The EVH Micro Stack. Adorable.

evhmicro

Aww who’s a cute little cutie. Check out the EVH 5150 Micro Stack. It’s a one-watt, single-channel amp with one 3” speaker and dedicated controls for Gain, Volume and Tone, its own integrated tilt-back kickstand and a 1/4” headphone jack. It’s powered by 9VDC adapter or 9v batter and the look is all 5150. Could you imagine having a mini wall of these on your desk?

You can pick one (or a mini wall of them) up from VanHalenStore.com.

EVH Working On ‘Brown Sound’-Inspired Amp

EVH

Whoa! Eddie Van Halen has given a great, revealing interview to The Washington Times where he spills the beans on all sorts of things (such as that the band planned to release their early demos but the sound couldn’t be brought up to snuff), but perhaps most exciting to we guitar geeks is this little tidbit: “People are always screaming and yelling for that classic vintage guitar sound. The 5150 III amps are very high-gain. The main thing that we’re working on is an amp that is modeled after the old vintage Marshall that I used on the first six records. I wanted more sustain out of them.” Read More …

INTERVIEW: Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott


Arch Enemy are about to embark on the last round of touring for last year’s excellent Khaos Legions.  More melodic and with maybe a touch less death than you might expect from a melodic death metal band, Khaos Legions is also the last Arch Enemy album to feature guitarist Chris Amott, whose departure from the band was announced earlier this month. But mere line-up changes can’t keep Arch Enemy down: new guitarist Nick Cordle of Arsis has taken up the co-guitarist throne alongside Michael Amott, and the band has a lot to say and do before they put the full stop at the end of Khaos Legions.

You’re about to come to Australia for a very short tour. Only two shows. You know what that means for a lot of fans: heavy metal road trip!

Yeah! We’re happy that we got the opportunity to play Australia at all this year, but it’s just these two shows. We wanted to play it safe. And it’s at the end of an Asia run. We start in Japan and do four shows there, then we go round Singapore, the Philippines, Korea, various places around Asia. Then we got the opportunity with a new promoter to tack on these two Australian shows, Melbourne and Sydney. We’re just really excited about doing it. I guess it’s been a couple of years since we were there now.

The last time I saw you were was probably Gigantour.

Yeah. I think the last time we were there was ’09. We did Gigantour, we’ve done a few different things down there. This will be our fourth or fifth visit to Australia, and this will be the last one in a while. We’re obviously not going to come back this year after these shows, then next year, 2013 is going to be a year off for Arch Enemy mostly. We’ll probably put out a new album in 2014. So I don’t know, maybe 2015 we’ll be back, if metal is still around at that point! So it’s going to be a while, so if anybody wants to see us and get their dose of Arch Enemy this is the last one for a while.

Obviously the hot topic at the moment is Chris’s departure from the band. What’s the story?

Well, Chris informed us in October last year that he wanted to leave the band. Again. [Laughs]. He’s been out of the band, in 2005, 2006, 2007.

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INTERVIEW: Trivium’s Matt Heafy & Corey Beaulieu

We all know Trivium can play. They’ve been able to shred with the best of them ever since their first album, 2003’s Ember To Inferno, while and 2008’s Shogun veered close to progressive metal more than once, with its complex single note lines and ferocious 7-string riffage. But new album In Waves (Roadrunner) finds these Floridians exploring more restrained territory – to a point. The riffs are more direct, the tones are huge, and the songwriting is tight and purposeful. Guitarists Corey Beaulieu and Matt Heafy refined their approach without losing their edge or power, a rare feat in a world were ‘stripped back songwriting’ is usually taken to mean ‘wimpy.’ There’s still plenty of precision in the latest evolution of the Trivium sound, and there’s more than enough aggression to satisfy fans of the band’s early hardcore days, but In Waves stands out as the best sounding and most repeat-listenable Trivium album to date. I spoke with Heafy and Beaulieu about what went into the project, and what ultimately came out.

You started working on this album quite a while ago. Is that how you always work?

COREY BEAULIEU Mostly on every record, while we’re touring for the previous record, we stockpile ideas. Once we get off tour we have a lot of stuff we can start digging into and putting together. We use the tour to write and put together ideas so that when we start on the next record we’re a bit ahead. We’ve already got stuff we’ve been working on over time and that has been allowed to develop. Some of the songs go back pretty far back in the Shogun touring cycle.

What was your guitar approach on this album?

BEAULIEU It was about focusing on the songs, and writing songs that are straight to the point. It wasn’t all about technical stuff or trying to riff out a lot or show off. It was just making sure everything in the song was what needed to be there and nothing more. Taking a songwriter’s approach and not trying to be a flashy guitar player. It’s all about making the song and the riff the best it can be. It’s a lot simpler technically. We took that approach for the playing stuff, and the solos were whatever was needed for the song, whether it was a crazy solo or something more melodic. The songs dictated the lead stuff.

MATT HEAFY We were thinking about telling [producer] Colin Richardson, “We want a combination of this, this and that…” but I’m pretty sure we held all of our comments until we saw him in person. The guitar process was long. Normally, every record we’ve ever done, you get a BS scratch guitar tone and send it off to be mixed later, but Colin’s whole thing is he doesn’t want to record a second of music until he has a tone that will be the final tone of the record. I think we spent about five days on the guitar tone.

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