Meet the new Kiesel Jason Becker guitar

Here’s Kiesel’s latest collaboration with Jason Becker: the Yin Yang Tribute Guitar. Unlike other Kiesel Jason Becker guitars, which are all made based on instruments Jason played, the Yin Yang guitar is a new design, for which Jason took colour inspiration from Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Strat while developing a very modern shred-friendly instrument.

“Although I love the meaning of unity/duality in the yin yang symbol, my desire to design a guitar like this came from my love of Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ guitar,” Jason says. “When I was 9, I saw The Band’s movie, The Last Waltz. Clapton and Robbie Robertson made me want to become a lead guitarist. I eventually got a black and white Strat in junior high and used it on Cacophony’s first album, Speed Metal Symphony.

“This yin yang design of mine was meant to capture the look of Clapton’s Blackie. To me, every line and curve is beautiful. I worked really hard on getting the perfect balance of black and white and artistic movement. My caregivers followed my picky requests. Without copying a Strat, it feels just as cool or cooler. The neck is the same size as my original Bluey, so I know it feels good. I am so grateful to Kiesel Guitars for bringing my design to life.”

From the Kiesel website:

The Jason Becker Yin Yang Tribute guitar has an mahogany body with a black/white Yin Yang finish on the front, and black back and sides with a clear gloss top coat. Mahogany is a medium weight high-quality tone wood used for its fine resonating warm tone. The bolt-on Eastern hard rock maple neck has a tung-oil finish and thinner neck profile ideal for fast playing. All of our necks and fingerboards undergo a long conditioning process in our de-humidification chambers to remove any stress in the wood and prevent future warping or twisting. Additionally, the dual-action, fully adjustable truss rod helps keep the neck straight and true, and allows you to set the action just the way you like it. Dual carbon-fiber rods further strengthen the neck.

The JBYY has a reverse inline angled pointed headstock, with black finish and white Kiesel headstock logo. Jason’s exclusive multilaminate Jason Becker truss rod cover, in white, is installed. A locking nut for the Floyd Rose tremolo is standard.

The standard roasted flamed maple fingerboard features a 24.75″ scale length, with exclusive matching Yin Yang dot inlays. Luminlay SuperBlue glow-in-the-dark side dots are also a standard feature. Stainless steel jumbo frets are standard equipment.

Kiesel Guitars new M12SD humbucker with black polepieces is installed in the bridge position. This pickup is similar in tone to the original M22SD pickup found in Jason’s original guitars from the 1990s. The coils are black and white zebra, to match the aesthetic of the rest of the instrument. Our new Mark’s Single pickup, with white coil, is installed in the neck position. Electronics are passive, with a 5-way pickup selector switch and master volume and tone controls with white knobs.

Ear Training Part 1: Intervals You Already Know From Famous Riffs

Ear Training: Intervals You Already Know From Famous Riffs

When you’re learning to play guitar, sometimes the best tool you have is your voice. If you can hum a riff, it’s often easier to figure out how far apart each note is on the fretboard. It goes both ways: singing a riff can help you to transfer it to guitar, while learning a riff on guitar and then transferring it to vocals can teach your subconscious self all sorts of helpful things about melody and rhythm that might not be apparent from looking at the fretboard. This is stuff that can help you whether you’re learning by ear and experimentation, or if you’re taking a more guided, theoretical approach to guitar. When you come down to it, every note we hear in western music is one of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale, so once your ear gets used to distinguishing the differences in distance between each note, the whole fretboard – nay, the whole nature of music itself – opens right up. It gets much easier to figure out songs when you can hear any two notes and just know how many frets lie between them. But this can be a tricky skill to develop without some kind of guide posts, so it can be very helpful to train your ears to recognise specific intervals. Here are some of the key ones and how you can recognise them (and yes, I realise that I almost could have named this article “How I Learned Intervals From Black Sabbath”).

Half Step (1 fret)

There’s a particularly iconic piece of music that really personifies the menace, mournfulness and might of the half-step interval: the ‘uh-oh, the shark is coming’ music from Jaws. Pick a fret – any fret – play that note, then play the next highest note. Sounds spooky, right? Once you’ve got that under your fingers, try playing it in reverse, going from one fret to the next lowest fret. This is the interval you’ll hear in the main riff of Ministry’s “New World Order.” And it’s the basis of more metal riffs than we could ever count. Megadeth’s “Symphony Of Destruction” is a particularly brutal example.

Whole Step (2 frets)

The whole-step interval (two frets) seems to be more of a ‘transitional’ one: many players tend to use it on their way through to another interval that more clearly defines the harmonic movement of a riff. But one of the most dramatic uses of this interval is the opening rhythm punch of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” Kicking off with two sets of doubled-up F#5 power chords at the second fret of the low E string before dropping down to an open position E5 chord, this riff is packed with energy. This is also the interval of the first two chords of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love.” Spin it around the other way from lower note to higher one and you’ve got the interval from the verse of Van Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some!” or the beginning of Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.” Stone Temple Pilots Vaseline

1 1/2 Steps (3 frets)

This is where things really get interesting: the sheer number of rock, metal and blues songs that hinge on this interval is utterly overwhelming. This gap of three frets is what you’ll hear in the first two chords of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water,” Everclear’s “Santa Monica,” Metallica’s “Fuel,” Joe Satriani’s “The Extremist,” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and many, many more.

2 Steps (4 frets)

Fret a G chord. Pluck the lowest string, and then the second lowest. Hear that? Two steps. This one’s real easy. You don’t even need a riff for it. 

2 1/4 Steps (5 frets)

This one is easily recognisable as the sound of two adjacent strings (ignoring, for a moment, the little tuning mismatch between the G and B strings on a standard guitar). Play an open A string, then play an open D string: that’s this interval (also known as a major fourth). This is the one that you’ll hear in the first two notes or chords of things like “Wild Thing,” Green Day’s “When I Come Around,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and heaps more. 

Bonus Interval: 3 Steps (6 Frets)

Aah, we’ve talked about this one before: Diabolos In Musica, the Evil Interval, the spookiest-sounding interval ever. Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath” and “Symptom Of The Universe” are great examples of this one.

3 1/2 Steps (7 frets)

This is the same distance between the two notes of a typical Power Chord. It’s also the first two notes of the main melodies of the Flintstones theme, the first interval of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” the first two notes of Chris DeGarmo’s delay-drenched lead melody in Queensryche’s “Jet City Woman,” the fast back-and-forth riff of The Easybeats’ “Friday On My Mind” and jillions more.

A great guitar album you probably missed out on is available again

Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell has just released The Glitz, The Glamour, a box set covering his non-Jane’s work, and tucked away within its tracklist is a cracking album that you’re gonna wanna check out if you haven’t already. 

In 2005 Perry released Ultra Payloaded, the debut album by Satellite Party, a band which also featured Nuno Bettencourt and his extreme bandmate Kevin Figueiredo, plus Nuno alumnus Carl Restivo on bass and Etty Lou Farrell on backing vocals. It started as a project between Nuno and Farrell, although Nuno left in 2007, and the album featured plenty of guest stars. Why did it fall apart? “I have always felt uncomfortable with the direction of the lineup and live show,” Nuno said at the time. “I truly do believe in the songs and music on the album, and I wish Perry Farrell and any musician that remains on tour all the best.” Nick Perri stepped into the open guitar position.

Ultra Payloaded makes up Disc 2 of The Glitz, The Glamour, and it kicks off with ‘Wish Upon a Dogstar’ featuring some very Peter Hook bass playing from …Peter Hook. Hooky also turns up on track 4, ‘Kinky,’ and both songs are overflowing with gothy post-punky vibe.

There are also appearances from Peter DiStefano, Fergie, Hybrid, Jack Irons, Suze DeMarchi, session legend Tim Pierce and more – but for me the big one is track 3, ‘Hard Life Easy,’ which features Red Hot Chilli Peppers bandmates Flea and John Frusciante locking together over a super solid groove. It’s some of the sweetest Frusciante guitar and Flea bass playing you’ll ever hear. 

And of course Nuno is godly on this thing, even though he’s more restrained here than with Extreme or his various solo and side projects. 

Although the box set is beautiful, if you can’t spring that sort of dough you can find the tracks on streaming services. 

The Fender Jason Isbell Telecaster is a thing of beauty

I love me a good double-bound Tele, and apparently so does Jason Isbell, if his new signature Fender is anything to go by.

It’s finished in a gorgeous Chocolate Sunburst with ’59-style Telecaster Custom cream double-binding and it’s given the Fender Road Worn aging treatment, which is a feature I really like, not particular for the look but for the feel. It has a vintage-style mid-’60s “C”-shaped Maple neck with a 21-fret Rosewood fingerboard and a set of custom Fender Jason Isbell Telecaster Pickups. The bridge is a custom-modified unit with vintage-style brass saddles, and the neck has a vintage-accurate 7.25″ radius.

Yeah so EVH just announced my dream Wolfgang

Have you seen the new gear from EVH yet? Among the guitars announced was this beauty.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’d know I have a big thing for blue guitars. My main guitar right now is my blue Kiesel Vader headless, and I post blue Ernie Ball Music Man Axis guitars with tiring regularity. So this new EVH Wolfgang Special QM in Chlorine Burst is totally my jam. The only thing I would change would be to swap the pickups for a zebra set. But other than that, this guitar is everything I want.

Okay, enough of my yakkin’. Here’s the press release, which includes info on plenty new models plus something fun: a reflector kit to more accurately spec out your EVH Striped Series Frankie.

Scottsdale, Ariz. (January 11, 2021) – The industry saw record guitar-playing interest in 2020 but also sadly said goodbye to one of the most innovative and influential players of its time. Eddie Van Halen’s singularly inventive style inspired an entire generation of players. He innovated not only in how he played but what he played and what he played through by creating some of the greatest guitars and amps the world has seen and heard. EVH® today announced a slate of new product offerings for the first half of 2021 designed to honor and continue the legacy of the late Eddie Van Halen including new models for the 5150® Series, Wolfgang® Special and Wolfgang® WG Standard.
5150® SERIES
Engineered for speed, comfort and full-throttle attitude, the reimagined EVH® 5150® Series models are an iconic blast from the past that blend both throwback and modernized features, including the all-new addition of a kill switch for high-velocity rock.
The 5150 Series models feature a modified Strat®-style basswood body with deeper upper body curve, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck carved and rolled to Eddie Van Halen’s specifications with hand-rubbed satin urethane back finish and graphite reinforcement, 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets, heel-mount truss rod adjustment spoke wheel, hockey stick color matched headstock with logo decal, direct mount EVH Wolfgang® bridge and neck humbucking pickups, three-way toggle switch on the upper bout, kill switch on the lower bout, volume control (500K EVH Bourns® Low Friction Pot) with treble bleed circuit, tone control (250K EVH Bourns® High Friction Pot), EVH-branded Gotoh® tuning machines and top-mount EVH-branded Floyd Rose® bridge with EVH D-Tuna® and R3 locking nut. Models include:
·      The 5150® Series Deluxe Poplar Burl ($999.99 EST US Street, £899 MSRP, €999 MSRP, $1,999 AUD RRP) stuns with a unique poplar burl top that is wrapped in Aqua Burst or Black Burst. This model also features chrome hardware and an ebony fingerboard with cream dot inlays. Available April 2021.    
·      The 5150® Series Standard, Ebony ($899.99 EST US Street, £899 MSRP, €999 MSRP, $1,7999 AUD RRP) boasts spotlight-ready style in all-new Ice Blue Metallic or Stealth Black finishes with black hardware. This model features an ebony fingerboard with cream dot inlays. Available February 2021.
·      The 5150® Series Standard, Maple ($899.99 EST US Street, £899 MSRP, €999 MSRP, $1,7999 AUD RRP) screams in a Neon Pink finish with chrome hardware. This model features a maple fingerboard with black dot inlays. Available February 2021.
Road-tested in arenas around the world, the EVH® Wolfgang® Special models are purebred music-making machines, designed with stunning style, giant sound and high-speed playability.
The Wolfgang® Special models feature a basswood body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck carved and rolled to Eddie Van Halen’s specifications with hand-rubbed satin urethane back finish and graphite reinforcement, 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets, heel-mount truss rod adjustment spoke wheel, direct mount EVH Wolfgang® Alnico 2 bridge and neck humbucking pickups, three-way toggle switch, EVH volume control (500K EVH Bourns® Low Friction Pot) with treble bleed circuit, tone control (250K EVH Bourns® High Friction Pot) and top-mount EVH-branded Floyd Rose® bridge with EVH D-Tuna® and R2 locking nut. Models include:
·      The Wolfgang® Special QM ($1,099.99 EST US Street, £1,259 MSRP, €1,399 MSRP, $2,999 AUD RRP) is spotlight-ready in Charcoal Burst or Chlorine Burst with cream body binding and chrome hardware. This model features a baked maple neck and fingerboard with black dot inlays. Available March 2021.
·      The Wolfgang® Special ($999.99 EST US Street, £1,259 MSRP, €1,399 MSRP, $2,199 AUD RRP) is offered in an all-new Miami Blue finish with black body binding, color matched headstock and black hardware. This model features a maple neck and ebony fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays. Available February 2021.
Wolfgang® WG Standard boasts the same style and massive sound Eddie Van Halen created—at a price the everyday musician can afford.
These instruments feature a basswood body, baked maple neck with graphite reinforcement and hand-rubbed oil back finish, 12”-16” compound radius baked maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets and black dot inlays, heel-mount truss rod adjustment spoke wheel, direct mount EVH Wolfgang® bridge and neck humbucking pickups, three-way toggle switch, single volume control with treble bleed circuit, single tone control and EVH-branded Floyd Rose® Special bridge and R2 locking nut. Models include:
·      The Wolfgang® WG Standard Exotic Bocote ($699.99 EST US Street, £599 MSRP, €659 MSRP, $1,4999 AUD RRP) is available in a Natural finish with black headstock and black chrome hardware. Features include a bocote top and masked-off natural body binding. Available February 2021.
·      The Wolfgang® WG Standard Exotic Koa ($699.99 EST US Street, £599 MSRP, €659 MSRP, $1,4999 AUD RRP) comes in a Natural finish with black headstock and black chrome hardware. Features include a koa top and masked-off natural body binding. Available February 2021.
·      The Wolfgang® WG Standard QM ($699.99 EST US Street, £599 MSRP, €659 MSRP, $1,4999 AUD RRP) is available in an all-new Transparent Green with a black headstock and black chrome hardware. Features include a quilt maple top and masked-off natural body binding. Available February 2021.
·      The Wolfgang® WG Standard is decked out in head-turning Silver Sparkle ($699.99 EST US Street, £599 MSRP, €659 MSRP, $1,4999 AUD RRP) or Stryker Red ($649.99 EST US Street, £599 MSRP, €659 MSRP, $1,4999 AUD RRP) finishes with black headstocks and black hardware. Available February 2021.
EVH accessories for 2021 include new gig bags, a Frankenstein™ reflector kit, skateboard, clothing, collectibles and more. For a complete list, visit
·      The EVH® Star/Shark Economy Gig Bag features an EVH logo with external storage compartments and back straps.
·      The EVH® Wolfgang®/Striped Series Economy Gig Bag features an EVH logo with external storage compartments and back straps.
·      The EVH® Wolfgang®/Striped Series Gig Bag features padded ends and sides, an EVH logo, external storage compartments, back straps and side handle.
·      The EVH® Frankenstein™ Reflector Kit set includes four round red reflectors, two orange round reflectors and two oval orange reflectors.
For technical specs, additional information on new EVH products and to find a retail partner near you, visit


No, y’know what? SUCK IT, Hot Lixx Guitar.

When I was a kid, Tyco came out with the Hot Lixx toy guitar. The ads were all some variation of some cool kid, with cool kid hair, blowing away all the other cool kids with their mad guitar skills, often while bragging ‘never had a single lesson.’


And look at this.


There was even one (which I can’t seem to find on YouTube, but it definitely happened because it left its horrid insulting imprint on my growing brain when I was most vulnerable) where some adult rock star lookin’ dudes were auditioning guitar players, then a kid came in and wheedled on his Hot Lixx and bragged about never having had a lesson or been to GIT or sold his soul at the crossroads or even been to one of those John Petrucci guitar camps I can’t afford.

Do you know how mad this made me?

Do you have any idea how my ten-year-old heart raged with indignity at the utter injustice of suggesting it’s all in the gear?!?

Watch the video for MSG’s ‘Drilled To Kill’

PRESS RELEASE: Michael Schenker has completed the recording of a brand new MSG album, Immortal, which is set to be released via Nuclear Blast on January 29th, 2021. The album title is a perfect statement describing Michael Schenker’s legacy and to celebrate his 50th anniversary as a musician. Today, the band has released a lyric video for their first single ‘Drilled To Kill’; a heavy up-tempo track which is also the opening song on the album. The track features the legendary PRIMAL FEAR singer Ralf Scheepers on vocals, whilst Michael Schenker and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION etc.) engage in an exciting battle of guitar vs. keyboard.

Watch the video for ‘Drilled To Kill’ here:

Stream the Single HERE on the Australian Nuclear Fall Out playlist

Pre-Order on iTunes:

The tracklist reads as follows:
01. Drilled To Kill
02. Don´t Die On Me Now
03. Knight Of The Dead
04. After The Rain
05. Devil’s Daughter
06. Sail The Darkness
07. The Queen Of Thorns And Roses
08. Come On Over
09. Sangria Morte
10. In Search Of The Peace Of Mind

The album was predominantly recorded at the Kidroom Studio in Germany, with Michael’s long-time partner Michael Voss who co-produced the album and also sings on two tracks. The cover artwork of Immortal was created by Zsofia Dankova(POWERWOLF etc.).

Immortal will continue the tradition of the previous two MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST records Resurrectionand Revelation featuring a big list of friends and guests. The album’s main vocalist will be uprising Chilean born talent Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW etc.), along with Michael Voss (MAD MAX etc.), Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR) and Joe Lynn Turner(ex-DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW etc.) singing on two tracks each. Besides Michael Schenker himself, the album was recorded with Steve Mann (keyboards), Barry Sparks (bass, DOKKEN etc.), as well as the three drummers Bodo Schopf, SimonPhilipps (ex-TOTO) and Brian Tichy (ex-WHITESNAKE). The newest addition to the record is keyboard player Derek Sherinian (ex-DREAM THEATER, ex-KISS etc.), who plays on the album’s opening track, featuring German power machine Ralf Scheepers on vocals.

Immortal will feature ten tracks, including the magnum opus ‘In Search Of The Peace Of Mind’. ‘’I wrote this song when I was 15 years old, it was my first ever written piece of music which I recorded with SCORPIONS on our first studio album Lonesome Crow in 1970, getting released in 1972. We re-recorded this song for my 50th anniversary as a celebration and it turned out to be an epic; with an extra extension at the end of the song, which turned out absolutely fantastic with Simon Phillips on drums, doing his usual amazing stuff.“  The result is a true highlight and features even more surprises:  ‘’Gary Barden sings the first verse,  continued by Ronnie Romero – and in the end we have Ronnie, Doogie White and Robin McAuley screaming their heads off, as a tribute to my 50th anniversary. Absolute amazing. Thanks to the guys for doing this!“

The limited first edition of this upcoming MSG album will feature another unique extra: ‘’It will include the MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST – Bang Your Head – Blu-ray, which was recorded during our headline show in Balingen/Germany two years ago: Unfixed, raw, pure and great! There’s a couple of small mistakes, but because the show and recording went so well, I decided to keep it the way it went on the night. It’s live, magic and pure.’’

For More Info:


Hear the new Bob Evans single, ‘Born Yesterday’

PRESS RELEASE: Dearly loved Australian singer songwriter, Bob Evans has today announced his new single Born Yesterday, a gorgeous, nostalgia-soaked rambler of a track, out today, Novermber 19.  Born Yesterday is also accompanied by a beautiful, glowing video clip which serves as an ode to touring during a year where it was impossible.  Bob Evans, the ARIA-winning alter ego of Jebediah frontman Kevin Mitchell, has graced the Australian music scene for more than two decades and has written some of the country’s most beloved songs and Born Yesterday will not disappoint his loyal audience.

Born Yesterday is perfect for that classic Aussie drive to the beach – it feels like summer holidays.  Glistening guitars spread luxuriously as Mitchell’s idiosyncratic vocal hits those brilliant notes in the hook-laden chorus – then the track hits unprecedented highs with a killer sax solo right in the middle of the song.  Produced by Steven Schram (Paul Kelly, Kate Miller-Heidke), Born Yesterday is a stunning addition to the Bob Evans discography, as Mitchell explains the inspiration behind the song, “I was backstage at a Jebediah gig when an old housemate from Perth messaged me with a link to our old share house we lived in that was for sale.  We couldn’t believe it when looking through the photos of the house that it hadn’t changed at all since we lived there in the late 90’s.  What followed was a slew of messaging between us, as well as the other two friends I used to live with in that house.  It was my first share house after leaving home and the whole exchange between us and seeing the house again just brought back a lot of great memories from that time and age, my late teens and early twenties.  I already had the music for the song pretty much written at that stage so all I needed was the lyric to go with it.  It’s a deeply nostalgic song for me, looking back at a stage of my life that feels so long ago now, but at the time it felt like it would last forever.”

The clip for Born Yesterday captures this nostalgia flawlessly.  Shot as though on a vintage super 8 camera, the viewer follows the Bob Evans touring party through gigs, travel, and recording, as the handwritten lyrics fade in and out as the melodies pass.  It’s a perfect reflection of the mood of the song, as Mitchell describes, “My friend Arlo Cook has been taking footage of me at shows and in the studio for years and he came in to the studio while we were recording and took footage, not with anything in particular in mind.  I knew the song would really suit a more abstract kind of video, because it’s about memories, so lots of home made visual snapshots was how I imagined it and then as COVID happened and lockdowns happened, it became more and more obvious that we should make that kind of video.  So it mixes footage from the last few years with footage from during lockdown.  There’s even a couple of seconds of my two kids at the beach in there as well.  It will forever be a document of this strange year we’ve lived through, which I’m really happy to have captured.”

Born Yesterday is out now via Dew Process.

Bob Evans is Kevin Mitchell. 



Bob Evans  – BORN YESTERDAY –  Official single artwork

Artwork credit: Carl Breitkreuz


SAT 12 DEC | THE PELICAN BAR, QUEENSCLIFF, VIC | 18+ | 3:00-5:00pm

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