It’s been about five years since Vox introduced the 15-watt Night Train amp head, a diminutive lunch-box-format mini amp that packs an impressive punch.
An upgrade of the previous NT50H head, the Night Train NT50H-G2 is the most powerful, gig-worthy and versatile Vox Night Train amp to date, providing several new features like digital reverb, an XLR speaker-emulated DI jack and more performance-friendly functionality than its predecessor.
Alex Skolnick is among a few guitarists who have achieved multigenre success and acclaim, first as a wild young gun with the iconic metal thrash band Testament, and then as a tasteful and technically impressive jazzbo with the Alex Skolnick Trio.
“That album has the song ‘I Can See for Miles,’ which really put the hooks in me. The Who Sell Out is still weird now! Nobody does anything that cool today. It’s great and goes all over the map, musically speaking.
“My Aim Is True was a huge influence on our first record. We all really love rhythm and blues and the immediacy of it—that sort of ballsy thing—but I also really love melodies; I’m a huge fan of Scott Walker and all those big-sounding Sixties records with beautiful melodies. Costello seemed to just get it right in the middle.”
Probably 99 Percent of the guitars built with graphics inspired by Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon feature the album cover’s iconic prism design. Mark “Gig” Goldstein’s Dark Side of the Moon guitar also includes the prism, but it is just one small detail in a larger tableau that he carved into the front of a Gibson SG—a scene that tells the album’s entire story.
“My dad turned me on to all the metal I listened to when I was younger. We’d listen to a lot of Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne. But when he played Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell for me, that was what really made me want to play metal and be in a band. That Pantera record changed everything for me.
“Before that, I played guitar a little bit, but it was mostly about playing drop-D power chords. Nothing serious. But the possibilities of what music could be expanded so much after I heard Scenes from a Memory. It was a mind fuck. I stopped playing drums and took guitar seriously. I sat down and learned as much of the solos and riffs on that album as I could. That’s how I started developing my chops.
“I was 19 and attending [The University of California] Santa Barbara when Bringing It All Back Home came out. I was taking a lot of acid in those days, and everything Dylan said just really connected with me. There are a lot of great songs on that album—‘Maggie’s Farm,’ ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.’ ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ is one of my favorites.
“Surfing with the Alien made it apparent to me early on that you didn’t even have to have a vocalist to create an incredible and enjoyable album. It’s safe to say I wouldn’t be the player I am now, or probably even be a musician at all, without this album being available to me when it was."