Here’s some cool news for guitarists in the States: D’Angelico Guitars are now available at Sweetwater. In this video, Don Carr and Mitch Gallagher take a look at the brand. Go here to see the range. They have some pretty incredible deals. Here’s one of my favourite D’Angelicos: the Premier DC in Fiesta Red with ‘Staircase’ tailpiece. Love the art deco vibe that is a hallmark of the D’Angelico style.
Meshiaak – Release Mask Of All Misery
It has been three years since the Australian quartet’s debut album ‘Alliance of Thieves’ dropped, which married dark undertones, heavy grooves and sophistication whilst retaining old-school metal values. Upon its release Metal Hammer applauded its “modern power/thrash metal attack,” Powerplay exclaimed that the album “bludgeons and berates the senses with incredible precision and astounding musicianship” and Classic Rock revelled in the “mix of brooding progressive metal and heavy rock.”
So, it’s no surprise then, that the band are back to continue the story and have a new member and renewed energy. Formed in Melbourne, by 4ARM’s Danny Camilleri and Teramaze’s Dean Wells with bassist Andrew Cameron, they have recruited drummer David Godfrey who replaces Jon Dette, following his departure due to logistical reasons with him being based in the US and the rest of the band in Australia.
‘Mask Of All Misery’ is an album that journey’s through a maze of toxic influences and the masks the exponents wear. “The album deals with a lot of personal reflection and issues as well as attacking or addressing much broader issues concerning perhaps the ignorance of society in regards to what’s going on around us all,” explains Camilleri.
The album walks through a number of tough subject matters and it’s something the band refuse to shy away from. The opening song, the instrumental ‘Miasma’ sets the scene and tone for what you are about to expect. Miasma comes from the ancient Greek word for “pollution” and the miasma theory was a theory that held diseases such as cholera, chlamydia or the Black Death were caused by a noxious form of “bad air” or “miasma.” “It’s a theory that has been around for many years,” elaborates Camilleri. “ It’s about how the air we breathe is being poisoned intentionally, and we are all subjected to it. There is no greater good in regards to any government or authority. Especially when they are responsible for the deployment of systematically spraying chemicals and spreading airborne diseases in the very air we breathe.”
The title track was the first song written for the album and is based on responding to toxic situations or people, identifying their behaviours and the rationalisation in response to their thought process, projections and intentions. Because “they” wear the mask, it doesn’t mean you have to too. ‘Bury The Bodies’ continues to delve into the sense of being trapped with personal demons and solitude in your own thoughts. “It’s the war we feel inside. Some of us chose to engage in that war and better ourselves and find our truth through it and some of us chose to pretend it doesn’t exist,” says the singer.
‘City Of Ghosts,’ ‘Face of Stone’ and ‘In The Final Hour’ run full force through heavy metal riffery with anthemic muscle. ‘Doves’ deals with showing great resilience and strength in the face of hopelessness, whilst they tackle dark subject matter on ‘Adrena.’ The song takes its name from the word “Adrenochrome,”which has been found to occur naturally in human blood. Theories suggest that it is used as a drug for the “elites” and that it is harvested through the experience of terrifying individuals, mostly children to the brink of fear and extracting their blood to give the “elites” an adrenaline high, at the expense of missing or lost children. Adrenochrome, it has been suggested was also used by the CIA during Project MKUltra and during secret Cold War experiments.
The album closes with the 7 minute and 21 second epic ‘Godless,’ another personal song dealing with manipulation and severing the ties between an empath and narcissist to take back control back of your life.
The album barely takes a breath through the ten songs and deals with personal struggles and the inner-strength to pull yourself through as well as burrowing into the dark underbelly for an album of uncompromising heaviness. However, the band have an ability to sprinkle light, adding visions of hope lyrically and strong sense of melody throughout the unrelenting power and musicianship of the four members.
The album was recorded and produced by Dean Wells at his Wells Productions studio in Melbourne with the songwriting partnership of Camilleri Wells. Talking about the recording process Camilleri says “We generally have an idea of how many songs we want for an album, we aren’t the kind of band that writes 20 tracks and picks the best 9 or 10 to go on the album, if something doesn’t grab us early we tend to just throw it in the bin and work on something that does! We demo every track to almost album quality before even looking at officially beginning recording, then we’ll sit on it a bit and let it digest.”
Expanding on how the writing relationship works he explains, “We don’t designate or anything like that, either Dean will come up with something cool or I will, we’ll work on it from that point until it evolves into what we envisioned in our head, though a lot of the time the song will take on a completely different face than when we first began work on it, but that’s one of the most enjoyable parts about the writing process with Meshiaak. We never stop pushing the boundaries for ourselves and seeing where we can take something. I love the creative part of it all.”
With a record you can put it on and hear it, feel it even. But sometimes you really need to listen, take it in as a whole, process and think about it. ‘Mask Of All Misery’ is one of those albums. “People will take what they chose to at the end of the day,” ponders Camilleri. “But, I’ve found by talking with a lot of fans that they do pay attention and really digest the content of our music. It’s an amazing feeling when someone connects to it through hearing it and then gets even deeper because they can connect with the content as well.. goes to show you that you are never alone.”
2. Mask Of All Misery
3. Bury The Bodies
4. City Of Ghosts
5. Face Of Stone
6. Tears That Burn The Son
8. In The Final Hour
Positive Grid Unveils Spark: The Smart Guitar Amplifier and App Featuring Intelligent Technology
Intelligent guitar amplifier and proprietary voice-activated app generate real-time practice tools and backing accompaniment. Limited pre-order specials are available now.
San Diego, CA, October 30, 2019 – Positive Grid announces Spark, a smart guitar amp and accompanying app (iOS/Android) driven by intelligent technology to offer real-time Smart Jam accompaniment, Auto Chord detection and intuitive practice features for players of all levels. Spark also functions as a full-range, 40-Watt combo amp and features a variety of tone-shaping options plus amp and fx modeling built upon the company’s award-winning BIAS engine.High value pre-order limited specials for Spark are available now here: positivegrid.com/spark
Guitarists can play and practice using the Spark’s Auto Chord feature to access millions of songs on popular streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music. The Spark app automatically analyzes and displays chords for millions of songs in real time, and its easy-to-use controls let the player slow down the song’s tempo or loop a difficult section to practice.
Jamming is easy and fun with Spark’s Smart Jam feature. The Spark amp and app work together to learn the player’s style and feel, and then automatically generate bass and drum accompaniments that act like a virtual band – anytime, anywhere. Best of all, the Spark app can be used without lifting a finger. It responds to a variety of voice commands to stream a rock song or a blues backing track, ask for a virtual band to follow the user’s playing, and more.
As a guitar amp, Spark features a deep, loud and immersive speaker design with two custom-designed speakers and a tuned bass-reflex port that are engineered to provide deep, full-sounding basses and crystal-clear highs for every style of music.
Spark also boasts a full amp modeling and multi-effects engine powered by Positive Grid’s award-winning BIAS tone engine to provide realistic virtual tube amps and effects. Players can dial in pristine melodies, crunchy chords or soaring leads for electric guitar; deep, thunderous tones for bass; and a bright and full-bodied sound for acoustic guitar. Players have access to over 10,000 guitar and bass amp-and-FX programs from famous guitarists, session players, studio engineers and producers from around the world via Positive Grid’s ToneCloud community.
For added versatility and authentic feel, Spark also has bass, mid and treble tone stack controls; dedicated knobs for mod, delay and reverb effects; a built-in tuner and tap tempo; plus Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music in hi def audio via the Spark app. You can easily load up to four custom amp-and-FX setups into the Spark amp’s user program locations for instant access to your favorite sounds.
Spark can be used as a USB audio interface for easily recording on a computer. It even comes with PreSonus Studio One Prime recording software for free, allowing players to get started right out of the box.
High value early bird pre-order limited specials for Spark are available now here: positivegrid.com/spark
Find out more at positivegrid.com/spark
Some of the biggest names in rock and roll including Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Albert Lee, David Gilmour, Joe Brown, Richard Thomson and Dave Pegg have signed a guitar to be auctioned in honour of stroke victim Jerry Donahue.
In 2016, American guitarist Jerry Donahue suffered a catastrophic stroke, almost certainly ending his career as one of the world’s finest folk-rock guitarists. The former Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and Hellecasters guitarist, was regarded by the music media as an extremely talented musician with an extraordinary technical approach to string bending.
Always in demand as a session player and always with the love of his life, the Telecaster guitar, Jerry Donahue performed and recorded with dozens of major artists. The late great Danny Gatton once referred to Jerry Donahue as “The string bending king of the planet”.
“To have so many famous signatures on this guitar is a fantastic achievement,” says close friend Dave Pegg, bassist in Fairport convention. “We know that the guitar will raise many thousands of pounds and all the money raised from the auction will go towards Jerry’s rehabilitation in the USA.”
The guitar itself, donated by John Hornby Skewes Ltd., is Jerry Donahue’s own Vintage Signature V58, built to his own specifications as a collaboration with specialist guitar and hardware designer Trevor Wilkinson and JHS Managing Director Dennis Drumm.
Features include a maple fingerboard and neck and an American alder body finished in Ash Blonde and Jerry’s signature pickup and tone control layout.
Dave Pegg continues, “It all started when I had a call from guitarist Matt Worley, another close friend of Jerry’s, he’d acquired Jerry’s Signature guitar with the idea to have a few big names sign it so we could raise some money for him.”
“At first we just asked a handful of people,” Matt Worley explains. “And with help from Tony Kelsey who co-opted the likes of Steve Winwood, Robert Plant, Andy Fairweather Low and Dave Pegg himself, word got out, the gates opened and we were swamped with some of the biggest names in the music business eager to autograph the guitar and pay their respects to Jerry.
Even Sir Paul McCartney and they’re still coming in, Tony Iommi, Jeff Lynn, Martin Barre, John Paul Jones and we’ve just squeezed in Brian Wilson and Al Jardine from The Beach Boys. The guitar is more or less full now, so we are moving on to the guitar case.
There are some very rare signings as well, some who never sign anything and as far as we know, this is the first collective signing of all three guitarists who were in The Yardbirds; Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. The three remaining members of Led Zeppelin are on there and of course, diehard fans will remember Eric Clapton played with Steve Winwood in Blind Faith, the first of the ‘supergroups in ‘69’ ”
There are not many collectables in the world that are as cool as guitars and the auction, to be held at Gardiner Houlgate’s in Bath, UK Auction rooms, on 11th December 2019, is expected to attract attention from collectors and music fans from all over the world.
The Specialist Auctioneers.
+44 (0)1225 812912
+44 (0)1225 812612
You’ve gotta hear the new Ozzy Osbourne song, ‘Under The Graveyard.’ I know there’s been a little bit of skepticism in the metal community about Ozzy’s forthcoming album because he worked with ‘Post Malone’s producer’ but there are a few things you should consider.
A) the track he did with Post Malone recently, ‘Take What You Want,’ was badass;
B) Andrew Watt isn’t just any producer: you may know him from the band California Breed with Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham. Andrew is a blues-rock prodigy with a great 70s-influenced style but his production is through more of a modern prism. Check out his work in that band here:
C) The rhythm section on Ozzy’s new album, Ordinary Man, is Duff McKagan and Chad Smith. What an insane collection of talent!
So here’s the press release about ‘Under The Graveyard,’ and I hope you give it a listen.
OZZY OSBOURNE TODAY RELEASES ‘UNDER THE GRAVEYARD’
FIRST SINGLE IN NEARLY 10 YEARS FROM HIS FORTHCOMING ALBUM, ORDINARY MAN
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter OZZY OSBOURNE today has released ‘Under The Graveyard’, his first new solo music in almost 10 years. A massive ballad that builds into a searing rocker, it’s the first single from OZZY’s forthcoming album, ORDINARY MAN, due out on Epic Records through Sony Music Entertainment Australia in early 2020. Listen to the song HERE.
“This album was a gift from my higher power–it is proof to me that you should never give up,” OZZY says.
Recorded in Los Angeles, the album features producer Andrew Watt on guitars, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums.
“It all started when [his daughter] Kelly comes in and says ‘do you want to work on a Post Malone song?’” OZZY explains. “My first thing was ‘who the fuck is Post Malone?!’ I went to Andrew’s [Watt] house and he said we will work really quick. After we finished that song, he said ‘would you be interested in starting an album.’ I said ‘that would be fucking great, but now I am thinking I don’t want to be working in a basement studio for six months! And in just a short time, we had the album done. Duff [McKagan] and Chad [Smith] came in and we would go in and jam during the day and I would go work out the songs in the evenings. I previously had said to Sharon I should be doing an album, but in the back of my mind I was going ‘I haven’t got the fucking strength…’ but Andrew pulled it out of me. I really hope people listen to it and enjoy it, because I put my heart and soul into this album.”
Stay tuned for additional details on ORDINARY MAN in the coming weeks.
Now, this is probably gonna sound like an advertorial but it’s not: I’m just really excited about these guitars and I can’t hide how psyched I am.
Fender has been on a big overhaul binge lately, re-examining their guitar lines from top to bottom, leading to things like the Vintera series (which replaces the old Standards) and the American Original line. A little while back the American Deluxe series was reimagined as the Elite but now that line has been replaced by what I can only describe after a media preview participated in last week as the ultimate iteration of high-end Fender guitars for the modern player.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself ‘I like Fenders but I wish they had the kind of high-end playability features of, say, a Charvel or a Suhr,’ well, that’s what the American Deluxe and then the Elite series have been and you’ve been totally sleeping on it! But the Ultra series takes this to a whole new level, re-examining and redesigning everything about the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, P Bass and Jazz Bass to meet the standards of pro players. The neck joints are super-comfortable with unprecedented upper fret access; the necks have a new shape – a ‘Modern D’ which is the same depth as Fender’s classic C shape but with higher, squarer shoulders which ultimately make it feel smaller and easier to get your thumb around for those Hendrix chords; there’s a new satin neck finish formulation that will have you gliding all over the fretboard with ease; redesigned fifth-generation noiseless pickups including a hotter pair of single coils just for the HSS model Stratocaster; gorgeous new finishes… it just goes on and on.
The press release is below which will take you through all the details, but what really excites me about the Ultra line – apart from the blue HSS Strat and the Mocha Burst Tele – is the overhaul to the Jazzmaster. New noiseless pickups and that super-fast neck mean we’re going to hear sounds and techniques coming out of a Jazzmaster that we’ve never heard before. Traditional Jazzmaster players are going to find the playing experience opened right up for them, while players who might not have considered a Jazzmaster in the past because of their playability are now going to discover tones and textures that they haven’t used before, without the limitations a more traditional Jazzmaster might place on their playing.
So here are my favourites from each of the model/finish combos, followed by the press release.
Stratocaster HSS in Cobra Blue
Naturally there’s a SSS Stratocaster as well but this is pretty dang hot, especially when you see how the finish catches the light. The image at the top of this story will give you more of an idea of how Cobra Blue really looks.
Telecaster in Mocha Burst
Again you’re not really gonna get a full appreciation of this colour until you see it reacting to an environment, but once you do you’ll fall in love.
Jazzmaster in Ultraburst
All the Jazzmasters look great in their respective colours but Ultraburst is like the perfect Fender three-colour sunburst.
Precision Bass in Aged Natural
Fender has added a slight tint to this finish so it looks like a natural bass that’s done some livin’, minus any kind of relic treatment.
Jazz Bass in Texas Tea
Another colour that looks different depending on the lighting and viewing angle. From a distance it might look black but once you move it around you’re gonna see all sorts of interesting shades coming at you.
Jazz Bass V in Plasma Red Burst
I mean… just look at it! Isn’t that just one of the finest-lookin’ Jazz Basses you’ve ever seen?
FENDER® LAUNCHES NEW AMERICAN ULTRA SERIES INTRODUCING STATE-OF-THE-ART ENGINEERING, ELECTRIC GUITAR DESIGN OF THE FUTURE
American Ultra Delivers Industry Firsts: The Only “Modern D” Neck For Guitar and Bass, New Body Contours and Ultra Noiseless™ Vintage and Hot Pickups For Enhanced Playability
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (November 5, 2019) — Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the launch of the American Ultra Series, the most-advanced modern guitar from Fender. An evolution of American Elite – Fender’s premier electric series that launched in January 2016 – the Ultra Series boasts all-new modern features, state-of-the-art craftsmanship and nuanced design. Luxurious, sleek and cutting-edge, this series sets a new industry standard for precision, performance and feel with Ultra Noiseless pickups and Fender’s fastest-playing necks. Created for a wide range of today’s highly-skilled modern artists, session and working guitarists, this series also offers a new body design and contours – a pivotal moment in Fender history, decades since the last significant alteration to the iconic Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster body shapes.
Since 1946, Fender has embraced artist and player feedback as the core driver of its process, leading to decades of subtle yet crucial innovations. These thoughtful changes in design and technology can’t always be seen by the naked eye, but are meaningful to artists who crave products that evolve with the times. As younger players create new sounds, meld existing genres and push the limits of what a guitar can do, Fender products also continue to evolve.
“The American Ultra Series is our most advanced series of guitars and basses for discerning players who demand the ultimate playing experience in precision, performance and tone,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Product at Fender. “Blending state-of-the-art engineering and nuanced design to provide a high-performance experience for today’s player, American Ultra is the next chapter in Fender’s legacy of cutting-edge innovation. American Ultra has truly been decades in the making and is a result of our tireless commitment to meet the needs of today’s working and touring guitar players looking for a modern feel and tone.”
Inspired by Fender’s never-ending pursuit to equip players with the best tools to create, record and perform music, American Ultra is Fender’s most advanced series of instruments – providing the ultimate in precision, performance and tone. The series answers the call from discerning players looking for modern advancements to help them create at the highest level. One of these elevated features is the all-new “Modern D” neck with a compound-radius fingerboard, smooth American Ultra satin back finish and extremely rolled edges. The result is a neck that’s slim and fast – yet ergonomic and comfortable – for blazing solos and easy comping without sacrificing tone and resonance. Other key features include:
New body contours: For next level comfort and playability, Fender redesigned the body contours of its most iconic models for the first time in decades. New back body curves offer hours of gigging comfort while a super-sculpted neck heel gives players unparalleled access to the upper register of the fingerboard, resulting in better accessibility and comfort.
Noiseless pickups: American Ultra instruments feature two types of innovative new noiseless pickups: Ultra Noiseless™ Vintage pickups deliver authentic Fender single-coil sound – without hum. Ultra Noiseless™ Hot pickups offer modern performance and classic tone so you can launch your amp into overdrive.
HiMass™ bridge: With lots of metal, lots of mass and a cool modern look, the HiMass bridge on American Ultra basses delivers serious sustain, precise intonation and rock-solid tuning stability.
Double Tap Humbucker: The American Ultra HSS Strat features a brand-new Double Tap Humbucker with an overwound coil to ensure matched volume between pickups in coil split mode.
Redesigned preamp with active/passive switching: A redesigned preamp on American Ultra basses features three bands of active boost/cut for sweeter highs, focused mids and lots more usable bass. For a more traditional tone, the redesigned pickups can also be used in passive mode.
New colours: American Ultra instruments are available in a variety of colours, including: Cobra Blue, Mocha Burst, Texas Tea, Arctic Pearl, Aged Natural, Plasma Red Burst and Ultraburst.
Advanced electronics: All American Ultra guitars feature a treble-bleed circuit to preserve high-end response at any volume – plus advanced wiring options that activate different high-performance features depending on the model.
Models include (Australian recommended retail prices):
American Ultra Stratocaster® – $3,899.00
American Ultra Stratocaster® HSS – $3,899.00
American Ultra Telecaster® – $3,899.00
American Ultra Precision Bass® – $3,899.00
American Ultra Jazzmaster® – $4,099.00
American Ultra Jazz Bass® – $4,099.00
American Ultra Jazz Bass® V – $4,299.00
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.
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ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:
Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) – whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel® – follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear, and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends.
Spotted something pretty spectacular on Schecter’s Instagram today: the 2019 PT Pro. It’s available in two colours (Trans Purple Burst and Trans Blue Burst) with an Alder body, Roasted Maple neck, Ebony fingerboard, glow-in-the-dark side dots and Schecter USA Z-Plus humbucking pickups. There’s coil-splitting via a push-pull pot, and a Graph Tech XL Tusq nut and a nice straight string-pull to keep everything operating smoothly. These little babies are made in Indonesia so the price won’t be inaccessible, but if you’ve played some Indonesian guitars over the last few years you’d know there’s some damn fine stuff coming out of that part of the world right now.
Here’s a press release I just received about something that looks pretty badass!
Eon Research, a new audio design and manufacturing house from Greece, is announcing its debut product, Fos. It is a tube guitar overdrive created to draw a new path in the musician world. Fos is using a vintage russian miniature tube as the active part of its fully analog design while it utilizes a nixie tube for display purposes. This extreme high gain design has the ability to drive (and overdrive…) any amplifier with its deep, fat sound. The whole circuit is built with selected high quality parts and is housed in a chassis made from mirror-polished steel and exotic wood hand finished with beeswax.
Fos will be released in 99 numbered pieces at the end of October 2019.
Eon Research is a company specialized in design and manufacturing of innovative, transparent sounding audio gear for the professional and musician market. Eon uses specially selected parts and techniques in order to provide that bit of warm, organic sound that is usually missing from most modern gear.