INTERVIEW: Mike Fortin of Randall Amplifiers

Randall Amplifiers has been home to many talented engineers over the years, starting with Gary Sunde and even including Bruce Egnater who invented the MTS modular series. In particular the company has long been an innovator in the world of high-gain amps. So who do you turn to when you want to kick it up to a new level? Randall Brand Director Joe Delaney enlisted the services of world-renowned heavy metal amp engineer Mike Fortin to reinvent Randall for the 21st Century. Coming from the likes of Korg/Marshall USA and Yamaha (and of course his own Fortin brand amps), Mike understands distortion. Randall purchased two of these designs – the NATAS and MEATHEAD – and these are now known as the THRASHER and 667. But that’s not all; Fortin has used those amps as springboards for new designs too, including the SATAN signature model for Six Feet Under/Feared guitarist Ola Englund, the NULLIFIER for Anthrax’s Scott Ian, and the forthcoming CAGE 103 for Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and a new line for Meshuggah’s Fredrik Thordendal. I caught up with Fortin to chat about what makes his amps tick. Read More …

I’m judging Rockstar Bowling Demon Rock Off guitar competition

Now this is going to be fun. What could possibly be more awesome than duking it out in a guitar battle royale where you must ultimately face the horned one him/her/itself, while being judged by an esteemed panel of respected guitar experts, and also me?

1ST ANNUAL DEMON ROCK OFF GUITAR COMPETITION

Celebrating ROCKTOBER, Rockstar Bowling proudly announces the first annual DEMON ROCK OFF GUITAR COMPETITION, to be held Sunday 16 October at 4pm at the venue’s Rock Bar.

Turning the volume up to “11” and inviting all amateur guitarists to showcase their signature “facemelting”, contestants will battle each other in a series of judged elimination rounds with two finalists selected for a soul-saving face off with the Devil himself. The Grand Prize winner will receive:

• A Gibson Epiphone Guitar
• $500 voucher to Gallins Musician’s Pro Shop
• Professionally Recorded Demo CD and Video
• Feature Showcase Gig at Rockstar Bowling Rock Bar
• Music Press Coverage Annoucements
• An Eternity of Free Bowling

Read More …

NEWS: The number of the beast

When I logged in this morning to see how my blog was doing on the ‘ol daily Google stats, I was lucky/unlucky enough to have signed in just in time to see that most evil of figures, the number of the beast. Thanks to all my readers for making this the most brutal day in I Heart Guitar’s brief history, and especially to today’s visitor 666, whoever you are. In honour of this event, I’m cranking the track ‘I Am Satan’ from Paul Gilbert’s Burning Organalbum.