News en In Deep Lesson with Andy Aledort: How to Play "Little Wing" by Jimi Hendrix <!--paging_filter--><p>Jimi Hendrix's stature as rock's greatest guitarist is by now an absolute and indisputable fact. In this month's edition of "In Deep," I'll examine his genius within the realm of rhythm guitar.</p> <p>Let’s begin with a breakdown of the intro to the live version of “Little Wing,” transcribed in this issue [see page 136 of the December 2011 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>]. Before we begin, keep in mind that, as was his nature, Jimi never played any song exactly the same way twice. </p> <p>Live or in the studio, he always strove for spontaneously inspired performances of every song. For guitarists, this offers a vast treasure of musical lessons to be learned when studying any one of Hendrix’s compositions.</p> <p>This version of “Little Wing,” recorded at what is acknowledged as the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s greatest live performance—on February 24, 1969, at London’s Albert Hall—differs in many subtle but fascinating ways from the studio track heard on <em>Axis: Bold as Love</em>. </p> <p>In the pickup and through bar 1, Jimi first strikes muted strings by lightly laying his fret hand across the fretboard. This is followed by an expressive slide down from the 12th fret; Jimi barres across the top two strings while lightly fretting the sixth string at the 12th fret by wrapping his thumb over the top of the fretboard.</p> <p>Across beats three and four, he works off a 12th-position Em7 chord shape, striking different pairs of strings in conjunction with single notes to create a “chord/melody” effect.</p> <p>In bar 2, Jimi plays a third-position G major chord by fretting the sixth-string bass note with his thumb and choosing not to barre the index finger across all six strings or fret the A string with the ring finger, which frees up his pinkie to embellish the chord with fast hammer-ons and pull-offs on the G and high E strings. The same approach is used for bar 3 over Am.</p> <p>Notice how he moves smoothly from sounding pairs of strings to single notes while weaving an evolving and forward-moving rhythm part. Back over Em7 on bar 4, Jimi uses the seventh-position shape to execute a series of delicate hammer-ons and pull-offs, setting up the chord change to Bm in the next bar, which is also played in seventh position.</p> <p>Using Bf to shift down to Am in fifth position, on beat two he begins with a ring-finger barre across the D, G and B strings at the seventh fret to hammer up to the ninth fret on the D string with the pinkie. This is followed by a full arpeggiation of C on beat three into incorporation of C/E on beat four, sliding up to E on the A string’s seventh fret.</p> <p>Bar 7 features Hendrix’s signature “sliding sus2” voicings, as Gsus2 slides up to Asus2 and then down to Fsus2. Though the thumb is used to fret the low bass notes throughout, keep this finger loose as to limit the amount of pressure that the palm of the hand exerts against the back of the neck. In bars 8 and 9, Jimi utilizes fifth-string-root voicings of C and D major, wrapping up the intro with chord-melody figures based on D/Fs.</p> <p>Let’s now expand on the rhythm techniques Jimi uses on this version of “Little Wing.” In <strong>FIGURE 1</strong>, I begin with the same G major voicing found in bar 2, but I incorporate more elaborate hammer-ons and pull-offs on the top three strings as well as utilize quick finger slides and hammer-ons based on the G major pentatonic scale (G A B D E).</p> <p>Another great example of Jimi’s inventiveness with this chord form is heard on his Monterey Pop version of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” In <strong>FIGURE 2</strong>, I fret only the sixth, fourth and second strings while sliding between G and Fsus2 chord voicings, incorporating the open G string throughout to provide a powerful sustaining quality.</p> <p>Similar in execution is Jimi’s rhythm part to the intro and verse sections of “Love or Confusion” from Are You Experienced. In <strong>FIGURE 3</strong>, I emulate this part by adding quick hammerons and pull-offs on the B and G strings within both the G5 and Fsus2 voicings. The “sliding sus2” chords of “Little Wing,” alluded to in <strong>FIGURE 4</strong>, also appear in another great Hendrix ballad, “Castles Made of Sand.” <strong>FIGURE 5</strong> offers an extended version of sliding these chord forms up and down the fretboard.</p> <p>Now let’s apply these techniques to a few chord progressions. In <strong>FIGURE 6</strong>, I move from sixth-string-root G, Am, Bm and C voicings back to G while adding quick hammers and pulls within each voicing. In <strong>FIGURE 7</strong>, a similar approach is taken for C-Bf-F along the lines of Hendrix’s classic “The Wind Cries Mary.” Live versions of this song reveal great inventiveness over the one chord, F, along the lines of <strong>FIGURES 8 and 9.</strong></p> <p>In <strong>FIGURE 10</strong>, fifth-string-root voicings are used to illustrate other chord embellishment ideas. As always, feel free to experiment with your own inventions once you have these techniques firmly under your fingers.</p> <p>The last example, <strong>FIGURE 11</strong>, illustrates a few more commonly used Hendrix techniques for embellishing a sixth-string-root chord, with quick hammer/pulls on the G string followed by a chord resolution to A/Cs. You’ll hear great examples of this on Jimi’s “Bold as Love.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="370" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-01-13%20at%202.50.48%20PM.png" width="620" height="723" alt="Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.50.48 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-01-13%20at%202.50.58%20PM.png" width="620" height="272" alt="Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.50.58 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-01-13%20at%202.56.11%20PM.png" width="620" height="730" alt="Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.56.11 PM.png" /></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-01-13%20at%202.56.20%20PM.png" width="620" height="407" alt="Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.56.20 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimi-hendrix">Jimi Hendrix</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/andy-aledort">Andy Aledort</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2011 Andy Aledort December December 2011 In Deep Jimi Hendrix In Deep with Andy Aledort News Lessons Magazine Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:40:21 +0000 Andy Aledort 13150 at Andy Babiuk Announces 'Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition' Book <!--paging_filter--><p>Andy Babiuk has announced <em>Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition</em>, an updated version of his classic 2001 study, <em>Beatles Gear</em>. </p> <p>The new edition is twice the size of the original tome and features 625 additional photographs. </p> <p>It is set for a November 10 release via Backbeat Books. </p> <p>Among the new photographs in <em>Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition</em> are pics of John Lennon’s original 1962 J-160E Gibson acoustic guitar. Babiuk was instrumental in authenticating the guitar, which was lost for more than 50 years. The Gibson will be sold at auction in Beverly Hills, California, in early November.</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="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Andy Babiuk The Beatles News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:22:30 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25107 at Orange Amplification Announces OBC210 Mini Bass Amp <!--paging_filter--><p>Orange Amplification has announced the OBC210 Mini Bass Amp, the company's smallest conventional, non-isobaric cabinet to date. </p> <p>This latest cabinet is constructed using birch plywood, creating a resonant enclosure adding presence to the overall sound. The OBC210 Mini also comes complete with the Orange signature skid runners to acoustically bond the cabinet to the stage and improve bass response.</p> <p>Housed within the cabinet is a pair of 10” Eminence Legend speakers, which deliver a rich low end with great mid-range clarity. </p> <p>The new cabinet also features two Speakon connectors that allow for daisy chaining to another cabinet of the same impedance for a total load of 4 Ohms. </p> <p>To find out more about Orange, visit <a href=""></a></p> <p><strong>Specifications:</strong> </p> <p><strong>Features:</strong> Compact 2×10″ bass cabinet with parallel Speakon jacks for ‘daisy chaining’<br /> <strong>Speaker:</strong> 2 x 10" Eminence Legends<br /> <strong>Impedance:</strong> 8 Ohms<br /> <strong>Power Handling :</strong> 400 watts<br /> <strong>Finish Options:</strong> Orange or Black Tolex<br /> <strong>Dimensions:</strong> 62 x 35 x 34cm (24.4 x 9.8 x 13.4")<br /> <strong>Weight:</strong> 19.25kg (42.43lb)</p> Orange Orange Amplification Orange Amps Amps News Gear Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:27:43 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25102 at Brian Setzer Announces 'Rockin' Rudolph' Christmas Album — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Brian Setzer has announced <em>Rockin' Rudolph</em>, his first Christmas studio album in 10 years. </p> <p>Fans can pre-order a limited edition, numbered deluxe package of the album—which is set for an October 16 release via Surfdog Records—<a href="">right here.</a> </p> <p>You also can watch a preview of the album's title track below. </p> <p>"It's been about 10 years since I made a Christmas record," Setzer said. </p> <p>"[Christmas music] just seems to get more popular every year. They're classic songs and you wonder after a couple records how many of them are left. Once you dig in you find, wow! I've haven't done 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,' you know. I've never done 'Here Comes Santa Claus!'"</p> <p>Setzer and the Brian Setzer Orchestra are also set to embark on their 12th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour, the dates of which will be announced in August. </p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="365" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> </p><p><a href="">The Brian Setzer Orchestra Rockin&#039; Rudolph</a> from <a href="">Surfdog Records</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</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="/brian-setzer">Brian Setzer</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Brian Setzer Videos News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:22:42 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25106 at Arch Enemy Premiere Teaser Video for Summer Slaughter 2015 Tour <!--paging_filter--><p>Arch Enemy have revealed a teaser video for the Summer Slaughter 2015 Tour. The video features footage of the band performing "Avalanche" live at Hellfest. </p> <p>Fans who attend the tour will have the chance to purchase several "Summer Slaughter" exclusive items, including a special edition of Arch Enemy's <em>War Eternal</em> LP (black &amp; blue splatter on white vinyl; limited to 500 copies). </p> <p>You can check out the video, and the Summer Slaughter 2015 tour dates, below. </p> <p><strong>Summer Slaughter 2015 tour dates feat. Arch Enemy, Born Of Osiris, Veil Of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After the Burial, Cattle Decapitation, Beyond Creation</strong></p> <p>July 28, 2015 - The Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO<br /> July 29, 2015 - The Cotillion Ballroom - Wichita, KS*<br /> July 30, 2015 - Val Air Ballroom - Des Moines, IA<br /> July 31, 2015 - Skyway Theater - Minneapolis, MN<br /> Aug. 1, 2015 - Mojoes - Joliet, IL<br /> Aug. 2, 2015 - The Agora Theatre - Cleveland, OH<br /> Aug. 3, 2015 - The Northland Performing Arts Center - Columbus, OH<br /> Aug. 5, 2015 - Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA<br /> Aug. 6, 2015 - Club 77 - Hamilton, ON<br /> Aug. 7, 2015 - Heavy MTL - Montreal, QC<br /> Aug. 8, 2015 - The Palladium - Worcester, MA<br /> Aug. 9, 2015 - Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ<br /> Aug. 11, 2015 - Ziggy's - Winston-Salem, NC<br /> Aug. 12, 2015 - Webster Hall - New York, NY w/ The All Stars Tour<br /> Aug. 13, 2015 - Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD<br /> Aug. 14, 2015 - Gwar-B-Q Fest - Richmond, VA<br /> Aug. 15, 2015 - The International - Knoxville, TN<br /> Aug. 17, 2015 - Gas Monkey Live! - Dallas, TX<br /> Aug. 18, 2015 - Empire Control Room &amp; Garage - Austin, TX<br /> Aug. 20, 2015 - The Marquee - Tempe, AZ<br /> Aug. 21, 2015 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA<br /> Aug. 22, 2015 - City National Grove Of Anaheim - Anaheim, CA<br /> Aug. 23, 2015 - The Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA<br /> Aug. 24, 2015 - Regent Theater - Los Angeles, CA<br /> *=with Arch Enemy, Veil Of Maya, Cattle Decapitation, Beyond Creation only</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="/arch-enemy">Arch Enemy</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Arch Enemy Videos News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:20:50 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25105 at How to Make Great "Guitar Faces" — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>No, this May 2012 video is not new.</p> <p>But, as is often the case, it happens to be new to me; I found it in my inbox over the weekend—and I didn't mind it.</p> <p>It's basically an enjoyable lesson on "guitar faces," courtesy of a guitarist named Jesse Phillips. Note that this is "part 2;" you'll also find parts 1 and 3 on YouTube (neither of which has as many views as part 2).</p> <p>We appreciate the section on "smelling the skunk."</p> <p>"You have to pretend that the notes you're playing have physical odor," Phillips says. Well put!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Jesse Phillips WTF Videos Blogs News Features Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:14:16 +0000 Damian Fanelli 23574 at Keith Richards Premieres Intimate "Trouble" Music Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Keith Richards has premiered the intimate music video for his new single, "Trouble." You can watch it below. </p> <p>It's the first single from his new album, <em>Crosseyed Heart,</em> which is due September 18 via Republic Records. </p> <p>The video, which features guitarist Waddy Wachtel and drummer Steve Jordan, is directed by Morgan Neville, who directed the Oscar-winning documentary <em>20 Feet from Stardom</em>. It was shot in Germano Studios, the New York City studio where much of <em>Crosseyed Heart</em> was recorded. </p> <p>“I had a ball making this new record and working with Steve Jordan and Waddy Wachtel again,” Richards said in a statement. “There’s nothing like walking into a studio and having absolutely no idea what you're going to come out with on the other end. If you’re looking for ‘Trouble,’ you've come to the right place.”</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="/keith-richards">Keith Richards</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Keith Richards Videos News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:03:43 +0000 Jackson Maxwell 25097 at Fear Factory Premiere New Song, "Dielectric" <!--paging_filter--><p>Fear Factory have unveiled their new single, "Dielectric." </p> <p>The track is taken from the band's new album, <em>Genexus</em>, which hits stores August 7 via Nuclear Blast. </p> <p>You can pre-order it <a href="">right here</a>. </p> <p>You can check it out below. Let us know what you think in the comments and on Facebook!</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="/fear-factory">Fear Factory</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Fear Factory Videos News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:33:24 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25101 at Joe Satriani Premieres Spacey "Shockwave Supernova" Music Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Joe Satriani has premiered the spacey (literally) music video for "Shockwave Supernova," the title track from his new album. You can watch it below. </p> <p>The video's cosmic imagery represents the theme of space, a recurring setting throughout <em>Shockwave Supernova</em>. </p> <p>You can also check out Satriani's track-by-track breakdown of <em>Shockwave Supernova</em> <a href="">right here.</a> </p> <p><iframe width='620' height='365' src='' frameborder='0' allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Joe Satriani Videos News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:31:17 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25099 at Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin Premiere New Song, "Mister Kicks" <!--paging_filter--><p>Brothers Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, founders of LA punk-roots band the Blasters, are about to release their second album as a duo, <em>Lost Time,</em> September 18 via Yep Roc Records. </p> <p>Today, brings you an exclusive taste of the album. You can check out "Mister Kicks" below. Be sure to tell us what you think of it in the comments below or on Facebook.</p> <p>Over <em>Lost Time</em>’s 12 tracks, the Alvin brothers pay homage to a number of blues greats, most notably their mentor and greatest influence, Big Joe Turner, not to mention Lead Belly and James Brown. You'll also hear a few old-school Blasters-type tunes—and Dave's guitar playing is simply on fire.</p> <p>The Alvin brothers founded the Blasters in 1979. Dave's departure from the group in 1986 cracked a rift in the brothers' relationship, which was marked by tension until last year when they released their first album in more than 30 years, <em>Common Ground.</em> The record was met with critical praise and even earned a Grammy nomination.</p> <p><strong>For more about Dave and Phil Alvin, follow along on <a href="">Facebook.</a></strong></p> <p><em>Photo: Jeff Fasano</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Dave Alvin Mister Kicks Phil Alvin song premiere The Blasters News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:54:41 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25095 at How Joe Satriani Found Inspiration from His Fictional Alter-Ego on New Album, 'Shockwave Supernova' <!--paging_filter--><p>For many artists who reach the "double digit albums" stage of their career, inspiration often can be hard to come by. </p> <p>However, for Joe Satriani—who released his 15th studio album, <em>Shockwave Supernova</em>, July 24—each album is seen as a chance to reinvent himself and test the limits of his guitar playing. The results don't lie; he's one of the most successful and innovative solo and instrumental guitarists playing today.</p> <p>"I just approach each record like it's a new thing and throw myself into it with total dedication," he says during our phone interview from the G4 Experience in Cambria, California.</p> <p>As a result of playing guitar with his teeth and a daydream, Satriani crafted up an alter-ego called Shockwave Supernova. The alter-ego, he says, is "a rock and roll animal" that tries to "draw attention to himself." Throughout the album the alter-ego battles with his real self. </p> <p>We talked with Satriani about how he still manages to keep things interesting. You can check out our interview below.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How's the G4 Experience going?</strong></p> <p>I'm having such a great time in Cambria. It's so hard to explain the people. It sounds funny when I say it out loud, but the sense of community here with all the guitar players is invigorating; it's exciting, it's funny but it's chill at the same time. Everybody's in a great space. The vibe is good and everyone's chilled but the guitar playing going on is extraordinary. It's been a really great G4 Experience, no doubt.</p> <p><strong>It must help keep things exciting and interesting for you.</strong></p> <p>Absolutely. Mike Keneally, Tosin Abasi and Guthrie Govan and I have been doing clinics with Marco Minnemann and Matt Garstka and, of course, Bryan Beller. There's a concert at the end. It's funny as the guys from the Aristocrats played last night and, of course, they look over to the side and a few feet from Guthrie all of the guitar players are sitting there staring at him. It's a very interesting environment where everyone is being incredibly supportive but at the same time we're all fascinated by how everyone plays because everyone plays in such a different way and everyone does stuff the others can't do. We're just so excited to see it just a few feet away from us.</p> <p>It's a very intimate thing where you get 200 guitar players together and put them in a beautiful setting in a place. And there's so much sharing going on with musical information. People are walking around the grounds with their guitars on. It's a lot of fun. I find it extremely exciting. I come away thinking there's so much more stuff I want to work on. </p> <p>As a matter of fact, Javier Reyes from Animals as Leaders was saying last night after the Aristocrats show and after everyone's show, "Wow, there's so much stuff I don't do that I could be working on. I have to figure out when I'm going to have time to work on it." Everyone ended up being invigorated and inspired by everyone else's performances. </p> <p><strong><em>Shockwave Supernova</em> is your 15th studio album. What do you feel about reaching that milestone in your career?</strong></p> <p>Well, the number doesn't mean anything. I never think about it like I'm trying to reach a particular benchmark in quantity. I don't think it really matters really. The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa had so many records out that it's hard to count. Jimi Hendrix only had a handful. But each of them had such a huge impact on the world of music. So I don't really think about the number. I just approach each record like it's a new thing and I throw myself into it with total dedication. And then when it's finished I hand it over to the fans and then move on. I don't cling to that number 15. Although it just makes my head spin thinking about that I've been allowed to make so many records. I'm very grateful about that. </p> <p>How do you get yourself in the creative mindset these days? Are there any habits or activities that help?</p> <p>I think every day I'm pretty much overwhelmed with what is happening around me in the world. The world keeps coming at all of us. It never stops. It's an unbelievable tidal wave of stuff that comes at all of us in our lives. It's normal but sometimes you have to deal with it in real time and at the same time you're still trying to sort through all the things that have happened to you in the past. You have those moments of reflection. I never seem to run out of inspiration. It's really quite the opposite. There never seems to be enough time to musically interpret all the stuff that is inspiring me. </p> <p><Strong>With it being instrumental music, does it get tricky sometimes with avoiding replicating yourself?</strong></p> <p>I don't know. All songwriters face the same problem. You've got to write a good song. It has to spark the imagination of people in the present. That's who you write for. But at the same time we are creatures that need reassurance. So we dig back into our areas of comfort, our comfort areas of music. Very often I think if you were in a country band or you're in a blues band or you were in a thrash metal band, you'd be able to recognize that most of your songs have these similar structure and parts. </p> <p>And you need those parts, number 1, to properly fix the style of recording or style of songwriting. It's one of those things where if suddenly on a country record you had a song that was outfitted with guitars and rhythmic patterns it would be kind of a wrong move. So when you're trying to do a [instrumental] album like that you try to stretch the boundaries with your new ideas but you also present it in a way that it makes sense to you as a musician and to all the music you've ever created. </p> <p>In a way, I think a pop artist has a little bit of an advantage because they're almost expected to make 180-degree changes now and then, where Lady Gaga can go from disco to playing with Tony Bennett. It's seen as a career enhancer. It's a little harder if you're known as a fusion guitarist and suddenly you put out a punk record. I think that would be a harder sell. I think mainly it's because there's so much information in the human voice that when someone begins to sing you hear their personality first and then you start to listen to their message or their new style. A instrumentalist or even a guitarist, it's a harder thing to do. </p> <p>But it's a challenge that I think faced all the classical composers and a lot of the jazz composers. They primarily worked in a instrumental form. So it's not like it's new, that no one's ever done it before. You can learn a lot from 400 years of classical music and you can see how those composers shifted the form of their compositions but kept their unique composing personality in tact so you always knew when you heard Mozart that "Oh, Mozart only does that." That's unmistakably his touch even though he's moving forward and pushing the boundaries of musical form for his era. I think of it in the same way. I want my guitar to sing. I want it to be very expressive. If I need to play a million notes, I'll do it. If I need to play just three I'll do it. I never argue with where the art wants to take me. </p> <p><strong>You got the idea for this album originally by playing the guitar with your teeth. Why do you think that help get the creative juices flowing?</strong></p> <p>It's a funny thing, when you go out on tour and you grow into the gig. You sort of become a rock and roll animal. It's different from hanging out at home and working in a studio and having a normal life. All you do out there is all about performing. And things happen to you. I did notice after awhile that something I used to do once a week for a goof, which is play the guitar with my teeth, I was maybe doing three, four, five, six times a night, and it was starting to feel really natural. So I was thinking like, "Well that's really strange, who's making me do that? Is it some alter ego inside of me?" That takes over when I hit the stage and is not embarrassed to be dropping to his knees and playing with his teeth. It makes for a fun night for the audience. </p> <p>I guess out of that was a daydream that there would be a struggle at some point between the real Joe and the alter-ego that called itself Shockwave Supernova. Which is a ridiculous name, but somebody who was an outgoing, extravert performer, of course would pick a name like that to draw attention to himself. I sort of amplified the day dream where I felt if it were a movie it would be pretty funny to see this internal struggle between being the real person and their alter-ego. But eventually the real Joe convinces the alter-ego that in fact has to evolve into something better. You have to evolve into a better musician and a better player. </p> <p>And the songs on the album, the 15 songs, are really the reflections of the alter-ego as he goes through all the things that he feels he accomplished and all the trials and tribulation he went through that was really his real life. He gets to the last song, "Goodbye Supernova," and that's where he protests once more time in those minor key verses but then eventually during the breakdown he succumbs to re-birth and he rides off into the sunset knowing that it was a good idea to evolve into something better. </p> <p>I felt the story, although it's a crazy and lofty story, the analogy is that we all go through that. We all do on a daily basis. You get home after a crazy day and you go, "Wow, I'm going to have to be a better person to get through more days like this." You go through the whole day in your head and finally before you go to sleep you're like, "OK, I've got to sort it all out, I know what I'm going to do tomorrow and I'm going to be able to deal with it better." Or I'll have better ideas or be a better person. I was fascinated by that whole daydream and how it inspired me to write new material and to look over the material I already had and rewrite and re-record and re-arrange so that it would help bring this narrative to the fans. </p> <p>At the same time I was sensitive in that any of the songs could be taken out of context and they would be really enjoyable, where the audience didn't need to know about the concept. I feel the concept was just for me and maybe the other guys in the band if I felt it was important to certain songs where I was asking them to play it a certain way. It's a long explanation to your question but it's one of those questions that takes a lot of explaining. </p> <p><Strong>What was the hardest song to write?</strong></p> <p>I think the hardest song for me to write and perform is maybe "Stars Race Across the Sky." From a guitar player's point of view, it utilizes an unusual tuning on the acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar pretty refused to behave as intended when doing this particular fingering, just because of the nature of guitars. And the constant finger-picking is very challenging. I wound up having Mike Keneally double my part on the piano because I felt I need something that was smoother and more stream of consciousness. Then this Latin swing of the took about three weeks of me playing and singing. That's what I did. </p> <p>I would work on that acoustic guitar part and would sing the melody until I thought it was completely singable. And then I went to play and I was like "wow." When you're a guitar player you don't want to play that way so I had to instruct my playing to be more vocal like. But I didn't want it to be like I was imitating a singer. I still made it very guitar like. I find it hard to explain to people, but when you come up with a new melody that you know demands a very special set of playing parameters it really does take a long time to get rid of all the other things. So that particular performance of the melody does not sound like any other song that you've done. </p> <p>And the reason why I think about it this way is that I always think a singer writes a song and their lyrics and that song, they'd never sing the same song two or three times on an album. They have a song about a sunny day and have a song about driving in the car, song about I met a new girl, a song where I had a cigarette looking out into space. </p> <p>Unless you're in a blues band where it's OK to write the same song a couple times, those lyricists are always looking to be as original as possible with their song. They have to come up with a unique chorus and the lyric approach is poured over as the most important thing. And for I look it the way I display the melody on the guitar. It's almost like I have to find a unique set of words and the allegory or connection or similarity between vocabulary is what I'm really focusing on. So a lyricist has to have a great command of the language and I think somebody that's going to play melodies on the guitar has to have a great command of their language. The musical language and how you pick it when you slide, what kind of vibrato when you do vibrato, what pickup do you use, all that kind of stuff that you may think is more general. For me it's ultra-specific song after song after song. </p> <p><strong>As you've written more music has songwriting come quicker or is it on a song by song basis on quickness?</strong></p> <p>I'm always surprised by how songs you think are going to be easy wind up being tricky. The ones you think conceptually when you start that are going to be hard they seem to fall into place really easy. Starting out I wouldn't ever try to guess and change my method of writing based on expectation of success. I would go into it blindly like whatever I'm writing was the best thing ever. And why wouldn't it turn out glorious? I was approaching it with the most positive attitude so that I feel that I can bring all my experience to there on the process. But you never know. Sometimes it's very subtle. </p> <p>For this record, I did have five tracks that were almost completed by the last record's band with Vinnie Colaiuta and Chris Chaney and Mike Keneally. We had 16 tracks completed for the album but I really felt that those five were not really ready yet. So I pulled them from that record and asked John Cuniberti to remix them for so I could get a different perspective on maybe what I had left out. And sure enough, that's what it took. When I heard John's different approach from the one I had taken with Mike Fraser, I realized "Oh that part has to go" or "I need an extra melody here" or "I need a solo here and take that that solo." We started to edit it like you were still in the writing process but that took two years, really, of thinking and reimagining the story that I was trying to tell. But back when I started doing those songs I just thought they were going to fall into place, easy as pie. But I was surprised, a good surprise in the end I suppose. </p> <p><strong>Can you talk a little bit about the guitars you used on the album?</strong></p> <p>Although we bring a ridiculous amount of guitars to the sessions, I think I only used a handful. I used primarily my 2410 and 2450 [Ibanez JS Series guitars] so that would be the orange and purple. Older bodies and some of them had sustainers in the neck pickups. I've been favoring these guitars the past few years. I like the older wood and how the JS body sounds. We had some unusual guitars that would show up. Like for the title track, along with those guitars, that also features an Epiphone Les Paul 12-string and an old Fender electric 12-string that were all part of the ensemble. </p> <p>I also used once again a prototype that Iabanez and I have been working on which is basically a JS guitar that looks like it has three separate coils. It's actually 3 Satch Tracks that Steve Blucher at DiMarzio made for me. We're almost at the finishing stage of those guitar design. So I'm hoping maybe within a year we get to release that. It's like a Strat with something extra. We've brought some more slap and power and I took a wider palate of 3 thing pickup design. And my acoustics are on there. I'm sure there's one track of my teley and strat, maybe a Les Paul here and there. </p> <p>At the beginning and end of the song "If There Is No Heaven" I borrowed a friend's 59 Gretsch Chet Atkins guitar but you can barely tell because it's backwards. It sounds like it's from outer space. It's funny - you use instruments because of their straight-up sound and other times you use them only because they're inspiring you to do something different and you're not really recording them in a way that shows their unique personality. You're actually using it as a device to physically and emotionally get you to play something different. So I think that's the best explanation of why the unusual guitar shows up. The Epiphone 12-string makes no sense but I got to the studio that day John said "you should really listen to your demo and play slide on electric 12-string." And I was totally unprepared for it. But the two electric 12-strings I had in the studio were my old Fender and a 1998 Epiphone 12-string. So we were like "Let's try it." We were able to circumvent the problems the two guitars brought and came up with a composite recording that features not only those two guitars but also my JS 2410. So now when I listen I can hardly tell the difference except for the solo which is pretty obvious. </p> <p><strong>One of the things I like about the album is that it's so sonically diverse track to track. It's kind of a bit of everything.</strong></p> <p>Yeah. When you want to tell a story like this you have to have a lot of variety. So you're going to go from "Crazy Joey" to "Butterfly and Zebra." It's just a lot of music thrown at you to try to tell the story of this emotional turmoil of this alter-ego. Like I said it's a crazy concept and the audience doesn't need to know about it one of the things we did to unify it was the recording style was very dynamic and high-fi all the way through the mastering. So we didn't want to present a heavily limited or compressed sounding record. We actually thought, "Let's go the other way and give the audience a treat so they hear the way it sounds to us when we're in the studio. Very dynamic, lot's of volume changes. </p> <p>I think that's what makes great records last a long time because they hold up to repeat listens at all volumes, especially if you listen to it loud. It always sounds better if it's a dynamically recorded record. So that was part our MO for doing this record was it's going to be long and since we're going to be telling this complex story we've better make this the most wonderful thing to listen to. That can be challenging when it's distorted guitar you're dealing with. So it was a labor of love and task we were really excited to take on. </p> <p><strong>Can you talk about your backing band a little bit?</strong></p> <p>The album contains two or three bands. There's four or five songs that feature Chris Chaney, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and the majority of the material has Marco Minnemann on drums and the song "All My Life" has Bobby Vega on bass and Tony Menjivar on percussion. Mike Keneally and I are on everything. I think John is on there with tambourine and percussion. They lend their talents to the songs to make them work.</p> <p><strong>Are there any qualities you look for in backing musicians?</strong></p> <p>You want them to be good. You want them to come in with the attitude that they're coming into to create some magic somehow. You want them to be musicians with big ears and a lot of experience. And the most important thing is to elicit unique performances from people. So they having to be very giving, very daring, have to be honest and I think a good nature goes a long ways when you're in the studio and live.</p> <p>You've worked a lot with John as a producer over the years. Why do you think you two work so well together? Why did you think he could help you pull off your vision for this album?</p> <p>John has great engineering chops and amazing ears, which sets me free to be the artist, composer and performer when in the studio. When we work together he always provides me with the right blend of encouragement, prodding and even a good argument now and then. Collaborating with him helped make the concept of “Shockwave Supernova” a reality. </p> <p><strong>You have a sci-fi animation series in the works. What's it been like working on that? How is music involved?</strong></p> <p>Writer and animator Ned Evett and I have jumped into this animated series "Crystal Planet” like two kids with their first rock band! We bring different talents to the project as we try to tell the story of our hero Satchel Walker. Writing and recording the music for the show has been liberating. Whether it’s a bank of short, 10 second sci-fi-guitar noises or song length tracks with free-from solo improvs, the whole process is new enough to inspire me to play and produce in new ways. The series is music driven as much as it is an epic tale of good versus evil.</p> <p><strong>How do you think you've been able to keep shred guitar alive during eras like the '90s when it wasn't as popular? How does it feel to have players bringing shred guitar mainstream again?</strong></p> <p>It’s always been about the song. Write the best songs you can with strong melodies, inspiring grooves and unique harmonies. The right technique will follow. I’ve never been interested in technique for techniques sake.</p> <p><strong>You did a tribute to B.B. King with Steve Vai and a few other players recently. Could you talk about that and the importance of paying tribute to fellow guitarists?</strong></p> <p>Paying tribute to B.B. King with Mike Keneally, Tosin Abasi, Steve Vai and Brendon Small was important to me. To be with my friends on stage, all great musicians in their own right, with their own unique styles, paying respect to one of our heroes made the night special. B.B. King should be saluted, remembered and honored.</p> <p><strong>You're planning on touring the U.S. next year. Could you tell me a little bit about those plans? Any plans for Chickenfoot? </strong></p> <p>The Shockwave Tour will start in Europe this September, then continue in the U.S. starting late February. The band will feature Bryan Beller on bass, Marco Minnemann on drums and Mike Keneally on guitar and keyboards. I love playing with this band! They are awesome players and always hit the stage with a good vibe ready to try something new and bring the audience to their feet. Chickenfoot? Not likely.</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="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Joe Satriani Shockwave Supernova Interviews News Features Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:29:22 +0000 Joshua Miller 25011 at Faces Box Set Coming August 28: All Four Studio Albums Plus Rarities <!--paging_filter--><p>Rhino has announced a comprehensive Faces box set titled <em>Faces: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (1970-1975)</em>. </p> <p>The set features newly remastered versions of all four of the band's studio albums—<em>The First Step</em> (1970), <em>Long Player</em> (1971), <em>A Nod Is as Good as a a Blind Horse</em> (1971) and <em>Ooh La La</em> (1973)—plus a bonus disc of rarities. </p> <p>The set will be available August 28 from Rhino Records for a list price of $54.98 on CD and $39.99 digitally. </p> <p>Here's the contents of the new box set:</p> <p><em>The First Step</em></p> <p>1. "Wicked Messenger"<br /> 2. "Devotion"<br /> 3. "Shake, Shudder, Shiver"<br /> 4. "Stone"<br /> 5. "Around The Plynth"<br /> 6. "Flying"<br /> 7. "Pineapple And The Monkey"<br /> 8. "Nobody Knows"<br /> 9. "Looking Out The Window"<br /> 10. "Three Button Hand Me Down"<br /> 11. "Behind The Sun" (Outtake) *<br /> 12. "Mona - The Blues" (Outtake) *<br /> 13. "Shake, Shudder, Shiver" (BBC Session) *<br /> 14. "Flying" (Take 3) *<br /> 15. "Nobody Knows" (Take 2) *</p> <p><em>Long Player</em></p> <p>1. "Bad 'n' Ruin"<br /> 2. "Tell Everyone"<br /> 3. "Sweet Lady Mary"<br /> 4. "Richmond"<br /> 5. "Maybe I'm Amazed"<br /> 6. "Had Me A Real Good Time"<br /> 7. "On The Beach"<br /> 8. "I Feel So Good"<br /> 9. "Jerusalem"<br /> 10. "Whole Lotta Woman" (Outtake) *<br /> 11. "Tell Everyone" (Take 1) *<br /> 12. "Sham-Mozzal" (Instrumental - Outtake) *<br /> 13. "Too Much Woman" (Live) *<br /> 14. "Love In Vain" (Live) *</p> <p><em>A Nod Is As Good As A Wink... To A Blind Horse</em></p> <p>1. "Miss Judy's Farm"<br /> 2. "You're So Rude"<br /> 3. "Love Lives Here"<br /> 4. "Last Orders Please"<br /> 5. "Stay With Me"<br /> 6. "Debris"<br /> 7. "Memphis"<br /> 8. "Too Bad"<br /> 9. "That's All You Need"<br /> 10. "Miss Judy's Farm" (BBC Session) *<br /> 11. "Stay With Me" (BBC Session) *</p> <p><em>Ooh La La</em></p> <p>1. "Silicone Grown"<br /> 2. "Cindy Incidentally"<br /> 3. "Flags And Banners"<br /> 4. "My Fault"<br /> 5. "Borstal Boys"<br /> 6. "Fly In The Ointment"<br /> 7. "If I'm On The Late Side"<br /> 8. "Glad And Sorry"<br /> 9. "Just Another Honky"<br /> 10. "Ooh La La"<br /> 11. "Cindy Incidentally" (BBC Session) *<br /> 12. "Borstal Boys" (Rehearsal) *<br /> 13. "Silicone Grown" (Rehearsal) *<br /> 14. "Glad And Sorry" (Rehearsal) *<br /> 15. "Jealous Guy" (Live) *</p> <p><em>Bonus Disc</em></p> <p>1. "Pool Hall Richard"<br /> 2. "I Wish It Would Rain" (With A Trumpet)<br /> 3. "Rear Wheel Skid"<br /> 4. "Maybe I'm Amazed"<br /> 5. "Oh Lord I'm Browned Off"<br /> 6. "You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold<br /> Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Short Comings)" (UK Single Version)<br /> 7. "As Long As You Tell Him"<br /> 8. "Skewiff (Mend The Fuse)"<br /> 9. "Dishevelment Blues"</p> <p>* previously unreleased</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Faces Rod Stewart Ronnie Wood News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:22:35 +0000 Jackson Maxwell 25053 at IK Multimedia and Mesa Engineering Announce AmpliTube Mesa/Boogie for Mac/PC <!--paging_filter--><p>IK Multimedia has announced a new collaboration with Mesa Engineering, the AmpliTube Mesa/Boogie for Mac/PC. </p> <p>You can pre-order it <a href="">here</a>. </p> <p>Now guitarists can enjoy modeled versions of several of MESA/Boogie's most famous high-gain sounds via 5 inspiring amplifiers and cabinets. These new co-developed models deliver the full spectrum of Mesa's trademark sounds. </p> <p>This first-ever officially authorized by Mesa lineup includes the classic Boogie V-Curve EQ'd crunch rhythm and singing lead voice of both the MARK III and MARK IV Series as well as the crushing gain of the Dual and Triple Rectifiers. As an added bonus, the TransAtlantic TA-30 is included as well. </p> <p>And, like all AmpliTube virtual gear, these models have been meticulously crafted to sound, look and perform just like their hardware counterparts.</p> <p>The amplifiers and cabinets available in AmpliTube MESA/Boogie include:</p> <p><strong>MESA/Boogie Dual and Triple Rectifier:</strong> The Rectifier amps are aggressive amplifiers for aggressive players. Effectively two different power section versions of the same amp introduced in 1989, these amps deliver maximum tone flexibility and serious rock attitude. Each amp offers 3-channel, 8-mode operation and varying levels of tube saturation, plus a virtual switchable tube/solid state rectifier section. </p> <p><strong>MESA/Boogie Mark III:</strong> This amp from 1984 is the first original 3-channel "Tri-Modal Amplifier" design. It features the original three-channel setup: Rhythm, a distinct midrange "Crunch" Rhythm, and a Lead channel with independent gain and master volume controls. Just like on the hardware counterpart, it features a full spread of tone controls plus the vitally important Boogie 5-band Graphic EQ section. </p> <p><strong>MESA/Boogie Mark IV:</strong> Its three channels allow it deliver an incredibly wide sonic array that stretches from sparkling clean tones to ultra high-gain lead sounds that are rich with harmonics and sustain. </p> <p><strong>MESA/Boogie TransAtlantic TA-30:</strong> It features two-channel operation and 5 distinct "Mode" voicing choices that reference several classic British and American circuits. Throw in the Gain Boost feature, and two high-gain options (HI 1 and HI 2 in Channel 2), and this model covers everything from classic 60s to crushing contemporary, and everything in between. Each channel also features 3 levels of output power.</p> IK Multimedia Mesa Engineering News Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:18:18 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25058 at Chris Broderick Discusses His Years with Megadeth, Act of Defiance's Debut Album <!--paging_filter--><p>Being a hired gun has its advantages for a guitarist that just wants to play and doesn’t need the responsibility of writing songs, choosing what gets recorded and dealing with record label bean counters. </p> <p>But for ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick, rocking out to someone else’s tunes night after night wasn’t enough. So on November 25, six hours after drummer Shawn Drover left the band, Broderick told Dave Mustaine he, too, was quitting.</p> <p>“The decision was a long time in the making,” Broderick says, sitting poolside at his Los Angeles home. “Being in Megadeth was great for my career, but I wanted to have some creative freedom and some freedom in how I presented myself.”</p> <p>Broderick replaced Megadeth’s guitarist Glen Drover in 2008 and played on three of the band’s studio albums, three live releases and never missed a tour. For almost six years he dedicated most of his time to Megadeth and had no fallback plans. </p> <p>Then, during a conversation with Drover, the two decided to use a batch of material they had written for Megadeth as the launching point for a new band, Act of Defiance. The two quickly wrote 10 songs that were considerably heavier and more musically intricate than anything they had played for years.</p> <p>To complete the lineup, they hired Scar the Martyr vocalist Henry Derek Bonner and ex–Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand on bass. Then with the help of Chris “Zeuss” Harris, Act of Defiance assembled <em>Birth and the Burial</em>, a crushing technical metal album that offers more musical diversity than Broderick revealed in Megadeth. </p> <p>“Thy Lord Belial” is fast and unrelenting, pausing only for a call-and-response chorus, “Refrain and Refracture” starts with an acoustic arpeggio over a neo-classical lead and features a melodic rhythm redolent of Killswitch Engage and “Poison Dream" builds from classical piano and strings into an epic multi-faceted thrasher.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“The sound of <em>Act of Defiance</em> is kind of like if you invited every genre of metal together to go to a concert and mosh in a pit, whether it’s old-school thrash to death metal to Scandinavian black metal and everything in between. There are elements of all those types of metal. And I love that about it.”</p> <p>In a candid, articulate interview, Broderick talks about his years with Megadeth, the rules of being in that band, how he and Drover assembled Act of Defiance, why he hired a guitarist to play bass and the unconventional recording process for <em>Birth and the Burial</em>.</p> <p><strong>Shawn Drover recommended you to Dave Mustaine in 2008 after his brother Glen left the band and Glen, who left Megadeth on good terms, endorsed you. How did you know the Drovers and did either of them call you to let you know you were being considered?</strong> </p> <p>They knew me from Nevermore, but I didn’t hear anything from them until I was in the band. Management called totally out of the blue. I didn’t know what to make of it. I almost thought it was a prank at first. They wanted me to meet with Dave first and then audition.</p> <p><strong>Had you been a Megadeth fan?</strong></p> <p>I had no idea where they were at their career at that point, so I had no expectations. I just thought it was a great opportunity so I jumped at it.</p> <p><strong>Did you think you’d be able to provide creative input into the band?</strong></p> <p>I knew I wouldn’t be able to demand anything. I saw it as a great job and I allowed my employer to dictate the terms. It’s not like when you’re a teenager and you get together with your friends and you’re like, “Ahhh, partners for life!” I wish it was like that, but it definitely wasn’t. There is a hierarchy after a band is established and has a legacy.</p> <p><strong>Were you comfortable in that role?</strong></p> <p>I loved playing for the crowd. When you walk onstage and the crowd is having a good time, it’s great. </p> <p><strong>Did Mustaine tell you what to play and how to play it?</strong></p> <p>When we did songs from the back catalog I was playing another guitarist’s parts, whether it was Chris Poland, Marty Friedman or Jeff Young. So I played like they did and Dave did his part. That always worked out really well. As far as the albums I played on, Dave designated the solo spots and he had some input in what I could or could not do. </p> <hr /> <strong>Was there a dress code in Megadeth?</strong> <p>There definitely was a dress code that he wanted to maintain for a Megadeth look. For me, with everything in this camp, I saw very early on that Dave is the owner of the company and he is the one that has the right to say how the company is presented and how it should look. The only time we had any issues was when I didn’t know a specific thing about how he wanted my appearance to be, and then I would find out as we went along. I saw it very early on as a job requirement and I felt that if the job is worth it to me then I would make those changes.</p> <p><strong>On the first tour you did with Megadeth you played a seven-string guitar, which is what you play now. But for the rest of your tenure with the band you played a six-string. Did that work better for the music you were playing?</strong></p> <p>Dave felt a seven-string guitar wasn’t an original thrash metal instrument. Therefore he felt it would be better if I used six strings.</p> <p><strong>Had you considered leaving the band in the past?</strong></p> <p>I was constantly weighing the positives against the negatives. I likened it to a lawyer that’s working for a firm and finally wants to break out and start his own firm or a chef that wants to open up his own restaurant. You have to deal with the corporate mannerisms from the company you’re working for. And once it gets to a point where you feel like you would be happier on your own, that’s when you finally to cut the cord. I had been thinking about what to do for a long time, but up until I decided to leave, I always felt the positives outweighed the negatives.</p> <p><strong>When did that balance tip?</strong></p> <p>Not until the last quarter of 2014. I was dwelling on my lack of musical creativity in the band. Dave was getting ready to go in and do another CD and my heart just wasn’t in it because I knew I wasn’t going to have any artistic say in the definition of the album and the music. He was calling saying, “Hey, I want to get you guys down there.” The last thing I wanted to do was go down there and work on a partial CD and then say, “Hey, this isn’t for me.” It was just the right time to leave.</p> <p><strong>Had you and Shawn talked about leaving Megadeth and forming a new band?</strong></p> <p>It’s funny. Shawn and I felt exactly the same way, but we didn’t think about putting together a band together until after we had both left. When Shawn told me he was going to quit I was a bit shocked and surprised. [Bassist] Dave Ellefson called me right away and went, “Dude, Shawn just quit!" I talked to him for a while, and then I thought about my own situation. I bounced it off my friends and family and decided it was the right thing for me to do as well. </p> <p><strong>Did Dave try to convince you to stay?</strong></p> <p>No, no. Once a decision like that is made, it’s best just to move on.</p> <p><strong>When did you and Shawn decide to start working on Act of Defiance?</strong></p> <p>Obviously, Shawn and I stayed in contact, and not long after we both left we realized there was all this great music we’d written for Megadeth that didn’t get used. So we thought, Why don’t we put something together and get it out there?</p> <p><strong>Are any of these songs about experiences you had In Megadeth or ways you felt about leaving the band?</strong> </p> <p>Just like with anybody, they draw on all of our experiences. They’re about my experiences in life, in Megadeth, in my guitar playing. Everything I do reflects in my lyrics.</p> <p><strong>Did you want to write songs that didn’t sound anything like Megadeth?</strong></p> <p>No, we just wanted the writing to be natural. I like to write complex parts and keep them in that heavy, thrashy realm, but I also really like extreme Scandinavian black metal. And Shawn listens to Cannibal Corpse all day long, so we wanted to get some of that in there, too.</p> <p><strong>Did the music come easily?</strong></p> <p>Some songs came together quicker than others. There were nights where I was spending much more time in my studio than anywhere else. But it was really satisfying to work with material that I had created. When I worked on Shawn’s songs we used mostly his riffs, which was fine. It was a real collaboration, which was exciting. And for the album we ended up using five of his songs and five of mine.</p> <p><strong>Did you work with Shawn’s drum parts?</strong></p> <p>Not for my songs. I used Toontrack Superior Drummer. It makes demoing extremely easy and gave Shawn a clear idea of what I was thinking. But there were a lot of times he would say, “Hey, I was thinking this other kind of beat would work better,” and most of the time a drummer’s going to have a better idea of what the drums should do than a guitarist. His songs had guitar parts, too, because he can hold his own as a guitarist, and he got his brother Glen to help out with some of the guitar tones at first, and definitely with the production.</p> <p><strong>The album is cohesive, which is impressive considering you incorporated so many styles of metal in there and wrote and recorded the songs hundreds of miles apart from one another.</strong></p> <p>It’s amazing what you can do these days by trading files digitally. Shawn and I have a really good working chemistry from years of playing together. We each wrote five songs on our own, then we bounced them off each other. Sometimes we made minimal changes, like switching a chord or two to make it sound a little bit darker, but that’s about it. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>You wrote and recorded on a seven-string?</strong> <p>I have my signature series Jackson Soloist that I used along with a couple of prototypes that I had Jackson build for me. They were all seven-strings. I’ve always been a traditional seven-string guitarist so it was great to be able to get back to that and get the sounds I love.</p> <p><strong>Did you want a different guitar tone than what you had in Megadeth?</strong></p> <p>Just like every other musician, I am very opinionated about what I think is the perfect sound. So it was awesome to have the freedom to use the tones that I really love. I have a number of amps that I use, whether it’s Engl or the Fender 5150 III, but in the end I wound up recording this entire album with my Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II. </p> <p><strong>Why did you decide to use an amp simulator when you have the equipment to record with mikes and amps?</strong></p> <p>The Fractal sounds amazing to me. That technology has come such a long way and the ability that it has to give you such a clean and clear recording, and the convenience just made it a hands-down win. I liken it to photography. Do you see anyone shooting film these days? </p> <p><strong>Did you pre-write your leads?</strong></p> <p>Well, I actually start with the rhythm. I like rhythms that support leads really well. If you’re going to have a solo, you might as well not be soloing over some random rhythm. So I constructed rhythms in a way that supported either a melodic or harmonic depth. Then I would listen to it and imagine what I wanted to hear. That’s when it would start to come to life for me. </p> <p><strong>Once you have an idea in mind do your solos tend to come quickly and spontaneously?</strong></p> <p>No, I spend a lot of time on my leads, but there are times when I spend a lot of time on a lead because I want it to sound spontaneous and off the cuff. If you want it to sound more anxious you rush ahead of the beat a little bit. And if you want it to sound more lackadaisical and you want it to seem like you were just thinking about getting to that note and you barely got to it in time, you play a little bit behind the beat. So for me it’s a very musical process because it starts with what I imagine, but then when it comes time to execute, it becomes a very thoughtful process.</p> <p><strong><em>Birth and the Burial</em> features guitar harmonies and there’s always a rhythm guitar playing along with the solos. Did you consider working with a second guitarist?</strong></p> <p>I really enjoy working with another guitar player, but this band came together so quickly and was so much about writing the music and then getting a vocalist and bassist that we never considered hiring a second guitarist. Depending on how touring goes, I’m thinking of bringing a second guitarist out with us, but we’ll see. </p> <p><strong>Did you know Scar the Martyr vocalist Henry Derek before you hired him to sing?</strong></p> <p>We didn’t. We put together a list of 30 singers we thought might work for us and then narrowed them down to five. We contacted everyone to see if they were interested and then sent them a demo and had them add vocals. Henry was hands-down the one whose vocals suited the music the best. He’s very talented at screaming and singing. So he came to my studio and we tracked all the vocals there, along with all the guitars, cello and piano. </p> <p><strong>It’s odd that you hired Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand to play bass.</strong></p> <p>Shawn reached out to Matt when we got to the point where we were thinking about having a permanent member onstage. Matt’s a great vocalist, a great guitarist and he showed us that he can lay down great bass lines as well. He did a lot of songwriting on all of those Shadows Fall records and in reality, Matt’s probably got as much or more touring experience than any of us. </p> <p><strong>Did Matt play on <em>Birth and Burial?</em></strong></p> <p>He recorded bass lines for all 10 tracks at his place. I laid down some of the initial bass tracks on the demo versions and sent them to him and he substituted them with these great parts that sound like real bass lines. They’re not just doubling the guitar line. </p> <p><strong>What was the greatest obstacle you’ve faced with Act of Defiance?</strong> </p> <p>Time. We all thought we’d have all the time we needed. We even thought we were ahead of the game because we started with the stuff we didn’t use in Megadeth. But once you bring a record label into the picture then you have to commit to a release date that’s not too late in the year and all of a sudden your back is against the wall. </p> <p>We started working on the songs at the beginning of December. I demoed vocals with Henry in January and by February Shawn was tracking his drums. That left March and April to record all the guitars, vocals and bass. We had the album finished at the end of April, ready to be mastered. So we did the whole thing in about five months. </p> <p><strong>You recorded tracks in three different studios, then handed all the songs to Zeuss to mix and master. Did he change the sound of the songs?</strong></p> <p>At first, Shawn and I were both concerned that the songs might not sound so cohesive. When Zeuss recorded Shawn’s drums, he provided input to make the parts even better. And then he took all the rest of the tracks we did and mixed them so well that it sounds like we all wrote and recorded everything in the same room.</p> <p><strong>Is it scary going from an established band to being back in a position where you have to prove yourself?</strong></p> <p>It might make me a little anxious if I knew I had any control over it. But I don’t, so it’s not worth wasting my time thinking about it. The only thing I can do is promote the band and do the best I can performing these songs. Anything else is wasted energy. </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="/chris-broderick">Chris Broderick</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/megadeth">Megadeth</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Act of Defiance Chris Broderick Megadeth September 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:30:02 +0000 Jon Wiederhorn 25086 at Nameless Ghoul Talks Ghost's New Album, 'Meliora,' and Staying Anonymous <!--paging_filter--><p>When <em>Guitar World</em> catches up with Nameless Ghoul, one of five similarly monikered members of Ghost, he's relaxing at his home in Linkoping, Sweden, in anticipation of a round of live gigs with his band. Apparently, even ghouls need rest sometimes.</p> <p>But the fact is that the guitarist and his fellow ghouls have been quite busy as of late, as Ghost recently completed work on their third full-length album, <em>Meliora</em> (there’s also the issue of the band announcing yet another new singer, Papa Emeritus III, who, as coincidence would have it, looks and sounds exactly like his forerunners, Papa Emeritus and Papa Emeritus II—read into that what you will). </p> <p>The new album follows two well-received full-lengths, 2010’s <em>Opus Eponymous</em> and 2013’s <em>Infestissumam</em>, as well as the Dave Grohl–produced, ABBA cover-featuring 2013 EP <em>If You Have Ghost</em>.</p> <p>Much like its predecessors, <em>Meliora</em> is a fuzzy, doomy, Satan-y slab of prehistoric-sounding metal that also reverberates with pop hooks, churchy organs, gothic choirs and the almost unnervingly smooth vocals of Papa III. The result is a wild, theatrical and blasphemous ride. </p> <p>Opening track “Spirit” pulses with impending dread, while “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” rides a bloated, distorto-bass line all the way to hell. On the other hand, “Spoksonat” is a gently picked, classical-tinged instrumental piece, and “He Is” is a pastoral-sounding paean to “the beast with many names” that explodes into a soaring, Technicolor chorus. </p> <p>Then there's “Absolution,” which rumbles forward on a Metallica-esque verse guitar riff (if Metallica had formed in 1973 rather than 1981, that is) but at some point veers off into a middle section that resembles something like Journey, as interpreted by Styx.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The whole thing is ominous and odd, but also strangely enveloping—even while Papa III is crooning lines like “The world is on fire and you are here to stay and burn with me.” Or, as Nameless Ghoul puts it, “We’ve always wanted to create something different. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just our own mindset.” </p> <p>In the following interview, the guitarist discusses the making of <em>Meliora</em> and the themes explored within its songs. He also sheds light on Ghost’s ambitions, how it feels to be a Nameless Ghoul, and just how he and his equally nameless co-guitarist achieve the incredibly warm, vintage tones that are a defining aspect of the band’s sound. Hint: It has something to do with two ghouls, four guitars and a dozen different amplifiers.</p> <p><strong>Was there a particular direction you were looking to go in on <em>Meliora</em>?</strong></p> <p>Yes. There were a few guidelines we were working off of. The main one was that we felt on <em>Infestissumam</em> there was definitely a shortage of…I don’t know what the word is…let’s say riffage. Whereas that was not the case on the first one [<em>Opus Eponymous</em>]. So we wanted to make a record that had more riffs on it, because the guitar took a bit of a backseat on <em>Infestissumam</em>.</p> <p>And the main reason for that was the production. The guitars were just put in the back. If we were to take all the tapes from that album and go into a different studio and remix the whole thing I’m sure it would sound very different. So this time we wanted to focus on the guitar aspect from the start. </p> <p>Secondly, from a thematic standpoint we wanted the whole record to have something of a futuristic feel. So there are organs and things like that, but there are also other things that we excluded, because this is not, you know, our medieval record. This is our futuristic, urban-dystopia-metropolis record. So we knew it had to possess a certain sort of flair. </p> <p>Because if you want to make a futuristic record that is sort of Eighties-sounding, you would do that by using a lot of chorus everywhere. But that’s not what we were trying to do. Or you could make a Judas Priest or Iron Maiden–style record that sounds very futuristic. But that’s not what we were trying to do either. Sometimes you have to know what to leave out. </p> <hr /> <strong>It’s interesting that you were going for something futuristic with <em>Meliora</em>, considering that there’s always been such a strong vintage feel to everything Ghost does.</strong> <p>Well, of course we are retrospectively devouring our record collection to a point where there are a lot of things being filtered through our music that can be regarded as retro. But I think that unlike 95 percent of bands that are deliberately trying to be retro, we do not have one style or one band or one scene that we take from, and where we say, “Oh, we desperately want to sound like those guys.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case with most bands. </p> <p>With so many others, it’s like, they’re a stoner rock band so they automatically need to sound like Black Sabbath. But still, they’re only taking one ingredient out of Black Sabbath, and that’s the groovy, sort of heavy guitar parts. They completely forget about the Mellotron. They completely forget about all the symphonic stuff. They completely forget about the 12-bar blues songs. They only cherry-pick the one thing and then they overemphasize that and do it for 12 songs, album after album after album. And that just has a feeling of regurgitation. </p> <p><strong><em>Meliora</em> was produced by Klas Åhlund, who is a member of the Swedish band Teddybears, and is also well known for working with pop starlets like Robyn, Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Which seems like a bit of an odd pairing.</strong></p> <p>I think that the idea comes off as more weird in theory than it was in practice. Klas is slightly more of a household name here in Sweden, and, yes, he’s an eclectic producer that a lot of pop princesses want to write with. But Teddybears started out as a grindcore band. I saw them here in ’94, I think, at a local club, and they were a hardcore band at that point. </p> <p>So we’ve been following Klas all these years, and we were quite sure that there was more to it than what he does professionally now—that somewhere inside of him was that metal guy. And when we contacted him, it became very clear. He was like, “I’ve always wanted to do a record with a heavy metal band, but I’ve never found a heavy metal band to work with.” So we said, “Okay, do you want to work with us?” He said, “Yes, I do.” And lo and behold, it turned out he was a humungous fan of stuff like old Scorpions and Uli Jon Roth, and we have a lot of things in common when it comes to Genesis and Rainbow and Yes, things like that. </p> <p>And he’s a fucking shredder. So, pedigree aside, it wasn’t that weird at all. It’s just that he’s synonymous with being the pop guy. But with us he was definitely the rock guy.<br /> That said, it’s not like we had anything against working with a famous rock producer. It’s just that sometimes it doesn’t matter what else that producer has done. </p> <p>If you call up Mutt Lange and say, “Yeah, we want to work with you because we want to make the next <em>Back in Black</em>,” you won’t achieve that. If you call up Bob Rock and say, “We want to make the Black Album,” it’s not going to happen. You have your own career and you’re making your own records. And you have to find your own way to do that. </p> <p><strong>When it comes to the production on <em>Meliora</em>, you managed to get some great vintage guitar tones—thick and warm, and not overly distorted. Can you discuss how you approached the guitars?</strong></p> <p>Sure. Apart from the first album, which was so sparse—basically just a Gibson SG through an Orange head—we’ve always gone for a very meaty, very rich guitar sound. This time around, the wall of guitars that you hear is actually the result of four different guitars, each played through three different amps. So you have four performances going through a total of 12 amplifiers. Which is obviously a little bit of overkill. [laughs] </p> <p>But we were fortunate that we had a producer and an engineer who were willing to let us spend three days just A/B-ing sounds. So we took our time finding really good heads, really good combos and really good cabinets that sounded very well together. It wasn’t just, “Give me the biggest, fattest wall of sound and jack it up to 11.” It was literally us going, “What’s missing here?” Then it was, “Well, there’s no midrange.” “Okay, what would produce a good midrange between a Marshall JCM800 and a Plexi?” Just asking each other thing like that. A bunch of grown men sitting around thinking, you know?</p> <p><strong>What are the four guitars you used?</strong></p> <p>We are a Gibson band but I’m actually going to blaspheme and say we used a Fender too, just to get that sort of twang in there that you can’t really get with a Gibson. But there are four guitars—two on the left and two on the right. </p> <p>Each side has an SG—one was a red model from the early Eighties, and the other was an older Sixties one. Then we had a Les Paul Gold Top, which sounded great, and which I think was probably the most expensive thing, other than the Neve desk, on the entire recording. It was a ’62, and it was really like a museum piece. We rented it from a guy in Stockholm. And then the last guitar was a Fender Tele.</p> <p><strong>How about amps?</strong></p> <p>All four guitars went through at least one Marshall—I think there were two Plexis and at least one JCM800. There’s also at least one Orange in there. And then we used a few different Fender heads, just because they produce this sort of fucked-up punk sound that is hard to get anywhere else. It’s not a sound that is necessarily good on its own for metal, but it definitely adds a rattle when you mix it in. Whatever you can get out of a Marshall, if you put a Fender on top of it, like an old Twin or something, it makes it sound very…motor-esque. And then we had a few other oddballs. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>What is the main thing you look for in a good guitar tone?</strong> <p>I guess it’s the warmth. And trying not to sound to like a complete retro-philiac, but I don’t think there are a whole lot of records today that possess that. The greatest sounding record that I can come up with off the top of my head in the last couple years is the Daft Punk record, <em>Random Access Memories</em>. That is a brilliant-sounding record. But it’s not a rock record.</p> <p>But it’s not only a good guitar sound I’m looking for. I like how guitars sound along with a great bass sound and a great drum sound. And I think that is the hardest part, getting everything to work together. I also think that is where most, or many—probably most [laughs]—records suffer. </p> <p>Especially nowadays, where everybody is so specialized in their thing, and you can almost hear from the sound of a recording whether the engineer is a drummer or a bass player or a guitarist, just by how each instrument is handled. Also, I hate to say this in a guitar magazine, but most rock bands focus too much on the guitars, actually. I think what really makes the guitars sound good is how they marry to the bass and drums. And if you can get an organ in there as well? Fantastic. </p> <p><strong>Moving over to the thematic side of things, you’ve talked about how <em>Opus Eponymous</em> was about the coming of the Antichrist, and <em>Infestissumam</em> was about the presence of the Antichrist. How about <em>Meliora</em>?</strong></p> <p>It’s about the absence of god. In many ways, it looks at how people are very detached from the idea of a higher being. Overall, there is this sort of atheistic way of life today, at least from a biblical point of view. But from a theological point of view, we have a situation where, you know, when the cat is out of the house the mice dance on the table. </p> <p>And that is pretty much the backdrop for this album. The lyrics deal with the void that happens when there is no god, when there is no one there to help you. But even then, there will always be some fucker there to give you guidance. And the band is basically portrayed as the religious party that comes in there with a guiding hand. We offer the one place in the world that is spiritual.</p> <p><strong>Lyrically, the album almost plays like a film of sorts.</strong> </p> <p>Yes. We have a very cinematic way of thinking. When it comes to writing and recording and putting together our albums, I’ll always make the analogy of comparing the songs to scenes in a film: This is the last scene; this is the scene where this happens; this is the love scene; this is the opening scene. So, yes, we’re all very keen movie buffs. And a lot of our pop-culture fascination comes from the cinematic world, too. As does the music—a lot of the music that inspires us is from movie scores, or comes from songs that we’ve heard in films.</p> <p><strong>Despite the niche factor of what you do—there’s only so mainstream a band dressed like you guys and singing about the Antichrist can get—you’ve made it clear that you want to be a big band.</strong></p> <p>We’ve never made a secret of our intention to try to take this as far as we possibly can. I think that any band that claims otherwise is just unable to do it. Most musicians want to become as successful as they possibly can. But I think sometimes people confuse the idea. They say, “Oh, you just want to make a lot of money.” Well, yeah. Of course. Who the fuck doesn’t want to be financially independent? But that is not to say that I think making money solves all problems. </p> <p>Or people say, “You just want to be famous.” But I think that the more well known this band becomes, the less of a craving I have to become famous myself. Because to the point where we get to be famous sometimes, I don’t envy other bands that are super-famous all the time. Because that changes everything around you. It changes the people around you. Whereas now we can just step out of it. I love that part of it. </p> <p><strong>You’ve certainly done an impressive job of maintaining your anonymity. At the same time, musicians tend to want recognition for the things they create. Do you ever find it difficult to just be a “nameless ghoul”?</strong></p> <p>I wouldn’t say yes. I would say…meh. There are definitely moments in everyday life where you wish it would have been different. From an image point of view, of course I wish sometimes that I was in a normal band where I could just sit and talk with someone and then go up onstage and be myself and play. But that is not to say that I do what I do because I want to be recognized. It’s just that sometimes it’s demanding to have to step into a role, let alone deal with all the practicalities that go along with that role. </p> <p>On the other hand, I think that we actually do get enough recognition, to the point where we feel we have everything we could ask for. Like, okay, we’re in a successful band. We live off of our music. We get to play in front of a lot of people. That’s pretty good. And when we are onstage we definitely feel that people give us recognition. </p> <p>So from that exhibitionist point of view, where I want to be recognized so I don’t have to stand in line at a restaurant, it’s not that important. But from a practical point of view you can sometimes envy all the other bands that get to just be themselves, because that seems very, very, very simple. Whereas we have to come up with a story every time. We have to make shit up, just because we can’t tell everybody the real story. But, at the end of the day, telling that real story will be a lot more fun—I promise you.</p> Ghost Ghost B.C. September 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:27:45 +0000 Richard Bienstock 25087 at