INTERVIEW: Unearth’s Buz McGrath

Unearth

Unearth have been slogging it out on the metal scene for 15 years now and have proven themselves to be real stayers, helping to remind folks that seven-string guitars can be used for more than just open-string chugging and showing that you can combine the punishing groove of Pantera with the melodic sense of Sweden’s Gothenberg sound and the power of traditional metal, all filtered through an aggressive metalcore lens. New album Watchers of Rule (3Wise) is a consistently brutal chunk of metal by anyone’s standards. But this far into Unearth’s career, it’s almost exhilarating to hear them continuing to release vital albums full of songs that are destined to live on in the setlist. I caught up with guitarist Buz McGrath right after the album’s release.

Want to win a copy of the album? Email iheartguitarblog@gmail.com with ‘Unearth’ in the subject line and I’ll draw five winners! Australia only.

Let’s start with the guitar stuff. What did you use on this album?

We used a Rhodes amp. I don’t know what it is. And I think we used one of Ken’s old custom Ibanez RGs that won the shoot-out. Usually what happens is we go through a stack of about 15 guitars and we record the same piece of music, the same riff, with each guitar, and you go through and listen to which guitar is sounding the best with what you’ve got, and that one won. It was between that one and, Ken had a custom three-pickup Ibanez Iceman with EMGs in it. That thing weighed a fucking tonne but it sounded sick. But the other one just beat it out by a little bit. We recorded with a Kemper via DI, and then [producer] Mark Lewis took it back to his studio and re-amped it through various amps, which I wasn’t a part of the process for. He would send me mixes with different amps and I’d say ‘this one sounds good.’ So I never even saw the amp. It’s a real weird way of doing it but it worked out good. Read More …

Devin Townsend’s Peavey V On eBay

Devin Townsend PeaveyDevin Townsend’s Peavey V – the one offered up as one of the perks on his Casualties of Cool PledgeMusic drive – is being offered for sale by its new owner. This is Devin’s personal axe, the only production model he owned of his now-discontinued Peavey guitar. On the PledgeMusic drive, Devin said: “This guitar is my personal production model of the signature Peavey DT model that I’ve been playing for 4 years. I only recieved one of the production models, and this is it. Its a very special guitar to me and means a good amout to me. It’s a baritone 7 string Flying V with a mahogany body, and a maple cap. EMG pickups, Sperzel locking tuners and a custom DTP inlay on the 12th fret. It comes in a groovy coffin case and is just a beast of a guitar.” Click here to bid or to see plenty more pics. Read More …

Aristides Instruments Refines the Guitar With the New 060

PRESS RELEASE: Utilizing an exoskeleton design made of a semi-monocoque construction, the latest guitar from Aristides Instruments expands on the companies innovations regarding body design, components and mechanics. The new 060 provides plenty of horsepower and performance to deliver whatever a guitarist might want play. Prototypes have made an appearance at the Aristides Instrument Open House event earlier this year and Ola Englund has posted a video demo. Now available to the masses, customers can place orders through authorized dealers or direct from the factory. Read More …

Jackson 2014 Summer Releases

headstock

PRESS RELEASE: Jackson is pleased to announce two new Jackson Custom Shop limited edition guitars and a signature bass guitar charged with new features, and designed for speed and killer looks.

Jackson Custom Select (JCS) Series

Jackson Custom Select Series instruments are Jackson’s top-line best, recalling the time-honored traditions of the ’80s-era Jackson Custom Shop. Nowhere else will you find U.S.-built production-model shred machines of such stellar design, peerless performance and superior craftsmanship, brought to life by the best builders in the business. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser

andreas kisserSepultura are stayers. They’ve weathered all sorts of line-up changes and shifts in musical style – not to mention shifts in overriding heavy music trends occurring around them – and yet they’ve never given up and never made the same album twice. Their latest, The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart, finds the band (guitarist Andreas Kisser, vocalist Derrick Green, bassist Paulo Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande) working with producer Ross Robinson for the first time since 1996’s Roots with incredible results. Inspired by the 1927 film Metropolis, the album is dark, foreboding, mysterious, aggressive and energetic, bursting with intense guitar work and Green’s trademark guttural vocals. It’s been far too long since Sepultura visited Australia, but they’ll be back in October with dates in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. I caught up with guitarist Andreas Kisser.  Read More …

INTERVIEW: Zakk Wylde

PRESS002 Credit Justin ReichZakk Wylde’s quarter-century career as shred master supreme is signposted by landmark works like Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears, his own bands Black Label Society and Pride & Glory, and even brief stints with The Allman Brothers Band (filling in for a gig in 1993) and Guns N’ Roses (joining Slash and co in the last days of that particular G’nR era). But Catacombs of the Black Vatican, the latest album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society does what any artist would strive for but so few achieves: it stands out as a masterwork two and a half decades into Zakk’s career, when many artists would just start to coast. With Catacombs Zakk has forged an album that pays tribute to his various influences – Sabbath, Zeppelin, Alice In Chains, the Allmans – and filters it through his own massive musical personality to come up with his most varied, complete collection of songs ever. And his guitar playing is utterly ferocious, as usual. Read More …

Hutchinson Guitar Concepts Viking LP

HGC Viking LPHutchinson Guitar Concepts has just released its third Viking concept, based on a Gibson Les Paul Custom. With detailed knotwork carved into the top and arching shiplap style panelling, it looks ready to invade the shoreline. The Zakk Wylde EMG 81/85 pickups feature engraved knotwork and a worn metal finish matching the Evertune bridge. As with all HGC designs, the weight and tone of the original guitar is left unaffected. More designs are available through the Hutchinson Guitar Concepts website, which feature a portfolio of finished instruments inspired by wide ranging themes and executed through hundreds of hours of intricate wood carving, masterful finishing and state of the art electronics. Read More …