REVIEW: DiMarzio Gravity Storm Steve Vai humbuckers

Steve Vai has used various signature DiMarzio pickups over the years: the Evolution, the Breed, the Blaze, Evolution 7 and Evolution 2 (as well as the set made exclusively for the transparent acrylic 20th Anniversary Jem). And his pickups have something in common with his music: they all seem to be designed to explore and address a specific sonic question. The Evolution is bright, middy and somewhat hyper, for instance, while the Breed is warmer and more vintage. Steve’s new Gravity Storm set comes from a different place to the Evo, Blaze or Breed. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott

Arch Enemy are about to embark on the last round of touring for last year’s excellent Khaos Legions.  More melodic and with maybe a touch less death than you might expect from a melodic death metal band, Khaos Legions is also the last Arch Enemy album to feature guitarist Chris Amott, whose departure from the band was announced earlier this month. But mere line-up changes can’t keep Arch Enemy down: new guitarist Nick Cordle of Arsis has taken up the co-guitarist throne alongside Michael Amott, and the band has a lot to say and do before they put the full stop at the end of Khaos Legions.

You’re about to come to Australia for a very short tour. Only two shows. You know what that means for a lot of fans: heavy metal road trip!

Yeah! We’re happy that we got the opportunity to play Australia at all this year, but it’s just these two shows. We wanted to play it safe. And it’s at the end of an Asia run. We start in Japan and do four shows there, then we go round Singapore, the Philippines, Korea, various places around Asia. Then we got the opportunity with a new promoter to tack on these two Australian shows, Melbourne and Sydney. We’re just really excited about doing it. I guess it’s been a couple of years since we were there now.

The last time I saw you were was probably Gigantour.

Yeah. I think the last time we were there was ’09. We did Gigantour, we’ve done a few different things down there. This will be our fourth or fifth visit to Australia, and this will be the last one in a while. We’re obviously not going to come back this year after these shows, then next year, 2013 is going to be a year off for Arch Enemy mostly. We’ll probably put out a new album in 2014. So I don’t know, maybe 2015 we’ll be back, if metal is still around at that point! So it’s going to be a while, so if anybody wants to see us and get their dose of Arch Enemy this is the last one for a while.

Obviously the hot topic at the moment is Chris’s departure from the band. What’s the story?

Well, Chris informed us in October last year that he wanted to leave the band. Again. [Laughs]. He’s been out of the band, in 2005, 2006, 2007.

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NEWS: Limted Edition Ibanez RG30AH

I just found this tucked away on the website of Melbourne msuic store Eastgate Music. A little while ago to not much fanfare, Eastgate posted about the forthcoming Ibanez RG30AH, a special version of the RG550 being released to celebrate 30 years of Ibanez availablity in Australia, where they are distributed by Australis Music. The guitars will feature a maple fretboard with a special Southern Cross star inlay, original Wizard neck shape and original Edge trem. They will be limited to 60 numbered pieces. Eastgate has pictures of the prototype, which has the old school Ibanez ‘swoosh’ logo, but the final version will have the Prestige logo instead. Recommended retail price is $2,495, and Eastgate will be getting 2, one of which is already sold, according to their website.
These look an awful lot like last year’s
RG550 20th anniversary reissue, which were built largely to 1987 specs but with improved neck construction and hotter versions of the original pickups. The 20th annversary version was available in black, desert sun yellow and roadflare red.
It seems more information about this limited edition guitar is very scarce. I’ve only found one other reference to it, from way back in March at the Ibanez Collectors website. If anyone’s seen these popping up in stores already, or if you have one, I’d love to hear about it.
In the interests of full disclosure, I have no association with Eastgate other than playing a bunch of guitars there and geeking out over Ibanez with them. If they happen to stumble across this page, hi guys! Hehe.