I love when there’s a cool story to go along with a piece of gear, and the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Éclair has one of the coolest. The Éclair evolved from the JB and Jazz combo that Seymour likes so much, but the neck is Alnico IV, the bridge is Alnico II and they’re both single conductor. The bridge is wound for more cut and clarity and the neck is smooth and articulate. MJ also underwinds the neck and overwinds the bridge. So what’s the story behind these? Well it started with a Facebook chat between Seymour and guitarist Austin Bryan. “A while back, Seymour and I interacted on Facebook on his birthday and he had told me that MJ had made him a very special Éclair,” Austin told the Seymour Duncan blog. “To my knowledge I stupidly thought he was talking about a special pickup set rather than the tasty desert. I called MJ and asked her how the Éclairs sounded, and she immediately started laughing. So right then and there we started coming up with a pickup idea tailored to creating a new pickup for Seymour that would meet his tonal needs, and which also met mine.” Read the full story here.
You can hear Seymour himself playing the Eclair set below: Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE: EVH is proud to announce that its already popular website, evhgear.com – the go-to website for all things Eddie Van Halen – has been revamped and now contains many new features designed to enhance the overall EVH online experience. Perhaps the most notable addition to the site is the “Ask Eddie” feature, which allows fans to ask Eddie Van Halen questions about his career, his gear and whatever else comes to mind. Already, Eddie has responded to questions relating to his effects chain, Wolfgang guitar design specifications and his infamous “Shark Guitar.” Continue reading
Okay, something’s pissing me off and I have to rant about it. Today on Misha Mansoor’s ask.fm page, someone asked, “Serious question, how is one who does not know theory call themselves of musician? You are a guitarist, producer, etc. Not a musician. Not taking any shots, btw.” Misha quite diplomatically replied “Because I play music for a living?” Now, I’m someone who appreciates music theory, knows a lot of it, believes in learning and teaching it, and rather likes it. But there has to come a time where you put music theory aside. When you really get down to it, music theory is not a rule book for how to make music. It’s a catalog of observations of things that sound good. Music existed before music theory was invented to describe it, just as language was around before an external means to document it. If someone can speak but they can’t read or write, does that make their words any less meaningful? Is a nice home cooked meal any less of a meal than one made by Bobby Flay? Continue reading
So you’ve seen the new Seymour Duncan Dirty Deed Distortion Pedal, right? Well there’s more where that came from: SD has just officially unveiled the new Vapor Trail analog delay pedal, and it’s a monster. Aside from being a great-sounding analog delay, it’s got some very useful tricks up its sleeve, including a modulation effect with easily accessible Rate and Depth controls, and a TRS insert jack which you can use to add effects to the wet signal, or with a volume pedal to give you foot-operated control of the wet signal level, or to send just your delayed sound to a separate amp to the dry signal. It’s shipping now.
As I sit here I’m listening to an advance copy of Marty Freidman’s forthcoming album Inferno and it’s a monster. Marty’s playing has always been great but this is some seriously next-level stuff – he’s pulling out chops that are a continuation and progression from his Cacophony days as well as stuff that we’ve heard him develop over the last decade and a half, and the album even features a song called “Horrors” which is his first songwriting collaboration with Jason Becker since Cacophony. I’ll post a full review and an interview with Marty closer to the release date but just know that this album will kick your ass. Here’s more info: Continue reading
Few guitarists are as endlessly creative as Living Colour’s Vernon Reid. One of those rare individuals who seems to be able to summon inspiration and individuality to them on request, Vernon’s playing ranges from the subtle and traditional to the sublimely outrageous. Living Colour are in Australia for the Soundwave festival and a few of their own side shows with Alter Bridge. I Heart Guitar caught up with Vernon recently to talk about it.
Correct me if I’m wrong but did you guys book this through Twitter? It kinda looks like that’s how it happened! I saw the Living Colour Twitter account tweeting to Soundwave that you’d like to do the festival, and a few weeks later it was announced.
I guess that’s the power of social media! Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE: Celebrated American rock icon RICHIE SAMBORA has announced he will play an additional and incredibly intimate Sidewave show whilst in Melbourne for Soundwave Festival 2014 with all profits going to The Starlight Foundation. For the first time in over ten years , Australian fans will have the opportunity of a lifetime: To see one of the greatest musicians and singer- songwriters of our time performing material from his solo records with a few surprises thrown in. With three acclaimed solo albums that have highlighted a more personal and intimate side to Richie’s songwriting, (1991’s Stranger in This Town, and 1998’s Undiscovered Soul and 2012’s Aftermath of the Lowdown, which spawned the powerful single “Every Road Leads Home To You.” ) this promises to be a mind-blowing night of rock and roll! Continue reading
Whoa. Overnight Devin Townsend launched a Pledge Music campaign to fund his new project Casualties of Cool, with any excess fundage going to future projects like the upcoming mega Ziltoid sequel. And while I slept, snored and probably drooled a bunch, the Pledge campaign hit its goal within, like, hours. That doesn’t mean you need to stop pledging though: a percentage of the funds will go to homeless animal charities, and of course it also means you get some kickass music and you have the option of signing up for amazing perks including Skype vocal or guitar lessons with Devin, various different album formats and heaps of other stuff. You can learn more and kick in some bucks here so Devin can keep filling our ears with amazing music. Continue reading
Back in 2012, Rob Zombie and band laid absolute waste to the Australia’s Soundwave festival. Their set in Melbourne was one of my personal highlights, the perfect multimedia monster-mashup of pyrotechnics, lights, pounding rhythms, the intimidatingly virtuosic guitar playing of John 5, and of course Zombie himself as the ringmaster at the centre of it all. Rob Zombie is one of those artists who really commands the term ‘artist’ – someone who takes their inspirations and personality, filters it through their creativity and creates something original. When you step into the audience during a Rob Zombie concert you’re stepping into an arena where anything can happen – a sensory assault in the best possible way. But a lot of work goes into putting on a show like that, from a creative and a logistical standpoint. So what’s it like to be at the centre of something like that? When I had the opportunity to interview Zombie prior to his return appearance at this year’s Soundwave I thought it’d be interesting to hear about his live show and his creativity from that perspective. Continue reading
The PUC is a wireless MIDI interface designed specifically for iOS devices. It allows you to wirelessly connect any MIDI device (keyboard, DJ controller, drum pad, floor pedal controllers, etc.) directly to your iPad, and an also work with any platform that supports a MIDI connection over WiFi. It communicates directly to the iPad via WiFi directly as a device, so no “host” WiFi network is necessary, and it uses an open standard for Core MIDI over WiFi. Once your legacy MIDI signals are translated into Core MIDI by the PUC, any Core MIDI compatible app can recognize it. You have an iPad loaded with synth and music creation apps but you’re sick of the cable tangle tango, PUC makes it easy to connect your MIDI stuff. You just plug your controller into PUC’s MIDI port, establish your WiFi link and get on with it. PUC also connects to your Mac for Wireless Core MIDI control. And yes, for those of you who use gadgets like the brilliant Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesiser, you’ll be able to plug your GR-55’s MIDI out into the PUC so you can get your MIDI data into your app of choice. Go here for more info including ordering, and check out the video below. Continue reading