As anyone who's followed Metallica's career can tell you, the group's members are rarely at a loss for words. But when Kirk Hammett recently learned that he'd become the first inductee into the Guitar World Hall of Fame, he was rendered speechless for a solid minute or two. "It totally took me by surprise," he says. "Especially since our profile has been so weird lately. It's been very non-musical, you know?"
“You callous little bitches! Get the fuck up!” Guitar World has just finished hearing a sneak preview of new Disturbed material at Soundtrack Studios in downtown Manhattan when singer David Draiman, he of the shaved head and stainless-steel goatee, spits out this command in a menacing voice that betrays his otherwise polite, soft-spoken demeanor.
While Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani very much have their roots in folk music, they enjoy a widespread following among metalheads. They released their seventh studio album, Ukon Wacka, in 2011 and toured North America to promote the album, along with support from Russian pagan metal band Arkona. This was their first North American tour in nearly two years, and they generally drew large crowds across the continent.
The first thing would be, tune up. I hear a lot of guys who can shred and play fast, but they are out of tune. And it's hard for me to listen to someone that sounds out of tune. That is so important, and you know I can tell in two seconds. It's so important. And I wish I could tune my guitars. I have somebody who tunes my guitars for me. I'm not really good at doing that, but I can tell when they're not. If you practice, you know, I don't really play fast. It's like guitar: You don't have to play fast.
Guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has had his hand in almost every aspect of the music business. Not only has he toured with Gun N’ Roses since 2006; he also been a producer, engineer and writer. And more recently, a survivor, having walked away from a serious auto accident last May. Thal used Twitter to thank Toyota for the "functional seat belt, air bags & crumple zone, you saved my skull ..."
Although it is impossible to catch every single guitar-tinged album that comes out in a given year, 2002 was so saturated with material -- some worthy, some not so much -- it was hard to remain concise.
For most, the term "progressive metal" brings guitar-school wankery to mind almost immediately. While vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal will be the first to tell you that he doesn't identify with the "progressive" or even the "metal" tag when it comes to Cynic's music, they are none the less one of the bands truly pushing metal into new and exciting territory.
Much loss was felt among the music community in 2002. It was, sadly, a year marred by the deaths of some of rock and roll's most talented visionaries. In March, Ozzy Osbourne/Motley Crue drummer Randy Castillo died of cancer, just two weeks before Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley succumbed to his addictions in his self-imposed exile at his Seattle condo. Founding Ramones bassist Dee Dee Ramone also died of a heroin overdose in June, as did Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby one day later.