love the green face plate, and you better believe I’ll be getting one of these when funds allow!