Twenty-five years ago, White Lion released their breakthrough album, Pride. The album, which featured two Top 10 hits, peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard charts and sold more than two million copies in the U.S. alone. Pride became one of the most-heralded pop-metal albums of the 1980s with Vito Bratta’s signature melodic guitar work and the heartfelt lyrics and vocals of Mike Tramp.
On the first leg of Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth tour, toward the end of the band’s set, there was a moment during the middle of Eddie Van Halen’s solo spot in the show where the world seemed to stop spinning. Even the techs, security staff and backstage production personnel would stop what they were doing to focus on the celestial sounds emanating from the stage, with huge smiles on their faces that mirrored Ed’s beatific grin as he unleashed a staggering cascade of notes. At that particular point in Ed’s solo, it was clear that there was no place in the world that they’d rather be.
Guitarist Dee J Nelson is making a name for himself. The Chicago-based southpaw shredder, whose DVDs, Monster Power Chords and Lead Guitar DNA, have become hugely popular on Metal Method, has recently released It’s Alive, an album of guitar wizardry that will have players everywhere asking, “How’d he do that?”
As a renowned voice teacher, Peter Strobl has recently gained notoriety for his work with Wolfgang Van Halen, taking him from teenage vocalist to professional singer through intensive preparation for road and studio. However, Strobl’s longstanding career in the music industry spans an interesting and unique array of skills. In addition to teaching, he also is a musician, luthier and producer, and years ago was studio manager at the legendary Shangri La studio in Malibu, California, where Mark Knopfler recorded his 2004 album of the same name.
Ask any guitarist to describe Eric Johnson in one word, and you'll likely get one response: “Tone." Johnson took the music world by storm with the release of his 1986 album Tones and the subsequent Ah Via Musicom from 1990. Since that time, he's released a successful DVD, appeared on several G3 and Experience Hendrix tours -- and he's even won a Grammy.
Loverboy, the Canadian rock band whose songs “Working For The Weekend," “Hot Girls in Love” and “Queen of The Broken Hearts” have become staples of classic rock radio, have released Rock 'N' Roll Revival, a new album of re-recorded hits and new songs. The band is on a massive nationwide tour supporting fellow veteran rockers Journey, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.
When it comes to his musical influences, Wayne Krantz takes an approach to the guitar that is at once counter-intuitive and wholly original. “My sound has always been a reaction against the guitar players that were of greatest importance to me,” says the Oregon native and New York City–based guitarist. “My playing was shaped by an intentional step away from the influences that I’d had up to the time that I got really serious about playing, because I realized that the lesson all of those guys were teaching me was to not be like them—the whole point was to try to find my own thing. So I realized I couldn’t go on expressing my love for them through my playing anymore, and I had to begin a search for something else.”
I hate it when my bandmates won’t try new ideas,” says Eric Peterson, Testament’s longtime rhythm guitarist and principal songwriter. “I’ve tried putting slower songs on every record, and usually Chuck [Billy, frontman] isn’t feeling it. He’s insecure about singing on quieter songs. But this time around, he’d say no and then turn around and go, ‘Okay, I’ll try it.’ ”