INTERVIEW: Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend Project

Transcendence is the latest album from the Devin Townsend Project and in many ways it feels like a culmination of musical explorations that Devin begun in 2009 with Addicted! and that flowed through Epicloud and Sky Blue. It’s alternatingly melodic and crushing, ethereal and imposing, and in true Devin fashion it’s an album that reveals more about itself on each subsequent listen.

I love the new record. Y’know how every now and then an album comes along that’s just what you needed to hear at that point in time? 

That’s awesome. Thank you, Peter. It’s a special one for me in a lot of ways, and especially the latter half. The processes that went into it and the challenges that came into it, the control issues, letting go of things and trying to participate with other people and be analytical and aware enough of myself that I could call myself on my own shit is one thing. But it also coincided with what feels like a real tangible shift in my own psyche. Now, whether or not that was because of the fact that I took myself on vacation for the first time in my life, or something to do with age, or something to do with circumstances I’m not sure. But something shifted at the same time as the latter half of this record and now I find myself in a place that is new and foreign in a lot of ways and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Read More …

Steve Vai Unveils Passion & Warfare Extravaganza

Passion & Warfare

Steve Vai (probably my biggest influence and my one-time jam-buddy, brag brag brag) has announced a special 25h Anniversary reissue of Passion & Warfare. It features a new disc called Modern Primitive, and Steve will also undertake an extensive tour where he will play the whole record start-to-finish. Yes, even “Ballerina 12/24” and hopefully some freaky arrangements of “Alien Water Kiss” and “Love Secrets.” Read the full press release below, plus info about the third Vai Academy event.

Hey Steve, one request: the jazzy little solo section of “The Animal” pretty much changed the way I play guitar, but you always play improvised stuff instead of the original solo when I hear you play it live. How about returning to that classic finger-pretzelling, life-changing solo for ‘ol Petie, eh? Pleeeeease? (By the way, check out these Fascinating Facts About Steve Vai’s Passion & Warfare).

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The World’s First 24-Fret 7-String Shred Machine?

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I was just scanning some recent guitar auctions, as I am wont to do, and I saw something super cool at a Guernsey’s auction from February 27: Tony Mottola’s 1952 7-string, 24-fret Gibson Custom Super 400CES. Mottola was a legendary session musician who played with Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. He also played in the Doc Severinson Orchestra on The Tonight Show. This guitar has a carved spruce top with maple back and sides, and custom P90 pickups with seven pole pieces. It was offered for auction with its original hard case and a copy of the production ledger for March 1992. The serial number is A 9934. What an amazing piece of history. Following are some more guitars – including instruments belonging to Eddie Van Halen and Richie Sambora – but first here are some more pics of the 7-string: Read More …

BOSS Steve Vai Legacy Tone Capsule

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PRESS RELEASE: BOSS is excited to announce the Steve Vai Legacy Tone Capsule, a user-installable voicing circuit for the innovative BOSS Waza guitar amplifier. Developed by BOSS engineers in partnership with guitar legend Steve Vai, the Tone Capsule changes the sound and response characteristics of the original Waza amp to provide custom voicings approved by the artist himself. Read More …

Rare Green Ibanez Universe On eBay

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Hey folks! Happy 2016! Thought I’d kick the year off with this beauty: a 1991 Ibanez Universe UV777 GR Loch Ness Green 7-string. These are super-rare, and this one is on eBay right now with a Buy It Now price of $US4,499. These came out at a time when bright guitars with Floyd Roses were about to dip from favour amid the rise of grunge, and only a small number were made. I’ve never seen one in person but I hope Ibanez reissues them one of these days. I feel like this model would have a much better chance of catching on today than it did back in its day. Check it out on eBay here.

From the description: Read More …

Fascinating Facts About Steve Vai’s Passion And Warfare

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Steve Vai’s Passion & Warfare turned 25 years old this past July, and the guitar has never been the same. Part hard rock, part psychedelia filtered through 80s neon, part Looney Toons soundtrack, part Zappa, Passion & Warfare found Vai breaking out on his own with an incredible level of focus and determination. Read More …