Interviews en John 5 Shows Off His Telecaster Collection and Discusses New Album, 'Careful with That Axe' <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an excerpt from the October 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this story, plus features on Stevie Ray Vaughan (a 60th-birthday bash!), Yes, the 60th anniversary of the Fender Strat, columns, tabs and reviews of new gear from TC Electronic, PureSalem Guitars, Martin, Seymour Duncan, Prestige Guitars and more, <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=John5Excerpt">check out the October 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></p> <p>“It all starts when you get your first guitar for Christmas or your birthday,” John 5 explains. “You never know what that guitar is going to bring you. Is it going to bring you happiness or sadness, fortune or poverty?”</p> <p>In John’s case, that first guitar, acquired at the tender age of seven, has led to a stellar career as one of recent rock’s most admired and sought-after guitarslingers. He’s enjoyed high-profile stints with everyone from Marilyn Manson to David Lee Roth to k.d. lang to Lynyrd Skynyrd. </p> <p>Since 2005, he’s been guitarist-in-chief for Rob Zombie and is currently working on the score for Zombie’s newest horror flick, <em>31</em>. In the past decade, the man born John William Lowery has also emerged as a solo artist and all-around virtuoso guitar hero in his own right. He pioneered the now-popular, if unlikely, hybrid of shred guitar and wild country pickin’, and serves it up with his own twisted sense of campy goth panache. </p> <p>John’s newest solo album, his eighth to date, is called <em>Careful with That Axe</em> and features bassist Matt Bissonette (Joe Satriani, David Lee Roth, Elton John) and drummer Rodger Carter (Lita Ford, Gene Simmons, Glen Campbell). The album is packed with all the speed-demon riffology and feats of fretboard acrobatics that his fans have come to expect. “I wanted to make this record so intense,” he says. “You know, it’s a guitar record. It’s not like anything else. So I just wanted to make it absolutely insane. Really crazy playing.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The album’s title is a nod to Pink Floyd’s 1968 tour de force psychedelic jam “Careful with that Axe, Eugene.” But given the macabre side of John’s persona, he feels that the name has a special resonance in his case. “An axe is a guitar, obviously,” he says. “But the phrase ‘careful with that axe’ could also be about ax murders, and some of the song titles revolve around ax murders.”</p> <p>While his over-the-top playing style is always reckless and daring, John has indeed been careful with his ax, steering it from triumph to triumph amid the meltdown vicissitudes of the music business. And he’s especially careful with the axes in his legendary collection of mint-condition vintage Telecasters. </p> <p>“I’m a Telecaster connoisseur, and I love my Teles,” he says. “I have one from almost every year since the very beginning, in 1950. I’m so obsessed with them. I just really enjoy the history of Fender—the story of Fender and how it all came about. I have a collector’s soul.” </p> <p>For <em>Careful with That Axe</em>, John mainly stuck with his favorite contemporary Fender, a gold John 5 signature model Tele. “I’ve had that guitar for about six years now, and it’s just worn in beautifully,” he says. “I play it all the time. I didn’t use a lot of other guitars on the album just because we were playing everything live in the studio and just this one guitar gave me pretty much everything I needed. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>"I only used one Marshall JVM combo amp with a Boss Super Overdrive, Boss Noise Supressor and Boss Chorus. That’s pretty much what I use live too, when I’m playing with Zombie, and I wanted to have that vibe in the studio. I didn’t use a lot of gear this time because I just wanted to do everything with my hands. I went into this kind of like a boxer. I trained and trained, and I rehearsed quite a bit with Rodger and Matt. I think they both did a phenomenal job with this, just sounding out of control at times, but then pulling back on the songs that called for that.”</p> <p>The album reflects on John’s formative years as a guitar monster in training, starting with the opening track, “We Need to Have a Talk About John.” A chaotic collage of wild sounds and spoken-voice snippets, it sets the mood for what’s to come. “When my parents gave me that first guitar, I became totally obsessed,” John says. </p> <p><em>Photo: Sean Murphy</em></p> <p><em>This is an excerpt from the October 2014 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this story, plus features on Stevie Ray Vaughan (a 60th-birthday bash!), Yes, the 60th anniversary of the Fender Strat, columns, tabs and reviews of new gear from TC Electronic, PureSalem Guitars, Martin, Seymour Duncan, Prestige Guitars and more, <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=John5Excerpt">check out the October 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></em></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-08-12%20at%203.40.45%20PM_1.png" width="620" height="806" alt="Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.40.45 PM_1.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john5">John5</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> John 5 October 2014 Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 18 Aug 2014 16:28:08 +0000 Alan di Perna Dear Guitar Hero: Former Kiss Guitarist Bruce Kulick Talks Getting Shot, His Proudest Guitar Moments, Signature Guitar and More <!--paging_filter--><p><em>He’s a former Kiss guitarist from their makeup-free era in the late Eighties and early Nineties. But what </em>Guitar World<em> readers really want to know is…</em></p> <p><strong>What is the story behind your new Rock N’ Roll Relics guitar? — Michael Steadman</strong></p> <p>I was first introduced to Billy Rowe, the owner of Rock N’ Roll Relics, at the NAMM show, and I saw that he was very talented at taking vintage Gibson-style guitars and reliquing them. </p> <p>And it made me think immediately of my Les Paul Junior from the [1992] Revenge/Alive III tour. It was one of the most beat-up Les Paul Juniors ever. I got it at Guitars R Us on Sunset Boulevard, and we recorded with it a lot. Gene [Simmons] loved it. Kiss even rented it for [1998’s] <em>Psycho Circus</em>, because they wanted that sound. It had a humbucker in it—a Seymour Duncan JB—but there was just something about the mahogany body. </p> <p>It had “that sound.” So Billy from Rock N’ Roll Relics was the perfect person to make a copy of it. The new model has all the elements: a mahogany flat body and rosewood neck and a humbucker—an Antiquity JB, because obviously a new JB wouldn’t look really good in a reliqued guitar. Because this is a small company, we’re just doing this limited run of 25, and it’s available online [<a href=""></a>]. We’ve sold half of them already.</p> <p><strong>What do you consider your proudest guitar moment on record? — Chris</strong></p> <p>With Kiss, I think the solo in “Tears Are Falling” [from <em>Asylum</em>, 1985], which is melodic and tricky, and the acoustic solo on “Forever” [from <em>Hot in the Shade</em>, 1989], which shows another side of my style. And then something like “Unholy” [from <em>Revenge</em>, 1992], where I’m really balls to the wall in your face, using a wah-wah and distortion. I really got a chance to show the range of my playing during my Kiss years.</p> <p><strong>Do you think you, Vinnie [Vincent], Tommy [Thayer], Mark [St. John], Eric [Carr] and Eric [Singer] were cheated by not being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? — SFC Damion Thompson, U.S. Army</strong></p> <p>I’m totally unhappy with how the Hall of Fame handled this. We deserved to be inducted, and I know Gene and Paul’s intention was to present that argument to them, which according to Paul was a non-starter. I’m still extremely flattered that I’m related to a band that’s been inducted, and I certainly don’t have any issue with the fact that without the original four there would be no Kiss. But Kiss survived successfully for 40 years, and I know at least seven million records were sold with my name on them. So for the Hall to ignore that, I think that’s a travesty. </p> <p><strong>I saw you were recently married. Congratulations! I also saw that Gene and Paul were at your wedding. What do Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley give as wedding presents? — Henry McGee</strong></p> <p>I didn’t get an envelope or any gift from them that night, but technically, you have up to a year to give a gift. I kind of feel like there is something coming up that’s going to be a gift to me. Lisa and I, we’ve talked about it a few times, and them being there was a huge gift to me, and she felt the same way. </p> <p>Our history is very unusual: We fell in love four and a half years ago, but I did actually meet her backstage in 1986. She was there for a meet and greet, to see Paul Stanley, you know? I wasn’t involved with anybody, but I wasn’t necessarily looking to hit on any girl in a meet and greet that day. I find it kind of ironic that things have always centered around this Kiss connection, even with Lisa. So I’m just looking at the big picture of things. Gene and Paul’s gift is related to the respect that they show me. You can’t put a price tag on that. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What was it like getting shot? — Billy Sing</strong></p> <p>One of the songs on BK3, the last solo record I put out four years ago, is called “I’ll Survive,” and it’s about that event. It was surreal. I was leaving the Key Club on Sunset Boulevard after seeing my buddy Brent Fitz, the drummer with Slash, who is playing with Vince Neil. It was about 1:20 in the morning. </p> <p>The shots came from a block and a half away, in front of the Rainbow Club. I couldn’t tell if it was a car backfiring or a gun shot. And then I got hit in the leg. It was as if someone was taking a hot poker and sticking it through your leg, but it happens so fast that you don’t know what the hell happened. My knee buckled, and I went down. What was weirder was that a ricochet bullet whizzed right by my ear and actually grazed my head. I heard the whistle from it as it went past. That was even more bizarre than having a bullet pass through my leg. </p> <p>But I was lucky. The bullet could have shattered my kneecap; instead, it went completely through muscle. The paramedics showed up über fast, and the guy asked me to move my toes, which I did. And he says to me, “You’re going to be fine.”</p> <p><strong>I read that your brother Bob tried out for Kiss before Ace got the gig. Did he help advise you on your audition process? — Chip Douglas</strong></p> <p>My brother’s acquaintance with the guys was a good thing, but I think it also took other people to mention my name to Gene and Paul. I actually wound up doing a little ghost guitar work for Kiss on Animalize, but I’m not credited. At the time, Mark St. John was playing lead. Paul asked me to play a solo, and he happened to say, “Don’t cut your hair.” </p> <p>I wasn’t aware that Mark was not going to be able to tour. [St. John was diagnosed with the arthritic condition Reiter’s Syndrome.] Then they asked me to kind of fill in on the tour, and that wound up becoming a 12-year stint in the band. Those people who go back and think, “Well, the first time I saw Kiss was in 1985”—if they’re not sure who it was, now it’s a matter of record: they saw me. Yay! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>When did you become aware that Ace and Peter would be rejoining the band? Were you nervous when they guested on Unplugged? — Lazlo Kovacs</strong></p> <p>I actually was happily ignorant to any behind-the-scenes talk of a reunion. I certainly didn’t think that <em>Kiss Unplugged</em> [1996] would be the catalyst to make it happen. We had recorded probably 75 to 80 percent of <em>Carnival of Souls</em> [released in 1997], and that’s when Gene and Paul had a meeting with Eric and me explaining that it was time for them to try this reunion and that it would only be for a year, but that they were going to take care of us—which they did. Kiss had to lose the makeup in the Eighties, because it just didn’t seem cool anymore. When they brought it back in 1996, it was the right time for it. But I didn’t really think anything like that was brewing behind the scenes. </p> <p><strong>Was the period after you left Kiss difficult for you, or were you ready to move on? — Phil Leech</strong></p> <p>It was difficult. To see the hoopla surrounding them putting the makeup on, and then hearing, “First concert, sold out, stadium in Detroit…” I was like, That’s it, no more Kiss for me! That reality was hard, and then it got even worse. Because by the time Carnival of Souls came out, it had already been bootlegged, and the copies were terrible. I was doing a clinic tour in Europe, and some friends of mine from the Kiss world were like, “Check it out, I got a bootleg of Carnival of Souls”—which obviously hurt. </p> <p>I had nine co-writes on it, so I didn’t want to hear about bootlegs. I think having <em>Carnival of Souls</em> kind of raped was more painful even than not being in Kiss. But from tough things in life, you hopefully really strap up your boots tightly and get going. And that’s what I did. I had my own band with John Corabi called Union, and I just forged on and never looked back really.</p> <p><strong>How did you get the gig in Grand Funk? You’ve been in the band for, like, 14 years now. — Dennis Maloney</strong></p> <p>I met [Grand Funk drummer] Don Brewer back in the days when I worked with Michael Bolton. Michael had just put out his first solo record [1983’s self-titled release], and we opened for Bob Seger. [At the time, Brewer was drumming for Seger’s Silver Bullet Band.] We got to party with the Seger guys and hang out with everybody. And I was always a Grand Funk fan, so it was like, Oh, my god, Don Brewer! So when Grand Funk went through its changes again after 1998, after the last time [guitarist] Mark Farner was involved, I was on the short list. You never know who you’re working with that even 20 years down the line could be relevant to your career.</p> <p><em>Photo: Angela Boatwright</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/kiss">Kiss</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Bruce Kulick Dear Guitar Hero Grand Funk Railroad Kiss September 2014 Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:43:56 +0000 Brad Angle Shut Up & Jam! Ted Nugent Talks New Album, Musical Influences, Gear and More <!--paging_filter--><p>Ted Nugent isn't one to keep his opinions to himself. </p> <p>His persona has made him a larger-than-life and polarizing media figure. Peel away the political opinions and you find the “Motor City Madman” who has been cranking out hits since his debut with the Amboy Dukes in 1967. </p> <p>The title of Nugent’s latest album, <em>Shut Up &amp; Jam!</em>, is more than just an album title. It's a mission statement. </p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: It has been seven years since your last album, <em>Love Grenade</em>, was released. What made 2014 the right time to put out a new record?</strong> </p> <p>Wrapping up the greatest, most fun tour of my life in 2013 and then enjoying the greatest hunting season of my life with family and friends, it put me in such a wild-eyed, glowing, positive, happy place, that these songs simply erupted off my guitar neck unto themselves every time I cranked up the mighty Gibson Byrdland through my amps in the living room of our little Texas ranch house! Positive, uplifting motivation was everywhere. I am a very, very lucky guitar player. </p> <p><strong>Listening to <em>Shut Up &amp; Jam!</em>, it seems as though the album really encapsulates your personality. When you wrote for the new record, was that a conscious effort? </strong></p> <p>My musical adventure has a life of its own, mostly an out-of-body experience every time I grab a guitar. Because of the earthly lifestyle of my hunting, fishing, trapping, ranching, outdoor fun, I believe I escape the music totally when not actually playing it. I've never planned any song or any record. Being an addict of groove-oriented R&amp;B and rock and roll, my fingers immediately start dancing on the fretboard with variations of honky-tonk, boogie-woogie and every guitar lick you can imagine that I have absorbed throughout my music-drenched life. </p> <p>Licks just come, chords just come, lyrical cadence just comes and pretty much immediately, the lyrics themselves just come. I'd call my musical creativity is more subconscious than conscious.</p> <p><strong>Your guitar sound on the record is instantly recognizable as classic Ted Nugent, but still sounds fresh. Aside from the obvious Gibson Byrdland and Les Paul, what are you using on this record in terms of gear?</strong> </p> <p>A couple of my killer PRS's show up here and there, but the Byrdlands and Les Pauls mostly dominate through a new Peavey 50W and 6505 as well as a vintage Fender Bassman. I give a lot of credit to my cohort in soul music crime, Michael Lutz (producer and founding member of Brownsville Station), who has a very capable and demanding ear for those magical, original, classic, Lonnie Mack glowing tones.</p> <p><strong>How special is it after nearly 40 years to still be going into the studio with Derek and at the same time to work with friends like Sammy Hagar?</strong></p> <p>With the soul music masters of Derek St. Holmes, Mick Brown, Greg Smith, Jon Kutz, Johnny Bee Badanjek and Sammy Hagar, as well as Michael Lutz and Tim and Andy Patalan, the mighty Funkbrothers will live on in infamy as we carry the torch of the tightest, most fun garage band in the world. All my guys were raised on the magical grinding of black American blues and R&amp;B, so it is always a soul music orgy and celebration of the sounds and grooves that we all love and crave to reproduce. These guys are the best.</p> <p><strong>At 65 years young, you show absolutely no signs of slowing down. Do you see a point with the music industry where there might come a time to walk away?</strong></p> <p>I think we can all agree that the greatest philosopher of all times, Dirty Harry, said it best when he stated the ultimate guiding force for quality of life: "A good man has to know his limitations." </p> <p>And I figured that out many years before he made that statement. I rock ferociously hard every song, every gig, every night, every year for 50-plus years. As I approach my 6,500th ultra-rockout this summer, I attribute my longevity, overall health and youthful craving for the music to the definitive balance in my life that my hunting, outdoor and quality family time I orchestrate every fall and winter between tours. </p> <p>Such a quiet, down-to-earth lifestyle literally cleanses my soul, clears my head, relieves my ears and fortifies my spirit. My life is literally perfect. So no, I don't ever consider "the end" but am more than aware of its necessity when the conditions arrive.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ted-nugent">Ted Nugent</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> John Katic Ted Nugent Interviews News Features Wed, 13 Aug 2014 19:45:59 +0000 John Katic Allman Brothers Band: Compilation Producer Bill Levenson Talks Deluxe '1971 Fillmore East Recordings' <!--paging_filter--><p><em>The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East</em> has been considered rock’s best live album since its 1971 release. </p> <p>Recorded March 12 and 13, 1971, at the New York club, the album captured the original Allman Brothers Band at the peak of their powers, playing with verve, grace, intensity and seemingly telepathic communication. </p> <p>Guitarists Dickey Betts and Duane Allman finished one another’s phrases, spun beautiful leads off each other’s riffs and prodded themselves to guitar heights that have rarely, if ever, been equaled.</p> <p>Over the years, different versions have been issued, including the expanded <em>The Fillmore Concerts</em>, but the holy grail for Allmans fans has been hearing the many unreleased tracks from the shows, mostly stemming from Friday, March 12, as most of the album was culled from the final night.</p> <p>A new deluxe set, <em>The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings</em>, delivers almost all of the music played by the Allman Brothers at the Fillmore East during these shows in great, remastered sound. The set consists of six CDs or three Blu-ray discs, which are mixed for Surround Sound and bring the band’s performance to a shimmering new life. </p> <p>Duane Allman famously invited several guests, including soprano saxophonist Juicy Carter, harmonica player Thom Doucette and percussionist Bobby Caldwell (the drummer from the headlining Johnny Winter And), to sit in, much to the consternation of producer Tom Dowd. Dowd convinced the band to banish the horns for the second night and chose different versions of songs or edited out most of the guests’ contributions, which can now be heard — and mostly prove Dowd’s point.</p> <p>The final performance captured on the collection came a few months later, on June 27, 1971, the closing show of the Fillmore East. It includes promoter Bill Graham’s entire, ecstatic introduction, which concluded with “We’re going to round it out with the best of them all, the Allman Brothers Band.”</p> <p>We spoke with compilation producer Bill Levenson about the release.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: This set has been talked about for so long. Do you think it came out the same way it would have if you had done it any time in the last 20 years?</strong></p> <p>The main difference in the last year or two was the Blu-ray and Surround Sound. I don’t think we would have done that in the Nineties when we were first talking about it. I think that’s what doing it in 2014 brought us — a Blu-ray set.</p> <p>And I’m very excited about the Surround Sound. The goal was really to put the listener in the 10th row of the Fillmore, with everything in front of you and the reflections and the audience behind you. I grew up in New York and went into the Fillmore. It had a distinct sound, a fabulous sound, and you can feel the auditorium in any album recorded there. I was trying to recreate being in the Fillmore, and I do think we were able to capture the magic of what was in that hall.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="365" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe>”</p> <p><strong>Among other things, you finally brought us the sax stylings of Juicy Carter, which we’ve only been able to hear dabs of before. It’s really interesting but not hard to hear why Tom Dowd was upset about his sudden appearance during a recording.</strong></p> <p>Yes. What really made it work was just to find the place in the mix where it was forward but not too forward, dissonant but not too edgy. To be honest, there are moments where we buried him because he was went off in really dissonant tangents. It’s still there; you hear if you listen, but he’s been pulled back. During these times, he was playing two saxes at once — baritone and saxophone — and some of the playing gets really out there. </p> <p>It was really the magic of the fader.</p> <p><strong>This set scratched a lot of our itches, but a big one that remains is the first show, Thursday, March 11, which Tom Dowd said he recorded and which apparently featured a full horn section.</strong></p> <p>Thursday night is the blind spot for all of us. I’ve picked through the vaults hundreds of times, and there’s not even a hint of it existing, not even a reference somewhere. The only time it’s even mentioned is in a Tom Dowd interview, and he’s no longer with us to ask. But I am certain that there’s no tape, not even a tape that’s taped over … I just used everything we had.</p> <p><em>Alan Paul is the author of the best-selling book </em><a href=";camp=211189&amp;creative=373489&amp;creativeASIN=1250040493&amp;link_code=as3&amp;tag=alanpaulinchi-20">One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band</a><em>. You can read an excerpt about the recording of </em>At Fillmore East<em> <a href="">here.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/allman-brothers-band">Allman Brothers Band</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/duane-allman">Duane Allman</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dickey-betts">Dickey Betts</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/gregg-allman">Gregg Allman</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Allman Brothers Band Interviews News Features Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:34:49 +0000 Alan Paul Buckcherry Guitarist Keith Nelson Talks New EP, 'Fuck,' and His Gibson Collector’s Choice Les Paul <!--paging_filter--><p>Never a band to play by the rules, Buckcherry have made a career out of pushing the boundaries — and buttons — of conventional rock while doing things their own way. It’s a strategy that has paid off with successful studio albums and singles over the last decade. </p> <p>Buckcherry’s boldest and perhaps most controversial release to date might be <em>Fuck</em>, a new EP that unapologetically rattles the speakers as much as it will the censors. </p> <p>The new EP, which will be released August 19, consists of six hook-laden tracks that feature guitarist Keith Nelson’s gritty riffs and vocalist Josh Todd’s sharp-tongued lyrics — including an unconventional yet tasty spin on Icona Pop’s hit song “I Love It," which the band has (naturally) renamed “Say Fuck It."</p> <p>Buckcherry — Josh Todd (lead vocals), Keith Nelson (lead guitar), Stevie D. (rhythm guitar), Xavier Muriel (drums) and Kelly Lemieux (bass) — will soon team up with Godsmack, Seether and Skillet for this year’s Uproar Festival, which kicks off August 15 in Detroit, Michigan. </p> <p>Meanwhile, Nelson has contributed “Louis,” one of his original 1959 Les Pauls, to the Gibson Custom Shop, where the staff has painstakingly analyzed every detail of the guitar's look, sound and wear to create a near-perfect replica for Collector's Choice #17. You can see a photo of Gibson's version of the guitar in the gallery below.</p> <p>We recently caught up with Nelson to discuss the new EP and the process behind the making of his “new” Les Paul.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How does a project like <em>Fuck</em> begin?</strong></p> <p>Even before our last record [<em>Confessions</em>], we had been toying around with the idea of doing an EP. It just kept creeping back, and this was finally the right time to do it. The concept was pretty straightforward. It started out with just a bunch of guys sitting on the tour bus saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to do an album called <em>Fuck</em> and have every song on the album have ‘fuck’ in it?” [laughs]. Then after all of the laughter died down, we just said, "Yea, why not? Let's do it!" </p> <p><strong>How would you describe the sound of the EP?</strong></p> <p>It’s raw, guitar-driven rock and roll. We recorded most of it live to tape in my living room studio, so it’s very analog. All of these songs were written with the five of us standing around in a circle looking at each other, and I really wanted the recordings to convey that live-sounding vibe.</p> <p><iframe src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" height="450" width="100%" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Can you tell me a little about the writing process?</strong></p> <p>After we had finished working on <em>Confessions,</em> I was still writing and collecting ideas. Then as the tour began to wind down, I started demoing up those ideas and gave them to Josh. Whenever we found ourselves having a few days off, we would all get together in a room and work out the songs. Lyrically, the responsibility for injecting "fuck" into every song came down to Josh. And, of course, he was up to the task! [laughs]. </p> <p><strong>What made you decide to do a take on Icona Pop’s “I Love It”?</strong></p> <p>That was Josh’s idea and was actually the first song we did. Josh listens to a lot of pop radio and when he heard that song, he said "Man, we could really put our own spin on that thing!” He then put it to me to make it sound more like us. So I made it a bit more exciting for guitar players.</p> <p><strong>What can you tell me about the song “The Motherfucker”?</strong></p> <p>That one is straight-up, vintage Buckcherry. As a guitar player, it's a riff in "A." It happened more out of a jam. Once Josh started singing, we all just started jamming on it.</p> <p><strong>How did your recent relationship with Gibson come about?</strong></p> <p>Gibson’s been doing what's known as a Collector's Choice Series. It’s where they find the owner of an original 1959 Les Paul and then go to great lengths to recreate the guitar. I'm fortunate enough to be the owner and player of one of those guitars, so when my name came up, Gibson asked me if they could do it. I supplied my guitar, and they put it through a series of intensive scannings and 3D computer imaging. Basically, they made a replica of the real thing. It's crazy how accurate they got most of it.</p> <p><strong>What first attracted you to vintage guitars?</strong></p> <p>From the moment I started playing guitar, I’ve known that used ones were always less expensive than the new ones. But one day, I happened across a music store where the guy behind the counter was telling me all about how much better the older guitars sounded. Then I started looking around at all of my heroes — Jimmy Page, Paul Kossoff and Joe Perry. All of them were playing the old ones. I got the bug early on and have been collecting for more than 20 years. </p> <p>At one point, I traded the majority of my collection for my first real 1959 Sunburst Les Paul. Then once I got that first one, I had to find one that was a little bit better. Eventually, I found the one that was perfect for me. I've had the guitar for a number of years now. It's called "Louis," and it's the one Gibson recreated.</p> <p><strong>In your opinion, what makes vintage instruments so much better?</strong></p> <p>“Better” is in the eye of the beholder but for me, there’s something magical going on with the age of the wood, the magnets, the wires and the finish. All of that goes together in a way that you really can't explain. When you're got it in your hands, you just know it. I still take Louis on the road with me and play him every night. I can actually play the entire set with it and it will not go out of tune. It's crazy how great that guitar is.</p> <p><strong>Besides Louis, what else is in your live setup?</strong></p> <p>I've got a few other vintage guitars out here with me now. I've got a 1957 Les Paul Junior that I use for all of the open-tuning stuff I do. I’ve also got a '54 Jeff Beck Les Paul Oxblood re-issue from Gibson, which is another phenomenal guitar. Amp-wise, I'm using a 1971 50-watt Marshall. I use the newer Marshall stuff when we travel abroad, but here in North America, I'm driving around with a couple of old heads and guitars. You know, just some old junk! [laughs].</p> <p><strong>Growing up, what inspired you to start playing?</strong></p> <p>I started out as a drummer and around age 17 made the switch to guitar. I got a little bit of a late start, but my original goal was to play guitar to write songs.</p> <p><strong>Speaking of songs, can you tell me the origin of “Crazy Bitch”?</strong></p> <p>Writing "Crazy Bitch" was the best five minutes of my life [laughs]. I remember Josh called me up one day and said, "Hey, I've got this song idea!” So he sings the chorus to me and says, "It just needs to have some funky music with some space in it. Do your thing!" So I sat down with a drum machine and a four-track recorder and came up with the music. The next day, Josh came in and I said, "Sing it over this!" He listened to what I wrote and said, "That's fucking awesome!" Then he sang the lyrics on the spot. Literally, it took five minutes. You can't plan for stuff like that. It just kind of happens — and I'm glad it did.</p> <p><strong><em>For more about Buckcherry, visit <a href=""></a> and follow them on <a href="">Facebook.</a></em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>For more about Gibson's Collector’s Choice #17 guitar, visit <a href=""></a></em></strong></p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href=""></a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buckcherry">Buckcherry</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Buckcherry Gibson James Wood Keith Nelson Interviews News Features Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:09:56 +0000 James Wood Graham Nash on 'CSNY 1974' and Watching Stephen Stills and Neil Young Battle <!--paging_filter--><p>Between July 9 and September 14, 1974, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young played 31 shows on a tour that took them through the U.S. and up into Canada, touching down for a grand finale at London’s Wembley Stadium. </p> <p>Over the 40 years since then, it’s been the over-the-top excesses of what Crosby dubbed “The Doom Tour” that made up most of the memories of those shows. Mention “CSNY” and “summer of 1974” and you would get wild tales of prodigious quantities of dope, Learjets and hotel pillowcases across the continent embroidered with the band’s logo … and not a whole lot about the music.</p> <p>But now we have <em>CSNY 1974</em>, a 3CD/1DVD set (co-produced by Graham Nash and über-archivist Joel Bernstein) that serves as a powerful reminder, all the weirdness aside, of the amazing music this quartet created. Backed by Tim Drummond (bass), Russ Kunkel (drums) and the late Joe Lala on percussion, Crosby, Stills, Nash &amp; Young played their asses off that summer — and <em>CSNY 1974</em> is the proof. </p> <p>I recently had a chance to spend some time with Nash in New York City, talking about the new box set and standing in the line of fire of some epic Young/Stills guitar battles.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: As a guitarist, what’s it like to play alongside Neil Young and Stephen Stills?</strong></p> <p>I’m constantly reminded that I’m no Neil Young or Stephen Stills. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>Who is? [laughter] How have they influenced you?</strong></p> <p>Not much, really. I still play the same basic three chords, you know. And there’s David Crosby: When we rehearse my songs, it only takes about 10 seconds; when you’re rehearsing one of David’s songs, you’re there for days. He’s much more jazz-influenced than I was.</p> <p>I enjoy jazz. I came here in 1966 and went to the Village Gate to watch Miles Davis. I saw Gerry Mulligan and Mingus, you know, but … I’m a very simple man. I know, I wrote that song and it’s true. I want to get your attention right from the beginning. I’m not interested in you trying to figure out four choruses later what the fuck I’m talking about. I want to get you from the first line.</p> <p><strong>How would you describe Stephen’s guitar playing compared to Neil’s?</strong></p> <p>They're very different, not only sonically, but different in style, as well. Stephen is much more blues-based and Neil is more … “experimental” isn't the right word … “futuristic” isn't the right word …</p> <p><strong>I’ve used the word “angular” at times to describe Neil’s playing</strong></p> <p>That’s a good word, yeah. To me, Neil’s one of the great guitar players in the world. They both are, and to stand in the middle of that shit and watch these two longhorn stags — “Hey, I’m playing this.” “Oh, yeah, motherfucker? Well check this out!” “Oh, really?” — it’s very interesting as a musician. I can't look at them from the point of view of being a guitarist as I’m an incredibly simple guitar player. I hardly know what I’m doing. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Stop it.</strong></p> <p>I’m not kidding. I know enough to write for myself and express myself in my songs, but it's not like anyone’s going to look to me to learn how to play guitar. But Stephen and Neil are really geniuses at what they do.</p> <p><strong>Well, you’ve had the best seat in the house to observe them for 45 years. Have you ever been in the middle of one of those longhorn stag moments you just described and felt … concerned by the aggressiveness?</strong></p> <p>Oh, yeah. Not concerned physically for them, but just concerned for, “Where the fuck does it go from here?” There are always crests and shallow parts of the wave — there should be in a solo — but there have been times when I’ve thought, “How do we get out of this? This is interesting …” But something happens, and they’re able — with body language and looks in the eyes — to convey exactly where we’re supposed to be going.</p> <p><strong>Convey to everybody.</strong></p> <p>Yeah, and then apply that to, say, Russell Kunkel, back behind the drums on that tour in ‘74. Russell couldn’t see our eyes; he simply knew where it was going. I think that’s one of the things the <em>CSNY 1974</em> box set shows: just how good those musicians were to follow someone they weren’t looking at. </p> <p><strong>Knowing that you might have played the same song last night, but tonight’s arrangement is something totally different.</strong></p> <p>That’s right. Very often it was. But on the other hand, it's just music. And if you’re listening, you can figure it out, you know?</p> <p><strong>You keep making things sound simple...</strong></p> <p>It's stood me well so far. [laughter]</p> <p><em>A former offshore lobsterman, Brian Robbins had to wait a good four decades or so to write about the stuff he wanted to when he was 15. Today he’s a freelance scribe, cartoonist, photographer and musician. His home on the worldwide inner tube is at <a href=""></a> (And there’s that <a href="">Facebook</a> thing too.)</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/neil-young">Neil Young</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Brian Robbins CSNY Graham Nash Neil Young Stephen Stills Interviews News Features Mon, 11 Aug 2014 21:15:36 +0000 Brian Robbins Buzz Osborne of The Melvins Discusses 'The Who Sell Out' — The Record That Changed My Life <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>The Who</strong><br /> <em>The Who Sell Out</em> (1967)</p> <p>The band that changed my life was the Who. </p> <p>It’s hard to pick just one album, but if I had to pick the one that really showed me how things could be done, it’s <em>The Who Sell Out</em>. They really went to town on that, doing something that no one had ever done before. </p> <p>That album has the song ‘I Can See for Miles,’ which really put the hooks in me. <em>The Who Sell Out</em> is still weird now! Nobody does anything that cool today. It’s great and goes all over the map, musically speaking. And I don’t even think it was a big hit back then, unfortunately.</p> <p>I remember talking to the guitar player in the Stooges, Ron Asheton, about what bands he liked as a kid, and he said one of the main things for him was seeing the Who open for Herman’s Hermits in the mid Sixties when they destroyed all their gear. In order to be that weird now to middle America, I don’t know what you’d have to do. </p> <p>The Who really opened my eyes, and I’ve continued to love their stuff ever since.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/who">The Who</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Buzz Osborne July 2014 The Melvins The Record that Changed My Life The Who Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:09:14 +0000 Buzz Osborne Josh McClorey of The Strypes Discusses Elvis Costello's 'My Aim Is True' — The Record That Changed My Life <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Elvis Costello</strong><br /> <em>My Aim Is True</em> (1977)</p> <p>I chose this record not so much for the guitar playing—well, a little bit for the guitar playing—but just for the songwriting, and how you can really write punk rock and roll tunes while still being intelligent about it. </p> <p>Costello just hit me like a ton of bricks when I got into him. His lyrics blew my mind when I first heard them. And that record is so great because it’s so raw; it’s like a real snapshot of where he was at the time. </p> <p>There’s not a bad tune on there, not even a mediocre one. They’re very catchy tunes, but very punky and just really angry, but also with really intelligent lyrics. </p> <p><em>My Aim Is True</em> 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.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Elvis Costello Josh McClorey July 2014 The Record that Changed My Life the Strypes Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:00:18 +0000 Josh McClorey Guitar World's 2014 Summer Tour Survival Guide — with Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, Morbid Angel and More <!--paging_filter--><p><em>In this feature from the August 2014 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>, the guitarists of Avenged Sevenfold, Morbid Angel, Trivium and other metal acts tell how they'll beat the heat and tame the crowds on the season's biggest tours.</em></p> <p><strong>For the entire story and more, <a href=";utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=MayVideosPage">check out the August 2014 issue of Guitar World at our online store.</a> The issue also is available at newsstands everywhere.</strong></p> <hr /> <p><em><strong><a href="">Stray From The Path Guitarist Tom Williams — WARPED TOUR</a></strong></em></p> <p><strong>Your sweatiest concert ever?</strong> </p> <p>It was at this place called the Nile Underground in Arizona. It was a room that holds about 250 people, but there were about 400 people there. It was so hot that I sweated into my pickups and they shorted out. Back then I didn’t have a backup guitar, because I couldn’t afford one. </p> <p><strong><a href="">Read the full interview here.</a></strong></p> <hr /> <p><em><strong><a href="">Avenged Sevenfold Guitarist Synyster Gates — MAYHEM FEST</a></strong></em></p> <p><strong>Considerations when playing an outdoor show versus an indoor show?</strong></p> <p>Nothing at all. We just go out there and have a lot of fun. I mean, the only time you’re ever worried about anything is if there are extreme elements, like rain or crazy wind. </p> <p><strong><a href="">Read the full interview here.</a></strong></p> <hr /> <p><em><strong><a href="">Trivium Guitarist Matt Heafy — MAYHEM FEST</a></strong></em></p> <p><strong>One item you’ll carry with you at all times this summer?</strong></p> <p>Me and some of our crew guys have trained and learned jiu-jitsu. So my 10-by-10 jiu-jitsu mats, my gi and my yoga mat—those are the essentials. </p> <p><strong><a href="">Read the full interview here.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><em><strong><a href="">The Faceless Guitarist Michael Keene — SUMMER SLAUGHTER</a></strong></em></p> <p><strong>Your sweatiest concert ever?</strong></p> <p>Two shows come to mind. The first one was in Paris, France. I have no idea why it was so hot in this venue, but it was a sold-out show and we were headlining, so we had a long set to play. It was just miserable. The other one was Emo’s outdoor stage in Austin, Texas. It just traps heat. It was so hot, I thought I was going to pass out, and at one point my vision starting blurring. It was tough.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Read the full interview here.</a></strong></p> <hr /> <p><em><strong><a href="">Stray From The Path Guitarist Tom Williams — WARPED TOUR</a></strong></em></p> <p><strong>Considerations when playing an outdoor show versus an indoor show?</strong></p> <p>Sound good, obviously. We ended up going out and hiring a sound guy for this tour, because we know from playing a couple of festivals that performing outside is completely different from playing in clubs. You definitely have to make some adjustments. </p> <hr /> <p><strong><em><a href="">Darkest Hour Guitarist Mike Schliebaum — LOLLAPALOOZA</a></em></strong></p> <p><strong>Your sweatiest concert ever?</strong></p> <p>The hottest I remember it being onstage was at the 2004 Ozzfest in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I think it may have been 106 or 107 degrees. All I know was it felt like playing on the surface of the sun. We were new to outdoor touring at that time and totally unprepared. I remember after that show, all the white ink in my tattoos raised up because of the sunburn I got that day. </p> <p><strong><a href="">Read the full interview here.</a></strong></p> <p><strong>More interviews coming soon! Stay tuned!</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-06-18%20at%209.59.57%20AM.png" width="620" height="806" alt="Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.59.57 AM.png" /></p> 2014 Summer Tour Survival Guide August 2014 Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:36:16 +0000 Sammi Chichester, Jeff Kitts Dear Guitar Hero: David Crosby Talks Guitars, CSN&Y, 'Croz' and Working with David Gilmour <!--paging_filter--><p>He's one-fourth of Crosby, Stills, Nash &amp; Young and owns a sweet collection of rare and vintage axes. But what <em>Guitar World</em> readers really want to know is...</p> <p><strong>What’s the key to great harmony? — Billy Ray Latham</strong></p> <p>Listen to Phil Everly. I don’t think there’s any question that the first time I got hooked into harmony singing it was listening to “[All I Have to Do Is] Dream” by the Everly Brothers. </p> <p>That’s where it starts, but then you have to go to a lot of places besides that. Listen to classical music, listen to Bach. It’ll never hurt you, and if you really listen, it’ll help you a lot. Listen to the first record by the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir from 1966, <em>Music of Bulgaria: The Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic</em>, under the direction of Philip Koutev. It is beyond-belief good. Those little Bulgarian housewives can sing rings around everybody. [Graham] Nash and I would credit them with changing our lives. It will rot your brain.</p> <p><strong>You recorded and toured with David Gilmour a few years ago. How did that connection come about? — Chris Thumann</strong></p> <p>David knew Graham, and he came to our Crosby &amp; Nash show in London a couple of times and liked our harmonies and our way of going at it, and he asked us to sing on [his 2006 solo album] <em>On An Island</em>. In the process, we got to be pretty close friends. He asked us to sing at his concert in London. We ended up doing, like, eight shows, just singing the songs we sang on the record. I think Fender should erect a monument to Gilmour. He has this tone, and it’s not gizmos. It’s his touch.</p> <p><strong>Your new album, <em>Croz</em>, is your first solo record in 20 years. Why the long wait? — James Fitze</strong></p> <p>You’re only looking at solo albums. In between, I did a double album with Graham Nash [2004’s <em>Crosby Nash</em>]. I was working on a covers album with CSN. And we’ve all been working on the <em>CSNY 74</em> thing for a couple of years [a forthcoming collection of performances from the band’s 1974 tour]. </p> <p>When you hear it, you’re not going to freaking believe it. So I’ve been working on other stuff; I just haven’t done a solo record. I was writing so much with my son, James Raymond, who’s a brilliant writer. We were both having a very good streak of writing on our own, together and with [guitarist] Marcus Eaton. The songs are the key to the entire thing. Do you have a real song? Can you sit down and sing it to somebody? Can you make them feel something? If I have songs, I want to make a record. So we both had these songs. We didn’t really have a choice. </p> <p><strong>How the hell does your voice sound the same after all these decades? — Lisa Rogers</strong></p> <p>I don’t really understand it, although I didn’t smoke cigarettes. I may’ve been herbally enhanced once or twice, and I went through hard drugs and all that stuff. I don’t know how I have a throat left. [laughs] But there it is, and as long as it still works, I’m going to work it. I’m pretty happy about how it sounds, but a lot has to do with how my son recorded it on the new album. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>I read about your guitar collection in <em><a href="">Guitar Aficionado</a></em> magazine. What do you look for when buying guitars, and which one is your favorite? — Gil Pender</strong></p> <p>It’s a complex thing. I don’t collect the way other people do. Some people collect rare guitars, like, “I have a ’54 Strat worth $50,000.” And I don’t collect the way Nash does. Nash has Duane Allman’s guitar and Johnny Cash’s guitar. I bought guitars because they sounded good. I played them, they sounded unbelievably good, and I couldn’t resist. I probably have the best set of acoustic 12-string guitars in the world. </p> <p>But I’ve gone through an odd change about it. I have a strong room in my house where I keep them. When I go in there and play them, I feel kind of bad that they’re hanging on the wall when they can be in the hands of someone who is desperate to play a guitar that good. I keep getting the urge to give them away. I gave a Collings dreadnought to a young guitar player in the Valley where I live, because he didn’t have a good acoustic and he’s a terrific player. I might do more of that. Or I’ll auction off the whole batch when I run out of money. </p> <p><strong>What inspired you to play a Gretsch Tennessean with the Byrds? — Clarence LeBlanc</strong></p> <p>That’s what George Harrison had. And he had that Rickenbacker [360/12], which is what Roger McGuinn got. We went straight for their shit. [laughs] We said, “Okay, that’s how you do it!” And you know, once you play a Gretsch, you find out there are tricks to it. Take a Gretsch and roll the volume all the way up on the guitar and then control it from the amp. Then you get that crunch that Gretsch guitars have got. But they won’t give it to you unless you turn the volume all the way up and control your volume from a pedal or the amp.</p> <p><strong>Are you always writing new music? — Lucy Sciancalepore</strong></p> <p>Yes. As a matter of fact, I wrote one of my best songs right after we mastered the new album. How fucked up is that? [laughs] Last night, I played it to an audience for the first time—and they loved it! I’m thrilled and excited, stoked and stuff. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Did you write any CSN songs in Joni Mitchell’s kitchen? — Jody Porter (Fountains of Wayne)</strong></p> <p>I know we sang a lot there. That’s where we put Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash together. Stephen and I had been singing and we were there with Graham. We sang, “In the morning when you rise” [from “You Don’t Have to Cry”], and Graham said, “Would you sing that again?” So we sang it again. </p> <p>And he said, “That’s fantastic. Would you do it one more time?” We sang it a third time, and he put the top harmony on it. Right then, we knew exactly what we were going to be doing for a long time. There wasn’t any question. We have very different voices and some kind of weird chemistry. And it definitely was in Joni’s kitchen. Stephen is fiercely sure it happened at Cass Elliot’s, but it didn’t. </p> <p><strong>You’re friendly with everyone from CSNY, but do you have a relationship with the other Byrds, especially since they kicked you out of the band? — Elijah Hunt</strong></p> <p>I have a very good relationship with [bassist/guitarist] Chris Hillman. He lives not too far me, so we have dinner together sometimes. I’ll go out to hear him and Herb Pedersen play country music, because they are the real deal. I have a friendly relationship with Roger [McGuinn], and the last message I got from him was very friendly; he said he liked the new record. </p> <p>Roger doesn’t want to be in a band. He wants to be folkie and work by himself, and that’s frustrating to me and Chris, because we know we could make really good music together. There’s not even a question. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roger. Half of what the Byrds had was Roger and his ability to arrange and play and his ability to know how to translate a song from the demo of “Mr. Tambourine Man” into what it became. If you heard the demo, you’d break the record. [laughs] It’s terrible! Roger translated it into a brilliant pop record.</p> <p><strong>What happened to the album Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash were recording with producer Rick Rubin just a few years ago? — Gregory Swedberg</strong></p> <p>Trying to make an album is a chemistry between people, and the chemistry wasn’t there. And I’m not saying this to slight Rick. He’s a talented guy, and when he does have good chemistry with the people he’s working with, he does good work. But he didn’t have it with us. We didn’t get along. </p> <p>We didn’t have the same things in mind; we didn’t have the same way of going about things. And you have to understand all those records that were huge that we did, we produced those. We worked with Rick for months and got nothing we thought was worth anything. Then, just to check, we enlisted Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters studio, and we cut, like, five things in four days. So I have to think we can do it our own way and do it pretty easily! We’ll probably finish that record.</p> <p><strong>Do you have a favorite chord, one that makes you feel comfortable like a warm blanket? — Vin Downes</strong></p> <p>Yes. I have a couple of them. The one I can describe to you is Em9-7. But I have another one that’s in a different tuning. I can play it for you, but I can’t tell you what it is!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Do you practice or play guitar around the house on a regular basis? — Frank Little</strong></p> <p>I try to do it every day. The muse is out there, and it will come by your house if you leave the door open. But you have to open the door! Pick up the guitar and make space for it to happen. And then it will happen—if it’s gonna happen. But you have to pick up the ax and open the door.</p> <p><strong>What inspired your open tunings, and can you share a few of them? — Tim Goodwin</strong></p> <p>I use a lot of tunings because I listen to a lot of jazz. I hear the chords [jazz pianist] McCoy Tyner had to play for John Coltrane. He was asked to play really rich, thick tone-cluster kinds of chords, which he did brilliantly. I would listen to those chords and say, “I want to play that, but I’m not good enough.” </p> <p>So then I grab my guitar and I can get versions of the chords that were different from what everybody else was playing. And it works. That’s where I got “Déjà Vu,” “Guinnevere,” “Compass” and “Climber.” They are all in really strange tunings because they give me another sound that expands the envelope, gives you more to work with—if you’re willing to take up a whole new set of chords. There is that minor detail. [laughs] You tune the low E to a D and then your D chord sounds really fantastic. That’s the beginning of the slippery slope!</p> <p><em>Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LUTB</em></p> August 2014 Damian Fanelli David Crosby Dear Guitar Hero Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 07 Aug 2014 21:13:46 +0000 Damian Fanelli Freakshow: The Lockhearts Discuss Their Debut Single and Gear <!--paging_filter--><p>Despite the fickle nature of Sydney, Australia's live scene, rock quartet the Lockhearts have been earning acclaim locally and internationally. </p> <p>Formed in Sydney in 2012 and led by vocalist Tim Meaco, the Lockhearts boast a melody-driven approach to modern rock. They recently released their debut single, "Freakshow," and are planning the next step in their journey. </p> <p> recently caught up with the band for a discussion about "Freakshow" and their growth in the local scene, plus gear, future plans and more.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Tell me about your journey since you formed in 2012 and became the house band at the Ziggy Pop Spectrum in Sydney.</strong></p> <p><strong>Meaco:</strong> Playing the weekly residency at Ziggy Pop has been amazing. Originally we were asked to headline for the first couple of months, but the crowd kept growing and asking us to come back. There was no way we were turning down a weekly show at a great inner-city location on Oxford Street. We’re a live band, after all.</p> <p>Before all that, we spent almost every waking hour in our rehearsal studio writing and working on our live set, just dying to get on a stage. As soon as we had a bunch finished, we hit the recording studio and laid them down, including our first single, "Freakshow," which got to the top 10 rock charts on iTunes Australia and Number 2 on MTV Hits Australia, which was really exciting for our first release.</p> <p><strong>What's the rock and roll scene like in Sydney nowadays?</strong></p> <p>Fleeting and diverse. The “scene” is always changing, from garage rock, blues, indie, rockabilly and metal, there’s a lot of sub-genre variety. Like any major city, there is a lot of talent around, but bands are constantly coming and going, and so are our live venues. It's tough for a lot of bands to get regular shows due to the rise and fall of venues that support live music. It's not always the most nurturing environment, but it's certainly a good test of your determination and resilience. Which every young band needs.</p> <p><strong>You released "Freakshow" recently, and it seems you're going to release new music in small doses. What's the reasoning behind that? Why aren't you putting out a conventional full-length album or EP like most other bands?</strong></p> <p>We’ve watched too many bands give it away early, put out a full-length release with a half-cocked plan and end up with their record fading into obscurity. We didn’t want to fall into that trap. The reason we’re doing it this way is, as a new band we want to always have something recent available on the market and be prepared with new music to release regularly, while building our live show and extending our reach.</p> <p><strong>How much new music have you completed?</strong></p> <p>We’ve got eight songs down and ready to go and plenty more that are ready to hit the recording studio. We never stop writing.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Your music is characterized by catchy guitar riffs and choruses. How challenging is it, in your opinion, to come up with a riff that instantly catches the listener's attention?</strong></p> <p> Age [lead guitar] and I worked together on the riffs for "Freakshow," and what you hear is a true collaboration. But what really pulled this song together was the rhythm. A guitar riff is only as good as the foundation under it, the driving bass line and primal beat are what give it girth. It can definitely be challenging, but we’ve found the key is to not over think it. We know it’s a great riff when it feels right to all of us, when the whole band is grooving and it gets stuck in your head. It's all about what serves the song.</p> <p><strong>What's the guitar setup you guys use for recording music and playing shows?</strong></p> <p><strong>Age</strong>: Gibson Les Paul Custom / Gibson SG / EVH 5150 III + Orange Speaker Cab</p> <p><strong>Tim</strong>: Gretsch Duo Jet / The Heritage H-150 / Epiphone Wilshire Phantomatic / Marshall JCM900 SL-X + Marshall JCM800 cab</p> <p>As Gibson artists, you’ll never find us without a Les Paul or SG in the arsenal!</p> <p><strong>Your music video "Freakshow" is very creative and colorful. Whose concept was that and how much of an input did the band have in it?</strong></p> <p>Thank you! It was a lot of fun to make. Everything we release always has the whole band’s creative input. We worked closely with feature film director Tanzeal Rahim to come up with a concept we liked. We definitely wanted to bring a psychedelic element to the visual.</p> <p><strong>For people unfamiliar with your music, what kind of bands would you say the Lockhearts draw parallels with? In other words, fans of what bands might like your music?</strong></p> <p>One thing we’ve been told constantly after live shows is that people find it difficult to pigeonhole us, which is great! "Freakshow" was once reviewed as “somewhere between Queen and the Black Keys,” so perhaps that’s a good start.</p> <p><strong>Have you played shows outside Sydney, or do you plan to do so any time soon?</strong></p> <p>We played two shows with Aussie legends the Baby Animals earlier last year up the coast of New South Wales, but this year we are planning on traveling a bit further and playing more interstate shows. We're very excited to get to Melbourne, Brisbane and other major cities.</p> <p><strong>I've never seen you live, but I somehow feel that your studio recording of "Freakshow" captures the energy you would have on a stage while playing that song. Is that a fair assessment?</strong></p> <p>For sure, we always aim to capture our live energy in the studio but once we’re on the stage anything can happen – i.e. it can be hard to capture the sound of your bass player jumping into the drum kit. We do change up the arrangement to keep it fun too!</p> <p><em>Andrew Bansal is a writer who has been running his own website, <a href="">Metal Assault</a>, since early 2010, and has been prolific in covering the hard rock and heavy metal scene by posting interviews, news, reviews and pictures on his website — with the help of a small group of people. He briefly moved away from the Los Angeles scene and explored metal in India, but he is now back in LA continuing from where he left off.</em></p> Andrew Bansal The Lockhearts Interviews News Features Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:38:18 +0000 Andrew Bansal Steve Morse Talks Deep Purple History and U.S. Tour, Plus New Flying Colors Album, 'Second Nature' <!--paging_filter--><p>Deep Purple’s latest album, 2013's <em>Now What?!</em>, marked the opening of next chapter in the band’s 46-year career. </p> <p>Blending the spirit of classic Seventies Deep Purple with modern production and a progressive mindset, the album reached Number 1 in several countries, including Germany and Russia, and gave the band its first British Top 20 album in 20 years.</p> <p>Guitarist Steve Morse is celebrating his 20th anniversary with Deep Purple by joining the band for a month's worth of U.S tour dates that will take them from Washington state to Florida — and pretty much everywhere in between.</p> <p>The band's current lineup is Ian Paice (drums), Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass), Steve Morse (guitar) and Don Airey (keyboards).</p> <p>I recently spoke with Morse and got an update on the Deep Purple tour, his gear and the new Flying Colors album, <em>Second Nature</em>, which is due for an August 30 release. In Flying Colors, Morse is joined by Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Dave LaRue and Casey McPherson.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How has reaction been to Deep Purple's <em>Now What?!</em>?</strong></p> <p>It's been really good, and I credit that to Bob Ezrin [producer] for keeping the energy and focus of the band and for getting that little bit extra out of everyone. There was a heavy emphasis on pre-production for this album, and Bob really worked hard behind the scenes — even before we had recorded a single note.</p> <p><strong>What can you tell me about the musical influences that inspired the track "All the Time in the World"?</strong></p> <p>Don Airey is a big fan of American-style music. He can just pick up and start playing any Booker T. &amp; the M.G.s tune or any jazz standard. He's really eclectic in that way. Then there’s Ian Paice, who was into R&amp;B, swing and jazz even before he came into Deep Purple. We all have our different influences. That particular song has a Motown, rhythm-and-groove kind of feel to it.</p> <p><strong>2014 marks 20 years that you’ve been with Deep Purple. Does it feel like it’s been that long?</strong></p> <p>My perception of time is gone [laughs]. I really can't believe how fast the years have rolled by.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Can you tell me how you got involved with the band?</strong></p> <p>Shortly after Ritchie [Blackmore] left the band, Joe Satriani was suggested as a replacement for the tour they were doing. Joe's a real pro who can just walk in and make something sound amazing. I learned a lot just from listening to his version of the set. </p> <p>At some point, though, they realized Joe had his own thing going and this was just going to be a temporary solution. They really needed someone to come in and develop a sense of permanence with the band. Roger had seen me play live with the Steve Morse Band in the past, and the other guys had heard the Dixie Dregs stuff in England, so there was already some familiarity with me. </p> <p>We initially had agreed to do four shows together in 1994. Prior to the first show, I had learned the last set they had played with Joe and had also listened to some of the recordings with Ritchie. I decided to use an amalgamation of the two approaches when we got together. I was a little apprehensive at first, but once we started to jam, the groove felt great and everyone was smiling and having a great time. Sometimes the chemistry just works out that way. </p> <p><strong>Will there be another Deep Purple studio album?</strong></p> <p>Yes. We're working on another studio record and have already had the writing sessions for it. Bob Ezrin is back on board for this one. It's nice to have someone like him in charge of the complexity that can surround an album because there are so many decisions that need to be made.</p> <p><strong>What can you tell me about the new Flying Colors album, <em>Second Nature</em>?</strong></p> <p>This one is a little bit longer in terms of its arrangement. We also all co-produced, so it's a little bit less restrained. The essential element is similar to Deep Purple in that I’m working with people I feel comfortable with. One of the differences with Flying Colors is that there may be a little more haggling about the details [laughs]. In some ways, everyone has a strong opinion, but we always work it all out.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What’s your live setup like?</strong></p> <p>With Purple, I use the Y2D Music Man guitar. With Flying Colors I’ll use my blue-finished original four-pickup guitar. I've also got an Engl head I use through a fairly typical 4x12 cabinet. It's a German amp I came upon through one of my guitar roadies. They custom modified it to my specs, and it’s now become a signature amp. It's got a creamy, smooth high end as opposed to being irritating and brittle. The sound is clean enough to where I can do solo gigs and actually play classical guitar through the amp without distortion.</p> <p>For pedals, I have two TC Electronic Flashback delays. They were kind enough to do a custom sound for me. They’re wet delays that can easily be set, and they go into Ernie Ball volume pedals, which determine how much of a delay you’ll hear. I also use a TC Reverb and a Keeley compressor.</p> <p><strong>Is there a single memory from your career that stands out above the others?</strong></p> <p>I remember not even being old enough to drive when my band opened for a group called the Hampton Grease Band with Col. Bruce Hampton, who at the time was a local Atlanta fixture. There was a big crowd and I remember it was the first time I really got into the moment of performing and not being nervous at all. I actually became a part of the show with the crowd. That is to say, I was enjoying it just as much as they were enjoying the fact that the live music was taking them away from whatever was going on in their lives at that moment. </p> <p>That was where I discovered the real secret to performing: You don't ever fake it. I've never been one to try to manipulate the audience. I prefer to experience the show with them.</p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href=""></a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/deep-purple">Deep Purple</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/steve-morse">Steve Morse</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Deep Purple Flying Colors James Wood Steve Morse Interviews News Features Wed, 06 Aug 2014 20:28:48 +0000 James Wood Slash Visits Guitar Center in Hollywood — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Slash recently dropped by the fun-to-visit Vintage Room at Guitar Center Hollywood. While he was there, he chatted (on camera) about his musical beginnings, inspirations, guitars, recording process and more. </p> <p>Below, you can check out the video that chronicles his visit.</p> <p>Slash featuring Myles Kennedy &amp; The Conspirators will release their new album, <em>World On Fire,</em> September 16.</p> <p>If you're into this sort of thing, check out these two official Guitar Center clips, both of which were posted earlier this year:</p> <p>• <a href="">Video: Metallica's James Hetfield Visits Guitar Center in San Francisco</a></p> <p>• <a href="">Video: Metallica's Kirk Hammett Visits Guitar Center in San Francisco</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/slash">Slash</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Guitar Center Slash Videos Interviews News Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:25:55 +0000 Damian Fanelli 'Rock Your Face Off': Kix Guitarists Ronnie Younkins and Brian Forsythe Talk New Album <!--paging_filter--><p>Two decades can be a long time to wait for a new studio album, but Kix prove the wait was certainly worth it.</p> <p>Since reuniting in 2003 and adding bassist Mark Schenker to the lineup, Kix have experienced a resurgence in popularity—as well as a passion to create new music. <em>Rock Your Face Off</em>, which was released today, August 5, is the band’s first new studio album in nearly 20 years. It also continues in the band's high-energy tradition.</p> <p><strong><a href="">[[ Exclusive Video: Kix Discuss and Preview New Album, 'Rock Your Face Off' ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Produced by Taylor Rhodes, <em>Rock Your Face Off</em> is a collection of blues-inspired rock that combines catchy hooks and tasty riffs with the inspired musicianship and party atmosphere Kix are known for.</p> <p>Kix consists of Steve Whiteman (vocals), Ronnie Younkins (guitar), Brian Forsythe (guitar), Jimmy Chalfant (drums) and Mark Schenker (bass).</p> <p>I recently caught up with Younkins and Forsythe to discuss the new album, gear and more.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How would you describe <em>Rock Your Face Off</em>?</strong></p> <p><strong>Younkins:</strong> It's high-energy rock and roll with hard-driving guitars and bluesy rock solos. Every instrument is present and in your face, and Steve's vocals are better than ever. I'm so proud of this album. </p> <p><strong>This is the first new studio album from Kix in nearly 20 years. What sparked this project?</strong></p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> When we first reformed at the end of 2003, our intention was to just have fun. We never realized it would take off like it did. But after several years of doing shows around the Baltimore area and expanding out into the country, people started asking us about a record. We knew it was time.</p> <p><strong>What was the writing and recording process like?</strong></p> <p><strong>Younkins:</strong> It was a different kind of writing environment. Everyone had an input and a say in the music for this album. It was also great having Taylor Rhodes back again. He had worked with us in the past and has a vision for how the band works. </p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> Taylor produced the <em>Hot Wire</em> record and co-wrote a few songs for that album as well as for <em>Blow My Fuse</em>. He really has an inside view of Kix. He’s super easy to work with and a really nice guy. We had a lot of fun working with him.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What can you tell me about the song “Love Me With Your Top Down”?</strong></p> <p><strong>Younkins:</strong> When I first heard the demo, I wasn't sure if it would work, but after we played it and I heard Steve sing it, it turned all around. It sounds just like Kix.</p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> “Love Me With Your Top Down” was one of Mark’s ideas that he put together with Taylor. We had nine or 10 initial songs recorded but needed a few more. That was one of the last songs we worked on. </p> <p><strong>How about “Rock Your Face Off”?</strong></p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> That was one I brought in. I originally wrote that song for my band, Rhino Bucket. It was going to be on the last record but never got finished. I’m really glad it ended up on this album because it sounds more like a Kix song.</p> <p><strong>Seeing Kix live is like going to a party. What can you tell me about the atmosphere at a show?</strong></p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> We figured out how to do it early on. Right around the time we got signed, we were playing at this club in southern Maryland. I remember we would sometimes play six nights a week, five sets a night. That was our training ground, and it really taught us to put 100 percent into every performance. No matter what, we always deliver the same show.</p> <p><strong>What inspired you to start playing guitar?</strong></p> <p><strong>Younkins:</strong> When I was growing up, my dad always had a lot of country music playing, so I’ve always been attracted to the sound of stringed instruments. Then when I was 7, I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. It was February 9, 1964. When I first heard that sound, those two guitars and those songs, it just blew me away. I soon got an acoustic guitar and started taking lessons.</p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> My parents were also huge music fans. We would listen to guys like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Miles Davis. But once the Beatles came along, it changed everything. I was just a 6-year-old kid but from that point on, guitar was all I thought about.</p> <p><strong>Who were some of your other influences?</strong></p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> Early on, it was Chuck Berry and then there was Santana and Jimi Hendrix. I also really connected with southern rock. Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top was another guitarist who was a huge influence for me.</p> <p><strong>Younkins:</strong> The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix were a few of my other original influences. Then there’s Johnny Winter, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford from Aerosmith and the three Kings — Albert, B.B. and Freddie.</p> <p><strong>One of my favorite Kix songs is “Cold Blood." What can you tell me about it?</strong></p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> That was one of the songs Taylor co-wrote. I remember when I first heard the demo. I loved it right off the bat. In fact, if you asked me what my favorite song to play live is, I would have to say “Cold Blood." There’s just something about it. It always sounds good every night. I feel comfortable playing that song.</p> <p><strong>What can you tell me about your live setup?</strong></p> <p><strong>Younkins:</strong> I still use my '71 black Les Paul custom as my main guitar. I also use a 1986 Goldtop and a '59 re-issue from 2005. For amps, I use a '79 Marshall 100 Superlead along with a 4x12 Marshall cabinet.</p> <p><strong>Forsythe:</strong> I have a 1972 straight standard 50-watt Marshall I use for indoor shows. It’s the same one I used on the new record. For outdoor shows, I’ll use a JCM900. My main guitar is a ’71 Fender Telecaster with Joe Barden pickups. I also have a 1961 single cutaway, two-pickup Melody Maker. I’ll also bring along a Strat in case we do “Cold Shower” or one of those songs where I’ll need a whammy bar. </p> <p><strong>What excites you the most about the next chapter of Kix?</strong></p> <p><strong>Younkins:</strong> Getting this new music out and performing for the fans. I like being in the studio and making records but playing live is really what it’s all about. I love playing new songs like "Can't Stop the Show" and "Love Me With Your Top Down". For me, it’s all about the continuous cycle of love and learning and keeping the passion for the music alive. </p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href=""></a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></em></p> Brian Forsythe James Wood Kix Ronnie Younkins Interviews News Features Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:14:03 +0000 James Wood Jim Weider: A Telecaster Master Shares Some Magic <!--paging_filter--><p>Some guitar players have made a career out of utilizing the Fender Telecaster’s legendary twang. Others have made history by exploring the sonic territory that lies beyond. </p> <p>Jim Weider may be best known to some as the guy who held down the guitar slot in the Band after Robbie Robertson's departure. A member of Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band for the last few years of the legendary drummer’s life, Weider has helped to keep the Band’s family torch lit with various musical projects since Helm’s passing (most recently with the Weight). </p> <p>But there’s also a side of Weider’s playing that embraces the aforementioned beyond-Twangville territory: Project Percolator. A cool cross-pollination of genres that knows no fences or limits, Project Percolator has earned a reputation for burrowing into a groove or melody line, turning the thing inside out and using it as a launch pad for wild improvisational explorations.</p> <p>For decades, Weider’s go-to axe has been his ’52 Telecaster, blessed with its own one-of-a-kind voice. Most magicians are reluctant to share their secrets, but not Weider. His Big-T pickups are designed to ... well … I’ll let him tell the story.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Jim, you’ve been busy lately with various musical projects, along with the release of another Big-T pickup model, a bridge model this time to go with the rhythm pickup you introduced a couple of years ago.</strong> </p> <p>That’s right: it’s another one I developed with Lindy Fralin. He really makes great pickups. Mike Piera does the marketing for me through his <a href="">Analog Man website.</a></p> <p><strong>I’d been waiting for the bridge version to try in my single-pickup Esquire.</strong></p> <p>Did you keep the three-way switch?</p> <p><strong>Yes. I huddled with my guys up here at K2 Music, and we set it up so that all the way back is full-range volume and bypasses the tone control.</strong></p> <p>That should be really fat and have some body to it.</p> <p> <strong>Absolutely. And then the middle position is full-range volume and tone, which gives you all kinds of room to maneuver. And then they set the forward position up for the “Arlo Cocked Wah” tone — a 3.3k ohms resistor and a 0.01uF capacitor wired in series with the pickup, with the tone bypassed again.</strong></p> <p>That sounds pretty cool.</p> <p><strong>There’s a surprisingly large range of sound, and it’s very responsive to the pick … as pure or as fierce as you need it to be. You were actually trying to capture the tone of your go-to Telecaster with the Big Ts, correct?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, I was trying to emulate the tone of my ‘52 Tele pickup; get that same body of sound but make it just a little bit louder. I experimented with little bit longer magnets than what the ’52 used, but not too long or it will pull the strings out of tune. I tried going right through the bottom plate with the magnets, but that was insane; it became a very expensive thing.</p> <p>In the end, I ended up using a slightly longer magnet, an Alnico 3. That gave us the tone and fatness we were looking for with no icepick. From there we tried a bunch of different windings … Lindy really had the patience of a saint. [laughter] I’d A/B it with my guitar each time to compare the tone, finally getting the right magnet and winding combination. It cuts nicely, but it’s still a fat tone … and a little bit louder than the original.</p> <p><strong>And throughout the process, it was your ear making the judgment call.</strong></p> <p>That’s right.</p> <p><strong>You did a recent video comparing a stock Road Worn Telecaster fitted with Big Ts with your ’52. It’s a good comparison, as you simply unplug one and grab the other.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Yeah, that really shows the lead tone with just a Princeton amp.</p> <p>I wanted a pickup you could throw in your guitar and feel confident about. I used a regular Tele as a test guitar, nothing special. I wanted it to sound nice and meaty in a regular off-the-wall, under-a-grand guitar. I knew if it sounded great in that, it was going to sound great in anything else. </p> <p><strong>Well, I know I can look anybody in the world in the eye and tell them it does the job. I’ve had people ask me after gigs what the pickup is I’m running.</strong></p> <p>That’s great to hear, Brian. Now … what you should do is get a regular Tele pickguard and throw a Big-T rhythm pickup in.</p> <p><strong>No.</strong></p> <p>Ha!</p> <p><strong>Jim, you’re one of my heroes, but … no. [laughter] I’m just a single-pickup Esquire kind of guy.</strong></p> <p>Hey, Esquires are cool, man, they're cool. [laughter]</p> <p><strong>Any plans down the road for more Jim Weider hardware?</strong></p> <p>I wanted to develop a special bridge. I designed it, but I haven't found anyone to build it. It’s a big Tele bridge … a really cool design, but it would fit on anybody’s Tele.</p> <p><strong>Cool; I’ll keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, we have a new live Project Percolator CD to talk about. You have the same rhythm core of Rodney Holmes on drums and Steve Lucas on bass?</strong> </p> <p>That’s right. We recorded it last summer at the Mystic Blues Festival with Clifford Carter along with us on keys. Plus, this album features Hook Herrera on vocals and harp. We open and close with two Percolator instrumentals, our last song is a 25-minute version of “Man Cry,” but everything in the middle is straight-ahead blues, from Willie Dixon to Muddy Waters with some of Hook’s originals, too. I think it’s one of the best blues albums I’ve ever done.</p> <p><strong>Well, that’s a statement in itself, as you’ve played your share of blues over the years. Speaking of such, these “Masters of the Telecaster” shows you’ve been doing with G.E. Smith and Danny Kortchmar tackle the blues, along with a whole lot more.</strong></p> <p>Those are fun shows. It started as a tribute to Roy Buchanan and ended up being a real rock and roll show.</p> <p><strong>Has anyone been officially rolling tape?</strong></p> <p>We just recorded a show at Levon’s Barn in 24 track … I don't know what we’re going to do with it, but we have it in the can.</p> <p><strong>Well, when the times comes for a review...</strong></p> <p>I know how to get a hold of you. [laughs] </p> <p><em>A former offshore lobsterman, Brian Robbins had to wait a good four decades or so to write about the stuff he wanted to when he was 15. Today he’s a freelance scribe, cartoonist, photographer and musician. His home on the worldwide inner tube is at <a href=""></a> (And there’s that <a href="">Facebook</a> thing too.)</em></p> Brian Robbins Jim Weider Project Percolator Interviews News Features Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:47:12 +0000 Brian Robbins