INTERVIEW: Adrian Belew

Adrian Belew

The Crimson ProjeKCt is a King Crimson offshoot featuring three current members of that historic, nay, iconic band – Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto – along with Julie Slick, Tobias Ralph and Markus Reuter. And a typical Crimson ProjeCKt concert is a marathon of musical might which shifts through many moods and configurations. Belew explains: “What happens is this: Stick Men (Levin, Mastelotto and Reuter) play a set of their music (which includes a Crimson track or two), then the Power Trio (Belew, Slick, Ralph) plays a set of my music (which also includes a Crimson track), then Tony and Pat and I play a Crimson song (as yet another trio), and then comes the big finale: both trios play more than an hours-worth of Crimson music as a double trio! It’s a helluva show!” And the group is coming to Australia and New Zealand to spread their particular brand of musical majesty in June and July, with shows in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle. Read More …

REVIEW: Line 6 Tyler Variax JTV-69

VariaxLine 6’s original Variax guitars were a great idea. They modelled various classic axes (electrics, acoustics, 12-strings and more) and they allowed you to recall various tunings with the touch of a button (actually the spin of a pot), but their look was a bit of an acquired taste. Their lack of pickups and the slinky undersized shape left them looking a little bit like a toy, and many players said they liked the idea but just couldn’t see themselves playing the guitar. We’re a conservative lot, it seems, despite the fact that we love to plug an electrical concoction of wood, wire and magnets into a different electrical concoction of wood, wire and magnets. Read More …

New Line 6 James Tyler Variax models

Line 6’s James Tyler Variax guitars are a very cool way of getting the Variax technology into more players’ hands via an instrument with a boutique design pedigree. The line has just been expanded with a pair of new models – the JTV-59P and JTV-69S – which offer different pickup selections to the existing models. There’s also a US Custom Series version of each of the new body styles. What I like about these guitars is that they’re geared towards slightly more traditional players who might appreciate the variety of sounds offered by the Variax technology but who want a guitar that reflects their tastes better.

Line 6 Announces New James Tyler Variax Guitars

New offerings give guitarists more sonic and aesthetic options

CALABASAS, Calif.—September 18, 2012—Line 6, Inc. is proud to introduce two additions to the James Tyler® Variax® family. The new JTV-59P and JTV-69S guitars provide new pickup configurations and a variety of finish options, expanding the sonic capabilities of the James Tyler Variax family to meet the needs of even more guitar players.

“We’re excited to expand the James Tyler Variax line with additional models that will inspire even more guitarists to check out these amazing instruments,” says Darrell Smith, Guitar Product Line Manager at Line 6. “For the player who likes vintage P-90 soapbar pickups and is looking for a slightly lower-gain, warmer tone, the JTV-59P is a great choice. The JTV-69S offers the industry-standard three single-coil pickup configuration, which is ideal for guitarists who want that classic sound.” Read More …

INTERVIEW: Keith Strickland of The B-52s

There’s only one B-52s. Sure, they’ve had their stylistic changes, and they weathered the tragic death of original guitarist Ricky Wilson, but whether slamming out quirky angular guitar pop (“Rock Lobster,” “My Own Private Idaho,”) radio-friendly chart megahits (“Love Shack,” “Roam”) or danceable, electronica-tinged club-ready tracks (“Funplex,”), there’s no mistaking who you’re listening to. And a large part of that sound is Keith Strickland. Originally the band’s drummer, shifting to guitar after the 1985 passing of Wilson, Strickland is a lifelong multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and one of the nicest chart-toppers you could ever hope to meet. B-52s have just released With the Wild Crowd: Live in Athens GA, an 18-track live album, with a DVD and Blu-Ray to follow next year.

I understand there’s some special significance attached to the timing of the concert that became With The Wild Crowd?

We did that this past February in Athens, Georgia. A booking agent had booked the show and then we realised it was close to February 14th, the anniversary date of our very first performance. It was a few days later but we thought ‘Let’s make this an anniversary show!’ And it was also a benefit for the Georgia Theatre, which is this venue in Athens, a theatre that had been converted into a performance place. It had burned down, so a portion of the proceeds went to rebuilding that. So it was just coming full circle. We played the Georgia Theatre in our early days before we actually recorded our first album. It was also interesting because we realised, ‘Wow, 34 years and we’re playing Athens again…’ But it really wasn’t set up that way. It was just, well, here it is! We turned it into an event celebrating coming full circle, so to speak.

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NEWS: Schecter releases Shaun Morgan sig model

Check out this new Schecter signature model for Seether‘s Shaun Morgan. It kinda looks like a Mosrite and a Line 6 Variax got it on and had a baby. It’s available in three-tone sunburst with a white pickguard or white with a black pickguard. A lefthanded version of the sunburst model will also be available. The lone pickup is a Duncan Designed HB-102 with transparent bobbins (eew, pickup guts), which is an Alnico 5-based pickup modelled after the famous Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB humbucker. Controls are deadly simple: a master volume and a kill switch.

The axe hits the stores in July. Seether’s new album Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray is released on May 17.

Read More …