News en Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gary Rossington Under Observation After Serious Heart Attack <!--paging_filter--><p>Lynyrd Skynyrd founding guitarist Gary Rossington reportedly suffered a serious heart attack on October 8 and has been under observation since then.</p> <p>Rossington’s daughter Mary Elizabeth posted the news at the Ronnie Van Zant fan page on Facebook. </p> <p>“We were very close to losing him this time and just pray that they will develop even better techniques soon to deal with heart disease,” she writes.</p> <p>According to the note, the 63-year-old guitarist—the only founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd in the current lineup—has been battling heart problems for years. After this most recent heart attack, doctors have added and repaired stents inserted in previous surgeries, including during a quintuple bypass he underwent in 2003. </p> <p>“They went in to repair and unclog the two stents they did previously in the year which had a blood clot,” his daughter notes, “added a third stent to one vein and in two weeks we will need to go in to do a fourth stent in one of his bypassed veins from 12 years ago.”</p> <p>Former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle sent a message of support to Rossington via social media that read: “I love you, Gary. Our band loves you. Stay strong and ‘May the force be with you.’”</p> <p>Rossington was hospitalized earlier this year with an abdominal infection that forced Skynyrd to cancel a tour date. Two shows in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, have been cancelled due to his heart attack and will be rescheduled for 2016. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour schedule currently shows just two more performances for the remainder of this year.</p> <p>Rossington cofounded Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 in Jacksonville, Florida, with his friend Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, at which time they were named My Backyard. He was among the survivors of the October 1977 plane crash that killed Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, vocalist Cassie Gaines, among others.</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="/lynyrd-skynyrd">Lynyrd Skynyrd</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Gary Rossington Lynyrd Skynyrd News Tue, 13 Oct 2015 21:33:04 +0000 Christopher Scapelliti 25641 at Eight of the Hottest New Electric-Acoustic Hybrid Guitars on the Market <!--paging_filter--><p>In the photo gallery below, <em>Guitar World</em> picks eight of the hottest new electric-acoustic hybrid guitars on the market today.</p> <p>The galley includes models by Schecter Guitars, Yamaha, Taylor Guitars, Epiphone, Music Man, Line 6, D’Angelico Guitars and Dean.</p> <p>For more information about each of these manufacturers, check out:</p> <p>• <a href=""></a><br /> • <a href=""></a><br /> • <a href=""></a><br /> • <a href=""></a><br /> • <a href=""></a><br /> • <a href=""></a><br /> • <a href=""></a><br /> • <a href=""></a></p> <p>Note that the prices shown below are the street prices. Enjoy!</p> <p><em>Thanks to <a href="">The Music Zoo</a> for photos of the Music Man and the D’Angelico!</em></p> Dean Guitars Epiphone Music Man November 2015 Schecter Guitars Taylor Guitars Acoustic Guitars Electric Guitars News Features Gear Magazine Tue, 13 Oct 2015 20:23:18 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25640 at Top 10 James Hetfield Guest Appearances <!--paging_filter--><p>One of the factors that led to Jason Newsted's departure from Metallica in January 2001 was frontman James Hetfield's reluctance to allow his bass player to indulge in side projects during the band's downtime.</p> <p>While it's true that the Metallica frontman has never officially joined any other band (Spastik Children notwithstanding), Papa Het has done his share of guest appearances over the years, usually either helping out a friend or paying tribute to a fallen hero. </p> <p>Though rare they may be, we managed to pull together 10 of them, including live and studio cuts, in this convenient playlist.</p> <p>As for Hetfield's main band, head <a href="">here</a> for our ranking of the 100 greatest Metallica songs of all time.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Stone Cold Crazy" — Queen with James Hetfield, Tony Iommi</strong></p> <p>In 1992, an all-star cast of musicians gathered at London's Wembley Arena for the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness. Two years earlier, Metallica had covered the Queen classic "Stone Cold Crazy" for the <em>Rubáiyát: Elektra's 40th Anniversary</em> compilation, so James Hetfield seemed the perfect fit to join the surviving members of Queen—not to mention Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi—for the <em>Sheer Heart Attack</em> cut.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Man or Ash" — Corrosion of Conformity</strong></p> <p>James Hetfield may not be credited for his backing-vocal performance on Corrosion of Conformity's 1996 album <em>Wiseblood</em>, but there's no mistaking his signature growl on the album cut "Man or Ash." CoC frontman Pepper Keenan would later repay the favor, singing a verse on Metallica's cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone" on their 1998 covers compilation, <em>Garage, Inc.</em> Thanks, Pep!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Would?" — Alice In Chains featuring James Hetfield</strong></p> <p>There's an infamous incident (that can be found on YouTube) featuring the members of Metallica mocking Layne Staley's heroin addiction after Alice In Chains was forced to pull out of a planned tour with the band. By the time 2006 rolled around, all that seemed to be water under the bridge, and Hetfield joined the remaining members of AIC at Rock Am Ring for a rendition of the <em>Dirt</em> classic, "Would?"</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Eclectic Electric" — Primus</strong></p> <p>There was no shortage of guest musicians and producers on Primus' highly regarded 2001 album, <em>Antipop</em>. Hetfield signed on to contribute guitars to a track called "Eclectic Electric," which also included Faith No More's Big Jim Martin. Eclectic indeed! Look for another Primus connection further down.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Hell Isn't Good" — <em>South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut</em></strong></p> <p>The <em>South Park</em> movie, <em>Bigger, Longer and Uncut</em>, came out in 1999, but it was more than a year after the film's release that James came clean about contributing vocals to an original "song" called "Hell Isn't Good." That said, as soon as the vocals kicked in as Kenny plummeted toward the underworld, no one was fooled for a second that it could be anyone else.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Drivin' Rain" — Gov't Mule</strong></p> <p>James Hetfield and Les Claypool guest on this Gov't Mule cut that was featured on the compilation album, <em>Crank It Up with NASCAR</em>. Fun fact: Les Claypool was among the many famous bassists who auditioned to take over bass duties in Metallica after the death of Cliff Burton.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out Of Hand?" — Waylon Jennings cover</strong></p> <p>If you've heard "Mama Said" or the aforementioned cover of Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone," you know Hetfield has an outlaw country side to him. At the Outlaws Concert in 2004, Hetfield performed alongside the likes of Hank Williams Jr., Cowboy Troy, Big &amp; Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Kid Rock, covering a tune by his recently deceased friend Waylon Jennings. Later in the evening, Hetfield would be joined by Jennings' widow Jesse Colter for a rendition of "Mama Said."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Twist of Cain," "Possession" — Danzig</strong></p> <p>Metallica have shown their love for the Misfits with covers of "Green Hell," "Last Caress" and "Die, Die My Darling" over the years, so it's no surprise that Hetfield appears on not one, but two tracks on Glenn Danzig's 1988 solo debut. Due to contractual issues, Hetfield (like the CoC appearance) was uncredited on the album. Fun fact: Both tracks were originally written as songs for Danzig's previous band, Samhain.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /><br /> <iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"You Really Got Me" — Ray Davies featuring Metallica</strong></p> <p>When it was announced that Kinks frontman Ray Davies was recruiting a whole slew of guest musicians for a compilation album a few years back, the name that immediately jumped out to almost everyone was Metallica. </p> <p>The metal heavyweights had previously joined Davies for live takes on "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concert, as well inviting him to appear on stage with them in 2009 at Madison Square Garden. While it raised a few eyebrows, I think we can all safely say that Ray Davies wasn't Metallica's most questioned collaboration in 2011.</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="/metallica">Metallica</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> James Hetfield Metallica Videos News Features Tue, 13 Oct 2015 19:01:04 +0000 Josh Hart 14774 at Andy Summers Reflects on His Years with (and Before) the Police and His Most Trusted Guitars <!--paging_filter--><p>Early on in his new documentary film, <em>Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police</em>, guitarist Andy Summers talks about needing a sense of closure on the band that brought him massive fame in the Eighties. </p> <p>Before imploding from internal tensions at mid-decade, the Police racked up an impressive string of hit records, Grammys and other accolades, leaving a lasting influence on the sound of pop music. </p> <p>Summers’ shimmering, echoey guitar work for the band provided an ideal tonal palette for the slyly jazzy sophistication of his chordal sensibility, also becoming a major touchstone for the quintessential guitar sound of the Eighties and beyond as exemplified by players like the Edge, Robert Smith, Robin Guthrie and Johnny Marr. </p> <p><em>Can’t Stand Losing You</em> tracks the rise and fall of the Police. And by the time he was finished with it, Summers had changed his mind about needing closure. </p> <p>“If anything, the film had the opposite effect for me,” he says. “I don’t think there can ever be a sense of closure on the Police. And who would want that? A sense of, ‘Okay, close the doors; put it in a museum.’ That’s not what I want now.” </p> <p>The film takes concert footage from the Police’s top-grossing 2007-08 reunion tour as its jumping-off point. But it digs deep into Summers’ own life story both pre- and post-Police, using archival footage, scores of photographs taken by Summers and passages from his 2006 autobiography, <em>One Train Later</em>. </p> <p>Photography was a creative outlet and source of sanity for Summers throughout his wild ride with the Police, and his photographic work has been featured in several exhibitions and books. So <em>Can’t Stand Losing You</em> is a project that brings together multiple facets of his artistic life as a musician, photographer and writer. </p> <p>“In the book, the literary device I used was to tell the story of my life as a musician as a series of flashbacks from the Police’s final show at Shea Stadium in August of 1983,” Summers explains. “We were breaking up, and there we were, the golden boys at the top of the circle. That was the way I told the story in the book. Obviously we couldn’t do that in the film, but we could use the reunion concert footage as a way in and out of my story.” </p> <p>Some of the most interesting passages in both the movie and the book deal with the less well-known chapters of Summers’ life. Over a decade before the Police rode to fame in the wake of the punk/new wave explosion, Summers was a key player in the seminal mid-to-late Sixties Swinging London rock scene. As a guitarist with Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band, Dantalian’s Chariot, Soft Machine, Kevin Coyne, Kevin Ayers and Eric Burdon’s New Animals, Summers hung with Clapton, jammed with Hendrix and generally took full part in the scene’s heady swirl of groupies, hallucinogens and fervent artistic experimentation. </p> <p>It all came crashing to a halt at the tail end of the decade, when his tenure with Burdon was suddenly and unexpectedly terminated in Los Angeles. Summers’ story might have ended there. But he climbed back on top with the Police, reaching heights of fame that far outstripped anything he’d accomplished in his early career. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>His post-Police musical output has been prolific and diverse as well, embracing solo albums, film scores and collaborations with other guitarists including Robert Fripp, John Etheridge, Victor Biglione and Benjamin Verdery. Last year he released an exceptional album of hard-hitting melodic rock as one half of the duo Circa Zero, together with singer Rob Giles. He’s currently creating some new instrumental music in collaboration with the New York based visual artist Ralph Gibson. </p> <p>While his creativity has taken many forms over the years, Summers is first and foremost a guitar player. So, in the midst of doing press for <em>Can’t Stand Losing You</em>, he was happy to allocate some time to take <em>Guitar World</em> on a guitar-centric tour through his back pages. </p> <p><strong>The film’s coverage of your early years is interesting from a guitar perspective. You’re seen with a lot of jazz archtops—a Hofner and Gibson ES-175, among others. Is that the main kind of guitar you were playing early on?</strong></p> <p>Yes, the first music I got into, that I could play at all, was jazz. I was a complete jazz nut from ages 12 to about 18. And then I branched out a bit more, playing rhythm and blues. But as a teenager my real ambition, guitar-wise, was to be able to play jazz. Unfortunately that ES-175 got stolen. But I also had a dot inlay 1958 ES-335. A wonderful guitar that also got stolen. I got it because I was inspired by Grant Green. </p> <p><strong>Even when we get into your late-Sixties psychedelic period, you’re very Gibson-oriented. There’s footage of you with Explorers, Les Pauls and other classic Gibson solidbodies.</strong></p> <p>Yes, in the beginning it was more that. As I was getting out of the jazz sound, I was playing with a lot of vibrato. And I wanted a real rich sound. I was heading for the same place as Eric Clapton. It must have been in the air at the time. That’s why I liked humbucking pickups in particular at that point. But eventually I switched to a Telecaster and that became a part of me. </p> <p><strong>People who only know you from the Police might be surprised that you were a contemporary of Clapton, Page, Hendrix and all the iconic players of that age. Which of those were you closest with?</strong></p> <p>Clapton, I’d say. Eric and I were really close friends and we used to hang out. We’d like to go out together, as guys. And we were always on the same stages. All those guys—I mean I was in that group. We all started together—Jeff Beck, Albert Lee, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>So what precipitated your move from Gibsons to Fenders and that iconic sunburst ’61 Tele with white binding that you used with the Police?</strong></p> <p>I’m not sure what got me into it. I don’t even know why I got my first Telecaster. I started out with a white 1958 Telecaster that’s probably worth a fortune now. I don’t even remember when I got it. But it seems like there was a point in history when playing solidbody guitars were almost like pushing the envelope, certainly in England. American guitars—a solid piece of wood.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>And then in your California period, circa 1972, you got the ’61 sunburst. What was the magic of that particular Telecaster?</strong></p> <p>It’s just always been a beautiful playing instrument. By the time I got it, somebody had really fooled around with it and put in a Gibson humbucker in the front [neck] position and added this overdrive circuit. </p> <p>It had a phenomenal out-of-phase sound, which was great. Sadly, at the end of a tour that pickup got knocked out. But it was still a great guitar. Physically, it had perfect ergonomics. So that became the guitar that I really used for years. I did nearly everything with the Police with just that one guitar. This funky old guitar that somebody carved up and got rid of was just magic.</p> <p><strong>Do you feel like that guitar changed your luck in a way?</strong> </p> <p>Yeah, I was completely down and out when I got it for $200. I was in L.A. giving guitar lessons to get by. I always remember clearly that I got that Telecaster off a kid I was teaching guitar to at the time. I offered him a chance to back out of the deal. </p> <p>I said, “Hey, do you really want to get rid of this? It’s a great guitar!’ He said, ‘I need the money. I really need the 200 bucks.’ And yeah, shortly after I got the guitar I got together with Kate, the woman who became my wife. We moved back to England and I joined the Police.</p> <p><strong>Did your guitar sound with the Police come together right away? Was there a period of trial and error?</strong> </p> <p>Not really trial and error…you know how it is: You get in a group and it’s a new situation. We didn’t really know one another that well as people. So we just started reacting off one another musically. It was a very unique texture musically, with the three of us. It was unrepeatable. Beneath the surface, though, Sting and I had very similar musical backgrounds. So I came up with these extra chords and harmonies. We started to make what became the Police sound. I decided to incorporate an Echoplex into my setup and we were off and running. </p> <p><strong>The rock trio format up to that point had been about a heavily distorted Gibson through a Marshall stack kind of sound.</strong> </p> <p>Very much so. In a way, we were the exact opposite of a band like Cream or the Jimi Hendrix Experience. They were all very heavy, powerful trios. We went into a very different space. </p> <p><strong>Do you remember any of the specific effects devices, apart from the Echoplex, that were involved in creating that sound? What did you use for chorusing and flanging?</strong></p> <p>In the beginning I did have an MXR Phase 90 taped to the floor. I used chorus pretty early on. Certainly by the second album. And at first I think I had a Boss chorus—whenever the first chorus pedal came out. We’re all used to chorusing now. But in those days it was a very new sound—this beautiful, shimmering, lovely stereo sound that no one had ever heard come out of a guitar before. </p> <p>But the main thing was really the Echoplex. I always had it onstage. I’d set it on a chair or whatever and use it to set up a rhythmic echo, particularly on a song like, “Can’t Stand Losing You.” I’d basically play eighth notes on the strings and get 16ths out of the Echoplex. With that and a big reverb, you’d get this tremendous rhythmic effect. It became very unique and different from anyone else. </p> <p><strong>To some extent, you’re responsible for starting what became the guitar sound of the Eighties.</strong> </p> <p>Yeah, absolutely. I do think that’s where all that started. It was widely copied, but that’s fine. It was around. I also did it out of a desire not to sound like every other punk band out there in London at the time. We started to develop this very spacey sound with a chorus and envelope filter—all the things that started to come out at the time.</p> <p><strong>But wasn’t there something of an agenda to fit in with what was happening with punk at the time—at least to come up with something compatible?</strong> </p> <p>In the very first stages of the material, it was a little more punk. We had a few songs that Stewart [Copeland, the Police’s drummer] had written and we just hammered our way through. We managed to play a set one night and finish in 12 minutes—the whole show! But as we started to really be a band and rehearse a lot, all this other stuff started to come out. We made our way and forged an identity, based on our musical ability and also these new technical devices that were coming out. </p> <p><strong>Who was the band member who brought the reggae influence into the Police?</strong></p> <p>That’s a weird one. There was a year before we made it. It was Christmas and we had no gigs, nothing. We were all hanging by a thread, desperate to make the next month’s rent. I went with my wife to Cincinnati to be with her family for Christmas. I was only in the States about 10 days or so. And it was either me or Stu who gave Sting his collection of Bob Marley records to play over Christmas. And he came back to our rehearsals with the idea of playing a reggae bass line. </p> <p>But there’s a very important distinction to make: We were not a white reggae band at all. We used some elements of reggae in our songs. But I have no interest in reggae culture or anything like that. That wasn’t the thing at all. It was a technique to accompany our songs—the bass line and maybe the way some of the arrangements worked. But if you listen to the records, the sound itself is the Police. It’s not reggae at all. We weren’t the same thing as UB40 or someone like that. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Were you playing Marshall amps throughout the Police’s career?</strong></p> <p>I started off with a Fender Twin and graduated up to Marshalls once we had money. By the end, I was using two Marshalls with two 4x12 cabinets, and I also had a Mesa/Boogie amp in the system for solos. </p> <p><strong>And I guess the guitar arsenal grew as the band got bigger and bigger.</strong></p> <p>Well it was the classic thing in those days. We were constantly traveling in the U.S. We’d end up in these little towns and invariably go down to the pawn shops to buy guitars. Great guitars were still available then and you could get phenomenal deals. I got my first red Stratocaster—a ’61—for about a hundred bucks. I picked up a beautiful Gretsch and a Martin D-29… Yeah, I got a few along the way. And then of course everyone started giving me guitars. </p> <p><strong>But the ’61 Tele remained the one, for concerts and everything?</strong></p> <p>It did. A lot of companies tried to get me to put down the Telecaster and play other guitars. But nothing sounded like it. I never could do it. It was always a compromise, like, “Yeah, okay, well…” To a point where I didn’t want to take their guitars anymore. Like, I was gonna play this Telecaster whatever happened. That was the sound. </p> <p><strong>Did you have a backup? Something that would be second best?</strong> </p> <p>Yeah, I had the red Stratocaster. That was my other guitar. And I played that quite a lot in the end too. </p> <p><strong>Is that the one you used for the reunion shows, that we see in the film? The red Strat?</strong> </p> <p>Well, sort of. It’s a copy that Fender made. They made a copy of my Telecaster and then copied the Stratocaster. They gave me two and they were brilliant, both of them. They’re great-playing guitars. And basically everything I do in the studio is on the Stratocaster, at least in the demo stage, unless I want to change over. I do have a lot of guitars. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>You can never have too many.</strong></p> <p>Right. It’s the old joke, “Just one more…” </p> <p><strong>In the film, we get the sense that the tensions within the Police, and the eventual unraveling of the band, seemed to occur in tandem with the unraveling of your marriage in the early Eighties. Was the one situation feeding the other?</strong> </p> <p>It took a toll on all of us. We all got divorced. All the tragedy came out of the dark side. Unfortunately, my wife told me to get out and that was it for me. But we got back together in 1986 and we’ve been happy ever since. So it all worked out…well at least in my case. I was the lucky one, really. Sting and Stewart remarried—got together with different women. We’re all married now. But I was able to get back together with Kate and have two more kids. </p> <p><strong>What was the hardest thing to get used to about life after the Police?</strong> </p> <p>When you come out of something as incredibly phenomenal and intense as that, and suddenly one day it’s not there anymore, it’s very difficult. It’s like being dropped into the abyss. It’s hard to adjust—to get a real sense of reality again. I remember how strange everything seemed. And of course, that sense of loss. Suddenly it’s like your whole family is gone—this entourage that you’ve had around you for many years is not there anymore. It was very difficult emotionally. Not that I went to pieces, you know, I didn’t go to pieces. But when I think back to my state of mind then, it’s pretty bizarre for me to remember myself as a sort of loose cannon wandering around between L.A., New York and London, back and forth, back and forth. But I finally started to settle down. I got back in the studio and started to record and that’s what really helped me get my feet back on the ground. Because I had something to do—go around and tour. I started to play again. I’ve made many records since the Police. It’s always about the music. </p> <p><strong>Speaking of which, is there going to be another Circa Zero record?</strong> </p> <p>I don’t think so. I thought it was an incredible record we made. I worked with Rob Giles, who’s just an amazing singer. But without going on too much about it, we’re not going to do any more. It was a two-year period putting all that together. And then, basically, trying to take it all the way was too much. I had to face that. I certainly didn’t want to play in clubs again. It’s very difficult to sell CDs. It’s very difficult to get on the radio. We had, I think, 12 hits on that record. It’s still a great record, but the reality of what the music business is now is just a bit overwhelming.</p> <p><strong>So did you have to be cajoled into doing the Police reunion in 2007?</strong> </p> <p>Not at all. It was, “Now or never, we gotta tour.” The time was right. The whole thing was sort of blessed. It came at exactly the right time—two years before the financial recession hit. Everything was going strong, apparently. It was one of the top-grossing tours ever. A phenomenal tour and also great fun. Who wouldn’t want to go out and play to 80,000 people in a stadium?</p> <p><strong>Is the door open to doing another one, or was that the final reunion?</strong></p> <p>You never know where life is gonna go. But it would have be very well set up if we were going to do it again. That tour was such a phenomenal success, it’s sort of daunting. The next tour would be smaller, so oh dear, you know? We left it on a gold plate. So to come back and do that again…and then a new album? I don’t know.</p> <p><strong>So what’s up with the new music you’re making?</strong> </p> <p>It’s much more experimental. I wouldn’t call it avant-garde, because some of it is fairly lyrical. But it’s definitely pushing the envelope more, with instrumentals and a lot more effects and strangeness with the music. The idea of it originally was to create music to accompany contemporary dance—like an ensemble in New York. To which end I’m working with a New York based visual artist, Ralph Gibson, who’s connected to the dance world. </p> <p><strong>But musically, it’s completely solo, or are there other players involved?</strong> </p> <p>It’s all me, which is really one of my favorite spaces to be in. I sit there with my Pro Tools guy and I compose. That’s what I do every day now. It’s very rewarding.</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="/police-0">The Police</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/andy-summers">Andy Summers</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Andy Summers June 2015 Police The Police Interviews News Features Magazine Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:49:15 +0000 Alan Di Perna 24487 at Bass Player Live! 2015 Announces More Appearances, Including Robert Trujillo, Rex Brown and Mike Inez <!--paging_filter--><p>The crew behind Bass Player Live! 2015 <a href="" target="_blank">recently announced they'll be giving the Lifetime Achievement Award to Motörhead bass icon Lemmy Kilmister</a>. </p> <p>Now they've announced more Bass Player Live! 2015 appearances, including Metallica's Robert Trujillo, Alice in Chains' Mike Inez and former Pantera bassist Rex Brown.</p> <p>Metallica bassist and <em>Jaco</em> film producer Robert Trujillo will present a Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award to Kilmister at the Bass Player LIVE! Concert at Musicians Institute on November 7.</p> <p>2008 Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mike Watt will make his long-awaited return to Bass Player LIVE!, joining dUg Pinnick, Blasko, Rex Brown and Mike Inez in a Saturday rock panel at SIR Studios.</p> <p><em>Bass Player</em> magazine returns for its eighth year in Los Angeles with the premier live bass guitar event, Bass Player LIVE! 2015, on Saturday, November 7, and Sunday, November 8. SIR Studios, at 6465 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California, will once again be the location for two days of exhibits by top gear manufacturers and clinics by world-class bassists. An All-Star Concert featuring this year’s award recipients will take place on the evening of November 7 at Musicians Institute, 6752 Hollywood Blvd.</p> <p><strong>Visit <a href=""></a> for information on other events at the show, tickets and appearing artists and manufacturers.</strong></p> <p>Tickets are on sale now at <strong><a href=""></a></strong>. Both single day and weekend packages for the Bass Player LIVE! clinics, exhibits and All-Star Concert are available and priced as follows:</p> <ul> <li>SIR Studios day pass for Saturday OR Sunday – $37.50 plus fees</li> <li>SIR Studios Saturday &amp; Sunday pass + concert – $57.50 plus fees</li> </ul> <p>Note: Each day pass purchase includes a complimentary subscription to <em>Bass Player</em> magazine.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Bass Player Live Robert Trujillo News Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:11:14 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25639 at Reflections Premiere "Butterfly Effect" Playthrough Video — Exclusive <!--paging_filter--><p>Today, presents an exclusive playthrough video by Reflections. </p> <p>The song, "Butterfly Effect," is from the band's new album, <em>The Color Clear</em>, which was released last month via eOne Music/Good Fight Music. </p> <p>The album is available now at <a href="">iTunes</a> and as a <a href="">physical release.</a></p> <p>Reflections features Jake Wolf (vocals), Patrick Somoulay (guitar), Francis Xayana (bass) and Nick Lona (drums). </p> <p>For more about the band, follow them on <a href="">Facebook</a> and <a href="">Twitter</a>. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Guitar Playthrough Reflections Videos News Tue, 13 Oct 2015 15:22:43 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25637 at December 2015 Guitar World: David Gilmour Flies Solo, Van Halen Rising, Shinedown and More <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWDEC15">The all-new December 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now!</a></strong></p> <p><em>Guitar World’s</em> December 2015 issue features rock and roll royalty. We are celebrating the return of a king! Pink Floyd legend <strong>David Gilmour</strong> is flying solo. His adventurous new album, <em>Rattle That Lock</em>, is quite different from anything Gilmour has done before, both as a solo artist and with Pink Floyd. The mood is surprisingly upbeat on several songs and the lyrical content is quite mature. Read more on David’s return and what he has planned next in our interview.</p> <p>Despite being a perennial punching bag for hard rock purists, the members of <strong>Shinedown</strong> have their heads on straight and are right on track to enjoy another successful year as their fifth album, <em>Threat to Survival,</em> burns up the charts. While guitarist Zach Myers sums it up perfectly: “We’ve been a faceless radio band for so long, but you know what, we’ve sold eight million records.”</p> <p>Don’t miss out on <strong><em>Van Halen Rising!</em></strong> We have an exclusive excerpt from <em>Van Halen Rising</em> by Greg Renoff, the historian documents how the young band suddenly found itself being plucked out of Hollywood obscurity by Kiss bassist Gene Simmons.</p> <p><strong>Sound Check:</strong></p> <p> • Peavey Classic 20 MH<br /> • Electro-Harmonix Super Pulsar<br /> • PRS S2 Vela<br /> • Carvin Amplifiers AG200 Acoustic Guitar Amp<br /> • Cort MBC-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature<br /> • Boss RV-6 Reverb</p> <p><strong>Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass:</strong></p> <p>• “I’m a King Bee” by Frank Marino &amp; Mahogany Rush<br /> • “Throne” by Bring Me the Horizon<br /> • “A Horse with No Name” by America<br /> • “2 Minutes to Midnight” by Iron Maiden</p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWDEC15">The all-new December 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/dave620.jpg" width="620" height="811" alt="dave620.jpg" /></p> December 2015 News Features Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:12:08 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25636 at Bon Jovi Fans Think Bon Jovi Are the Best American Rock Band Ever <!--paging_filter--><p>Early last month, we at launched our latest readers' poll, the Best American Rock Band Ever.</p> <p>Although we had thousands of great bands to choose from when kicking off the poll, we decided to narrow things down to 32, which is perfect for a month's worth of matchups. All the bands were selected by <em>Guitar World's</em> editorial staff.</p> <p>The poll included current bands and classic bands that disappeared into the woodwork decades ago. The full list included: </p> <p><strong>Aerosmith, Alice In Chains, the Allman Brothers Band, the Beach Boys, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Doors, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Grateful Dead, Green Day, Guns N' Roses, Heart, Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, Ramones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Soundgarden, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Styx, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Van Halen, the White Stripes and ZZ Top.</strong></p> <p>Anyway, in the end, the title went to Bon Jovi, who battled it out over three days (this past Friday through Sunday) with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. If nothing else, the poll proved that Bon Jovi fans think Bon Jovi are the best American band ... of all time.</p> <p>So, on that note, thanks to everyone who voted legitimately. We actually received thousands upon thousands of page views and votes (not to mention scores of interesting comments). Thanks also to the crew at <a href="">Sweetwater,</a> who sponsored the poll. </p> <p>Below, you can check out the final bracket. </p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a title="View Final on Scribd" href="" style="text-decoration: underline;" >Final</a></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" scrolling="no" id="doc_88758" width="100%" height="500" frameborder="0"></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="/bon-jovi">Bon Jovi</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Best American Rock Band Ever Bon Jovi News Mon, 12 Oct 2015 15:52:23 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25625 at Zakk Sabbath, Zakk Wylde's Black Sabbath Cover Band, Play "War Pigs" <!--paging_filter--><p>Late last week, Zakk Wylde's Black Sabbath cover band, Zakk Sabbath, performed a set at <a href="">the Slidebar</a> in Fullerton, California.</p> <p>Below, you can watch two decent fan-filmed clips of the band playing "War Pigs" from the October 8 show.</p> <p>Besides Wylde on guitar and vocals, Zakk Sabbath features bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson and drummer Joey Castillo.</p> <p>While we're sort of on the topic:</p> <p>In a 2014 interview with Songfacts, Wylde said he didn't think the Ronnie James Dio-fronted version of Sabbath stayed true to the band's original sound. </p> <p>"You listen to Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio in it, and it's not Black Sabbath," said Wylde, who spent several years as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist. "They should have just called it Heaven &amp; Hell right from the beginning. Because you listen to that <em>Heaven and Hell</em> album, that doesn't sound anything close to Black Sabbath. I mean, that sounds about as much like Black Sabbath as <em>Blizzard of Ozz</em> sounds like Black Sabbath. </p> <p>"If you were to play Black Sabbath for me—and I'm a huge Sabbath freako—and then with Father Dio over there, I'd be going, 'Oh, cool, what band is this? This is good stuff.' I mean, the songs don't even sound Black Sabbath-y. I mean, 'Neon Knights,' could you picture Ozzy singing over that song? I can't either. It's weird. It's a whole different band."</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> <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="/zakk-wylde">Zakk Wylde</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/black-sabbath">Black Sabbath</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Black Sabbath Zakk Sabbath Zakk Wylde Videos News Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:20:17 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25631 at Tony Iommi, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Warren Haynes Recruited for 2016 Rock Fantasy Camp <!--paging_filter--><p>Steve Vai, Tony Iommi, Zakk Wylde and Warren Haynes have signed on for the 2016 edition of Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, taking place February 11–14 in Los Angeles.</p> <p>The guitarists will take part in the camp’s Q&amp;A sessions and the concluding jam session at the Whisky a Go Go.</p> <p>Other star participants include Sammy Hagar guitarist Vic Johnson, Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo, Dio drummer Vinny Appice, and drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake &amp; Palmer.</p> <p>Attendees will be assigned to a band and work with guest star counselors to write songs, learn techniques for their instrument and acquire insights into the music business.</p> <p>The camp includes regularly scheduled jam sessions with counselors based around the music of Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath and others. Campers will also get a video download of the final night’s concert and have opportunities to interact with the guest stars participating in the camp.</p> <p>The 2016 Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp has packages starting at $5,999 and offers a Jr. Rockers program for kids 10–16 for $4,999. For complete information, visit <a href=""></a></p> News Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:19:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25630 at Sparkle and Fade: The 50 Essential Albums of 1995 <!--paging_filter--><p>We've already taken a look at <a href="">the albums that defined 1985</a>, <a href="">the most iconic albums of 1975</a> and <a href="">the most important albums of 1965.</a> </p> <p>Now it's time to take a look at 1995. </p> <p>Nineteen hundred and ninety-five was a strange year for rock. It was defined by the final releases by some of classic rock's greatest, and the debuts of other, more current greats of the genre. </p> <p>More than anything, though, the year was defined by the gaping hole left at the forefront of rock by the tragic death of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain the previous year, and the wildly different approaches bands of various genres took to attempt to fill that gap. </p> <p>On the grunge side, Billy Corgan took Smashing Pumpkins on their most ambitious ride yet, the brilliant, but intimidatingly large-scale (and atrociously named) double album, <em>Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness</em>. Alice In Chains, meanwhile, struggled through vocalist Layne Staley's heroin addiction to produce a layered, intricately detailed self-titled album that pushed the band, and the genre, in entirely new directions. </p> <p>An unlikely English quintet named Radiohead threw off the shackles of their one-off hit "Creep" and crafted a harrowing tour de force of modern rock on their second album, <em>The Bends</em>, while Dave Grohl, Nirvana's old drummer, found his own powerful voice on the self-titled debut album of his new band, Foo Fighters. </p> <p>For some of rock's old guard, 1995 served as a curtain call. Pink Floyd released a searing live document of their final tour, while the Ramones, punk's greatest troopers, put out the appropriately titled <em>¡Adios Amigos!</em>. The Beatles, meanwhile, explored their past together on the fascinating first volume of the essential rarities collection, <em>Anthology</em>. </p> <p>But while 1995 served as a farewell for some, it was an introduction to other bands who would leave a tremendous mark. The demise of alt-country legends Uncle Tupelo gave us two fantastic debuts in Wilco's <em>A.M.</em> and Son Volt's <em>Trace</em>. Meanwhile, up in Washington state, Sleater-Kinney set their sights on the rock world for the first time with their own fierce debut. </p> <p>Bruce Springsteen went acoustic again on the world-weary <em>The Ghost of Tom Joad</em>, while Neil Young teamed up with Pearl Jam for the hard-rocking masterclass, <em>Mirror Ball</em>. </p> <p>Ninety-five was a strange year, but ultimately an endearing one with great records aplenty. Enjoy the photo gallery below. Remember you can click on each photo to take a closer look!</p> <p><strong>NOTE: This list is presented in alphabetical order!</strong></p> 1995 News Features Sun, 11 Oct 2015 19:39:46 +0000 Guitar World Staff, Intro by Jackson Maxwell 24697 at Exploring Nine of Dunlop's Best Cry Baby Wah-Wah Pedals — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>The Cry Baby Wah is one of the most iconic effects in music history, and its creation was an accident. </p> <p>In 1966, Thomas Organ Company engineer Brad Plunkett was testing a new amplifier tone circuit when he and his colleagues heard the strange but alluring effect created when he moved the tone control from left to right. Plunkett’s colleagues suggested putting the circuit into a volume pedal, and the Cry Baby Wah was born. </p> <p>Thomas Organ Company produced the pedal until 1981, when the company shut its doors.</p> <p>In 1982, Dunlop acquired the Cry Baby name and everything that remained at the original factory, from schematics to parts and tooling. Since then, the Cry Baby line has grown to include wah pedals for virtually any tonal and functional need. They can be classed into three general categories: Vintage, Multi-Functional and Signature. Wahs in the Vintage category are designed to recreate classic sounds from the early days. </p> <p>Multi-functional wahs are all about tonal and functional options. Signature wahs are designed to accommodate the unique and specific needs of some of the world’s top touring and recording guitar players. In the photo gallery below, we take a look at the most popular pedals in each category.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Video</strong></p> <p>GW's Paul Riario recently visited Dunlop HQ in California, where he tried out three signature Cry Baby pedals—the Slash, Dimebag Darrell and Jerry Cantrell models. You can see the results in the bonus video below. Note that all three of these pedals are included in our nine-pedal roundup below.</p> <p><strong>For more about Dunlop's Cry Baby pedals, visit <a href=""></a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Cry Baby Dunlop Jim Dunlop October 2015 Videos Effects News Features Gear Magazine Sun, 11 Oct 2015 18:08:52 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25183 at Columbus Day Sale: Save 25 Percent at the Guitar World Online Store <!--paging_filter--><p>Be sure to take advantage of <em>Guitar World's</em> Columbus Day Sale! </p> <p>Through October 13, 2015, take 25 percent off your purchase at the <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=25Columbus">Guitar World Online Store.</a></p> <p>That goes for everything, including DVDs, T-shirts and more!</p> <p>Just be sure to use code <strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=25Columbus">25COLUMBUS</a></strong> at checkout. Once again, that's <strong>25COLUMBUS</strong>.</p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=25Columbus">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> News Features Sun, 11 Oct 2015 17:18:51 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25627 at Recording King Introduces Four New Resonator Guitars <!--paging_filter--><p>Recording King has introduced four new wood-body resonators perfect for traditional blues, bluegrass and roots players. </p> <p>The RR-51, 55, 61 and 65 deliver historic resonator tone and style with designs based on history's venerable resophonic instruments.</p> <p>The new resonators are available in roundneck and squareneck styles. The RR-51 roundneck and its squareneck counterpart (RR-61) are all-mahogany resonators finished in vintage-style brown satin. The hand-spun Recording King spider cone delivers powerful resonator sound immediately familiar to roots music aficionados. </p> <p>The traditional-style soundwell and soundholes are placed to optimize bass and treble frequencies as they exit the body for the perfect dry, throaty resonator sound. The mahogany neck and body give the 51 and 61 classic “hog” style warmth in either roundneck or squareneck versions. A bone nut and bell brass tailpiece complete the classic design, and accentuate the crisp metallic resophonic tone players demand.</p> <p>The RR-55 roundneck and 65 squareneck all-maple resonators deliver a slightly brighter sound that modern slide and blues players will love. Both share the same body design and Recording King cone as the 51 and 61 but are finished in vintage sunburst.</p> <p>All four instruments are equipped with Grover vintage-style tuners. Roundneck models (51 and 55) have a comfortable 1-3/4” nut width familiar to blues-lovers.</p> <p>Whether you're a singer/songwriter, blues, slide or bluegrass player, the new Recording King resonators offer classic tone, classic looks and classic vibe in roadworthy instruments.</p> <p>The roundneck (RR-51/55) and squareneck (RR-61/65) versions all have a street price of $549.99 and are available from RK dealers now. Learn more about all four resonators at <a href=""></a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/RK-2015-Resonators.jpg" width="620" height="474" alt="RK-2015-Resonators.jpg" /></p> Acoustic Nation News Recording King Gear Acoustic Guitars Blogs News Gear Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:35:26 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25624 at 'Fallen': Michael Sweet on Stryper's New Album, His Signature Washburn Guitar and More <!--paging_filter--><p>In a world filled with anger and angst, Stryper’s mantra has always been to shine a light in a dark place with their music and message. It’s something they’ve been doing for more than 30 years.</p> <p>On Stryper’s new album, <em>Fallen,</em> which will be released October 16, we find Michael Sweet (guitars/vocals), Oz Fox (guitars), Timothy Gaines (bass) and Robert Sweet (drums) continuing that trend with what’s possibly the band’s heaviest album to date. </p> <p>Songs like “Yahweh” (co-written by Sevendust's Clint Lowery) fuse tight thrash guitars with muscular groove while “Pride” and “Big Screen Lies” weave intricate fretwork with anthemic refrains. Stryper even pays homage to Black Sabbath with a tasty cover of “After Forever.”</p> <p>I recently spoke to Sweet about <em>Fallen</em> and his new signature Washburn guitar, the MS Priestess.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: You’ve said <em>Fallen</em> is Stryper’s heaviest album to date. Was that the plan for it going in?</strong></p> <p>It definitely was. We’ve had people for a number of years saying how they wanted to hear heavy music, as did we. This album was an opportunity for us to not only please our fans but also to please ourselves. Stryper has always been a metal band; going back to <em>Yellow And Black Attack, Soldiers Under Command</em> and <em>To Hell with the Devil.</em> We came back to that with a fury with <em>No More Hell to Pay.</em> Now with <em>Fallen,</em> its come full circle. It’s our heaviest album, and I’d even go as far as to say that it’s our best. </p> <p><strong>Let’s discuss a few songs from the new album. What can you tell me about the title track?</strong></p> <p>Lyrically, the song is based on the story of Lucifer before he became Satan and was kicked out of heaven. If you believe in the Bible, it talks about what a beautiful creation he was. But then pride entered in an incredibly ugly way and he tried to take over heaven and dethrone God. Obviously, he was then thrown out of heaven and became Satan. Musically, it’s a powerful throwback to the simplistic style of writing. It’s a simple but powerful riff. I come from the old school of thinking that sometimes the most powerful guitar riffs are the most simple of all.</p> <p><strong>"Big Screen Lies"</strong> </p> <p>That’s a very opinionated song. I feel that many times Christians are portrayed as idiots in films and on television. It’s funny how Hollywood often portrays us Christians as being morons. Whenever you see a Christian character in a movie or TV show, they’re often the ones you’re laughing at or rolling your eyes at. This song is about that. It’s a big arm up to Hollywood, saying, "Look, you’ve got it wrong and we’re on to you. That’s not the way it is." It’s the most modern-sounding track on the album with a cool, heavy riff and an anthemic chorus. </p> <p><strong>"Let There Be Light"</strong> </p> <p>It’s taken right out of the Book of Genesis. It’s a powerful song lyrically and a bit of a Bible study. Musically, it’s got a little of that swag and groove from the <em>Against the Law</em> period.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>"Yahweh"</strong></p> <p>My wife has always been a huge Sevendust fan, but I didn’t really know too much about them. I remember I was flying on a plane with LJ [Lajon Witherspoon] and Clint [Lowery], and they introduced themselves. We ended up exchanging information and I later reached out to Clint to see if he wanted to send a few riffs and be a part of the album. He said absolutely and sent me that opening riff. I took the riff and “Stryper-ized” it, and Clint just loved it. The song would have never come to pass if it weren’t for Clint.</p> <p><strong>"Pride."</strong></p> <p>That’s one of my favorites. It’s got this really cool riff going on and a catchy chorus. I’m also singing a little bit grittier and stretching the boundaries and trying a few different things. It’s talking about how so many times pride gets in the way and destroys our relationships. </p> <p><strong>What made you decide to include a Black Sabbath cover?</strong></p> <p>We’ve played Sabbath songs since we were kids, and this was an opportunity to show people where we come from. We thought, what better song for a band like Stryper to do than “After Forever”? If you read the words to that song, it’s about as Christian as it gets. That song was tailor made for us to cover.</p> <p><strong>What are your current tour plans?</strong></p> <p>I’ve been doing acoustic solo gigs throughout the year. Stryper did a few shows but took most of the year off. Next year, though, we’ll be touring a lot from April to November.</p> <p><strong>You have a new signature Washburn guitar. How did your relationship with <a href="">Washburn Guitars</a> begin?</strong></p> <p>I met with a few people at Washburn and got the sense that they really believed in what I was doing. They also happen to make killer guitars! Their Parallaxe guitars are amazing, and this new one, the Priestess MS, is phenomenal. I also have a V that’s coming any day now. It’s a reissue of my old V with a little bit different style and the same paint job people have come to expect from me. They’re killer guitars and I’m proud to play them.</p> <p><strong>What makes the MS Priestess so special?</strong></p> <p>Everything. From the wood that’s used to the placement of the knobs and even the use of medium frets. They’re the specs I like on a guitar. I have a 24-fret ebony neck and use <a href="">Seymour Duncan Blackout</a> pickups. I’ve also reversed the position of the pickups so that the bridge pickup is in the neck position and the neck pickup is in the bridge position. They both have very similar output but I really like the way it sounds. It’s not muddy and gives me a little bit more of my own signature tone. It’s also got a Big Block Brass from Adam Riever over at FU-Tone, which makes a huge difference in the tone. When people pick it up and play it, it sounds great.</p> <p><strong>Are there any other projects you’re working on?</strong></p> <p>I’m just starting to dive into a new solo album that I’ll start recording in November. Will Hunt from Evanescence will be drumming on it. It’s going to be guitar-oriented, old-school metal, no keyboards or big background vocals. This will be the record where people will say there’s no way that’s Michael playing guitar. </p> <p><strong>What are you most looking forward to about the next stage of Stryper’s career?</strong></p> <p>You know what’s most exciting? The fact that we’re still doing this. And not just that we’re doing it but we’re doing it better than we ever have before. We’re at our peak and have a lot left in us. It’s such a blessing to be alive and breathing and still making music 32 years later.</p> <p><em>For more about about Stryper, visit <a href=""></a></em></p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href=""></a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></em></p> James Wood Michael Sweet Stryper Washburn Interviews News Features Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:17:34 +0000 James Wood 25622 at