New Van Halen Live Album Details

VanHalen_Live_Cover_SmallerOkay, so you’ve surely heard by now that Van Halen will release their first ever live album to feature David Lee Roth. There was, of course, Live: Right Here, Right Now back in the 90s, and I wore that damn thing out on VHS and cassette. This new album, Tokyo Dome Live In Concert, is only being released as audio, but here’s what’s super-cool about this one compared to Live: Right Here, Right Now: the band has gone for a warts-and-all approach with no vocal touch-ups, whereas Sammy Hagar revealed in his autobiography that the band very heavily re-recorded that first record. Kudos to the mighty VH for keeping it authentic. Read More …

EVH 5150III 1×12 50-watt combo amp

EVH 5150III 1x12 50W Combo

Gooood… goooooooood. Eddie Van Halen’s EVH has announced the release of the long-awaited 5150III 50-watt combo amp with a single 12″ speaker and power scaling. Note that it’s a pretty damn big amp – none of this ‘just enough space to cram a twelve-incher into (hehe). So this isn’t exactly a mini amp by any stretch of the imagination – in fact it almost looks as big as the 2X12 version! I look forward to testing this beastie out some day. Here’s the press release:

PRESS RELEASE: After nearly three years in development, EVH is pleased to announce the launch of the 5150III 1×12 50-watt combo amplifier. This is not your average 1×12 combo by any stretch. In line with Eddie Van Halen’s legacy, this 1×12 is a true game changer, making players swear they’re standing in front of a half-stack. Read More …

Introducing Black Lightning Gallery

black lightning gallery

Are you a fan of great guitar music? Of course you are. Do you need some inspiration for the wall of your music space? Maybe a shrine to your favourite artists? Or just something cool to hang above the fireplace? Check out Black Lightning Gallery in Los Angeles. Founded by Rohan Ocean, Black Lightning Gallery is about to unveil a fine art photography collection from prolific rock photographer Gene Kirkland (whose work I’ve long admired – his name is burned into my head from all sorts of guitar mags). The photos include a recently discovered collection of some of rock’s most pivotal and historically important moments. Vai and DLR. Metallica taking over the world. Guns N’ Roses at the “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” video shoot. Aerosmith. Black Sabbath. Ozzy getting chummy with a white dove (from the cover of Guitar School magazine – I totally have that issue in the other room). Randy Rhoads. Motley Crue at the “Girls, Girls, Girls” video shoot. They’ll be released as numbered, signed limited edition prints exclusively via Black Lightning Gallery, and will only be available until the limited numbers are sold. there will not be additional runs of the photos.

Here’s an example of some of the great stuff you’ll see on the site:

black lightning gallery james hetfield

“Metallica were unstoppable in 1988. A new album And Justice for All… was released. Their first single release ‘One’ came with a haunting and unforgettable video, Making the song itself display the full meaning of the lyrics. The band was shot in black and white while the movie had color moments in the flashbacks.
The following Justice world tour was massive in scope with 5 legs and 222 dates. Staging included the huge Dorothy statue recreated from the cover of the album that broke down during the title track. A full lighting rig that come off and swung very close to Lars’ drum riser. The justice show was epic. The full experience is immortalized and officially released in the Live Shit: Binge and Purge Box set recording at Seattle Coliseum, Seattle, Washington over 2 night on August 29 and 30, 1989.”

 

Incoming New Guitar Day: Squier Bass VI

squier-vintage-modified-bass-vi-630-80Sometimes it’s nice to treat yerself (even if it means living on ramen noodles for a few weeks), so to celebrate two years of my super-awesome job I’m treating myself to a Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI. I’ve had a crush on these things ever since they were announced, but my lust for the Bass VI goes back to when I first saw Spinal Tap and became curious about the surf-green guitar that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty Di Bergi touch (or even look at). The Bass VI is a relatively obscure and definitely interesting instrument which looks almost like a Fender Jaguar but is tuned a full octave below a guitar. It can be played like a bass, like a guitar, or like its own instrument, which is really what it is. You can hear the Bass VI in music by The Cure (seriously, it’s all over so much Cure stuff that it’s hard to imagine their sound without it) and plenty of stuff by Placebo too.  Read More …

INTERVIEW: Dave Leslie of The Baby Animals

daveandsuzeHot off the success of their first studio album release in 20 years, This Is Not The End (and its Top 20 ARIA Album Chart debut), iconic Aussie rockers The Baby Animals are hitting the road for the national Feed The Birds tour. The tour will be filmed for the band’s first ever live DVD, to be called Feed the Birds (Live). And Baby Animals can always be counted on for great guitar moments courtesy of lead guitarist Dave Leslie and vocalist Suze DeMarchi. Dave’s one of those incredibly adapatble players who is able to sound perfectly at home whether he’s playing a simple rhythm part, dishing out the shred or – and this seems to be his most impressive skill – playing the kind of stuff that sounds simple until you try to play it yourself, whereupon you learn that it’s impossibly perfect and unpredictable. I Heart Guitar caught up with Dave right before the tour kick-off to talk shop.  Read More …

My Favourite Guitar And Bass Intros

IntrosIs there anything better than a good song intro? Well, yeah. I can think of a few things, and some of them even have something to do with music. But still, there’s just something magical about a great song intro. Whether it’s an unaccompanied slab of guitar wizardry, some kind of unexpected time signature, a chunk of mysteriously atmospheric ambience or even just  some kind of silly bit if dialog recorded in the studio, a good intro can set the scene and build anticipation for the song proper. So in celebration of the glories of the intro, here are a few of my favourites, divided in to guitar and bass examples. What are yours?

To buy music by any of these bands, hit up Amazon.com
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BVB Hits Back At ‘Fake Cab’ Haters

Black-Veil-Brides-fake-cabsThe other day a photo surfaced on the internets of Black Veil Brides performing with some dummy speaker cabs – empty cabinets placed on stage for visual effect. And I guess BVB are a band who attract a lot of haters for some reason, so a lot of people pounced on them for it. Like they were looking for some excuse to accuse the band of being fakes. But y’know what? I really don’t get what all the fuss is about here. Bands have been using fake cabs to fill in stage space for decades. You think Van Halen or Slayer are really going through all of those cabinets? A wall of speakers is part of the rock vernacular. It’s just something we expect to see. And if you choose to do without it, you have to get creative in order to do something with that empty space, otherwise it’s just going to look bare and boring. Read More …