The Aristocrats http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/3478/all en 'Tres Caballeros': The Aristocrats Announce New Album and Summer Tour Dates http://www.guitarworld.com/tres-caballeros-aristocrats-announce-new-album-and-summer-tour-dates <!--paging_filter--><p>Fresh off their Culture Clash world tour, the Aristocrats rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, <em>Tres Caballeros,</em> which is slated for release in late June.</p> <p>After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, where Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Van Halen recorded landmark albums.</p> <p>The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering, augmenting the band’s ability to improvise individually and as a group at the highest levels. </p> <p>But not to worry—it’s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and the Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have.</p> <p>“We’ve learned a lot since we started this band—four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago," says guitarist Guthrie Govan. "I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways.</p> <p>“The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio that had some thoroughly inspiring rock and roll "mojo"; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling pressure to record exclusively in a strict “trio” format ... all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we’ve ever written for each other, so here’s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do!”</p> <p>The Aristocrats also have announced summer tour dates, and you can check them out below. They'll be supported by fellow rock/fusion power trio the Travis Larson Band.</p> <p> Details on each date can be found on <a href="http://the-aristocrats-band.com/shows/">the Aristocrats website calendar page.</a></p> <p><strong>The Aristocrats Tres Caballeros North America Tour, Summer 2015:</strong></p> <p>Mon 6-Jul Sacramento, CA Harlow's<br /> Tues 7-Jul San Francisco, CA Slim's<br /> Wed 8-Jul Santa Cruz, CA Don Quixote's<br /> Fri 10-Jul Portland, OR Star Theater<br /> Sat 11-Jul Seattle, WA Studio Seven<br /> Sun 12-Jul Vancouver, BC, CANADA Rickshaw Theatre<br /> Tues 14-Jul Boise, ID Reef<br /> Wed 15-Jul Salt Lake City, UT Club X<br /> Fri 17-Jul Denver, CO Quixote's True Blue<br /> Sat 19-Jul Omaha, NE Slowdown<br /> Mon 20-Jul Des Moines, IA The Gaslamp<br /> Tues 21-Jul St. Paul, MN The Amsterdam Bar And Hall<br /> Fri 24-Jul Chicago, IL Reggie's<br /> Sat 25-Jul Indianapolis, IN Birdy's<br /> Sun 26-Jul Cincinnati, OH The Mad Frog<br /> Tues 28-Jul Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom<br /> Wed 29-Jul Pittsburgh, PA Hard Rock Café<br /> Thur 30-Jul Columbus, OH Skully's<br /> Fri 31-Jul Detroit, MI Token Lounge<br /> Sat 1-Aug Toronto, ON, CANADA Mod Club<br /> Sun 2-Aug Ottawa, ON, CANADA The Rainbow Bistro<br /> Tues 4-Aug Montreal, QC, CANADA TBD<br /> Wed 5-Aug Woodstock, NY Bearsville Theater<br /> Fri 7-Aug Boston, MA The Middle East<br /> Sat 8-Aug New York City, NY Irving Plaza<br /> Sun 9-Aug Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar<br /> Mon 10-Aug Washington, DC Jammin' Java<br /> Tues 11-Aug Raleigh, NC Pour House<br /> Thur 13-Aug Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall<br /> Fri 14-Aug Atlanta, GA TBD<br /> Sat 15-Aug Nashville, TN The High Watt<br /> Sun 16-Aug St. Louis, MO Old Rock House<br /> Mon 17-Aug Kansas City, MO The Scene<br /> Tues 18-Aug Tulsa, OK The Vanguard<br /> Thur 20-Aug Houston, TX Fitzgerald's<br /> Fri 21-Aug Austin, TX The Roost<br /> Sat 22-Aug Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX The Sanctuary<br /> Mon 24-Aug Albuquerque, NM Launchpad<br /> Wed 26-Aug Phoenix, AZ Club Red<br /> Thur 27-Aug Mexicali, MEXICO Teatro De Estado<br /> Fri 28-Aug San Diego, CA TBD<br /> Sat 29-Aug Corona/Big Bear, CA TBD<br /> Sun 30-Aug Los Angeles, CA King King</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/tres-caballeros-aristocrats-announce-new-album-and-summer-tour-dates#comments Guthrie Govan The Aristocrats News Thu, 19 Mar 2015 21:16:30 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23758 The Aristocrats Premiere "Culture Clash" from New Live DVD — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/aristocrats-premiere-culture-clash-new-live-dvd-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Rock/fusion power trio supergroup the Aristocrats—featuring Guthrie Govan on guitar, Bryan Beller on bass and Marco Minnemann on drums—will release <em>Culture Clash Live</em>, a new live CD/DVD, January 20. </p> <p>Captured in six different locations in five countries on three continents during the band’s 100-plus-show Culture Clash World Tour, it showcases the Aristocrats at their best: virtuosic, melodic, spontaneous, outrageous and fun.</p> <p>Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of a live version of "Culture Clash" from the new DVD. The performance was filmed in Bangkok, Thailand. Check it out below; as always, tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook.</p> <p><em>Culture Clash Live</em> will be released via BOING Music and will be available as a CD/DVD package containing eight audio tracks on the CD and nine cuts on the DVD. </p> <p>Only three tracks are the same performance on both CD and DVD; all the others are unique, giving fans a chance to hear how the songs evolved. DVD bonus features include a look behind the scenes at the video setup in Tokyo; an extra drum solo shot with 20 cameras; and demos from the <em>Culture Clash</em> album.</p> <p>“Every time we play a song live, it seems to evolve slightly,” Govan says. “However hard we might try to capture definitive versions in the studio, the true nature of any given composition inevitably reveals itself during the subsequent touring process, mutating incrementally from one night to the next as we do our best to maintain the element of spontaneity and encourage the occurrence of little musical ‘accidents.’”</p> <p>Physical units will first be sold through <a href="http://thearistocrats.spinshop.com/">the band’s webstore</a> and are already available for pre-sales. The digital audio-only will be available through iTunes and other e-tailers. </p> <p>The band is also releasing a 2CD, <em>Secret Show: Live In Osaka.</em> The first 1,000 units of <em>Secret Show</em> will be signed by the band, and the limited release will be available only at the band’s website and merch tables.</p> <p>You can check out complete track listings of all these releases below the video. Enjoy!</p> <p>For more information on the Aristocrats, visit <a href="http://the-aristocrats-band.com/">the-aristocrats-band.com</a> and follow them on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/aristocratsband">Facebook.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/l1yQPhGCjPg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Culture Clash Live</em> CD Track Listing:</strong><br /> Sweaty Knockers (Whittier, CA, USA)<br /> Ohhhh Noooo (Whittier, CA, USA)<br /> Get It Like That (Whittier, CA, USA)<br /> Culture Clash (Whittier, CA, USA)<br /> Gaping Head Wound (Whittier, CA)<br /> Louisville Stomp (Manchester, UK)<br /> Desert Tornado (Bangkok, THAILAND)<br /> Living The Dream (Zoetermeer, NL)</p> <p><strong><em>Culture Clash Live</em> DVD Track Listing:</strong><br /> Furtive Jack (Tokyo, JAPAN)<br /> Ohhhh Noooo (Bangkok, THAILAND)<br /> Louisville Stomp (Manchester, UK)<br /> Get It Like That (Tokyo, JAPAN)<br /> Culture Clash (Bangkok, THAILAND)<br /> Blues F***ers (Mexico City, MX)<br /> Gaping Head Wound (Mexico City, MX)<br /> Desert Tornado (Bangkok, THAILAND)<br /> Living The Dream (Zoetermeer, NL)</p> <p><strong><em>Secret Show: Live In Osaka</em> Track Listing:</strong><br /> <strong><em>Disc One</em></strong><br /> Introduction<br /> Furtive Jack<br /> Sweaty Knockers<br /> Ohhhh Noooo<br /> Get It Like That<br /> Culture Clash<br /> <strong><em>Disc Two</em></strong><br /> Flatlands<br /> Parental Advisory (pronounced "Blues F***ers")<br /> Gaping Head Wound<br /> Twister (pronounced "Desert Tornado")<br /> Washed Passport (pronounced "Living The Dream")<br /> Erotic Cakes</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/aristocrats-premiere-culture-clash-new-live-dvd-video#comments Guthrie Govan The Aristocrats Videos News Features Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:48:00 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23261 The Aristocrats — Featuring Guthrie Govan — Release Trailer for New DVD, 'Culture Clash Live' — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/aristocrats-featuring-guthrie-govan-release-trailer-new-dvd-culture-clash-live-video <!--paging_filter--><p>The rock/fusion power trio supergroup the Aristocrats—featuring Guthrie Govan on guitar, Bryan Beller on bass and Marco Minnemann on drums—will release <em>Culture Clash Live</em>, a live CD/DVD, January 20. </p> <p>Captured in six different locations in five countries on three different continents during the band’s 100-plus-show Culture Clash World Tour, it showcases the Aristocrats in full flight: virtuosic, melodic, spontaneous, outrageous and still having more fun than any group of world touring muzos has any right to have.</p> <p><em>Culture Clash Live</em> will be released on the band’s label, BOING Music, and available physically as a CD/DVD package containing eight audio tracks on the CD and nine cuts on the DVD. </p> <p>Only three tracks are the same performance on both CD and DVD; all the others are unique, giving fans a chance to hear how the songs evolved while on tour. DVD bonus features include a look behind the scenes at the video setup in Tokyo; an extra drum solo shot with 20 cameras; and demos from the <em>Culture Clash</em> album.</p> <p>Physical units will first be sold through <a href="http://thearistocrats.spinshop.com/">the band’s webstore</a> and are already available for pre-sales. The digital audio-only will be available through iTunes and other e-tailers. </p> <p>As if that’s not enough, the band is also releasing a 2CD, <em>Secret Show: Live In Osaka,</em> which shows the Aristocrats at the peak of their live prowess: equal parts raw, funny, bracing…and with no editing in any of the performances comprising the two-disc set. The first 1,000 units of <em>Secret Show</em> will be signed by the band, and the limited release will only be available at the band’s website and live merch tables.</p> <p>“Every time we play a song live, it seems to evolve slightly,” Govan says. “However hard we might try to capture definitive versions in the studio, the true nature of any given composition inevitably reveals itself during the subsequent touring process, mutating incrementally from one night to the next as we do our best to maintain the element of spontaneity and encourage the occurrence of little musical ‘accidents.’”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DStoYkaIYkk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/aristocrats-featuring-guthrie-govan-release-trailer-new-dvd-culture-clash-live-video#comments Guthrie Govan The Aristocrats Videos News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 21:36:46 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23177 Professor Shred with Guthrie Govan: Tapping in 16th-Note Triplets http://www.guitarworld.com/professor-shred-guthrie-govan-tapping-16th-note-triplets <!--paging_filter--><p>In this month’s column, I’d like to show you the complex fretboard-tapping section from a song of mine called “Bad Asteroid.” It’s from my self-titled album with the Aristocrats, which includes bassist Brian Bellar and drummer Marco Minneman.</p> <p>“Bad Asteroid” is a song that’s been bubbling away in my collection of unused tunes for about 18 or 19 years, and this new album gave me a good excuse to finally record it properly. </p> <p>It’s good material for this column because, in addition to requiring wacky and unusual tapping procedures, it features some nice harmonic interest in the chord progression over which the riff is played—what I like to describe as the “budget Steely Dan” chords.</p> <p>Without them, the riff just sounds weird. The chords are essential in providing a context to the tapped melodic idea. <strong>FIGURE 1</strong> illustrates the chord progression over which I play the tapped riff, which is essentially four bars long and followed by a fifth bar that resolves to Em9sus4. I begin in bar 1 with C/Bb, followed by A/B. Bar 2 consists of C9 to Fmaj7. </p> <p>Bar 3 sits on a chord that could be named a variety of things, but let’s call it Eadd2/G#, which is followed by a bar of Bbmaj7#11—that “Lydian mode” sound—and the resolution to Em9sus4.</p> <p>All of the chords, with the exception of the last, are performed fingerstyle, wherein I either pluck all the strings at once or subtly pick out individual notes of the chords, such as moving from the bass note to the higher strings, or vice versa. I also like to apply a little whammy-bar vibrato whenever a chord sustains.</p> <p>Equally important is the feel, which is a slow-ish swing. As a result, what are written as 16th-note rhythmic subdivisions are played as eighth-note/16th-note triplets. Now let’s look at the tapped figure, illustrated in <strong>FIGURE 2. </strong></p> <p>Throughout this pattern, I alternate between fret-hand and pick-hand tapped notes. Except for a couple of spots, I constantly switch from one hand to the other. For tapping, I generally use the middle finger and pinkie of my pick hand; in this section, I hold the pick in the crook of my pick-hand index finger, so that finger is unavailable for tapping.</p> <p>The rhythm is also essential to this riff. I’m superimposing an eighth-note triplet rhythm on each beat, then splitting each eighth note into two 16ths. This is the best way to look at the lick, because it progresses in two-note pairs, and representing it this way makes it easier to conceptualize.</p> <p>The other thing to keep in mind is that the two hands sort of mirror each other in their intervallic movement throughout. Slow practice will be mandatory to get a firm handle on this one. Although I wrote it, even I can’t play it unless I start from the beginning each time.</p> <p>This will be the last installment of my GW column for now, so thanks very much for reading. Check out the new Aristocrats album, and get more information about the group at <a href="http://the-aristocrats-band.com/music/">the-aristocrats-band.com.</a> See you on the road.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-17%20at%202.16.14%20PM.png" width="620" height="298" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 2.16.14 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-03-17%20at%202.16.26%20PM.png" width="620" height="565" alt="Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 2.16.26 PM.png" /></p> <p><strong>Part 1</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience1311026888001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="1311026888001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. 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If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><p><br /><strong>Part 2</strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at https://accounts.brightcove.com/en/terms-and-conditions/. --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://admin.brightcove.com/js/BrightcoveExperiences.js"></script><object id="myExperience1310972898001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="1310972898001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> http://www.guitarworld.com/professor-shred-guthrie-govan-tapping-16th-note-triplets#comments Guthrie Govan January January 2012 Professor Shred The Aristocrats 2012 Blogs News Features Lessons Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:25:18 +0000 Guthrie Govan http://www.guitarworld.com/article/13817 Guthrie Govan Takes His Six-String Fusion to New Heights with The Aristocrats' New Album, 'Culture Clash' http://www.guitarworld.com/guthrie-govan-takes-his-six-string-fusion-new-heights-aristocrats-new-album-culture-clash <!--paging_filter--><p>The world needs more guitar heroes like Guthrie Govan. </p> <p>No mere notes-per-nanosecond noodler, Govan has musical tastes and a command of music history far more eclectic and adventurous than those of the average shred demon. </p> <p>As a result, his playing is markedly more interesting than anything else in the current chops-guitar marketplace. Ample proof of this can be found on <em>Culture Clash</em>, his latest album with the Aristocrats, a polynational power trio that teams the British-born Govan with American bassist Bryan Beller (Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Dweezil Zappa) and German drummer Marco Minnemann (Paul Gilbert, Necrophagist, Mike Keneally). </p> <p><em>Culture Clash</em> is the second album by the all-instrumental Aristocrats, who take their name from an “inside” dirty joke among comedians (see the 2005 documentary <em>The Aristocrats</em>). Frank Zappa, a key Aristocrats influence, once asked, “Does humor belong in music?” </p> <p>Govan, Beller and Minnemann would certainly answer in the affirmative. Rubber chickens and pigs constitute part of their stage gear and are immortalized on <em>Culture Clash</em>’s cartoon cover art. Even Govan’s look seems a bit tongue-in-cheek: the scraggly bearded, shaggy-maned guitarist is a dead ringer for Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, one of prog-rock’s more outlandish progenitors. In fact, he once met Anderson’s son at a Joe Satriani gig. “I couldn’t resist the temptation,” Govan recalls. “I just had to say to him, ‘I bet I’ve been told I look like your dad more often than you have.’ ”</p> <p>Not that Govan’s grotty, early Seventies hippie vibe is deliberately cultivated. “My look is entirely a byproduct of not caring what I look like,” he says. And indeed, the Aristocrats are not going to win points on image. But then the level of their musicianship renders that somewhat unnecessary. The 41-year-old Govan strikes an ideal balance between classic “brown tone” guitar sensibilities and a 21st century extreme-guitar aesthetic. </p> <p>His remarkably fluid playing effortlessly blends elements of fusion, prog, metal and even EDM with more traditional styles like blues, straight-ahead jazz and country chicken pickin’, often in the same song. Govan’s masterfully nuanced tone is generally much cleaner than what’s heard in the average chops guitar performance and serves to bring the blinding but nonchalant precision of his playing into sharper focus. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ygdtsQyLM8Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“We realized that we don’t have to adhere to any kind of genre,” Govan says of the Aristocrats’ musical modus operandi. “The sound of the band, if we have such a thing, doesn’t so much come from adhering to any particular style of music. It comes from the way we play together. So we wanted to be a little bolder and crazier in terms of the writing and scope of this new album. We wanted to make the extreme parts more extreme, so the violent stuff is more violent and the pretty stuff is more pretty.” </p> <p>Govan’s eclectic musical outlook was hatched at an early age when he learned some guitar rudiments from his baby-boomer dad. “I had this wide-eyed fascination with all of music when I was three years old and learning to play my first Elvis Presley songs on guitar,” he says. “And something that I figured out a long time ago is that music is all around you. You don’t just have to learn guitar solos from your favorite records; you can learn jingles from the TV; you can learn the music that the ice cream man is playing. I’ve always tried to stay open to all the noises I hear around me.” </p> <p>Adolescence marked a big transition for the guitarist in many ways. “When I was 13 or 14,” he recalls, “I started hanging out with kids at school who were older than me. I was always the guitar-playing misfit. I could never find anyone my own age who was at a comparable level or had a comparable amount of passion for playing, so I would always end up hanging out with the older kids. </p> <p>And they took it upon themselves to corrupt me with heavy rock and metal. Prior to that I’d essentially been a blues-rock guy with some smatterings of country and jazz. But I didn’t know what a Floyd Rose was. I didn’t know what tapping was. And I didn’t really know what you could do with a pinched harmonic if you had enough gain on your amp, ’cause I’d never tried having that much gain. </p> <p>“Suddenly I heard Yngwie Malmsteen. I heard Steve Vai. I think I heard Steve Vai before I heard Eddie Van Halen. How’s that for messed up? I heard lots of guys on Shrapnel Records. I heard Metallica, which of course mostly had an impact on me in the rhythmic department. I loved the kind of chuggy, monstrous tone those guys were getting. </p> <p>"It was a time in my life when there was a huge ear-opening thing going on. And the players I really warmed to were Steve Vai, for his creativity and humor, and the fact that he made the vocabulary of the overdriven guitar so much bigger. And then Yngwie, who, to me, demonstrates that it is possible to have all these chops and play these outrageous fast things but still sound like you mean it. This may not be a popular viewpoint, but when I listen to Yngwie playing, there’s as much sincerity as there is when B.B. King is playing. He plays every note like it could be his last.”</p> <p>Apart from some brief studies in violin, Govan has no formal musical training. He studied English, rather than music, during his one year at Oxford. But his remarkable natural ear for music made him an ace transcriptionist for the U.K.’s Guitar Techniques magazine and a much-sought-after clinician. </p> <p>Govan’s 2006 solo album, <em>Erotic Cakes</em>, took its title from the name of a fictitious bakery in <em>The Simpsons</em> and featured a guest shot by Richie Kotzen, garnering praise and acclaim in the virtuoso-guitar community. Govan has played with several bands, most notably a latter-day incarnation of Asia and an ensemble led by kindred spirit and neo-prog/psychedelic singer guitarist Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree fame. But with the Aristocrats, he seems to have found his niche—for the moment, anyway. </p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Juxtaposition seems to be one of the Aristocrats’ key musical strategies—putting prog-rock stuff alongside blues, alongside jazzy chording and so on. Is that your view of the band’s brief?</strong></p> <p>I think the brief is to do whatever the hell we like and assume we can get away with it. And to try crazy things. All of us are the kind of players who can go to a trade show like NAMM and get mobbed by hundreds of people with demos CDs in a very specific style. We get a lot of fusion-shred guys saying, “Check this out,” and really, that’s not the stuff we listen to. </p> <p>If you could be a fly on the wall inside the van when we’re driving from one venue to the next, exchanging iPods and comparing musical tastes, there’s really not much complicated fusion going on. There’s everything else. So it’s not just me. Everyone in the Aristocrats is interested in a broad canvas of music.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>And you’ve been able to draw fans from a few of those different camps—various metal subgenres, prog fans, jazz people.</strong> </p> <p>Yeah, I like the crosspollination that’s happened with respect to fan bases. When we play now, we might have fans of the crazy Keneally/Zappa-type stuff who are familiar with Bryan, or some death metal guys who saw Marco with Kreator or Necrophagist or something like that. We started to get a few Steven Wilson fans showing up—more somber prog-rock guys. Normally you wouldn’t find all those disparate music fans at the same gig. So I think that’s a good thing.</p> <p><strong>I guess the level of playing is the common draw.</strong></p> <p>Yes, you can use the musicianship angle to draw people in. But hopefully they have fun when they come to the gig. It’s not fun if everyone in the front row has brought their binoculars and notepad and they’re scrutinizing what you do. It’s nice if you can get a smile out of people. </p> <p><strong>Which of your guitars came into play on the new record?</strong></p> <p>Most of it is the first prototype I’ve developed with Charvel, which has a koa body and this lovely barking, rock kind of tone. That’s on everything apart from “Louisville Stomp” and “Desert Tornado.” For those two, I hired a Gretsch, more specifically the Reverend Horton Heat signature model Gretsch. And I’d never played a Gretsch before! I just hired it, brought it to the studio, opened the case and realized, Wow, playing a Gretsch is like playing guitar on another planet when you’re eight months pregnant. Everything is in a different place. It’s a completely different beast. Dynamically, it responds differently. The Bigsby was a big learning curve. </p> <p><strong>I thought it was a Gretsch on “Desert Tornado”! That’s the only way to get that lovely Duane Eddy/David Lynch kind of mysterious mid–20th century tone. </strong></p> <p>Totally. And it was a real bonding experience for me: learning to love Gretsches. </p> <p><strong>You’re one of the few virtuoso guitarists who doesn’t go in for what I call the “NAMM show tone”—that hackneyed, super-distorted, cheese-whiz tone that everybody else seems to have.</strong></p> <p>The problem with that tone is that it’s so enticing for someone who wants to play complicated stuff. That tone compresses everything and makes it easier for you to get your billion notes a second out. Unfortunately, the easier it is to play with a sound, often the harder it is to listen to that sound. And that buzzy tone, to my ears, doesn’t really sit in a regular band context. It always sounds a little bit abrasive and fake. If you listen to it live and at high volumes, it gets fatiguing.</p> <p><strong>And it’s such a cliché now. It sends some people right to the door. </strong></p> <p>Yes. And also I was raised on a lot of Hendrix and Clapton, B.B. King and all this sort of stuff. So part of my idea of what a guitar sounds like is informed by all that traditional stuff.</p> <p><strong>All that comes across in your work. Country too. </strong></p> <p>Well, that’s where the real guitar heroes live, isn’t it?</p> <p><strong>You’re also somewhat unique these days in that you don’t seem to be into seven-string guitars or low tunings or any of that stuff.</strong></p> <p>Well, I haven’t ruled out the idea of treating myself to an eight-string, mostly so I could have a spare instrument to travel with on the tour bus. I spend a lot of time on the road, and sometimes when I get to a hotel room I want to record a demo. And the idea of an extended-range instrument, where I could approximate the bass parts and guitar parts, is interesting. So, as a tool, the eight-string thing is tempting, but in terms of actually saying what I have to say musically, I’m still figuring out what to do with six strings. I haven’t exhausted the possibilities there by any means. </p> <p><strong>Exactly. It’s been enough for many great guitarists. </strong></p> <p>Yeah. And it also worries me sometimes when a guy goes for the ultra-low stuff. Sometimes it isn’t enough just to make the strings fatter. The problem is the instrument isn’t long enough when you get into notes an octave below the lowest note on a traditional guitar. But maybe through all that overdrive it doesn’t matter so much.</p> <p><strong>Speaking of overdrive, you mentioned that you’re still using Suhr amps. </strong></p> <p>For this band, yes. The Suhr Badger 30 has become the guitar sound of the Aristocrats. I think it would feel weird to try anything else. And the trusty Suhr Koko boost pedal is actually almost part of the Badger. Those two go together so well. But in the studio, recording Culture Clash, we had two amps on the go. I split the guitar signal and went through two completely different amps so we could mix the signal as we saw fit on a track-by-track basis. </p> <p>One was the Badger and the other was a Fender Supersonic 22. And I had a couple of different pedals in front of that. One was a Wampler Euphoria, which is kind of a Dumble in a tin, and at other points it was the Analog Man Sunface, which is the mightiest of all fuzz pedals. Other than that, I think I brought a wah pedal to the studio, but I didn’t use it. And volume pedal is a huge part of what I do. I try to set the amp so that everything is turned up to 10 and squealing uncontrollably. It’s nice to know reckless abandon is there and that I can access it by pushing the volume pedal all the way down. Then I can back it off as much as I need for whatever tone I’m going for.</p> <p><strong>Any other effects that played a role on <em>Culture Clash?</em></strong></p> <p>I used either an Analog Man chorus or a Providence Anadime chorus. They’re my two favorites. I think it was the Analog Man. And the other was a DLS Versa Vibe, which is their take, as the name would suggest, on a Uni-Vibe type sound. I think you can hear that maybe in the solo for “Living the Dream.” I think I used it for a few clean guitar parts on some of the layers in the Marco songs. And I used an eBow for the middle bit—the bass solo section in “Oh No.” </p> <p><strong>Was the sequencer-like part in “Dance of the Aristocrats” generated by a guitar? </strong></p> <p>No, that’s Bryan. He has this cool thing where he’s playing through a bass-synth pedal, and then he has a very short delay, like a 16th-note delay. He’s hitting eighth notes and then the slapback has the same output level as the original notes. Marco wrote the song and for the demo he had programmed some kind of synth bass. Bryan figured out a way he can do the part live that hopefully sounds suitably electronic. </p> <p><strong>But the main melody and leads also have a kind of synthy tone and glissando. That’s you on guitar, right?</strong></p> <p>Yes. Marco and I, in particular, do have a soft spot for a lot of electronic music. Marco’s a big Kraftwerk fan and always has been. I’ve listened to far too much Aphex Twin and Squarepusher and stuff like that. </p> <p><strong>Along with standard tuning, you’re known for playing in dropped D. Are there any dropped D pieces on <em>Culture Clash</em>?</strong></p> <p>Yes, but not on any of my own compositions. It’s never me, but the other guys love it. “Living in a Dream” is very much dropped D, “Ohhhh Noooo” and “Desert Tornado” are also dropped D. </p> <p><strong>In “Ohhhh Noooo,” are you using the whammy bar to get that kind of nervous vibrato quality on the lead lines?</strong></p> <p>No, that’s just me bending. Someone else in an interview said, “This reminds me of Jeff Beck. Were you channeling Jeff Beck?” Not consciously. When Marco sent me the demo, that melody had more of a Mike Stern kind of vibe. Just the notes—very staccato. I thought it would be more fun and cheeky sounding to put in some of those quirky fast-as-possible semitone bends. </p> <p>The intro to the title track—which is one of your compositions on the album—reminded me a bit of Gentle Giant. I don’t know if that band is on your radar at all. </p> <p>Interesting. I’d never really heard of Gentle Giant until I joined Steven Wilson’s band [circa 2006] and everybody was talking about them. So I thought, Oh I better check this Gentle Giant out. I did, and yeah it’s great stuff. But I think I found it at the wrong time in my life for it to be a huge influence. </p> <p>No, on “Culture Clash” what I was trying to do there was write a riff in a simple time signature which would confuse and deceive the listener. So the whole of that song is in 6/8, not a particularly clever time signature, but that’s my favorite kind of rhythmic trickery—where actually there’s some very basic skeleton behind something that sounds more complicated. Maybe it’s a conventional time signature and you put the accents in unexpected places. And I think it works. I think most of the people who listen to that are confused at first as to what time signature it is. </p> <p><strong>The guitar playing is amazingly fluid in a lot of places on the album. Are you one of these guys who practices the guitar for 16 hours a day?</strong></p> <p>No. In my teens I did spend a lot of time playing guitar. But I never liked to call it practice. I was never a metronome warrior. The idea of having a regimented thing that you do every day didn’t appeal to me: “I will now do my sweeps for 10 minutes and then I will take a 30-second break, turn the metronome up 20 percent, do sweeps for five minutes, relax, do alternate picking…” Blah, blah, blah. For some people that works. </p> <p>Some people like that Olympic-weightlifter kind of mentality, and that helps them master the instrument. I personally don’t have the patience for that. Or the attention span. So all I ever did was play. Psychologically, for me, there was a big difference between the word play and the word practice. Practice sounds like push-ups or Hail Marys or something. It sounds like something that you’re made to do. But play sounds like fun.</p> <p>I always believed in precision and playing stuff properly, but a big part of that is just trying to make the note sound good. That’s the one thing that people forget sometimes. They get blinded by that quest for speed or whatever. The actual tone of the notes is hugely important. I guess I’ve spent a lot of time subconsciously trying to work on that.</p> <p><strong>Of your many musical projects, which most reflects what you’re all about?</strong></p> <p>It’s really hard to say. At the time it came out, that <em>Erotic Cakes</em> album probably expressed what I was about in the decade or so leading up to its release. Some of the music on there was more than 20 years old, essentially. So that solo album was trying to get some of those things out of my system and into the public domain, just so I could move on. Certainly, that was an accurate snapshot of who I have been as a musician. It’s not necessarily an accurate snapshot of who I am now. </p> <p>I’ll probably do more heavily overdubbed, layered multitrack solo recordings in the future. But right now I’m having a lot of fun with the Aristocrats. There’s so much freedom just to be yourself. And somehow we’re compatible, and when we interact, a lot of stuff happens telepathically. And I think the rawness of the trio thing is helping me to write in a different way. When you play live in a trio there are only two people capable of playing notes from the chromatic scale. It’s fun to make that sound as full as possible harmonically and come up with something that is greater than the sum of its parts. </p> <p><em>Photo: Tara Stewart</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guthrie-govan-takes-his-six-string-fusion-new-heights-aristocrats-new-album-culture-clash#comments Guthrie Govan November 2013 Tara Stewart The Aristocrats Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 01 Nov 2013 21:48:07 +0000 Alan di Perna http://www.guitarworld.com/article/19234 Listen: The Aristocrats Streaming New Song, "Culture Clash" http://www.guitarworld.com/listen-aristocrats-streaming-new-song-culture-clash <!--paging_filter--><p>Check out "Culture Clash," a new song by the Aristocrats, an instrumental rock/fusion trio featuring guitarist <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/tags/guthrie-govan">Guthrie Govan</a>, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann.</p> <p>The band's second album, also titled <em>Culture Clash</em>, will be released Tuesday, July 16, via BOING Music. </p> <p>“There's something that happens when the three of us get together in a room. It happened in the first rehearsal, it happened in the first gig, and it definitely happens in the studio,” Beller said. “That's why, even though we live thousands of miles and an ocean apart, we always make records in the same room as opposed to remote file-swapping."</p> <p>Govan added: “All the time we spent together as a band touring and gigging together and interacting has made us bolder in terms of the kind of material we've dared to write for this album. I think there's some wackier stuff that we maybe wouldn't have submitted for the first album when we didn't know each other as well.”</p> <p>The Aristocrats have announced several July and August US tour dates, which you can see below the video. For more about the band, visit their <a href="http://www.the-aristocrats-band.com/">official website</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/aristocratsband">Facebook page.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rFPXc9sWtDc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>THE ARISTOCRATS “Culture Clash” US Tour Dates:</strong></p> <p>7/17 Nashville TN @ Douglas Corner<br /> 7/19 Tampa FL @ Brass Mug<br /> 7/20 Orlando FL @ West End Trading Company<br /> 7/21 Jacksonville FL @ 1904 Music Hall<br /> 7/23 Atlanta GA @ Atlanta Institute of Music (clinic/show)<br /> 7/24 Atlanta GA @Masquerade (Purgatory Room)<br /> 7/25 Charlotte NC @ Tremont Music Hall (Casbah)<br /> 7/26 Raleigh NC @ Pour House Music Hall<br /> 7/27 Washington DC @ Jammin Java<br /> 7/29 Boston MA @ Berklee College of Music (clinic)<br /> 7/30 Boston MA @ Berklee Performance Center (concert)<br /> 7/31 Wilkes-Barre PA @ River St. Jazz Cafe<br /> 8/1 New York City NY @ Highline Ballroom<br /> 8/2 Philadelphia PA @ North Star Bar<br /> 8/3 Dunellen NJ @ New Jersey Proghouse<br /> 8/6 Pittsburgh PA @ Hard Rock Cafe<br /> 8/7 Cleveland OH @ Beachland Tavern<br /> 8/8 Columbus OH @ Rumba Café<br /> 8/9 Cincinnati OH @ Southgate House Revival<br /> 8/10 Charleston WV @ Empty Glass<br /> 8/12 Detroit MI @ Token Lounge<br /> 8/13 Indianapolis IN @ Birdy's<br /> 8/14 Chicago IL @ Reggie's<br /> 8/15 Madison WI @ Brink Lounge<br /> 8/16 St. Paul MN @ Amsterdam Bar and Hall<br /> 8/17 Omaha NE @ Shamrock's<br /> 8/19 St. Louis MO @ 2720 Cherokee<br /> 8/20 Kansas City MO @ The Record Bar<br /> 8/21 Tulsa OK @ The Vanguard<br /> 8/23 Denton TX @ Dan's Silverleaf<br /> 8/24 Houston TX @ Rudyard's Pub<br /> 8/25 Austin TX @ Saxon Pub</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/listen-aristocrats-streaming-new-song-culture-clash#comments Guthrie Govan The Aristocrats News Fri, 12 Jul 2013 21:06:38 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/18784 Video: The Aristocrats Release 'Culture Clash' Album Teaser http://www.guitarworld.com/video-aristocrats-release-culture-clash-album-teaser <!--paging_filter--><p>The Aristocrats — a fusion trio featuring guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann — have posted a teaser video for their upcoming album, <em>Culture Clash</em>.</p> <p>The album will be released July 16.</p> <p>“There's something that happens when the three of us get together in a room. It happened in the first rehearsal, it happened in the first gig, and it definitely happens in the studio,” Beller said. “That's why, even though we live thousands of miles and an ocean apart, we always make records in the same room as opposed to remote file-swapping. </p> <p>"This time we were fueled by 18 months on the road together as opposed to just one hot gig, and I think fans will really see the difference in the studio and interview footage on the bonus DVD.”</p> <p>Govan added: “All the time we spent together as a band touring and gigging together and interacting has made us bolder in terms of the kind of material we've dared to write for this album. I think there's some wackier stuff that we maybe wouldn't have submitted for the first album when we didn't know each other as well.”</p> <p>For more information on the Aristocrats, visit <a href="http://the-aristocrats-band.com/">the-aristocrats-band.com</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/aristocratsband">www.facebook.com/aristocratsband</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XfxiGVt7q9E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Catch THE ARISTOCRATS coming to your town this summer!</strong></p> <p>THE ARISTOCRATS “Culture Clash” U.S. Tour Dates:<br /> 7/17 Nashville TN @ Douglas Corner<br /> 7/19 Tampa FL @ Brass Mug<br /> 7/20 Orlando FL @ West End Trading Company<br /> 7/21 Jacksonville FL @ 1904 Music Hall<br /> 7/23 Atlanta GA @ Atlanta Institute of Music (clinic/show)<br /> 7/24 Atlanta GA @Masquerade (Purgatory Room)<br /> 7/25 Charlotte NC @ Tremont Music Hall (Casbah)<br /> 7/26 Raleigh NC @ Pour House Music Hall<br /> 7/27 Washington DC @ Jammin Java<br /> 7/29 Boston MA @ Berklee College of Music (clinic)<br /> 7/30 Boston MA @ Berklee Performance Center (concert)<br /> 7/31 Wilkes-Barre PA @ River St. Jazz Cafe<br /> 8/1 New York City NY @ Highline Ballroom<br /> 8/2 Philadelphia PA @ North Star Bar<br /> 8/3 Dunellen NJ @ New Jersey Proghouse<br /> 8/6 Pittsburgh PA @ Hard Rock Cafe<br /> 8/7 Cleveland OH @ Beachland Tavern<br /> 8/8 Columbus OH @ Rumba Café<br /> 8/9 Cincinnati OH @ Southgate House Revival<br /> 8/10 Charleston WV @ Empty Glass<br /> 8/12 Detroit MI @ Token Lounge<br /> 8/13 Indianapolis IN @ Birdy's<br /> 8/14 Chicago IL @ Reggie's<br /> 8/15 Madison WI @ Brink Lounge<br /> 8/16 St. Paul MN @ Amsterdam Bar and Hall<br /> 8/17 Omaha NE @ Shamrock's<br /> 8/19 St. Louis MO @ 2720 Cherokee<br /> 8/20 Kansas City MO @ The Record Bar<br /> 8/21 Tulsa OK @ The Vanguard<br /> 8/23 Denton TX @ Dan's Silverleaf<br /> 8/24 Houston TX @ Rudyard's Pub<br /> 8/25 Austin TX @ Saxon Pub</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/video-aristocrats-release-culture-clash-album-teaser#comments Guthrie Govan The Aristocrats Videos News Fri, 28 Jun 2013 20:26:25 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/18678 Exclusive DVD Preview: The Making of The Aristocrats' 'Culture Clash,' with Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-dvd-preview-making-aristocrats-culture-clash-guthrie-govan-bryan-beller-and-marco-minnemann <!--paging_filter--><p>Today, GuitarWorld.com presents an exclusive video by the Aristocrats, an instrumental rock/fusion trio featuring guitarist <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/tags/guthrie-govan">Guthrie Govan</a>, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann.</p> <p>The band's second album, <em>Culture Clash</em>, will be released July 16 via BOING Music. </p> <p>The deluxe version of the album will include a bonus DVD called <em>Accept The Mystery: The Making Of The Aristocrats' Culture Clash</em>. You can check out our exclusive preview of that DVD below. The 33-minute documentary was shot in Nashville while the Aristocrats were recording <em>Culture Clash</em> in January. </p> <p>“There's something that happens when the three of us get together in a room. It happened in the first rehearsal, it happened in the first gig, and it definitely happens in the studio,” Beller said. “That's why, even though we live thousands of miles and an ocean apart, we always make records in the same room as opposed to remote file-swapping. </p> <p>"This time we were fueled by 18 months on the road together as opposed to just one hot gig, and I think fans will really see the difference in the studio and interview footage on the bonus DVD.”</p> <p>Govan added: “All the time we spent together as a band touring and gigging together and interacting has made us bolder in terms of the kind of material we've dared to write for this album. I think there's some wackier stuff that we maybe wouldn't have submitted for the first album when we didn't know each other as well.”</p> <p>The Aristocrats have announced several July and August US tour dates, which you can see below the exclusive video. For more about the band, visit their <a href="http://www.the-aristocrats-band.com/">official website</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/aristocratsband">Facebook page.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ygdtsQyLM8Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>The Aristocrats' <em>Culture Clash</em> US Tour Dates:</strong></p> <p>7/17 Nashville TN @ Douglas Corner<br /> 7/19 Tampa FL @ Brass Mug<br /> 7/20 Orlando FL @ West End Trading Company<br /> 7/21 Jacksonville FL @ 1904 Music Hall<br /> 7/23 Atlanta GA @ Atlanta Institute of Music (clinic/show)<br /> 7/24 Atlanta GA @Masquerade (Purgatory Room)<br /> 7/25 Charlotte NC @ Tremont Music Hall (Casbah)<br /> 7/26 Raleigh NC @ Pour House Music Hall<br /> 7/27 Washington DC @ Jammin Java<br /> 7/29 Boston MA @ Berklee College of Music (clinic)<br /> 7/30 Boston MA @ Berklee Performance Center (concert)<br /> 7/31 Wilkes-Barre PA @ River St. Jazz Cafe<br /> 8/1 New York City NY @ Highline Ballroom<br /> 8/2 Philadelphia PA @ North Star Bar<br /> 8/3 Dunellen NJ @ New Jersey Proghouse<br /> 8/6 Pittsburgh PA @ Hard Rock Cafe<br /> 8/7 Cleveland OH @ Beachland Tavern<br /> 8/8 Columbus OH @ Rumba Café<br /> 8/9 Cincinnati OH @ Southgate House Revival<br /> 8/10 Charleston WV @ Empty Glass<br /> 8/12 Detroit MI @ Token Lounge<br /> 8/13 Indianapolis IN @ Birdy's<br /> 8/14 Chicago IL @ Reggie's<br /> 8/15 Madison WI @ Brink Lounge<br /> 8/16 St. Paul MN @ Station 4<br /> 8/17 Omaha NE @ Shamrock's<br /> 8/19 St. Louis MO @ 2720 Cherokee<br /> 8/20 Kansas City MO @ The Record Bar<br /> 8/21 Tulsa OK @ The Vanguard<br /> 8/23 Denton TX @ Dan's Silverleaf<br /> 8/24 Houston TX @ Rudyard's Pub<br /> 8/25 Austin TX @ Saxon Pub</p> <p><strong><em>Culture Clash</em> Track Listing:</strong></p> <p>01. Dance Of The Aristocrats<br /> 02. Culture Clash<br /> 03. Louisville Stomp<br /> 04. Ohhhh Noooo<br /> 05. Gaping Head Wound<br /> 06. Desert Tornado<br /> 07. Cocktail Umbrellas<br /> 08. Living The Dream<br /> 09. And Finally</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-dvd-preview-making-aristocrats-culture-clash-guthrie-govan-bryan-beller-and-marco-minnemann#comments Bryan Beller Guthrie Govan Marco Minnemann The Aristocrats Videos News Features Mon, 10 Jun 2013 14:27:55 +0000 Damian Fanelli http://www.guitarworld.com/article/18524