Limp 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
Trivium have never been the kind of band that stays still. They’ve always bobbed and weaved, zipped and zoomed around the metal scene: a little metalcore here, a little thrash there, maybe the occasional dip of the toe into the stream of progressive metal. Their 2011 album In Waves pushed their sound into a new atmospheric level and won them plenty of new fans, and it positioned itself as a very difficult album to top. So how would the Florida four-peace approach its follow-up? The answer is Vengeance Falls [Roadrunner]. It’s at once familiar and unlike anything Trivium has done before. The crushing riffs and virtuoso twin guitar solos are still there, as is the finely honed production aesthetic that worked so well on In Waves. But Vengeance Falls finds the band putting Matt Heafy’s vocals in the spotlight like never before. To that end Trivium enlisted the help of Disturbed frontman David Draiman to produce the album. Continue reading
Check out this new video of Keith Merrow and Wes Hauch tearing off the heads of all and sundry in this as they demo Seymour Duncan’s various 8-string humbucking pickups. Keith’s using his Schecter and Wes is using the new Jackson SLATFXQMG 3-8, the model we looked at a few days ago here and which you can read more about here, and which looks extra-cool with those Duncan passive-in-active-housing pickups, don’t ya think? In the video below you’ll hear Duncan’s Pegasus bridge, Sentient neck, Nazgul bridge, Distortion neck and bridge, Invader neck and bridge, and Blackouts neck and bridge models all put to devastating use by Keith and Wes. Enjoy! Continue reading
Following on from last month, Jackson has just announced another round of Summer 2013 models – 13, in fact – and they’re all pretty nice looking. For example, there’s a rather cool new string-thru Phil Demmel beastie which could certainly fend off stage invaders. And I’ve had a huge Guitar Crush on Jackson Kellys ever since Marty Friedman shredded the hell out of them in Megadeth. But my particular favourite of the new bunch is the quilty green 8-string, somewhat unromantically dubbed the SLATFXQMG 3-8. I’ve always had a thing for quilty green Jacksons, ever since coveting one at World of Music back in the day. But I digress: here are the new models. Which one do you like best? Continue reading
Seven and eight string guitars aren’t going anywhere, by the looks of things. Sure, there’s a bit of resistance from the traditionalists (and here’s how to respond to people who say ‘Seven strings? I have enough trouble with six!) but guitarists have been tuning down for decades now and I like the idea of music dictating the development of the instrument, rather than being restrained by it. So while there’ll always be a place in my heart and guitar rack for six-stringers, I’m glad that companies like Jackson are as serious about their extended-range offerings as the players are who are using them. Jackson is releasing three new models for the summer season, and all of them have an upped string count. Here’s the press release: Continue reading
Dammit Jackson, I’m trying to not buy any new guitars this year.
JACKSON® INTRODUCES NEW SEVEN AND EIGHT-STRING USA SELECT MODELS
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (March 7, 2013) – Jackson is proud to announce the release of eight new seven and eight-string USA Select models.
The USA Select B7, USA Select B7 Deluxe, USA Select B8 and USA Select B8 Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount DiMarzio® D Activator 7™pickups (D Activator 8™pickups on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.
The USA Select B7MG, USA Select B7MG Deluxe, USA Select B8MG and USA Select B8MG Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount EMG® 707 neck (808 on eight-string models) and 81-7 bridge pickups (808 on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.
For more information, visit www.jacksonguitars.com
This was definitely the Year Of The Seven And Eight String at NAMM. It seemed that almost everyone had a seven and/or eight string on display (and of course Ibanez had that nine-string beast, the RG9). Jackson stepped up with quite a few models, including the limited edition Pro DKA Dinky. It’s available in seven-string and eight-string models, and it has an arch-top alder body, bolt-on flat-sawn maple neck with graphite reinforcement, 16”-radius maple fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and offset position markers (12th-fret shark fin inlay on eight-string model), fingerboard and headstock binding, 26.5” scale length, dual direct-mount DiMarzio D Activator pickups with five-way switching, single volume and tone controls, momentary kill switch for stutter effects, recessed Jackson HT-7 seven-string hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 in eight-string model), Planet Waves locking tuners and Dunlop locking strap pins. The Pro DKA7 is available in Satin White and the Pro DKA8 is in Metallic Black. Continue reading
It’s been a year since we checked in with Periphery and in that time the mighty djent machine has grown and evolved at a rapid, startling rate. In the wake of a successful tour with Dream Theater, Periphery’s place as the centrepiece of the djent movement is now firmly established. It’s a genre characterised by heavy syncopated riffs, punchy mid-heavy guitar tones, the use of extended range instruments, clean-to-scream vocals and some of the most outrageous lead guitar work ever committed to hard disc, and Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal builds on the strengths of the band’s self-titled debut in every way. It’s more melodic, yet more extreme. There are more shredding solos but more moments of guitaristic introspection too. More colourful and dramatic. I Heart Guitar caught up with Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen to talk shop.
Last time we talked, you said you were planning two albums, one of which would be a concept album. Is this still the plan?
Misha: I think we had a lot of expectations, and I guess our gut reaction to that is to just say ‘fuck it’ and do whatever we want. What we’d originally hoped would happen was that we’d get a tonne of time off to just write. We’re at a point where there are so many ideas. All was going to plan but then we got a Dream Theater tour offer smack in the middle of that session. It kinda came to a decision. And no matter what, you never turn down a Dream Theater tour! Continue reading
French metal band Gojira have been a ‘next big thing’ for far too long. They’ve maintained the same line-up since forming in Bayonne in 1996, and each successive album has pushed them closer and closer to the spotlight. But L’Enfant Sauvage is going to change all that. This is the album that seems finally destined to bump Gojira all the way into at least Lamb of God/Trivium levels of fame. It combines a Devin Townsend-esque appreciation for atmosphere and melody with post-thrash rhythms, post-death metal drumming and a live, human element that’s missing from so much current studio-tweezed metal. After a triumphant run during Australias’s Soundwave Festival (which saw Devin Townsend and Meshuggah’s Fredrik Thordendal join them on stage for a historic performance of their studio collaboration “Of Blood And Salt”), Gojira are ready.
“The reason why we did that tour was to see a kangaroo,” guitarist and vocalist Joe Duplantier says of the recent Soundwave shows. “That was our main purpose! The reason why we came to Australia! And then we played some shows with Soundwave. But mostly we wanted to see a wild kangaroo. The last day of the tour we still hadn’t seen a kangaroo so we rented a car and went to the desert. Couldn’t find one the whole day. But on our way back to Perth we saw one, man! The night was falling and this huge kangaroo was jumping, and everyone was screaming in the car.” But now that the hunt for bipedal marsupials is over, Gojira is getting down to business. L’Enfant Sauvage is their first album on Roadrunner Records. It’s a diverse collection of tracks, some heavy, some more ambient, with an unusual amount of colour and drama for most bands other than Devin Townsend and Cynic. “I don’t listen to metal a lot,” Duplantier explains. I listen to Massive Attach and Morcheeba and Radiohead, Portishead. My brother [Mario Duplantier, drums] likes Indian music. Christian [Andreu], the other guitar player, doesn’t like music at all! He likes silence! He’s like, “Wow, this is the best.” And the bass player [Jean-Michel Labadie] listens to all kinds of metal. He’s a huge metal fan. So it’s an interesting mix. We have different attitudes, and it creates something more personal. I’d like to think that through the years, as we release albums, it’s getting closer to what we are, closer to the core. It’s a nice feeling. I love this album. We reached something that Im’ really, really happy with.”
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.
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.
When I was a kid there was a music store in my town called Don Jefferson’s Music – don’t look for it, it ain’t there no more – and a couple of times a year I was lucky enough to get to go to “Jeffo’s,” either to pick out a birthday present (usually a pedal) or to buy some new strings or a new guitar cable. The store seemed to have an awful lot of (or a lot of awful) Strat and Les Paul copies, but every once in a while something cool would come in. A green Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster. A snakeskin BC Rich Gunslinger. They’d never let me play ‘em, but I sure used to like looking.
And then, I saw it.
A purple Jackson Archtop Soloist, with two humbuckers and a tigerstripey flamed maple top. That pic up there? That’s not exactly the right model and it’s obviously not the right colour, but you get the idea.
I thought this was the sexiest guitar in the world. Any time I went past the shop I would just stare and stare through the window at it. If I held my breath on a still day I could swear I could hear it gently calling my name. Its legend spread, and other guitar-playing kids at school became aware of it too. It was my “If I ever get a million dollars, I’m going to buy that” guitar.
Then one day, someone told me they were in Jeffo’s when some snotty kid came in with their dad, all sulky and teenage, and were told to pick out a guitar to start lessons on. The story goes that the kid grunted and pointed at my beloved purple archtop Jackson Soloist, and that was the end of that. I’d like to think that the story was bullshit – that the guitar went to a loving home, and that maybe bitterness and jealousy had tainted the story before it made it to my ears. At the very least, I hope the kid looked after the guitar and appreciated it. To this day I’ve never owned a Jackson, and that burns me up inside! I was this close to buying a Rhoads once but it wasn’t to be. Maybe some day I’ll get that Soloist. And that RR. And that King V. Some day.
Now, that was my first ‘The one that got away’ story. Some day, let me tell you about the Ibanez Jem7PBK I missed out on by a couple of bucks. Or the 80s Schecter Pete Townsend tele that some asshole was in the process of walking out with right when I’d walked into the store with a fistfull of cash to purchase it myself.
What was your one that got away?