INTERVIEW: Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt

Opeth Opeth unashamedly alienated some of their fan base with their 2011 album Heritage. While a large portion of their fans were drawn to the Swedesh masters for their progressive death metal leanings, Heritage was primarily inspired by 70s fusion in the style of John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra – and there wasn’t a single death-growl to be heard anywhere. And now, with Pale Communion, Opeth has moved sideways again, a little away from some of the jazzier moments of Heritage and towards more of a 1970s progressive rock feel, while still a million miles removed from death metal. It’s an album which will challenge some fans while thrilling others, but the overall impression from a chat with frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt is that he’s driven solely by his artistry, and this is what he’s feeling right now.  Read More …

MXR Celebrates 40 Years

MXR_ShortHistory_HEADERPRESS RELEASE: This year marks the 40th anniversary of MXR’s incorporation in 1974 by engineer Keith Barr and his business partner Terry Sherwood. To musicians across the world, those three letters have come to represent innovation, inspiration, and rugged reliability. MXR has never stopped innovating, and Dunlop’s stewardship of the brand has seen the faithful reintroduction of its most iconic pedals—from the Phase 90 to the Dyna Comp® Compressor—as well as the development of modern classics such as the Carbon Copy® Analog Delay. Read More …

EVH Striped iPhone Cases, 35th Anniversary Pedals

536Does your iPhone need a little more California cool? The Van Halen Store is now selling official EVH striped iPhone cases which will wrap your iPhone 4/4S or iPhone 5 in Eddie’s iconic red, white and black stripes. You can order yours here. This is, of course, in addition to the other cool EVH striped goodies they sell, such as beach towels, flip flops, high-top sneakers, and of course guitar gear like the new limited edition 35th Anniversary Jim Dunlop EVH pedals: Eddie’s three signature effects (the Wah Wah, Flanger and Phase 90) adorned them with premium high gloss paints in a hand-placed, EVH-approved pattern based on two of the most iconic guitars in history: “Black and White” and “Frankenstein.” Read More …

MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion

SuperBadassBlogCROPIs there any cooler pedal than the MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion? Well, maybe, but it’s a pretty tough one to top. Just listen to that thing. But the team behind that possibly-underappreciated Dude You Totally Have To Try It pedal have just announced their newest offering, the Super Badass Distortion, which allows you to further personalise your distortion sound with separate Bass, Mid and Treble controls and nice broad range of distortion levels. Jim Dunlop has a great blog post where they discuss the pedal with the design team, and you can check that out here. But here’s the press release: Read More …

COOL GEAR ALERT: MXR Prime Distortion

MXR_M69Here’s something pretty neat from MXR: a new distortion pedal that’s exclusive to Guitar Center (both instore and online) and Musicians Friend. It’s a vintage-vibed stomper which seems quite flexible and amp-like. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to get a feel for what this baby can do. By the way, don’t MXR do the coolest videos? I like their style. They seem to capture that whole exciting tunnel-vision vibe you get when you try a new pedal for the first time. And their videos from NAMM this year were killer too.

Here’s the press release for the Prime Distortion, followed by the videos.

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REVIEW: MXR Custom Comp

One of MXR’s early successes was the Dyna Comp compressor. This legendary little red box was particularly integral to the tone of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, and it also found favour with country players who dug the way its rounded tone smoothed over some of the sharp edges of their Telecaster tones (which could be especially emphasised by slapback delay). And it has a permanent place on my pedalboard.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: New Dunlop Slash pedals


Whoa! Okay, two of my favourite effects are my octave pedal and an MXR Jimi Hendrix System Octave Fuzz. Looks like MXR and Slash have gone and combined their essences into one imposing chimera of tonal goodness in the form of the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz. This little box features fuzz tone with a separate Sub Octave voice and an Octave Up Fuzz, and in true Dunlop/MXR style it features even more tweakability than it initially appears: in addition to Volume, Tone, Fuzz, Sub Octave and Octave Up controls, there are also two internal trimpots to adjust the gain and tone of the Octave Up effect. Want! And there’s also a new Slash Cry Baby with a deeper voicing, which you know has gotta be cool – after all, Slash knows his way around a wah!

You can buy the Octave Fuzz here and the Slash Cry Baby Classic here.

Dunlop Proudly Presents The MXR Slash Octave Fuzz & Slash Cry Baby Classic

NOW SHIPPING

Dunlop and Slash have teamed up to create a triad of products due out just ahead of the guitar legend’s latest album release, Apocalyptic Love.

With Slash’s own experimentation and input, we created two pedals to complement his raw, expressive sound: the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz and the Slash Cry Baby Classic. The Slash Octave Fuzz features a searing fuzz tone that can be combined with a separate sub octave voice and an octave up fuzz to thicken up your tone with a sinister growl. The Slash Cry Baby Classic is tuned to a lower frequency and features a custom-wound resonance inductor, giving this wah-wah a huge dynamic range and a wide sweep.

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Christmas gift ideas for guitarists

PickBay

PickBay is a great way of either framing a special pick to keep with you – the pick you caught at a Steve Vai gig, the promotional one that came with your copy of Paul Gilbert’s Alligator Farm CD, the one you used at your first gig, or whatever – or for just making sure you always have a pick or three handy when you need them.

Link: PickBay

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