INTERVIEW: John Browne of Monuments

UK progressive metal masters Monuments stood alongside Coldrain, Patent Pending, Butcher Babies and The Interrupters as one of the first five bands to be announced for the Soundwave 2015 festival – part of Soundwave’s ultra-cool strategy of highlighting a few of the slightly-lesser-known-but-soon-to-kick-your-ass bands prior to the main announcement. If you haven’t heard Monuments yet you soon will; their music is from the same general region of metal as folks like Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Circles, but with an enhanced focus on groove. Call it djent you can shake your ass too if you must, put a label on it, but the point is that in a genre with a few inspired standouts and a whole lot of soundalikes, Monuments have that extra something to set themselves apart. Now with Chris Barretto (ex-Periphery, Ever Forthright) on vocals, they’ve pushed their sound to further levels of originality and power on new album The Amanunensis, a sprawling concept album inspired by David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas. Read More …

REVIEW: Mayones Comodous 6 Bass

mayones bass 2

Poland’s Mayones makes extremely fine, high-quality guitars with a very distinctive look and style, great tone woods and amazing playability. But their basses are equally distinctive and high quality. The Comodous 6 is a breathtaking instrument – quite literally, because everyone I showed it to had the same shocked reaction to its sheer size, odd shape and the striking nature of its top. Aah, but as anyone who’s played a Mayones guitar will know, you can’t judge one on looks: it all happens when you pick that first note.  Read More …

REVIEW: Mayones Regius PRO 7

Mayones Guitars have been around for decades but in recent years they’ve really risen to prominence, partly through better distribution, partly through home high-profile players such as Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, and partly because the world is finally catching up to their extremely high quality. You can ogle photos of a Mayones online all you want but that doesn’t tell you the whole story: they feel as great as they look, and you get a definite sense of ‘Daaaaaamn that’s a high-quality guitar’ when you pick one up. Read More …

REVIEW: Mayones Regius 8

regiusthumbMayones is a Polish company who have been around for quite a while, but recently they’ve really launched onto the world stage with a daring attitude, a knack for choosing ridiculously beautiful woods, and a willingness to work with a variety of pickup companies in order to effectively operate like a custom shop in terms of letting players choose the voicing of their guitar.  The Regius 8 is an 8-string guitar (standard 8-string tuning is F#-B-E-A-D-G-B-E, but you are of course welcome to tune it however you like) made with neck-thru construction – that is to say, the neck continues all the way through to the rear strap-pin end of the body. Read More …

REVIEW: Mayones Regius 6

Regius 6Poland’s Mayones has been around for quite a while, but they’ve only recently really gained a foothold on the world stage, helped in large part by the high visibility of players such as Periphery’s Misha Mansoor and Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw. There are several base models to choose from in the Mayones range, including six and seven-string variations, your choice of pickups by DiMarzio, Bare Knuckle, EMG and Seymour Duncan, and even the Djentlemen range of 7 and 8-string axes aimed at the the rapidly solidifying dent movement. The Regius is a particularly popular shape for Mayones, a little more offset and rounded compared to the equally droolworthy Setius.

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Guitar Gallery of the Day: Mayones

Today’s guitar gallery is Mayones. They make plenty of great production line guitars – check out the Regius Elements – PERFECT with fretted or fretless neck, Seymour Duncan pickups and GraphTech Ghost System (Piezo preamp + MIDI Hexpander), or this Legend T – but their customs are a step beyond even that, as you’ll see from their gallery here. Check out the Setius PRO 7 Slime pictured above. It has an ash top, mahogany body with open sound chambers (look close and you’ll spot ’em), cbony freeboard, custom green acrylic Slime inscription and position markers, DiMarzio Evolution (bridge) + PAF 7 (neck) pickups with Green covers, genuine Floyd Rose 7 bridge and Schaller tuners.

Or how about this Setius Dime Bomb XTrem 36? 36 frets, DiMarzio Evolution 7 humbucker (angled for 6 strings)… very cool.

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INTERVIEW: Periphery’s Misha Mansoor

A lot has happened since I Heart Guitar last interviewed Misha Mansoor. In the space of a mere year, the djent movement – of which Mansoor’s band Periphery is a central focus – has gone from metal curiosity to fully-fledged phenomenon. The Icarus Lives! Ep has further solidified Mansoor’s reputation as one of the most technically gifted metal guitarists of his generation, yet he maintains an open dialog with fans, continuing to post video and audio of random jammage – new gear, Nyan cat, the list goes on. Periphery are heading to Australia in July for the League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen tour with Tesseract, and I Heart Guitar caught up with Misha to talk about what’s happened in the past year.

Hey Misha.

Hi! We’ve talked before, haven’t we?

Yes we have, about a year ago.

Yeah! I Heart Guitar! I remember that.

Yeah, cool! So the Melbourne stop of your Aussie tour has recently been upgraded to a bigger venue because ticket sales were so good.

Yeah! That was very unexpected. I don’t know how that happened. I don’t know who we paid off to make that happen! But that is more than a pleasant surprise. Australia was one of the most fun tours – it was like a vacation to us. I don’t know what it is, but everyone was so nice and welcoming. And I’m not just saying that. Australians are like some of the nicest people we’ve ever met. It was a treat, and having some of the love come right back to us was really awesome. So seeing that the shows sold out so fast was like icing on the cake for us.

Everyone seems to know who you are and about the whole djent movement now. How are you coping with that? Does it mess with your head? Do you try not to think about it?

I try not to think about it. This whole djent movement thing is very funny and silly to me because it’s appearing out of nowhere, almost parallel to what we’re doing. I think people don’t realise that we’ve just been doing what we’ve been doing. It wasn’t cool to be playing this style of music for the majority of the time that we’ve been writing and playing the music that we do, and we write and play the music that we do because it’s the only thing that we know how to do. It’s just going for it. It’s not like we sat down one day and said “I’m gonna start a new fad or something.” It wasn’t like that at all, it was just doing what we were doing. So it’s just interesting to see how that all happens. It is very surreal. And we focus on it a bit, like we named our tour the League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen. We don’t take it all too seriously, and it’s not all that relevant to me in day to day life or anything. It just is what it is, y’know?

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