INTERVIEW: Devin Townsend

1477Devin Townsend is many things: composer, lyricist, vocalist, guitarist, producer – hell, you could even stretch that to ‘humourist,’ and in the process draw some pretty solid parallels to Frank Zappa. But no matter which hat he puts on, whether it’s releasing albums with the  Devin Townsend Project, playing intense-yet-uplifting live shows (like his impending Australian tour) or as the lead vocalist on Steve Vai’s 1993 Sex & Religion album, Devin has always been about the pure expression of the idea. As a guitarist his style is instantly identifiable, so it seemed like a good point to kick off our conversation. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Funeral For A Friend’s Gavin Burrough

ConduitFuneral For A Friend’s sixth and latest album is Conduit. It’s one of the heaviest records the band has ever done, yet as always the brutality is tempered by some rather complex, almost jazz-like chords. Okay, maybe ‘jazz’ is stretching it a bit but they’re certainly more intricate than the voicings employed by most heavy bands. “It’s funny how other people interpret it,” guitarist Gav Burrough says. “When you’re writing it, it’s organic and it just comes out. So what we try to do is to not think about it. Read More …

Devin Townsend’s latest Framus Custom

Check out this beast!

Devin Townsend EMG Signature pickups with MEC Passive electronics, Tigerstripe Ebony fretboard, flamed maple neck, 3A Flamed Maple body with 1″ Birdeye Poplar top, purple Framus and DTP LEDs… love it!

This is a custom instrument for Devin, not a commercially available signature model. Read more about it here. And here are some more pics: Read More …

MUSIKMESSE 2012: Bigsby

I’m way too much of a Bigsby fan. One of these days I’m probably going to get drunk and wind up with a big ‘ol Bigsby vibrato bridge tattooed on my back or something. This year Bigsby expert Adam Seutter is at Musikmesse to detail each step in the vibrato installation process. Guitar models to be included in the demonstrations are a Framus Earl Slick Signature and a Framus Mayfield (you might remember this model from Devin Townsend’s recent custom). Stop by Hall 4.1 booth E12 to check out the process and get your questions answered.

REVIEW: Framus Diablo Supreme X

Framus was founded in Germany by Fred Wilfer in 1946, and although its guitars found their way into the hands of players like Bill Wyman and John Lennon, before going bankrupt in 1975. The brand was resurrected by Hans Peter Wilfer, son of Fred, as part of Warwick 20 years later.

 

The body of the Diablo Supreme X is made of US swamp ash, and the top is AAA grade flamed maple which dances in a satisfyingly 3D way when you tilt the guitar from left to right. The carve is optomised for ergonomics but it also leads the eye purposefully to the cutaways. Pickups are a trio of Seymour Duncans: SSCR-1N Cool Rail in the neck, SSL-1 RW/RP Vintage Staggered Single Coil in the middle and  STB-4 JB Trembucker in the bridge. The pickups are hooked up to 500K volume and tone pots, the latter serving as a push-pull coil splitter. Interestingly the coil split also works as a coil tap on the middle pickup, dropping its output a little for further tonal variety. Nice touch! There’s a 5-way pickup selector, but when you consider the extra sounds created by the coil split/tap, there are 10 pickup selections lurking in the Diablo. The Wilkinson/Framus bridge is of the 2-point fulcrum variety, and does the Floyd Rose-style ‘so low that the E string flaps off the fretboard’ thing with ease, returning to pitch easily with help from Framus locking tuners and a Graphtech Black Tusq low friction nut.

 

Read More …

Check out Devin Townsend’s new Framus Mayfield Custom

If you’ve caught Devin Townsend live lately, you might have noticed him playing this beautiful Framus Mayfield Custom. Devin is using this guitar for his open C tuning (CGCGCE). It has a Bigsby B7 tremolo, passive MEC electronics, EMG Devil Signature set, a Graphtech Black Tusq nut, it’s made of AAA grade flamed maple body and neck, and it has a tigerstripe ebony fretboard, and check out those cool illuminated inlays on the 12th fret, headstock logo and fretboard side dots.

I had a chat with Devin backstage at the Soundwave Festival yesterday and he mentioned how he loved combining the 50s look of the hollowbody shape and the Bigsby bridge, with the EMG active humbuckers and low tuning. He’s also got a Sadowski Telecaster on the way, which I think will be really cool – I loved the ESP Telecasters he used in the Infinity era.

Wait a minute. [Record Scratch]. EMG Devil Signature Set? Check out the logos on the pickups. Cool!

Now, this is a Framus Custom Shop instrument rather than a commercially available signature model, and it’s a great example of what Framus can do. Check out their site for more info and a gallery of beautiful customs.

Oh and he’s a video of the guitar in action at Devin’s show here in Melbourne the other night.

And here’s a great interview with Soundwave TV about Devin’s next album, Epicloud, which he’ll be recording in Perth, Australia after Soundwave wraps up.