INTERVIEW: Tommy Thayer of KISS


KISS are about to hit Australia on their 40th anniversary tour, and if there’s one thing you can rely on in music, it’s that KISS are going to put on a big, big show. But this time they’re bringing their biggest: their ‘Spider’ lighting rig is coming with them to tower over the band and be even more menacing than Gene Simmons’ famous blood-spewing bass solo. And on stage left you’ll find Tommy Thayer inhabiting the role of the Spaceman as he has done since 2002. In the 13 years since Tommy started donning the iconic makeup and costume he’s gradually added hints of his own character to the icon. You can hear it in a certain confidence to his own solos, and see it in his choice of guitars, which diverge from the three-pickup Les Pauls Ace Frehley used when he was the Spaceman. Read More …

Meet The Orange Micro Dark


PRESS RELEASE: Responding to thousands of customer requests, Orange Amplification is delighted to present the Orange Micro Dark. This new pint-sized valve/solid-state hybrid head joins a well-established dark brotherhood that includes the Dark Terror and Dual Dark amps. Cowled in smoky black, the Micro Dark shares the same intuitive Shape control as its older siblings, sporting a deceptively simple layout, which disguises the amp’s cunning versatility.
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Check Out Kirk Hammett’s New Signature Overdrive


This is gonna be fun: Kirk Hammett and David Karon (Washburn) have collaborated on a new overdrive pedal which seems to take its cues from the Ibanez Tube Screamer but with plenty of twists and turns. Interesting to see that it has compression controls too. More info on the Ghoul Screamer here, but here’s the press release:

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Fascinating Facts About Steve Vai’s Passion And Warfare


Steve Vai’s Passion & Warfare turned 25 years old this past July, and the guitar has never been the same. Part hard rock, part psychedelia filtered through 80s neon, part Looney Toons soundtrack, part Zappa, Passion & Warfare found Vai breaking out on his own with an incredible level of focus and determination. Read More …

REVIEW: Atreyu – Long Live


Hiatus. Is there any more potentially chilling term in all of music history? Well maybe ‘orchestral project’ or ‘unplugged.’ The lads from Atreyu have been off the album/tour cycle for four years and it’s been even longer since they last released an album (Congregation of the Damned was 2009). They dipped their toes back in the water with the Knotfest, South By So What?! and Aftershock festivals, but Long Live is the first real opportunity to hear who Atreyu are today.  Read More …

IK Multimedia announces AmpliTube 4!

For many years now I’ve been a huge fan of IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube range of amp/effect/cabinet simulators. AmpliTube 3 is still my go-to plug-in even after years of reviewing anything and everything. In fact, at this very moment I’m getting to know AmpliTube: MESA/Boogie for a review, and it’s once again demonstrating how incredibly flexible and detailed the AmpliTube universe is. And now IK Multimedia has announced AmpliTube 4, with some really advanced new features and a suite of new British-inspired amplifiers, including one based on the legendary Marshall JMP-1 tube MIDI preamp! And something I’ve been hoping for for quite a while: an effects loop insert point between the preamp and power amp. Awesome. Below is the video and press release.

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