News en The 25 Things Every Guitarist Should Know <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Many people believe that possessing talent alone is enough to guarantee an artist success in the music business. Nothing could be further from the truth. In a perfect world, the best musicians—the best guitarists—would be amply rewarded for their abilities. The music business, however, is far from perfect. </em></p> <p>And unless you're one of the blessed few (such as Eddie Van Halen) who can single-handedly change the course of guitar history, the harsh reality is that killer chops and perfect time impress only other guitarists, not the people who hire you or buy the records.</p> <p>Talent, of course, is any artist's basic bread and butter, but whether you're a fingerpicker or a two-handed tapper, in order to survive the music business and distinguish yourself from the thousands of other guitarists who are after your gig, you must boast some other essential qualities. </p> <p>These range from good people skills to practical, common-sense approaches to your business (Fact it, that's what it is), both of which will help you stand out from the pack—and believe me, there's nothing more frightening that a pack of hungry, feral guitarists. </p> <p>For your edification, I have crunched these qualities—the many do's and don'ts of guitar existence—into 25 hardheaded, clearly wrought maxims. Learn them, memorize them, master them and imbibe. You'll be a better person for it, a better guitarist, and you just may make your way from the garage to the arena stage.</p> <p><strong>01. Nobody likes an asshole</strong></p> <p>Reality check: Most musicians don't give a damn whether you're the second coming of Jimi, Eddie or Buck Dharma. They just want someone with a good attitude who will play the parts correctly. And since most of your time is spent offstage, relating with the other musicians on a personal level becomes as important as relating to them musically. Remember-no one is indispensable. Just ask David Lee Roth.</p> <p><strong>02. Having a great feel is your most important musical asset</strong></p> <p>No one will want to play with you if you have bad time. You must have a great feel-it's that simple. By "great feel" I mean the ability to lock in with the rhythm section and produce a track that grooves. If there's one thing I would recommend you to constantly work on, it's developing your groove. Listen to the greats to learn how grooves should be played: from rock (Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" to 16th-note funk (James Brown's "Sex Machine") to blues shuffle ("Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughan). Tape yourself (with a metronome) playing them-you'll be able to isolate and work on your problem areas. Or pick up the excellent JamTrax series (Music Sales), a series of play-along tapes covering everything from blues to alternative to metal, to stay in shape. This is the one area where you should be most brutal in your self-assessment. You'll be a much better player for it.</p> <p><strong>03. Develop your own sound </strong></p> <p>There's no better way to learn how to play than to cop licks from your favorite guitarists. The problem to watch out for is when you start sounding too much like your favorite player. Remember, rules, especially musical rules, are made to be broken.</p> <p><strong>04. Be on time</strong></p> <p>You wouldn't believe how many musicians don't believe that punctuality is important. It is crucial.</p> <p><strong>05. Listen, listen, listen!</strong></p> <p>When you're on stage or in the studio, don't be in your own world-listen and interact with the other musicians you're working with. React to what they're playing. Don't play too loud or get in the way when someone else is soloing. Put their egos ahead of yours-your number will always be called if the other musicians feel that you made them sound better.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>06. Know what you want to be</strong></p> <p>The most successful people in the music business are totally focused-they have specific goals in mind and do whatever is necessary to achieve them. The simple realization that you don't have to be a musician to be a rock star and don't have to be a rock star to be a musician can spare you years of cynicism and bitterness.</p> <p><strong>07. Play for the song, not for yourself</strong></p> <p>It's imperative to play what's idiomatically correct. For example, don't play Yngwie licks on Bush's "Glycerine" or a noodly jazz solo on Soundgarden's "Outshined," no matter how much it impresses you. I learned this the hard way while auditioning for a punk singer. I thought I'd show her what a good, well-rounded musician I was and ended a thrash song in A with an Am(add9) chord, instead of a more appropriate A5. I was promptly shown the door.</p> <p><strong>08. Play with musicians who are better (and better known) than you</strong></p> <p>There's no faster way to improve and jump up to the next level than to play with great musicians. You'll learn the tricks of the trade, and pick up on their years of experience in the trenches, as well. But if you want to be a star, there's no better way to kick-start your career than by ingratiating yourself with someone famous and be seen sycophantically swilling drinks with him or her at the coolest bar in town.</p> <p><strong>09. Less is more</strong></p> <p>Most players you hear or read about pay lip service to what has become the guitardom's ultimate cliché. The fact is, though, what's glibly easy to say is not necessarily easy to do. I learned this on a gig backing up a singer on a cruise ship (It was the actual "Love Boat!"). Back then, I couldn't read music or play over changes very well, so during the first show, in abject fear, I played very sparsely-only what I was sure would work. After the show, the singer told me she had never worked with so sensitive an accompanist.</p> <p><strong>10. Image does matter</strong></p> <p>This is one of the sad truths about the music business. The good news, however, is that not every musical situation calls for the same image. So use some common sense-if you're going to be auditioning for a wimpy jangle band, don't come dressed like a Marilyn Manson cast-off.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>11. It's essential to have a great touch, or vibrato</strong></p> <p>There are players who say it took them 10-15 years to develop a great vibrato. They're the lucky ones-most never find it. Your touch is like your fingerprints-it's what distinguishes your blues playing, for instance, from that of countless other guitarists. Think of B.B. King or Jimi Hendrix-they are instantly recognizable. There are two main types of vibrato: one generated by the wrist (a la Hendrix and B.B. King) and the other from the fingers (favored more by classical guitarists). To determine which type works for you, check out your favorite guitarists' vibratos and try to imitate them. You can also pick up B.B. King's video <em>Bluesmaster</em> (Volume 1) to see his unique "bee-sting" vibrato demonstrated in-depth.</p> <p><strong>12. Get your sound/tone together</strong></p> <p>I can't emphasize enough how important this is. Know your gear well enough so that it works for you, not against you. For example, if you're looking for a Stevie Ray tone, you won't get it with a Les Paul going through a Marshall. You'll need a Strat running through a Fender Bassman (with an Ibanez Tube Screamer for extra punch). Unless you're a studio tech-head, a great guitar and amp (with an overdrive or chorus pedal) will probably sound 10 times better than a refrigerator full of rack-mounted shit (believe me, I've been there).</p> <p><strong>13. Practice what you don't know, not what you do know</strong></p> <p>In order to improve, you must practice. That sounds frightening, but let me reassure you that good practicing doesn't necessarily entail sitting grimly in a basement (while the other kids are outside playing), mindlessly running scales and arpeggios-you can get all the technique you need by learning licks from your favorite guitarists. For example, Eric Johnson's intro to "Cliffs of Dover" is a veritable lexicon of minor-pentatonic ideas. Here are the three axioms of good practicing:</p> <p>A. Master small bits of music first (no more than four to eight notes at a time), then connect them to form longer passages.</p> <p>B. Start out playing new ideas at a slow tempo (this builds muscle memory), then gradually work up to speed. It's much better to play slow and clean than fast and sloppy.</p> <p>C. Always practice with a metronome</p> <p><strong>14. Get your business chops together</strong></p> <p>Business chops are just as important as musical ones, if not more so. If you want to make money as a musician, you have to start seeing yourself as a business and your music as a product. Acting against the stereotype of a musician (you know—stupid, drunk and gullible), as hard as that may be, will show club owners and record execs that you're not a pushover.</p> <p><strong>15. Be fluent with both major and minor pentatonic scales</strong></p> <p>In rock, pop, blues or country situations, knowing these scales will enable you to get by 80 percent of the time. I heartily recommend my book <em>Practical Pentatonics</em> (Music Sales)-a nifty little volume that covers just about all you need to know to be comfortable using the pentatonic scale in real-life gigging situations.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>16. As soon as you learn something cool, apply it immediately to a real-life musical situation</strong></p> <p>Many guitarists learn tons of licks that sound great when played in the practice room. But the minute they get on stage, they have a hard time integrating this new material into their playing. Before you learn something new, you should have an idea where you could fit it in.</p> <p><strong>17. Learn as many melodies as you can</strong></p> <p>Not only does learning melodies to tunes (any tunes) increase your repertoire, it also (subconsciously) gives you an incredibly distinct edge in developing your phrasing. Ideally, you should be able to duplicate any melody you hear.</p> <p>A. Listen to how singers interpret melodies and try to mimic their phrasing on the guitar.</p> <p>B. Try to play back any, and I mean any, melody you hear-be it a TV commercial, nursery rhyme or the Mister Softee ice cream truck theme.</p> <p>C. Always learn a melody on more than one place on the guitar neck. You want to play the melody, not have the melody play you.</p> <p><strong>18. Know your place</strong></p> <p>When a bandleader asks you to play something a certain way, smile and do it! Don't argue. Don't pout. Don't think you know better. Don't be an asshole. You'll have plenty of time to be in charge when your three-disk epic rock opera adaptation of The Jeffersons gets picked up.</p> <p><strong>19. Contrary to popular belief, taking lessons and listening to other styles of music doesn't hurt</strong></p> <p>It never hurts to broaden your scope, no matter how great a player you already are or how much you think you've already learned all there is to know. Opening your mind to other styles and techniques makes you a better, more well-rounded musician. Period. A great teacher can inspire and enable you to develop as a creative, exciting player.</p> <p><strong>20. Learn as many tunes as possible, from start to finish</strong></p> <p>It doesn't matter what style you like to play in, the more tunes you know, the easier it is to get a gig or kick ass on a jam session. And there's no excuse for not doing it-even if you're not at the point where you can learn tunes off the recording, you can avail yourself of the hundreds of transcription books out there. Heck, you can learn five new tunes a month just by reading <em>Guitar World</em>!</p> <hr /> <p><strong>21. Develop authority as a player</strong></p> <p>You have to get to the point where you feel as creatively comfortable in front of hundreds of people as you do in front of your sister and the dog. And the only way you can attain that authority is by putting in the time. Playing at home only gets you so far-it's imperative that you play out as soon as you can. Attend jam sessions. Take less-than-ideal gigs, just for the experience. Take any gigs, for that matter-it's the experience that counts!</p> <p><strong>22. Hang out with other musicians</strong></p> <p>The best way to get contacts and gigs is to be seen and heard. How can anyone recommend you if they don't know who you are? As unpleasant and greasy as this may sound, do your best to befriend other guitarists. Though there's intense competition amongst players, most of your work will come as a result of recommendations made by other guitarists.</p> <p><strong>23. Know the fundamentals</strong></p> <p>Being able to hear common chord changes will help you learn tunes off the radio faster. Knowing a little basic theory will help you with your songwriting and your ability to intuitively come up with rhythm parts. For example, knowing that the harmonic structure of most blues tunes is I-IV-V (C-F-G) and that early rock ballads were usually built on I-vi-IV-V progressions (C-Am-F-G) will help you to play just about any tune in those genres or compose one of your own. One more plug: you also might want to check out my book <em>The Advanced Guitar Case Chord Book</em> (Music Sales) to get an idea of how to apply cool chord voicings to common progressions in all types of music.</p> <p><strong>24. Be careful out there</strong></p> <p>As soon as you or your band become somewhat popular, all sorts of characters are going to start crawling out of the gutter with designs on you. Have fun, but don't go overboard. And always keep an eye on your equipment-it's your life's blood. And try to save some cash.</p> <p><strong>25. Don't shit where you eat</strong></p> <p>Don't fuck the singer. Don't fuck the drummer's girlfriend. Don't fuck the drummer's dog. Don't fuck the drummer. Don't backstab your bandmates. Don't pocket tips. Don't be an asshole!</p> GW Archive Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:49:53 +0000 Askold Buk 11121 at Learn Heart and Soul of Country with 'The Best of Johnny Cash Songbook' <!--paging_filter--><p>Learn all your favorite Johnny Cash songs with <em>The Best of Johnny Cash Songbook</em> (Second Edition), which is <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BestJohnnyCash">available now at the Guitar World Online Store</a>. </p> <p>The book features 27 songs from the heart and soul of country, including "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire" and "I Walk the Line."</p> <p>All the songs are in easy arrangements with notes and tabs. </p> <p>Songs Include:</p> <p>• "A Boy Named Sue"<br /> • "Cry, Cry, Cry"<br /> • "Daddy Sang Bass"<br /> • "Folsom Prison Blues"<br /> • "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky"<br /> • "I Walk the Line"<br /> • "It Ain't Me Babe"<br /> • "Jackson"<br /> • "Orange Blossom Special"<br /> • "Ring of Fire"<br /> • "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down"<br /> • "Understand Your Man"</p> <p>The 64-page book is <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BestJohnnyCash">available now for $16.99 at the Guitar World Online Store.</a></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="/johnny-cash">Johnny Cash</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Johnny Cash News Features Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:45:43 +0000 Guitar World Staff 16273 at Vox Releases AC Clip Tune Clip-on Guitar Tuner <!--paging_filter--><p>Vox has announced the release of its new AC Clip Tune clip-on tuner. </p> <p>“High precision, a color LCD display and a flexible clip mechanism demonstrate the AC Clip Tune’s quality as a tuner,” said John Stippell, product manager for Vox. </p> <p>The Vox AC Clip Tune will be available July 2015 with a U.S. MSRP of $29.99. Check out the specs below and visit <a href=""></a> to find out more. </p> <p><strong>Specifications:</strong></p> <p>• <strong>Scale:</strong> 12-note equal temperament<br /> • <strong>Range (sine wave):</strong><br /> • <strong>Chromatic:</strong> A0 (27.50 Hz) – C8 (4186 Hz)<br /> • <strong>Guitar:</strong> B1 flat5 (46.25 Hz) – E4 capo7 (493.88 Hz)<br /> • <strong>Bass:</strong> B0 flat5 (23.12 Hz) – C3 (130.81 Hz)<br /> • <strong>Precision:</strong> +/-1 cent<br /> • <strong>Reference pitch:</strong> 436 – 445 Hz (1 Hz steps)<br /> • <strong>Flat tuning:</strong> 1 – 5 semitones (in semitone steps)<br /> • <strong>Capo tuning:</strong> 1 – 7 semitones (in semitone steps)<br /> • <strong>Battery:</strong> CR2032 lithium battery 3V<br /> • <strong>Battery life:</strong> approximately 8 hours (tuner continuously operating, A4 input)<br /> • <strong>Dimensions (W x D x H):</strong> 61 mm x 65 mm x 28 mm/ 2.40" x 2.56" x 1.10"<br /> • <strong>Weight:</strong> 26 g / 0.92 oz. (including battery)<br /> • <strong>Included items:</strong> CR2032 lithium battery</p> VOX Accessories News Gear Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:03:12 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24840 at Dear Guitar Hero: Submit Questions for Buckcherry's Keith Nelson! <!--paging_filter--><p>Got a question for your favorite guitarist? Let us be your go-between. The concept is easy — you submit your queries and we pass them on to some of the world's greatest guitarists. Only the sharpest and funniest questions will be used.</p> <p>This month, we're giving you the chance to ask guitarist Keith Nelson of L.A. rockers Buckcherry anything you want! From his epic vintage guitar collection to his motorcycles to Buckcherry's upcoming full length, <Em>Rock 'n' Roll</em>...nothing's off limits!</p> <p>Just email your questions to <a href=""></a> and put "Keith Nelson" in the subject line. Remember to include your name in the email body, so you can get credited in the magazine, and impress and annoy your jealous friends!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="465" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Buckcherry Dear Guitar Hero Keith Nelson News Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:12:11 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24841 at Paul Gilbert Performs Van Halen's "Spanish Fly" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Below, check out a video of Racer X/Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert playing "Spanish Fly," a classic 1979 instrumental tune by Van Halen.</p> <p>Although we're not sure when (or where) the brief clip was filmed, we <em>do</em> know it was posted to YouTube early last year.</p> <p>Check it out and tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook! Enjoy!</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="/paul-gilbert">Paul Gilbert</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/van-halen">Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Acoustic Nation Eddie Van Halen News Paul Gilbert Videos Videos News Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:03:23 +0000 Guitar World Staff 20950 at Hear Indie Singer, and 'Louie' Actress, Eszter Balint Get Raucous on "Let's Tonight It" <!--paging_filter--><p>If you're a fan of the sitcom <em>Louie,</em> you might recognize Eszter Balint as Louis C.K.'s Hungarian-speaking violin-playing love interest in Season 4. (See video below.) What you may not know is that Balint is a bona-fide experimental indie folk singer and songwriter who's about to release her third album, <em>Airless Midnight</em>, August 7 on Red Herring Records. </p> <p>It was recorded between 2014 and early 2015 in New York's Brooklyn Recording and Richmond's Montrose Recording. JD Foster handled production for <em>Airless Midnight</em>, which also features some killer guest guitar work from Chris Cochrane, Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and Dave Schramm (Yo La Tengo).</p> <p>Check out Balint's performance of "Let's Tonight It," from <em>Airless Midnight</em> which features Chris Cochrane on guitars below.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> <object id="flashObj" width="480" height="270" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase=",0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=3577994608001&,AAAAAASoY90~,_gW1ZHvKG_0UvBsh7aZU7MXZe77OcsGq&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="videoId=3577994608001&,AAAAAASoY90~,_gW1ZHvKG_0UvBsh7aZU7MXZe77OcsGq&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="" name="flashObj" width="480" height="270" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage=""></embed></object><p> More about Eszter Balint:</p> <p>Eszter has been very busy for past few years. In 2014 she was making good progress writing material for the new album when out of the blue—after a long hiatus from acting—she was offered a part she couldn’t refuse. She agreed to be featured in a six-episode arc of Louis C.K.'s F/X series Louie, Season 4; her performance as his Hungarian girlfriend “Amia” earned her considerable critical praise. Eszter also improvised compositions, sang and played violin for the series. As soon as filming wrapped, Eszter returned to work on her album. </p> <p>Airless Midnight boasts three of New York's most distinguished and original guitarists: Chris Cochrane (John Zorn, Zena Parkins, long time EB alumni) Dave Schramm (The Schramms, Yo La Tengo, others) and Marc Ribot (too many to name!). They are joined by drummer Brian Wilson (Johnny Dowd, Neko Case), JD Foster on bass, and Sam Phillips on vocal harmonies. Andy Taub and Don Piper engineered at Brooklyn Recording, and Adrian Olsen mixed with JD and Eszter at Montrose Recording. This is her third album working with Cochrane, producer Foster, and Taub, and her second with Ribot, with whom she has also worked on many other projects over the years. Eszter is featured on vocals, guitar, violin, melodica, mandolin, random sounds, whistling, and wrote all the songs.</p> <p>After releasing her second album Mud in 2004, Eszter took a break from music and focused on parenting. Once her son started attending school, she began writing again, in part, "to keep sane while coping with a series of difficult personal circumstances." After a number of years spent writing and polishing these songs, doing studio sessions with other artists and resuming live performance, Balint felt she had a body of work worth capturing in the studio.</p> <p>Eszter relates, “The songs were ripening. They were just at that point where they were starting to feel like they needed to be picked. And my desire to record was starting to burn me up. Not all of the tunes were completed when I decided to make a record, but the ones which were, it felt like they were going to be neglected in an unkind way if they didn't get recorded very soon."</p> <p>What resulted is Balint’s most confident effort to date. The lyrics are cohesive and support strong, if mysterious, narratives with a decisive cinematic feel. The accompanying tunes are varied and strategically eclectic in approach. There’s more rock and punk influence here, which gives way to an eerie, calm spaciousness. These songs are artful, sophisticated yet earthy, there's guts and grit and beauty too; it’s an eloquent expression of her life experiences to date. </p> <p>“My artistic education was first and foremost formed by growing up in an extended family of avant-garde theater makers, originally from Hungary, who created adventurous, surprising works and devoted their lives to taking artistic risks,” recalls Eszter. “My father was one of the founders of the Squat Theatre group, and my mother was also involved for a time. We settled in New York in 1977, when I was 11, and sometimes set W. 23rd Street, where we lived and performed... a little bit on fire with our performances which literally spilled out onto the street through the storefront where we lived and performed. My home during these formative years was not only where the company created and performed their plays, but it was also an open and revolving door welcoming the most adventurous musicians, filmmakers, visual artists, performers, and writers and painters of the time, as well as some of the renegades of hip hop culture. When we weren't performing, our space would be transformed into a music venue where among other jazz and blues greats, bands such as The Lounge Lizards, DNA, Sun Ra, Defunkt, and The Contortions regularly performed. </p> <p> “By age 13 I had taken on my role as the house DJ, spinning records between sets. I believe these years were a pivotal moment in defining my sensibilities; I carried the blood of Central European artists, with all of their rich history, while during this time also becoming a full-fledged New Yorker, absorbing and integrating all around me with ease. It was during these years that I made my recording debut at age 15 playing violin on a track produced by artist Jean Michel Basquiat and featuring rapper Rammellzee. This life in the theater eventually also led to my being cast and appearing in a few films, mostly indie works, some of them quite memorable, and a few of which garnered much acclaim.”</p> <p>Eszter starred in Jim Jarmusch's classic Stranger than Paradise, and was featured in Steve Buscemi's Trees Lounge, as well as worked alongside Mia Farrow and John Malkovich in Woody Allen's Shadows and Fog, among other film appearances.</p> <p>She continues, “In 1995, while living in Los Angeles, I decided to fully devote my artistic energies to music-making and words writing, more specifically to becoming a performing and recording songwriter., I have two albums out, Flicker (1999) and Mud (2004), both produced by JD Foster, who has made wonderful records with Richard Buckner and Marc Ribot among many others, which were both received with critical praise. </p> <p>“I have since been fortunate enough to have been asked to lend my violin playing and singing to works by people I consider true artists, most notably guitarist Marc Ribot, and Michael Gira of Swans fame," Eszter can be heard on violins on two Angels of Light albums as well as Swans' The Seer, and on vocals and other instruments on multiple Marc Ribot projects including Ceramic Dog's Your Turn, - a band she was a guest member of through 2009 - and on an upcoming album of Mr. Ribot's songs. </p> <p>"But I'm most grateful of all that with the help of an incredible group of musicians I was able to finally build a home for these new songs. The process was such a joy."</p> Eszter Balint indie musician Louis CK Marc Ribot premiere News Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:12:26 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24825 at The Top 10 Blues-Approved Overdrive/Distortion Pedals <!--paging_filter--><p>The origin of guitar distortion goes back to the earliest electrified blues guitarists. </p> <p>They didn’t care that their primitive tube amps were breaking up and distorting, as long as they were loud. Soon, blues guitarists grew quite fond of those nasty, gnarly distorted tones, and they sought to replicate them by any means necessary. </p> <p>Enter the overdrive pedal. Designed to push an amp to the brink, the overdrive pedal allows players to summon singing sustain, compelling crunch, and glorious grit at any volume level, giving guitarists the bite and balls they need for genuine blues-approved tone. </p> <p>While a handful of purists prefer to plug a guitar straight into an amp, most blues guitarists these days have a handful of overdrive, distortion and even fuzz boxes in their rigs. </p> <p>Thanks to the proliferation of boutique pedal builders over the past 20 years, there are easily more than a thousand distortion devices available to help guitarists find their signature blues sound. </p> <p>The following pedals are the top 10 classics and modern marvels that get our mojo working when we spank that plank and crank up the volume.</p> <p><strong>10. Way Huge Pork Loin</strong> </p> <p>By blending modern soft-clipping BiFET overdrive and classic clean “British” preamp tone pathways, the Pork Loin allows players to dial in raw, raunchy tones that never lose bottom-end clarity or definition. The Pork Loin plays a massive role in Joe Bonamassa’s bigger-than-life modern blues sound. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" /> </p> <p><strong>9. Klon Centaur</strong> </p> <p>The Klon Centaur’s legendary clean boost transforms a guitar’s natural tone the same way a livestock farmer turns a piglet into a prize-winning porker—by making it bigger, fatter, juicier, meatier and more muscular. </p> <p>Centaur designer Bill Finnegan discontinued production several years ago, driving prices for used Klons well above $1,000, but he’s trying to bring a similar pedal to the market again with the same hand-selected parts, attention to detail and signature sound that the numerous “klones” have failed to match. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" /></p> <p><strong>8. PaulC Audio Tim</strong> </p> <p>Thanks to its impressive tonal range and expressive touch sensitivity, the Tim is a favorite of tube amp aficionados who don’t want to sacrifice the dynamic response of their favorite amps but need more gain and tonal-shaping capabilities. With the EQ controls set at 12 o’clock, it provides some of the most transparent clean boost and overdrive tones available. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" /> </p> <p><strong>7. Fulltone Full-Drive 2</strong> </p> <p>Fulltone makes an impressive variety of incredible overdrive, distortion and fuzz pedals, including the OCD, PlimSoul and Fat-Boost FB-3, but when it comes to the blues, most guitarists choose the Fulltone Full-Drive 2. </p> <p>With separate overdrive and boost footswitches and mini toggle switches for selecting clean boost, midrange emphasis, MOSFET clipping and more, the Full-Drive 2 is a versatile overdrive pedal that makes it easy to dial in your own signature blues tones. </p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/full%20drive.jpg" alt="full drive.jpg" width="540" height="429" /></p> <hr /> <p><strong>6. Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer</strong> </p> <p>Thanks to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s use of an Ibanez Tube Screamer (he replaced the TS-808 with a TS-9 and TS-10 later in his career), this pedal has gone on to become the best-selling and most copied overdrive pedal of all time. </p> <p>The Tube Screamer’s output boost and signature midrange hump, along with a characteristic warmth that the TS-808’s successors lack, make it ideal for playing fat, aggressive solos that destroy everything else in its path. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" /> </p> <p><strong>5. Electro-Harmonix Big Muff π</strong> </p> <p>Most staunch traditionalists think that the raunchy fuzz tones of a Big Muff π are a little too furry and furious for the blues, but that hasn’t stopped a new generation of blues-inspired players from using one. The Big Muff is a key element of 21st century blues as envisioned by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and Jack White of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" /></p> <p><strong>4. Dallas-Arbiter Rangemaster Treble Booster</strong> </p> <p>Eric Clapton’s alleged use of a Dallas-Arbiter Rangemaster Treble Booster on John Mayall’s legendary <em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em> album remains the source of much controversy, but the Rangemaster was also a key element of Rory Gallagher’s late-Sixties rig that similarly redefined blues guitar tone during the British blues revival, thanks to its marvelous midrange and gritty germanium transistor grind. </p> <p>Numerous clones are available today, including the Analog Man Beano Boost and Keeley Java Boost. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" /> </p> <p><strong>3. Boss BD-2 Blues Driver</strong> </p> <p>Not since the late Seventies, when the Ibanez Tube Screamer and Boss OD-1 made their debut, has a mass-produced overdrive pedal won over the great unwashed and cork-sniffing tone snobs alike. The BD-2 delivers a wide variety of overdrive tones, from creamy to crunchy, with personality that ranges from retro smooth to modern blues-rock raunch. </p> <p><img src="" width="500" /></p> <p><strong>2. Blackstone Appliances MOSFET Overdrive</strong> </p> <p>This pedal’s nameplate and crinkle finish may have the retro-cool vibe of a Thirties toaster, but underneath the hood lies a modern circuit that uses small-signal MOSFETs and an unconventional input stage to cook up distortion and overdrive with rich harmonic overtones that will melt your face off like a million-watt microwave. </p> <p>“It’s heavy stuff, not the sound of a popcorn machine,” says Billy Gibbons, who used the Blackstone in tasteful excess on several new ZZ Top tunes.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Blackstone.jpeg" width="620" height="472" alt="Blackstone.jpeg" /></p> <p><em>Blackstone photo by William Baeck, <a href=""></a></em></p> <p><strong>1. Analog Man King of Tone</strong> </p> <p>With a two-year waiting list, the Analog Man King of Tone is one of the most sought-after overdrive pedals, and for a very good reason: it provides a clean boost that preserves a guitar’s tone, making it sound bigger, badder and more bodacious, with just the right amount of natural-sounding distortion. </p> <p>Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Gary Clark Jr. and Buddy Miller are just a handful of the pros who have discovered that the King of Tone truly rules.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" /></p> Boss EHX Electro-Harmonix Fulltone Ibanez Kion October 2012 PaulC 2012 Guitar World Lists Effects News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:30:09 +0000 Chris Gill 16822 at How to Buy a Fuzz Box: A Guide for the First-Time Buyer <!--paging_filter--><p>Is there anything more luscious than a Big Muff? </p> <p>Who can resist those hairy, in-your-face mouthfuls of fuzz? It’s the box guitarists dream about plugging into all day and night. No wonder Electro-Harmonix named the Big Muff Pi distortion pedal after it. </p> <p>But the Pi ain’t the only box in town. In fact, there are probably more than 300 models of overdrive, distortion and fuzz pedals in production today. How do you decide which one is right for you? Well, good readers, it’s time to practice your licks and get ready to blow some tweeters as we show you 10 things you should know before you buy a fuzz box.</p> <p><strong>01. What’s Your Flavor?</strong></p> <p>Distortion pedals generally come in one of three varieties: overdrive, distortion and fuzz. Overdrive provides a gain boost that pushes an amp harder and causes it to distort. Distortion processes the guitar’s signal and transforms it into a screaming, vicious beast before it hits the amp. And fuzz produces an extreme form of distortion called square-wave clipping: like a Sixties barbershop, everything that goes into it come out with a flat top. Note: Many manufacturers use these terms interchangeably, so don’t ignore overdrive or fuzz boxes when you want distortion and vice versa.</p> <p><strong>02. Fuzz Factors</strong></p> <p>When auditioning a pedal, make sure you play chords as well as single-note riffs and leads. As true fuzz pedals produce exaggerated distortion, they generally can’t handle chords other than a fifth diad, familiarly known as a power chord. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid fuzz altogether. The best fuzz boxes can make a single note sound like a 2,000- pound bee plugged into a wall of Marshalls, while the worst pedals will make your guitar sound like an elephant dropping a 2,000-pound load of dung.</p> <p><strong>03. No Gain, No Pain</strong></p> <p>If you plan on using a distortion box for playing lead, make sure that it also provides a good amount of gain boost, otherwise your guitar signal may disappear faster than Michael Jackson evading a summons. Extra gain can increase sustain, which is a good thing, but excessive gain may result in noise, feedback and hiss…which can also be a good thing. At the very least, the gain control should provide enough boost to match the guitar’s volume level when the effect is bypassed. Many players use overdrive pedals like the Ibanez Tube Screamer to boost the guitar’s gain for solos.</p> <p><strong>04. What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?</strong></p> <p>With the exception of a handful of overdrive pedals like the Klon Centaur, most distortion boxes boost or cut EQ frequencies and affect the guitar’s tone. Many pedals sound wicked when you’re playing by yourself, but their sound virtually vanishes when you use them with a band, and you end up looking like the world’s worst air guitarist. If the pedal you’re auditioning has tone controls, dial in a sound you like, then have a friend jam along with you. If the tone doesn’t cut through, you may want to consider another pedal.</p> <p><strong>05. Avoid the Idiot Setting</strong></p> <p>While many pedals sound great with every knob turned up to 11, some pedals, like the Z-Vex Fuzz Factory, generate such extreme distortion that they don’t produce any sound at all when everything is maxed. The best tones usually lurk in those elusive in-between settings, so take your time and tweak those knobs. Start with the knobs turned down and work your way up.</p> <p><strong>06. Talk Dirty to Me</strong></p> <p>A lot of distortion pedals sound best when the amp is dialed to a clean setting. But many stomp boxes, especially overdrive and fuzz effects, sound better when the amp has a dirty edge. Experiment with various amp distortion settings while you mess around with the pedal’s knobs. Get rough with that amp; no one will slap you or call you a perv.</p> <p><strong>07. Crashing by Design</strong></p> <p>They don’t call them stomp boxes for nothing. Look for a pedal that is built like a tank and will support your weight even if you should balloon to John Popper-like proportions. Control knobs should be easy to reach and see, but they shouldn’t be placed where you can mistakenly step on them and disrupt your carefully dialed-in settings. The bypass switch should engage with a noticeable click, or the pedal should have an LED that lets you know when the effect is on.</p> <p><strong>08. Battery Aggravations</strong></p> <p>Trust me—James Hetfield wasn’t singing about the Duracells in Kirk Hammett’s Boss distortion in “Battery.” You may think your pedal is going to last all night because you put the Energizer Bunny in it, but remember that rabbits have a habit of dying when it’s least convenient for you. If you plan to use your pedal onstage, buy one that can be powered with AC. You may need to shell out a few extra bucks for an AC adapter, but in the long run it’s a lot cheaper than what you’ll spend replacing batteries.</p> <p><strong>09. Drastic Bypass</strong></p> <p>Look for pedals that offer true-bypass circuitry. This feature removes the pedal’s electronic circuit when the effect is switched off, letting your guitar signal pass through the pedal without affecting its tone or gain. Effects without true bypass bogart tone like your bass player sharing his stash, and when you chain several of these pedals together your tone will be as mighty as an outfielder on steroids. If someone offers you a triple bypass, leave the store immediately—you probably walked into Surgery Center by mistake.</p> <p><strong>10. Ignore the Tone Snobs</strong></p> <p>Tube-amp elitists may declare that everything solid-state is crap, yet they exalt the tones of players like Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, each of whom relied heavily on solid-state Rat, Fuzz Face and Tube Screamer pedals, respectively, to create their signature sounds. Fuzz fanatics argue at length about the virtues of germanium versus silicon transistors. Don’t obsess about minute electronic circuitry details; let your ears be your guide. There’s nothing wrong with using a pedal with an integrated- circuit design if it sounds sweeter to you than an expensive tube-equipped stomp box.</p> fuzz Effects Blogs News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:10:04 +0000 Chris Gill 10906 at Zero to Sixties in Five Pedals: Five Modern Effects that Conjure Far-Out, Vintage Tones <!--paging_filter--><p>Many guitar players—at some point—can't help but fall under the spell of the sounds found on classic rock albums of the mid- to late Sixties. </p> <p>Players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend and Robby Krieger were synonymous with wah, fuzz, univibe and/or tremolo. Throw George Harrison and Brian Jones into the mix and you get sitars and other sound- (and mind-) altering effects. They were always experimenting, changing things up, trying to outdo each other. </p> <p>Modern players who are obsessed with classic Sixties rock sounds can glue their eyes to eBay, waiting for pricey, hard-to-find vintage gear to show up. Or they can check out these five easy-to-find, modern effect pedals, as chosen by a group of <em>Guitar World</em> staffers including Gear Editor Paul Riario. </p> <p><strong>Vox V846-HW Hand-Wired Wah Wah</strong></p> <p>Stop, children, what's that sound? ... Well, if we're talking about the Sixties (and we are), it's probably Jimi Hendrix playing "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" on a Fender Strat through a Vox V846 Wah Wah pedal.</p> <p>Vox actually created the first wah pedal in the Sixties, spawning an army of imitators that continues to grow, NAMM Show after NAMM Show. Back in the day, the Vox wah and its competitors found their way into the hands—or in this case, the feet—of countless top-notch rock guitarists, from Hendrix to Jeff Beck to Jimmy Page to Eric Clapton. But again, Vox was there first. </p> <p>Just a few years ago (2011), the company issued its V846-HW Hand-Wired Wah Wah Pedal, which does a fine job of capturing the tone, feel and weight of the original Vox pedal. Every component in the new model—inductors, resistors, capacitors and the potentiometer—is carefully selected. And like its name suggests, each unit features hand-wired turret board construction with no printed circuit boards. The only difference is a true bypass, a handy update for modern players. </p> <p><strong><a href="">Check out this pedal at</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Distortion</strong></p> <p>The Sixties may have started out clean, but by the end of the decade there were some pretty gnarly distortion and fuzz sounds filling clubs and arenas around the world. </p> <p>Among the most distinctive fuzz tones of the late Sixties undoubtedly belonged to Jimi Hendrix, who utilized a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face to add that extra layer of dirt to his already gritty brand of hard blues. Unless you're quick on the draw with your eBay bids or simply owned one back in the day, you won't have much luck finding Hendrix's original fuzz source these days, but fortunately Dunlop has produced a faithful replica in the Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face.</p> <p>Hand-wired and built around a BC108 silicon transistor, the Hendrix Fuzz Face is nothing less than a meticulous reproduction of the original pedal, one you'll need if you'll want to summon your inner-voodoo child.</p> <p>And if a Tone Bender is more your thing, check out the <a href="">OC81D Williams Vintage Tone MK11 Professional</a>, as used by Ben King, a former Yardbirds guitarist. </p> <p><strong><a href="">Check out this pedal at</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar</strong></p> <p>You're in a Sixties cover band. The rowdy, drunken audience is clamoring for your "Paint It, Black" / "Norwegian Wood" medley. Do you just play the sitar parts on your Fender Esquire and smile knowingly, like, "Yeah, I know these notes were originally played on a sitar, but what the hell am I supposed to do?" Well, yes, you could do that. But you also could check out Electro-Harmonix's Ravish Sitar pedal. </p> <p>As we say in a recent <a href=";;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=60sPedals">Guitar World Buyer's Guide</a>, it's the "world's best sitar emulation for guitar. With the Ravish Sitar pedal, Electro-Harmonix has streamlined the essence of the sitar into a compact enclosure that offers a polyphonic lead voice a tunable sympathetic string drones that dramatically react to your playing with adjustable timbre."</p> <p>And besides all that, guitarists can finally tackle "Bangla Dhun," Ravi Shankar's 15-minute Indian-music recital that kicks off <em>The Concert for Bangladhesh</em>. Or not! </p> <p><strong><a href="">Check out this pedal at</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Dry Bell Vibe Machine V-1</strong></p> <p>You'll find vibe effects all over the music of Jimi Hendrix and Procol Harem's Robin Trower, a fact that, in and of itself, makes a good vibe pedal an essential part of any Sixties guitar rig. </p> <p>There's no shortage of great vibe units to choose from, but for our money, the Dry Bell Vibe Machine is the top of the heap. Not only is it among the more compact options, it allows for maximum tone control with its "Bright" switch, avoiding the sound-dampening side effects of some of the other pedals on the market.</p> <p>If you want to nail that Hendrix-at-Woodstock tone, adding this little beauty in your arsenal certainly can't hurt. What it can't help? Your nerves playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of a few hundred-thousand fans.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Check out this pedal at</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Fulltone Supa-Trem 1</strong></p> <p>As <em>Guitar World</em> has said in past reviews, Fulltone's Supa-Trem 1 is a tremolo pedal that lives up to its name. As you can tell by the photo in the gallery below, it's a simple, basic, gimmick-free effect that inadvertently captures the look of Sixties pedals while working hard to capture the sound. </p> <p>From personal experience, it's also a rugged pedal that can take a licking and keep on waving. It features a footswitchable Half/Full speed footswitch that stays in tempo and lets you channel some authentic-sounding Leslie-like moves. Another footswitch lets you choose between "Soft" smooth wavering or "Hard" square-wave machine-gun stutter. There's also an internal trimmer to fine tune the feel of the waveform.</p> <p>As a side note, Sixties rocker John Fogerty uses one of these pedals today to recreate his powerful CCR-era tremolo effects.</p> <p><strong><a href="">Check out this pedal at</a>.</strong></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="/jimi-hendrix">Jimi Hendrix</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jeff-beck">Jeff Beck</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/cream">Cream</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-page">Jimmy Page</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/robby-krieger">Robby Krieger</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli Dry Bell Dunlop EHX Electro-Harmonix Fulltone George Harrison Jimi Hendrix VOX Guitar World Lists Effects News Features Gear Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:16:27 +0000 Damian Fanelli, Josh Hart 16374 at New Book: Note-for-Note Transcriptions of Every Song on Black Sabbath's '13' <!--paging_filter--><p>Start learning every song on Black Sabbath's successful 2013 album, <em>13</em>, right now! The official <em>13</em> tab book is available now at the <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BlackSabbath13">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</p> <p>The book features all 11 songs from the deluxe version of the album. Track list:</p> <p> • God Is Dead<br /> • End of the Beginning<br /> • Pariah<br /> • Peace of Mind<br /> • Zeitgeist<br /> • Loner<br /> • Age of Reason<br /> • Damaged Soul<br /> • Dear Father<br /> • Live Forever<br /> • Methademic</p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BlackSabbath13">The book is available at the Guitar World Online Store for $19.99.</a></strong></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="/black-sabbath">Black Sabbath</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Black Sabbath News Features Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:06:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff 20141 at Chris Squire, Founding Yes Bassist, Dead at 67 <!--paging_filter--><p>Bassist and vocalist Chris Squire, a founding member of <a href="">prog-rock legends Yes,</a> died today, June 28, at age 67 after a brief battle with <a href="">Acute Erythroid Leukemia (AEL),</a> an uncommon form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).</p> <p>The U.K.-born Squire had been receiving treatment in <a href="">Phoenix,</a> where he lived, since being diagnosed with the disease only last month.</p> <p>Geoff Downes, Squire's bandmate in Yes, posted the news <a href="">via his Twitter account:</a></p> <p>"Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire."</p> <p>Squire, who had been a member of every configuration of Yes throughout the band's 47-year history, was recently replaced in the band's touring lineup by Billy Sherwood, a former member of the band (1997 to 2000).</p> <p>"This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that Yes will have performed live without me," <a href="">Squire said in May.</a> "But the other guys and myself have agreed that Billy Sherwood will do an excellent job of covering my parts, and the show as a whole will deliver the same Yes experience that our fans have come to expect over the years."</p> <p>Squire was widely regarded as the dominant bass guitarist among the early Seventies British prog-rock bands, influencing peers and future generations of bassists with his biting sound and ultra-melodic bass lines. He often has been associated his trademark <a href="">Rickenbacker 4001s</a> bass. (Note: Squire's trademark Rickenbacker bass was actually an RM1999, which he purchased in the U.K. in 1964. It's considered the Rose Morris version of the U.S. 4001s model.) His most beloved Yes bass lines include "Roundabout" (check out his isolated "Roundabout" bass line below), "Owner of a Lonely Heart," "Long Distance Runaround" and "The Fish."</p> <p>Besides his many years with Yes, Squire released a solo album, <em>Fish Out of Water,</em> in 1975 (his nickname was "Fish") and formed <a href="">Squackett with guitarist Steve Hackett in recent years.</a></p> <p>Squire was born in <a href="">Kingsbury,</a> a suburb of north west London, March 4, 1948. He was trained in the St. Andrew's church choir as a child, beginning his musical career with a group called the Selfs. After joining a string of other bands, including the Syn, <a href="">Squire formed Yes with vocalist Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford</a>, keyboardist Tony Kaye and <a href="">guitarist Peter Banks</a> in 1968.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/downes400.jpg" width="400" height="166" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="downes400.jpg" /></p> <p>"I couldn't get session work because most musicians hated my style," he said. "They wanted me to play something a lot more basic. We started Yes as a vehicle to develop everyone's individual styles."</p> <p>Yes released their first album, <em>Yes,</em> in 1969, and their latest, <em>Heaven &amp; Earth,</em> in 2014. Throughout the band's many mutations and configurations, Squire's singing (backing vocals), bass playing and song writing remained welcome constants.</p> <p>The last time I spoke with Squire, in 2011, we discussed his distinctive bass sound and the evolution of Yes over the decades. What follows is a portion of <a href=",1">that interview:</a></p> <p><strong>I’d say you and Paul McCartney were among the biggest Rickenbacker representatives.</strong></p> <p>Yes. Of course, Paul McCartney’s sound is different from mine, but it’s the way you hear things, really. Paul’s Hofner bass playing doesn’t sound that different than his Rickenbacker bass playing. It’s more the player than the instrument, I think—or the way the player wants to hear things.</p> <p><strong>Speaking of your bass sound, I think when most people think of “the Chris Squire sound,” they picture your distinctive sound on “Roundabout.”</strong></p> <p>Yeah, it’s like the “Chris Squire quintessential.”</p> <p><strong>Would you say your bass sound has changed much over the years?</strong></p> <p>Well, no. I still basically use the same kind of tone settings. I’m still using the 100-watt Marshall amp I’ve had since the mid-Sixties. It still works, but of course, it has been through periods of needing work; it’s been broken down, had repairs. And nothing ever gets replaced with the same components because they’re not available all the time because they’re extinct now.</p> <p>So in small increments, the sound has changed. I’ve had to replace parts in the basses when they’ve gotten old or worn out, so everything isn’t absolutely original. But where I could, I try and find a guitar from the same vintage and raid it for parts, which I have done with a couple of other basses from the same time.</p> <p><strong>With so many versions of the band throughout the years, is there one that stands out as the strongest or most rocking?</strong></p> <p>The thing is, every era of Yes has had something to say. It’s distinctly different—<a href="">the Steve Howe guitar style</a> and, of course, when Trevor Rabin was in the band in the Eighties going into the Nineties. He definitely was a different style of guitar player. So that sort of changed the band quite a bit in some ways, but there’s me and Alan White who are still playing, so yeah, things have moved around in the Yes sound picture, but basically, things have stayed the same as well. So I can’t really say which version is the more kickass because every version has come up with something good. </p> <p><strong><a href=",1">You can find the rest of this interview right here.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/rockabilly band <a href="">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York City surf-rock band <a href="">Mister Neutron,</a> writes's <a href="">The Next Bend,</a> a column dedicated to <a href="">B-benders.</a> Follow him on <a href="">Facebook,</a> <a href="">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="">Instagram.</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="/yes">Yes</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> bass Chris Squire Damian Fanelli Isolated Rickenbacker Roundabout Squackett Yes Videos Interviews News Sun, 28 Jun 2015 15:50:09 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24835 at Leviathan's Jef Whitehead Discusses 'Scar Sighted' and Why He Still Won't Tour <!--paging_filter--><p>“I don’t really know <em>why</em> I’ve been talking with all these people lately,” says Jef Whitehead from his studio in northern Oregon. </p> <p>Whitehead is the exceptionally private and talented multi-instrumentalist behind the one-man black metal band Leviathan. </p> <p>Since he started self-releasing Leviathan demos in the late Nineties, Whitehead—or Wrest as he is credited—has chosen a solitary path that steers clear of today’s industry standard of press cycles, live shows, Twitter updates, video teasers, photo ops and tell-all interviews.</p> <p>“To me it takes away from the mystique of the music,” he says. “The whole moniker thing in black metal is very important to me, along with the corpse-paint, feeling dead, creating otherworldly music and making something that’s not like Mel Bay: How to Play Guitar Correctly. I bet some of your readers would hear Leviathan and think, Hey that guy is not the best guitar player. Because I’m not! [laughs] But I ape my way through it.”</p> <p>In talking with Whitehead it instantly becomes clear that he’s self-effacing and humble when it comes to his craft. He’s quick to flip questions about his own style into deep discussions about his eclectic influences, which range from Van Halen, the Police and Black Flag to Celtic Frost, Immolation, Ved Buens End and Judas Iscariot. But the fact is he just might be the most unique and creative black metal artist operating in America today. </p> <p>As Leviathan, he’s released numerous splits, singles and studio full-lengths, including the recent <em>Scar Sighted</em>. He’s also issued some utterly haunting and beautiful ambient black metal as Lurker of Chalice, and has collaborated with a who’s-who of underground tastemakers including Nachtmystium, Twilight and Sunn O))). Along with his musical output, Whitehead is also a well known and sought-after tattooer and fine artist, who designs not only his own album artwork but has been commissioned to create pieces for bands like Converge and Today Is the Day.</p> <p>Despite his prolific artistic output, Whitehead’s life has not always been on an upward trajectory. His struggles with alcohol and substance abuse and lapses in sobriety have caused him to languish at times, and descend into a dire self-destructive place. </p> <p>One particularly grim moment occurred in 2011, when he was charged with a litany of counts stemming from an argument with an ex-girlfriend. Ultimately, it came out that the accuser had fabricated many of the charges, and all of them were dropped except domestic battery. Whitehead maintains that even that charge was bogus. While he chooses to not speak about the circumstances surrounding that particular incident, he’s open and candid when it comes to his sobriety.</p> <p>“I can’t do anything when I’m getting loaded,” admits Whitehead. “I was sober for 11 years, from 1995 to 2006. All of the first part of Leviathan was done in that first sober stretch. I had a lot of anger and sadness and it was my form of therapy, as corny as it sounds. Then things just shit the bed in 2006 and I started a pretty rough seven years. During [2011’s] <em>True Traitor, True Whore</em> I was doing horrible things to myself during that whole thing. And you can hear it. We listened to it the other day and it’s so sloppy.”</p> <p>It was about two years ago that Whitehead turned a corner and entered into a new, more productive chapter of his life. He moved to Oregon from his longtime home of San Francisco, got clean, and met his girlfriend Stevie Floyd, who also happens to be a pretty serious visual artist, tattooer and guitarist with the bands Dark Castle and Taurus. Together the two have an adorable eight-month-old girl, who, incidentally, is present throughout our interview, quietly observing the proceedings from her baby seat.</p> <p>Whitehead has also softened, if only slightly, his anti-press stance. He has begun to speak with a few outlets, including <em>Guitar World</em>, about the wildly inspired, pummeling and dynamic new record. Thanks to his regained creative focus, <em>Scar Sighted</em> stands as the most ambitious, focused and fully realized Leviathan record to date. It encompasses the icy viciousness of his early lo-fi four-track black metal releases, dark atmospheric excursions (reminiscent of Whitehead’s side-project Lurker of Chalice), jaw-dropping drumming, and doom, noise, thrash and death-metal guitar departures. Whitehead performs all instruments and voices on <em>Scar Sighted</em>, and weaves a dizzying tapestry with his arrangement of these elements, which were expertly captured by the skillful producer/engineer Billy Anderson.</p> <p>“At first it was daunting to work with Billy, because his résumé contains records that changed my life,” says Whitehead of working with Anderson, whose credits include influential records by bands like Melvins, Neurosis and Sleep. “I like shitty production. I played him a couple examples [of lo-fi black metal] and he was like, ‘Alright.’ Later I found he was actually thinking, Oh my god that’s terrible. [laughs] But working with him was amazing. There’s clarity in the new record, but it’s not Hot Topic bubble gum.”</p> <p><strong>You’re known for creating some of the most extreme metal out there. But I’m curious about where you started. Did you like Zeppelin and Van Halen like the rest of us?</strong></p> <p>There were three records that my mom had when I was growing up that I first noticed the guitar on: <em>Led Zeppelin III</em>, Mothers of Invention’s <em>Absolutely Free</em> and Spirit’s self-titled first record. Those left an impression on me, and in particular Randy California’s playing on the Spirit record. There was just something about the sound of the neck pickup and those warm solos. I didn’t pick up a guitar until I was about 13. My mom got me one. I was into punk rock and I would watch videos on MTV trying to figure out those stretchy chords Andy Summers [of the Police] was doing. Then when I figured out the barre chord, I remember the first song I learned was “Hungry Wolf” by X. But at the same time I was also listening to Dio, Ozzy and Van Halen. I was, and am, a huge Van Halen fan.</p> <p><strong>But even before guitar you were trained as a drummer, right? Did you find that helped make your transition to guitar easier?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, I’m mostly a drummer. My uncle had drums when I was a kid. Drumming has always come a little more naturally to me. I was in jazz band in junior high and high school. Absolutely. I’m way better with my right-hand rhythm playing than the left. Way better at strumming than fretting. It translates to bass too. Actually as far as my comfortableness with my ability to play I’d rank it drums, bass and then guitar. </p> <p><strong>So you’re growing up in California in the Eighties, playing drums and guitar. You also got into skate culture at the time, right? How was that tied in to your musical upbringing?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, I was balls deep in skateboarding. I was a sponsored amateur. I skated in a couple smaller competitions, and I got second a couple times. Anyway I ended up getting away from a living situation, and I was staying with a friend from high school. We were best friends, and we skated every day. He also had a guitar and we were trying to learn every Tony Iommi riff. <em>Kill ’Em All</em> had just come out, so we were trying to figure all that out, too, very ham-handedly. Then I found Venom and Celtic Frost. I was also way into trying to figure out how to play guitar like [Black Flag’s] Greg Ginn, [Anthony] Bones [Roberts] from Discharge and Rikk Agnew from Christian Death and the Adolescents. </p> <p><strong>Coming from your punk background, how did discovering bands like Celtic Frost and Venom affect own your own developing style?</strong></p> <p>It definitely upped the aggression for me. Celtic Frost’s <em>Morbid Tales</em> and <em>To Mega Therion</em> were way more pissed off. Punk is pissed and fast, but Celtic Frost also had that evil vibe to it. There wasn’t anything really like that. Then I got into weirdo rock. </p> <p><strong>What do you consider to be weirdo rock?</strong></p> <p>The more abstract stuff. I guess you’d call it post-punk. That angular discordant punk rock style done by people who can play. Guitar players like David Pajo and Duane Denison, or Ash Bowie from Polvo and Nick Sakes from the Dazzling Killmen. Oh and I love Paul Leary from Butthole Surfers, and [Kevin] Geordie [Walker] from Killing Joke. <em>Fire Dances</em> and <em>Revelations</em> were a huge influence on me.</p> <p><strong>In terms of black metal guitar influences, did the Norwegian movement in the early Nineties mean anything to you? </strong></p> <p>Of course. Snorre Ruch of Thorns, to me, really invented that minor-chord chromatic-progression thing. I’ve asked a bunch of people how he gets that sound and they say it’s direct with a bunch of mids. His songwriting and approach to guitar are perfect to me. And also Carl-Michael Eide of Ved Buens End and Virus. He’s one of my favorite all-around drummers and musicians. But as far as black metal guitar playing I’m more influenced by Andy Harris of Judas Iscariot. That guy’s a genius. Then there’s the death metal stuff, like [Incantation’s] John McEntee and [Immolation’s] Robert Vigna. I’m a huge Immolation fan. And also John Gossard from Weakling and Dispirit. He’s an amazing guitarist who thinks very differently. </p> <p><strong>You weren’t always a solo act. Can you talk about your experience playing in bands?</strong></p> <p>The first band I was in was called Home Brew when I was 15. Then I was in an Eighties metal funk band with slap bass called Gasm. Then it was Gift Horse in 1991. That guitar player, Doug Hilsinger, had a huge influence on me. Most of the stuff I was learning was power chords, and he encouraged me to play all six strings and let chords ring out. He used a lot of delay and he’s the one who influenced me to do volume swells with delay. Watching him play was really amazing.</p> <p><strong>What influenced you to break out and form Leviathan as a solo project? Did you lose interest in working with other people?</strong></p> <p>No, when we were in Gift Horse I just always had these songs. I wanted to sound like the Melvins and play songs that would break people’s bones. Doug was more into songwriting as a craft, stuff like Polvo and Chavez, and I was more into riffs. </p> <p>He would always tell me to get a four-track. So I eventually got one. I found out about black metal in ’96 or ’97 and I was really influenced by it. I started doing Leviathan and another project called Renfield, which turned into Lurker of Chalice. A lot of it was instrumental. The first Leviathan stuff I did was with a Gibson Sonex, which I traded for a tattoo. But I could never get the pickups screwed in right so it made a shit-ton of noise. And I had this little Peavey combo. Some of that stuff is on the second disc of <em>Verräter</em>, the first thing that I ever put out.</p> <p><strong>You were programming drums on those early releases right?</strong></p> <p>I had a Roland V-Pro digital drum set, because I lived in San Francisco and we’re all on top of each other. All my neighbors would hear was the thud of the digital drums…and me screaming. [laughs] I would just plug it right in to the Tascam four-track. That’s before I got a Line 6 POD. </p> <p><strong>What guitars were you playing back then?</strong></p> <p>Tim Lehi, who I [tattooed] with, is an incredible guitar player. Really inspirational. We both fell in love with black metal around the same time. He helped me get my first good guitar, which was a 1995 neck-through Paul Reed Smith. We were super into Today Is the Day, and that’s the kind of guitar Steve Austin played. I miss that guitar. I did everything except Lurker with that guitar. For Lurker I borrowed a 1969 Les Paul from Tim, because I wanted the guitar tones to be heavier. But it’s still direct through a POD and a four-track.</p> <p><strong>Playing live has never been a part of Leviathan. Why is that?</strong></p> <p>I don’t think that a lot of this music is meant to be played live. I’ve actually never played guitar live in front of people. I’ve played drums a bunch in front of people. It’s not really a fear thing. Because if I was doing Leviathan, unless I sang, it would be a cover band. </p> <p><strong>You can’t rock the drummer-as-singer move.</strong></p> <p>[laughs] Nah man I can’t do the Night Ranger. Actually one of the first U.S. black metal bands was called Profanatica, and Paul Ledney sang and played drums. He sat really low so you couldn’t even see him. You would just see a tom, an afro and mic stand. But no, I don’t think I could do that.</p> <p><strong>2008’s <em>Massive Conspiracy Against All Life</em> is the first album where Leviathan’s sound really jumped up in terms of production.</strong></p> <p>Yeah that’s the first album where I had someone actually record it using a program instead of a four-track. That was the first one with real drums on it too. I was still using the Paul Reed Smith. On the following album, True Traitor, I used [engineer/producer] Sanford [Parker’s] Gibson V for most of that. And <em>Scar Sighted</em> is all Stevie’s custom Monson [Morningstar], and my neck-through Gibson Explorer that I used for the clean tones.</p> <p><strong>You recently got hooked up with your own custom Monson, right?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, Stevie got me one for my birthday in July. It’s called the Redemption and has a maple neck, ebony fingerboard with my “Freezing Moon” inlays and a set of custom Lace Drop &amp; Gain pickups. But yeah they’re beautiful guitars and Brent [Monson] is a super nice guy. I’d like to have him build me another guitar.</p> <p><strong>You’ve expressed being unhappy with the final result of your last record, <em>True Traitor, True Whore</em>. Were there specific things you wanted to correct when you began work on <em>Scar Sighted</em>?</strong></p> <p>Well, I was sober this time, and I wanted to put some thrashy, for lack of a better word, stuff on there. Stevie’s from Florida, so there’s a lot of death metal being played in our studio. I’m not exactly sure what tuning is on her Monson guitar, but it’s a longer scale and has baritone strings so it’s a lot deeper. I played through a Peavey Triple X Atlas Custom and a Hovercraft Dwarvenaut and a 2x12 1x15 cabinet. But basically it’s the same as I’ve always done: try and make a record that I didn’t hate.</p> <p><strong>Is isolation still critical to your process? </strong></p> <p>It’s a huge part. With Lurker, and most of Leviathan, I was completely alone. I have a family now and things change. Stevie is totally supportive, but with our work and living situation there hasn’t been a lot of music making in the last couple months. But isolation has a giant effect on me when I’m making music. Just having people in the room when you’re working changes everything for me. It’s like, “Perform!” I’ve kinda gotten over that. But I’m still the guy who goes into the music store to try a guitar and I’m like, “Um, I’ll just buy it.” Because I don’t want to play in front of people. [laughs] It’s like that [HBO sketch comedy series] <em>Mr. Show</em> guitar lesson scene, “Wait, wait. No, wait, wait. No, wait.” [laughs] Seriously.</p> <p><strong>Your songs exhibit great dynamics and restraint, which really help elevate the chaotic parts when they arrive. Does that composition style come natural to you?</strong></p> <p>I’m not a patient person, but I work at trying to find that patience. [laughs] A lot of that is from listening to stuff like [Polish composer Krzysztof] Penderecki, but also stuff like Caspar Brötzmann’s <em>Mute Massaker</em> record. But dynamics are huge for me. And trying to figure them out is really hard, but really fun.</p> <p><strong>Another cool technique that you employ in the middle of “The Smoke of their Torment” is when you’re thrashing and then throw in an exaggerated rake of one chord.</strong></p> <p>Yeah the drag. That’s all influenced by Carl-Michael Eide. That’s listening to [Ved Buens Ende’s] <em>Written in Waters</em> over and over again.</p> <p><strong>You’ll also mix things up by adding acoustic passages, such as in “Dawn Vibration” and “Within Thrall.”</strong></p> <p>Stevie has a plug-in Chet Atkins nylon-string classical guitar that I used. Now I have a nice Takamine acoustic, but I didn’t have it when I was recording.</p> <p><strong>“Gardens of Coprolite” has some amazing drum sections. Do you typically find yourself writing drums or guitars first?</strong></p> <p>A lot of Leviathan begins with me playing drums and then writing guitar parts over it afterward. But I do have guitar riffs and then try and figure out a beat under it. That song is definitely drums first and then figuring the rest out later. </p> <p><strong>I’m curious about the creepy sound on “A Veil Is Lifted.” Is that a harpsichord plug-in?</strong><br /> Oh man, that’s an auto-harp that was in the studio. I tried it out and it wasn’t in tune but it sounded really cool. I knew I wanted to put it somewhere because it’s super creepy.</p> <p><strong>Between your art and musical output you seem to be in a pretty productive period of your life. Now that <em>Scar Sighted</em> is out what’s next?</strong></p> <p>We have a stack of Leviathan demos. Hopefully we’re gonna do four or five vinyl releases of just demos. I might just call it Wrest. Because it’s Renfield, Lurker and some demos that ended up on Twilight. And Stevie and I are gonna do a record as Devout too. We’re also building a recording studio at our new house. We hope to have a spot where we can wake up and go play in our boxers. Well, she doesn’t wear boxers. [laughs] </p> <p><strong>Will the studio be only for personal use, or do you plan to open it up to other musicians that want to record?</strong></p> <p>Open to friends and associates, and to have a place that Billy [Anderson] would want to work. And maybe Sanford would come out here from Chicago. Billy got us a mixing board, and we want to get a bunch of gear, guitars and drum sets for people to use. We want to build a comfortable setup with a kitchen, bathroom, shower and hopefully a place for bands to stay too. I mean, do bands even get label support anymore? So that’s why I’d tell your readers to support underground amp builders and guitar makers. Find somebody you can work with that fits well. And listen to more than one kind of music. Even if you only like death metal…</p> <p><strong>Listen to Van Halen.</strong></p> <p>Well, listen to Van Halen regardless. Even if you’re a hip-hop techno guy listen to fucking Van Halen!</p> Jef Whitehead June 2015 Leviathan Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:43:12 +0000 Brad Angle 24483 at Agnostic Front's Vinnie Stigma Talks New Album, Biggest Inspirations and a Lifetime in NYC <!--paging_filter--><p><em>He’s the founding guitarist of seminal New York hardcore band Agnostic Front, loves the Pittsburgh Steelers and has lived in the same Lower East Side apartment for 60 years. But what <em>Guitar World</em> readers really want to know is…</em></p> <p> <strong>I heard you have a new signature guitar coming out with Artist Series Guitar. What can you tell us about it? — Tommy</strong></p> <p>On the front of it is the map of hardcore, with the boots, which is a logo of ours, and the awning of CBGB. I spray painted “Agnostic Front” on the original awning in like 1982. That’s not a Photoshop thing. I made a stencil and spray-painted it on the actual awning. I’ve got EMG 81 pickups in it and I use it as my main guitar now.</p> <p><strong>I’m so stoked for the new Agnostic Front album <em>The American Dream Died</em>. What’s it like writing now that [founding singer] Roger [Miret] lives out of state? Are you guys trading demos online? — Antony</strong></p> <p>We do a lot over the internet. You know how that works today. We lay out a cushion for Roger to lay his words on. We take care of the music and basic structure, and then he’ll put in his two cents. And then I’ll put in my two cents and go back and forth like that. </p> <p>My drummer Pokey [Mo], who used to be in Leeway, works at a studio, and we go rehearse there. My guitar player is Craig Silverman, and he’s from Boston. They got snowed on really bad this year! He just had a baby, so he got to spend the winter with the baby. So that was good. Our last shows were right before Christmas, and we’re leaving to go to Florida and Puerto Rico then we’ll lay low and we’re off to Europe. All winter I’ve been hibernating. All I do is eat, practice and wait to go on tour.</p> <p><strong>Your new CD is called <em>The American Dream Died</em>. Do you think the transformation of New York City from the Eighties to now, with all the luxury condos and banks replacing music venues and bars, is a representation of that? — Craig</strong></p> <p>Definitely yes. Then again, the world changed too, not just New York. Now with the internet, everything’s so high-speed. But we didn't change. I don’t change! [laughs] For 60 years I’ve lived in the same place in New York with my family. I have a friend of mine, Tommy Lombardi, on Spring Street. The only way I get in touch with him is walk up to the building and yell, “Tommy!” And he yells back, “Hey Vinnie!” and throws down the keys. The real New York. </p> <p>Anyway his landlords are trying to get him out because his rent is stabilized. He’s a disabled person, number one. Number two, they go into his house and they wreck it trying to “fix a leak.” They shut the water off and the gas off. Criminal acts! They’re doing it to another guy in the building too. Get this: he’s a retired soldier, an elder person and he’s gay. They wanna fight that? They’re gonna lose! </p> <p>It doesn’t matter to me if you’re gay, old or in the service or not. I champion things like that, and I’m always fighting for people. That’s what hardcore and punk is about. We used to do canned food drives for the homeless, and I used to volunteer at the homeless shelter next to CBGB. I use the platform that I have to speak out for people that can’t speak for themselves. </p> <p> <strong>When it comes to rhythm picking technique are you all downstrokes or a mixture of up/down fast picking. — Pauly</strong></p> <p>A lot of time the attack is down, but I also do alternate picking. I’ll do that old-school shuffling rhythmic thing. Today the picking is a little more sterile—especially with the metal thing—instead of natural and rhythmic. All the guys in the band yell at me like I should do that. [laughs] But I’m like listen, “This is the feel, the rhythm and the flavor!”</p> <p><strong>Who first inspired you to pick up a guitar? — Hollis</strong></p> <p>Jimi Hendrix. He was the most craziest muthafucka. I think he liberated the guitar. I come from that era of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Eric Clapton, right into punk rock. There was no hair or heavy metal for me. I went straight to punk when I heard it, like, This shit is the fuckin shit! [laughs] </p> <p>Here’s where a kid can reach a goal, instead of like seeing some guitarist high on a hill that you’ve gotta praise. Punk taught me that you can be that guy. Like, “Hey, you! Get up there! You can do it even better!” That’s how I felt when I used to see bands. I’d watch them and think I can do it faster, louder and better. That’s the attitude the kids gotta bring. </p> <p><strong>I’ve seen you perform with Agnostic Front many times since the Eighties. Which country or city has the craziest hardcore fans? — Antony</strong></p> <p>Oh my god. It’s been 33 years with this band. I’ve seen a lot. We were in the Carolinas and these paratrooper guys came out and were jumping off the balcony! I played the Wacken [Open Air] festival, which was one of the largest pits in the Guinness World Book of Records. I’m not an internet guy, but somebody showed me a video and I was like, My god I can’t believe it! But I’ve seen so many things. I don’t even know where to start. </p> <p> <strong>I know you trained in martial arts. Did you find it helped keep you focused in life and even in playing music? — Jeffery</strong></p> <p>Definitely yes. All of the above. Anything positive like that is good for you. I’m no guru or karate expert, but it’s just common sense. If one of my friends gets drunk, I say, “Hey, everybody’s got their night.” Then the next day you come out of the matrix and you do 10 push-ups. Martial arts did help me. </p> <p>I just celebrated Chinese New Year’s the other day, and it’s my year, the Year of the Ram. It’s every 12 years and I’m 60 years old. [sings] Hells Kitchen, West Side, December 3, 1965. The world will never be the same, city’s got a new claim to fame! That’s how I write songs! Just about life and real things, not like those bands that write about blowjobs and the highway and girls. I mean that’s fine, okay, I’m down. But there’s just so many things going wrong with the world you gotta stand up and say something.</p> <p> <strong>I know that Roger got into the custom car scene with the Rumblers. Do you have any hobbies like that? — Tim</strong></p> <p>I got a cigar club. Anybody can join that one, you know? [laughs] You don’t need much to join a cigar club, just a cigar and a book of matches. You go to your local cigar store, ask a few questions, try a few cigars, sit down, have a glass of wine, and boom. There ya go! Who’s betta than you, right? [laughs]</p> <p> <strong>I’ve always loved Todd Youth’s playing no matter what band he’s with: War Zone, Murphy’s Law, Danzig, etc. You’ve got a history with Todd, right? — Dylan Fagan</strong></p> <p>Todd Youth is a very great player. He played for Glen Campbell, Ace Frehley and a bunch of others. When he was 12 years old he’d run away to come hang out with me at my house. I used to have to call his mother, like, “Hey he’s here now. You don’t have to call the cops. You want me to send him home?” I actually taught him how to play the guitar. That’s one of my great accomplishments. I also taught Sindi [Benezra] from the Lunachicks. </p> <p>I always say one day when I retire I wanna teach guitar to children and old people. For the old people I wanna do it for the coffee and cake, and for children I wanna do it for a very selfish reason. When they grow up and someone asks them, “Hey, where’d you learn to play the guitar?” I want them to say, “Vinnie Stigma taught me!”</p> <p><strong>You’re one of the founders of New York Hardcore Tattoo shop in New York. But did you ever get into tattooing yourself? — Pauly</strong></p> <p>I tattoo every now and again myself, yeah. Actually I just had my new guitar shipped there because I get ground shipping at the shop. But yeah come on by. Every now and again I’ll do a guest spot, or we’ll have Lars [Frederiksen] from Rancid come by and tattoo. It’s fun.</p> <p><strong>I have been a fan of Agnostic Front for the past 20 years and I love your guitar sound. What is your current amp setup like these days? — Jay Perry</strong></p> <p>Mesa/Boogie, and to be honest with ya, I go direct. You get enough power out of that. Plus we have another guitar player with us. I just cushion him so he can do whatever he does. And that Mesa, god you just look at it and it gets loud. I’m practically afraid of my amp it’s so fucking loud. [laughs] </p> <p>I had my friend hot-rod it, it’s got a thousand buttons on it and I’ve got a kid to take care of it. I don’t know what button to turn! [laughs] I turn ’em all to the right, that’s what I do.</p> <p><em>Photo by Jimmy Hubbard</em></p> Agnostic Front Brad Angle Dear Guitar Hero July 2015 Vinnie Stigma Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:39:13 +0000 Brad Angle 24573 at Peter Frampton Announces 'Premonition,' 'When All the Pieces Fit,' 'Now' Reissues — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Peter Frampton has announced reissues of three previously out-of-print albums: 1986's <em>Premonition</em>, 1989's <em>When All the Pieces Fit</em> and 2003's <em>Now</em>. </p> <p><em>Premonition</em> and <em>When All the Pieces Fit</em> are set for release August 28, while <em>Now</em> is set for release September 4. </p> <p>All three records are being released by Omnivore. </p> <p>You can watch a trailer for the albums below.</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="/peter-frampton">Peter Frampton</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Peter Frampton News Fri, 26 Jun 2015 21:33:49 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24827 at Epiphone Les Pauls Are 15 Percent Off Through June 2015 — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar World's</em> Paul Riario is here to remind you that all Epiphone Les Pauls are 15 percent off through June 30, 2015. It's all part of Epiphone's celebration of Les Paul's 100 birthday.</p> <p>If you've never owned an Epiphone Les Paul, <a href="">now's the time to get one!</a></p> <p>The sale includes classic Les Paul models such as the Les Paul Plustop PRO, the Les Paul "Tribute" Plus Outfit, the Les Paul Special II and many more.</p> <p><strong>For more information, visit <a href=""></a></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 --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script><object id="myExperience4324374578001" 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="4324374578001" /> </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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