INTERVIEW: Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend Project

Transcendence is the latest album from the Devin Townsend Project and in many ways it feels like a culmination of musical explorations that Devin begun in 2009 with Addicted! and that flowed through Epicloud and Sky Blue. It’s alternatingly melodic and crushing, ethereal and imposing, and in true Devin fashion it’s an album that reveals more about itself on each subsequent listen.

I love the new record. Y’know how every now and then an album comes along that’s just what you needed to hear at that point in time? 

That’s awesome. Thank you, Peter. It’s a special one for me in a lot of ways, and especially the latter half. The processes that went into it and the challenges that came into it, the control issues, letting go of things and trying to participate with other people and be analytical and aware enough of myself that I could call myself on my own shit is one thing. But it also coincided with what feels like a real tangible shift in my own psyche. Now, whether or not that was because of the fact that I took myself on vacation for the first time in my life, or something to do with age, or something to do with circumstances I’m not sure. But something shifted at the same time as the latter half of this record and now I find myself in a place that is new and foreign in a lot of ways and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Read More …

COOL GEAR ALERT: Kemper Profiler Remote

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PRESS RELEASE: Kemper GmbH today announced the new Profiler Remote for the acclaimed Kemper Profiler to be available in Q1 2015.
The Profiler Remote is the perfect remote foot controller for the Kemper Profiler, fully integrated with the Profiler hardware and software. This integration includes phantom power supply from the Profiler, a display to reflect important information about the current working mode, connectors for additional pedals and automatic maintenance during firmware upgrades. Read More …

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 …

Awesome Fear Factory ‘Zero Signal’ Cover

If you haven’t checked out Ben Eller’s YouTube videos, this one is a good place to start. Dude has great taste in guitars and pickups, seriously awesome picking/muting skills, monster metal tones and a sense of humour. Here’s his latest, featuring Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient pickups in a swirled Ibanez RG7421 through a Kemper profiler.

INTERVIEW: Trivium’s Corey Beaulieu

TriviumVengeanceFAllsTrivium 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. Read More …