We’re in the past. I’m about 15 years old. I’m sitting on my bed trying to nail that incredible solo from Joe Satriani’s Crushing Day. I’m getting pissed off. This is hard. Try it again. Argh! Hit a clanger about a quarter of the way in. Start again. Frig. Only got two bars in that time and hit a bad harmonic. Argh. Aaaarrgh! Argh.
My dad walks in.
“What the hell is going on?”
“I’m trying to learn this Joe Satriani solo but it’s impossible!”
“Yeah.” Continue reading
Joe Satriani needs his amps to cover a lot of ground during the course of a single gig, from vintage bluesy sweetness to chunky rock to screaming harmonically overstimulated lead. For years he’s (generally) used clean amps and distortion pedals for his tone, but when it came time to lay down some riffage with his supergroup Chickenfoot, Joe realised only Marshall would do. So they worked together on an amp based on the JVM410. Let’s let Joe explain: “It’s got four channels and three modes per channel, and we just set the thing up in the control room when we were doing overdubs (for Chickenfoot III) and we went from channel to channel, and I think the only time we used a different amp was when we plugged in a ’59 Fender Twin amp to add a little something to a ballad. Everything else was done through that amp. I never felt like I wasn’t punching enough or I never had enough gain or I wasn’t clean enough. It’s really an outstanding amp.” Continue reading
Did you see my earlier post about the Marshall Custom Pin Up Range unveiled at NAMM? These amps seem to be very popular, judging by the reaction on social media. And with good reason: they embody everything that’s cool about Marshall: tone, elegance and …sexiness. Hehe.
Here’s some more info about the amps. They’re tonally inspired by the Marshall Class 5 (you can read my review of that little bruiser here), and cosmetically inspired by the pin-up models of the 1940s. The range is strictly a one-off limited edition offering. Each C5 Custom Pin-Up product comes complete with a Marshall Custom Shop embossment, and a certificate of authenticity. Featuring EL84 valve power, These 5 watt amps have controls for volume, bass, middle and treble, and there are 8 and 16 ohm speaker outputs and a headphone output. Along with the Custom Pinup Head, there are three different speaker cabinet options to choose from, each with the same custom covering and G10F-15 speaker, but with different graphic options.
Sets are currently clearing production and should be available within the next couple of months. Continue reading
Marshall has unveiled a new Slash amp, the SL-5 combo. It’s an all-valve Class A 5-watter with one EL34 tube in the power section and a trio of ECC83 preamp tubes. You can switch it down to 1 watt for even more of that sweet sweet low-output grind, and there are two channels: clean and overdrive. The speaker is a Celestion Vintage 30, and there’s digital reverb onboard too.
Now this is cool. I’m sure all of you have a head full of rock trivia and you feel left out by TV music quiz shows such as RockWiz and Never Mind the Buzzcocks because they sometimes talk about stuff that doesn’t involve cranked up stacks. Well check this out: Rock Science and Marshall Amplification have teamed up for a special limited edition of the Rock Science board game. It’s packaged in what looks like a little Marshall head too, which is a nice touch
Here’s the press release:
MARSHALL AMPLIFICATION MARKS ”50TH ANNIVERSARY OF LOUD” WITH RELEASE OF ROCK SCIENCE BOARD GAME
For a while there it looked like Aerosmith were done. Steven Tyler had fallen off the wagon (and subsequently the stage), and at some point he was in consideration for a proposed Led Zeppelin tour in the absence of an unenthusiastic Robert Plant. Along the way bass player Tom Hamilton was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer (he recovered but the cancer returned last year, and after treatment he’s recovering well). And of course Tyler went off and took a job as a judge on American Idol too. When the band finally reconvened and hit the studio, the question was “Which Aerosmith will be making an album? The 70s bluesy rockers? The 80s/90s hard rock superstars? The FM smash balladeers?” It turns out the answer was “All of them.” Music From Another Dimension! manages to have something to appeal to fans of all three of the band’s main eras, and with 15 tracks on the standard edition it’s pretty much a case of “If you don’t like the ballads, there’s plenty of the other stuff.” Whether intentional or not, Aerosmith seems to have found a way to please everyone.
Hi! Have you had a chance to listen to the record?
Yeah! I like that there’s three Aerosmiths here – the 70s feel, the 80s/90s stuff and the ballads. Something for everyone who likes something about Aerosmith.
Yeah, I noticed that’s how it came out. Every era of our career is represented. I don’t think it was a conscious decision. We’ve learned that it’s so much about songs, and we’ve dipped into different styles throughout our career. What always comes back is it’s all about songs. We want to have really kickin’ drums and blasting guitars, and Steven singing amazing vocals. And I’m a musician so sometimes I’ll listen to music just for the bass player, but not that often. I really believe that the song is the thing.
In celebration of Halloween I’ve written an article for the Seymour Duncan blog about an eeeevil-sounding scale I came up with. I like to use this to pretend I’m Black Sabbath. You can hear a demo track composed with this scale below, but be sure to read the full article to learn the scale for yourself and to take in the different elements it’s composed of.