Wes Hauch Demos The Dimebag Darrell Set

You’ve gotta check this out. Wes Hauch demoing the Seymour Duncan Dimebag Signature Set, which includes a Dimebucker in the bridge position and the bridge version of the ’59 in the neck position (which Dime preferred because it was a better match for the power of the Dimebucker than the regular neck ’59). I fricken love how well Wes is able to tap into Dime’s tone and phrasing. I like that one of the comments on the video on YouTube is “Wes Hauch for a reunion tour!” Dude would nail it. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Kill Devil Hill’s Rex Brown

rexrocker With Pantera, Rex Brown has created a legacy which serves as a sort of ‘how to’ on heavy metal bass playing. His heavy attack and his ability to simultaneously lock in with Dimebag Darrell’s guitar and Vinne Paul’s drums is as good an education on playing bass in a heavy band that you’re ever gonna get. Rex further showcased his sense of groove and power during his long tenure with Down, but it’s with his new band Kill Devil Hill that he really gets to shine as a bass player – without even trying. Rex’s playing in KDH is no Billy Sheehan-esque shredfest: rather it’s a tour de force of playing perfectly in the pocket and yet never being lost within the mix or underneath the arrangement. And with material that bobs and weaves through hard rock, heavy metal and grunge and even something close to blues-rock, Kill Devil Hill calls on Rex to be more musically flexible than ever while still maintaining his own musical voice. Kill Devil Hill are touring Australia in April with Killswitch Engage (read my interview with KSE’s Joel Stroetzel here).  Read More …

Seymour Duncan Dimebag Darrell Set

DimebuckerIf you’ve never tried it, the Seymour Duncan Dimebucker is a thing of beauty. Brutal beauty, to be sure, but beauty nonetheless. It’s a very aggressive pickup designed with Dime to help him get that edgy yet thick tone with huge harmonics and plenty of punch. It takes a pretty powerful neck pickup to keep up with the Dimebucker and Dime experimented with quite a few over the years, but according to his tech Grady Champion, Dime used the Seymour Duncan ’59 Model for the longest chunk of time, finding it to be a great match for the Dimebucker. But Dime didn’t use the ’59 neck model: he used the more powerful bridge version instead. Seymour Duncan is now offering the Dimebag Signature Set, which pairs a Dimebucker and a bridge ’59 Model. Here’s the press release.

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Metal Masters 5 To Stream Live

image003The latest in the Metal Masters clinic series has been announced, with a huge line-up of legends from some of the biggest names in thrash and prog metal. And although it occurs during NAMM Week (and NAMM is industry-only which presents certain challenges), Metal Masters is open to everyone. It’s at the House Of Blues in Anaheim, California, in Downtown Disney and right near the Anaheim Convention Centre where NAMM is held. So if you’re heading there for NAMM anyway, this seems like a great way to kick off the week. And if you’re not NAMMing but you’re in California, go go go go go! And if you’re not gonna be there, it’ll be streamed online! Here’s the press release.  Read More …

INTERVIEW: Rex Brown talks Vulgar Display

It’s twenty years since Pantera released Vulgar Display Of Power. That’s the same as the span of time between the Beatles’ first world tour and Van Halen’s Jump. Or between Led Zeppelin IV and Pearl Jam’s Ten. It seems hard to believe now, where crunchy metal riffs are used in everything from kids’ movies to breakfast cereal ads, but once upon a time the closest thing to metal heard outside bedrooms and car stereos was the likes of Poison and Bon Jovi. Vulgar Display helped to change all that. Along with Metallica’s Black album, it was enormously influential on musicians looking to break free of the stylistic quirks of cock rock without switching gears to the grunge sounds that were rapidly gaining prominence. Pantera combined jagged, hi-fi, post-thrash guitar tones with aggressive vocals, harsh production and a sense of groove – borrowed from Southern Rock – and in the process they ignited a revolution.

“We had a lot of hunger. A lot of the juices were flowing, big-time, and I just remember it being a really creative period for the band,” bass player Rex Brown says of 1992-vintage Pantera. “Very creative. We knew what direction we were headed and we were very aware of where we wanted to go, yet it just came out so naturally that we didn’t have to second-guess anything. There it was! Every day we were waking up just wanting to go to work.”

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Looks like Dean has some cool new stuff coming out…

Got the Dean mail-out yesterday with info about their NAMM webcast and 35th anniversary celebrations. The graphic at the top of the email looked cool enough – bitchen two-headed eagle thing, NAMM dates, booth number… but then I looked in the bottom left corner, two axes tucked away behind another:

Good lord. It’s a Dean VMNT Dave Mustaine signature with a Peace Sells …But Who’s Buying? graphic, and a version (with a different headstock) of one of Dimebag Darrell’s lesser-known but cooler Dean MLs! In fact, this was the guitar Dime was using in one of the first pics I ever saw of him, in a Randall ad back in the day when Dime went by the name Diamond Darrell publicly instead of Dimebag Darrell. You can see Dime using this axe in this video for “Primal Concrete Sledge,” and that’s what this Dean model is named: the Dime ‘Concrete Sledge’ ML. The original was actually a Washburn neck on a Dean body.

Keep an eye on Dean’s website and I Heart Guitar at NAMM time!