Fender To Sell Guild To Cordoba

This is interesting: Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) intends to sell the Guild guitar brand to Cordoba Music Group, whose president Jonathan Thomas is the son of Larry Thomas, who just stepped down as CEO of Fender. It was recently announced that the Guild facility in New Hartford, Connecticut would be closed, so I guess Cordoba is effectively buying a bunch of trademarks, which must be a lot cheaper than buying a whole factory and everything associated with it. Once upon a time I was a business news journalist, and there’s a part of me that would love to know more, such as when did Fender start talking with Cordoba? Is FMIC actively seeking to divest any other brands? Personally I’d love to see Hamer sold and resurrected. How fricking awesome would it be to one day soon see new Hamers? Anyway, following finalisation of the deal Guild guitars will be made in Oxnard, California, rather than on the east coast. Here’s the press release for more info: Read More …

INTERVIEW: Mark Dronge of DR Strings

Mark Dronge with Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead

Here at I Heart Guitar we (and by we I mean me) are just as geeky about gear companies and the people behind them as ‘we’ are about music and the people who make it. And it’s always enlightening to hear from those who are behind the gear that helps us to make music. Mark Dronge, president of DR Strings, comes from a family with an important musical heritage: his father Al Dronge founded Guild.  So I Heart Guitar would like to know…

Tell us a little about your background. Your father founded Guild – what was it like to grow up around the musical instrument industry?

Growing up I was always aware of music especially piano and guitar. I am older than most people on the planet. I liked listening to music in my home…Broadway tunes, classical music, jazz. But I remember hating music on the radio. It was so bad until I was in high school. Elvis Presley’s music was the first listenable radio music. And then in the 60’s everything exploded…thank goodness. So what do I like now? Not one thing. I would not buy a heavy metal CD, but I love the energy of a heavy metal live concert. Great guitar music is always great to listen to, as are wonderful vocalists. Stefan Grossman of finger picking fame is an old favorite. And of course when I first heard Adele I was as excited as the first time I went to a Grateful Dead concert back in 1967.

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INTERVIEW: Megadeth’s Chris Broderick

Th1rt3en is Chris Broderick’s second album in one of the most coveted guitar jobs in the world: Dave Mustaine’s sparring partner in Megadeth. Broderick has some pretty big shoes to fill (Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, Glen Drover), but that’s old news: he brings his own style, feel and technique to the band in a way that they hadn’t really had since the early days of Friedman’s reign in the 90s. Th1rt3en finds Broderick once again shredding with the best of them and weaving in and out of classically Megadeth riffage with confidence and ease. I caught up with Broderick to talk Th1rt3en and, of course, guitar.

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Hi, is this Peter?

Yes it is. Nice to meet you again! I met you a couple of years ago NAMM.

Oh did you really? Where at? What booth?

The Ibanez booth.

Oh nice! Very cool.

And now you’re with Jackson. How’s your new signature guitar working out for you?

It’s awesome! Dare I say, it’s perfect, for me personally. Because you have to understand, when I approached Jackson they were the only ones that never said no. They said “Yeah, we can do that, and we can do that.” So I built that guitar from the ground up thinking about everything I could from the ergonomics to the weight distribution to the placement of the tone knob. Even the placement of the pickups, in addition to the fretboard radius, the stainless steel frets, extremely tall narrow frets. I built that guitar up to be exactly what I’d want, so for me it definitely is the perfect instrument.

Are you using the seven-string version with Megadeth, or is that more of a ‘just because you can’ thing?

No. Well, I’ve always been more of a seven-string player than a six-string player, ever since they were available in the late 80s, early 90s. So for me I’ll always be playing more seven-string stuff. But since Megadeth is more of a traditional thrash band we stick to six strings just to keep those traditional thrash roots more in focus. So whenever I’m onstage with Megadeth it’s always six string, and when I do my own stuff it’s definitely seven-string.

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