Edward Van Halen welcomes me to 5150, his legendary 24-track home studio, with a handshake and a slap on the back. For a split second, I am unable to return the warm greeting, as I am dumbstruck: standing in front of me, it seems, is not Edward but his evil twin.
Dropped by her label and discouraged from years of touring, O’Connor took a break and went into a funk that she’s come out of in grand style. I Want What You Want was released November 8 (on her birthday, no less). Produced by Tom Beaujour (editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine and owner of Nuthouse Recording), O’Connor draws you in with her introspective lyrics and sincere delivery.
It’s hump time in Toronto. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company have rolled into town, ready to begin preparations for this year’s version of the Summer Stones. There are stage models to be examined, promotional campaigns to be mapped out, lighting schemes to be configured. Oh yeah -- and music to be played
On their self-titled debut album, MonstrO -- bassist Kyle Sanders [ex-Bloodsimple], drummer Bevan Davies [ex-Bloodsimple, Danzig], guitarist Juan Montoya [ex-Torche], and vocalist and guitarist Charlie Suarez -- not only manage to combine the heaviness of Sabbath with the weirdness of Pink Floyd, they do it in a way that feels natural, unlike so many of the bands that tend to describe themselves in "We're like (band 1) meets (band 2)!" terms.
"Some people just don't understand," he sighs. "They say, 'You're crazy to leave Ozzy, Zakk. You could have played arenas forever. Now you're going to have to play small clubs.' Well, fuck you. I'm not in this for a rock star lifestyle. I'm in it to play my guitar. And I'd play it in a toilet if that's the only place people would come hear me."
Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't get away from Five Finger Death Punch right now. Their new album, American Capitalist, sold over 93,000 copies in its first week on sale to land comfortably in the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Charts and you can't turn on active rock radio for more than ten minutes without catching the album's first single, "Under and Over It."
Zakk Wylde has a diverse palate and has, over the years, bagged many gigs as a guest guitarist for artists of nearly every genre, including a spot on American Idol with singer and Idol finalist James Durbin earlier this year, wailing away on the Sammy Hagar classic, "Heavy Metal," from the movie of the same name.
With a number one album, a high-profile stadium tour and non-stop radio airplay, Pink Floyd appear to be everywhere -- and, oddly, nowhere. In an era when MTV appearances and revealing magazine interviews are de rigueur for rock stars on the make, the members of Floyd have methodically kept the media at bay.
Jimmy Herring is a stunning jazz/rock virtuoso. Though his resume includes touring with classic rock legends The Allman Brothers Band, fusion icons Lenny White and Billy Cobham, and jam staples The Dead and Widespread Panic, he has remained relatively unknown within the guitar community.
Sam Llanas, the former lead singer and guitarist of The BoDeans, takes listeners deep into the night on his new solo album, 4 A.M. (The Way Home), which was released October 25 via Inner Knot Records. The album, an intimate, mostly acoustic collection, was produced by Gary Tanin and features 10 new Llanas originals and a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through the Night.”