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INTERVIEW: Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland

Limp Bizkit imageLimp Bizkit are stayers, alright? They’ve had their ups and downs, their band member comings and goings, and they’ve ridden out a particularly intense backlash against the genre they helped to define – nu metal – maintaining their attitude and sense of humour along the way. A triumphant Australian return at Soundwave 2012 helped solidify their place within the current metal landscape, and they’re back to do it again this month with a series of headline shows in Australia. “It was redeeming,” guitarist Wes Borland says of the band’s last Australian visit. “And it kind of felt like us resurrecting ourselves, in a way, with what had happened at the Big Day Out, with the young girl’s death, as well as Australia and us.” The sense of sadness in Borland’s voice as he speaks of the tragic 2001 death of Big Day Out concertgoer Jessica Michalik is palpable. “When I think about the two combined, Australia has always been tied to grief in the past, and it was nice to kind of obliterate that and meet Jessica’s family, meet the friends that had been there at the show with her when she died, and in some ways the whole thing has come full circle for us to forgive ourselves and make new memories and have the air cleared. And now this’ll be our first headlining tour of Australia that is not linked to a festival, so it’s nice to kind of hit the reset button, in a way.”  Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Every Time I Die’s Andy Williams

andy williamsIt doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re into: you can’t help but like Every Time I Die. Their music is energetic and infectious, their lyrics are that rare combination of smart, funny, deep and light at the same time, and anyone who slathers their album covers with bright pink obviously has a sense of style more akin to Steve Vai circa 1987 than any band they share shelf space with in the metalcore bin. And guitarist Andy Williams is a big part of what makes the band so awesome. Combining technical hardcore, southern metal and mathcore elements, his style (and that of co-guitarist Jordan Buckley) is like an encyclopaedia of post-thrash guitar styles. I caught up with Williams on the eve of the band’s latest Australian tour. Continue reading

EVH Striped iPhone Cases, 35th Anniversary Pedals

536Does your iPhone need a little more California cool? The Van Halen Store is now selling official EVH striped iPhone cases which will wrap your iPhone 4/4S or iPhone 5 in Eddie’s iconic red, white and black stripes. You can order yours here. This is, of course, in addition to the other cool EVH striped goodies they sell, such as beach towels, flip flops, high-top sneakers, and of course guitar gear like the new limited edition 35th Anniversary Jim Dunlop EVH pedals: Eddie’s three signature effects (the Wah Wah, Flanger and Phase 90) adorned them with premium high gloss paints in a hand-placed, EVH-approved pattern based on two of the most iconic guitars in history: “Black and White” and “Frankenstein.” Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Jeff Sahyoun of letlive.

tumblr_mjd2umUUEl1qm4awso1_500It seems that when I ask anyone what will be remembered amongst the strongest releases of 2013 lately, they immediately elect the new letlive. album The Blackest Beautiful [Epitaph]. Out July 5 here in Australia and July 9 elsewhere, it’s a passionate, powerful, energetic burst of post-Rage-Against-The-Machine angst and ferocity, with a huge organic sound and a world-class approach to subtle but crucial vocal harmony. It’s also brain-grabbingly memorable, despite its complexity. Guitarist Jeff Sahyoun – who also engineered the album – has developed an idiosyncratic style which blends traditional riff-rock with post-hardcore adrenaline and a sound-designer’s appreciation of using found objects for weird noises and textures. Currently on the Warped tour throughout the US, I caught up with Sahyoun while he kicked back in a carpark in the middle of nowhere.  Continue reading

Ask Eddie Van Halen A Question!

AskEddie_hdrEver wanted to pick Eddie Van Halen’s brain for the answers to those burning guitar questions? I know I have. Ever since I was, like, 12 years old. Well, now you can! A new section has opened up on the website for EVH Guitars where you can submit your queries to the master, and if your question is chosen the answers will be posted online for all to see. The form to submit your question is here and you can read the first round of answers here. And speaking of EVH, I can has?

Get Yer EVH Striped Series!

PG-Daily_EVH-striped-photo_03I was just cruising through some of the online retailers looking for a good price on an Ibanez Iron Label 8-string (hey, when is enough strings ever really enough? No! Nine for me please!) when I noticed that the EVH Striped guitars – which were officially announced at Winter NAMM in January – are now showing up online. Want one? So do I! Here are some shopping links for you to make your stripey dreams a reality. And of course, if these retailers don’t ship to your particular country, hit up your local retailer and support your local musical instrument industry. I can’t wait to see these guitars showing up in the wild. If you get one, post a pic on the I Heart Guitar Facebook page!

EVH Striped Series – White With Black Stripes
EVH Striped Series – Red With Black Stripes
EVH Striped Series – Black and Yellow

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NAMM: EVH 5150 III Combo

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You asked for it, and here it is! The EVH 5150 III 2×12 combo! It has three channels (Clean, Crunch, Lead), master Resonance, digital reverb, two 6L6 power tubes, a whopping seven 12AX7s, effect loop, a pair of Celestion G12M 8 ohm speakers in a sealed speaker chamber, and it even has a headphone out. It’s 50 watt RMS maximum but can go down to 1 watt with adjustable power scaling. And it’s EVH!

NAMM: Relic’d EVH Wolfgang

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If you’ve been to the EVH Gear section of the Fender room at NAMM, you might have noticed this particular Wolfgang USA Custom hanging on the wall with a few others. If you looked a little closer though, you may have noticed something that skipped your glance the first time ’round…

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Yup! EVH is getting into the relic’ing game! Continue reading

Just a teaser of something cool…

I just got back from the Fender party here at NAMM (where I – briefly, I’ll admit – met Eddie Van Halen!!!), and I happened to spy these beauties…

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Not only are the guitars cool, but check out the amps under them…

More info over the coming days!

Winter NAMM 2013: EVH Striped Series

EVH Stripe Series

YES! I’ve been hoping, wishing, and making bird offerings to my Viking forbears for this guitar for years, and finally EVH Gear is coming through with the goods! This is the EVH Stripe Series [official website]. And they’ll be surprisingly affordable, all things considered. US recommended retail is $1,199.98.

EDIT: The page on the official EVH site seems to have disappeared now. 

It features a Basswood Stratocaster-style body with EVH stripes in three finishes: red with black stripes, black with yellow stripes and white with black stripes. There’s a graphite-reinforced maple neck with a hand-rubbed oil finish and thumbwheel truss rod adjustment, compound-radius maple fingerboard (12”-16”) with 22 jumbo frets and black dot inlays, and a direct-mount Wolfgang® humbucking pickup.

Other features include a single white volume control knob (labeled “tone” which is a classic Eddie-ism), single-ply black pickguard (white with black stripes model only), bar string retainer and Floyd Rose® locking nut, EVH-branded Floyd Rose® locking tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®, EVH die-cast tuners, chrome hardware, vintage-style strap buttons and EVH neck plate.

More info on the official EVH site.

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REVIEW: Peavey 6505+ 112


The 6505+ has a storied history. Its ancestry can be traced back to the 5150, Eddie Van Halen’s first signature amp. That screamer wasn’t quite flexible enough for some players (including Eddie, it seemed), so the 5150 II was produced, featuring a more useful clean channel. When Eddie left Peavy, the 5150′s spirit lived in on the form of the 6505 and 6505+, which drew from the designs of the 5150 and 5150 II, respectively. While the head versions are 120 watt monsters, the 6505+ 112 is a 60 watt combo version with a single 12″ speaker.

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REVIEW: Sterling By Music Man S.U.B AX3

The Sterling By Music Man S.U.B Series family of instruments are designed to provide a new level of quality, features and value for the beginning or intermediate player. Part of this philosophy includes using established (and very player-friendly) Ernie Ball Music Man designs such as the Silhouette and Axis as the basis for budget-priced guitars. A lot of us might remember the SUB name from a previous attempt by EBMM to make their designs more affordable: the original SUB instruments were US-made but with more budget-friendly finishing techniques. The new S.U.B line is made in Asia, and ironically the finishes look a lot prettier than the old SUB line, which had a sort of industrial vibe.

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Guthrie Govan

Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com

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