INTERVIEW: Nick Catanese

It can be an intimidating thing to stand up on stage with one of the greats and be expected to match them lick for lick, night after night. But that’s what Nick Catanese does. As second guitarist in Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Catanese has to keep up with Zakk’s killer riffs, hold down the fort when the Wylde one takes a solo, and even handle some pretty high-profile leads of his own when required. Catanese has a reputation as a hard-working, reliable player who gets the job done with efficiency, energy and stage presence. And although his role is mainly a live one, Catanese has put in the hard yards to earn a rather nice Paul Reed Smith SE signature model.


Catanese recently took the opportunity to redesign his SE model. The original version was a more modern-looking, aggressive black and red affair, while the new one has more of a classic look. “It’s basically the same weight, dimensions, frets, everything, but the red flame top, all the chrome, the Chrome EMG pickups… we’re trying to go with the ’57 Chevy look,” Catanese says. “But it has the same neck dimensions. I like thick necks. No fret markers. The thing that’s different with this one is, on my first one I thought I was being cool when I put red fret dots on it, which looked cool in the light, but when the lights went down I couldn’t see anything! I had no fret markers or dots, so I was pretty screwed!”


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NAMM 2012: PRS SE Orianthi, Navarro, Fredrik Åkesson models

PRS continues to go from strength to strength with their SE line. The quality of these babies just keeps going up and up, and the variety and creativity of the sig models is pretty impressive too.

Opeth’s Fredrik Åkesson joins bandmade Mikael Akerfelt as an SE artist with this classy little number (Pics below). Single extra-deep cutaway for better upper fret access, maple top with quilted maple veneer and thick mahogany back, 24.5” scale length, 22 fret wide fat mahogany neck with ebony fretboard and PRS bird inlays, and TonePros adjustable stoptail bridge. As per Åkesson’s request the controls are flipped around with the treble pickup controls in front of the bass pickup controls. Makes sense to me, dude.

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NEWS: Nick Catanese leaves Washburn for PRS

Well looky looky. Black Label Society’s Nick Catanese has left Washburn, who made his signature model, and has moved on to Paul Reed Smith. Here’s what PRS had to say about it.

PRS Guitars is proud to welcome Black Label Society Guitarist Nick “Evil Twin” Catanese as the newest member of the PRS artist family. Years ago Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde dubbed Catanese “Evil Twin” in honor of his epic musical chops that kept the pace with Wylde’s intense live and studio performances. Nick has been with Zakk for the last 13 years and has not only toured the world over numerous times, but has contributed to two live DVD releases, nine studio releases and has hailed the stage for too many Ozzfests to count. Nick has also formed a band with Mike Stone from Queensrÿche (guitar and vocals) Josh Sattler (bass) of DoubleDrive and drummer Mike Froedge of Doubledrive. Their debut album will be released sometime by mid 2009 under the band name Speed X. PRS is thrilled to have Nick join the team and is looking forward to making guitars he can shred to his heart’s content.

CLICK HERE to look for the Washburn Nick Catanese model on eBay, since I guess they’ve gotta stop making it now!