Features http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/5/all en Guitar World's 50 Best Albums of 2014 http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-50-best-albums-2014 <!--paging_filter--><p>Despite a few nasty rumors to the contrary, the guitar is alive and well in 2014. </p> <p>It survived the rise of the keyboard in the Eighties and the overwhelming bass-barrage of electronic dance music of the early 21st century and, as evidenced by the 50 selections below, shows no signs of waning in relevancy.</p> <p>This year, for instance, we experienced new riffs and glorious runs by guys named Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Johnson. We also were treated to a healthy dose of Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter (RIP) and a slice of Satchel, Slash and Brian Setzer—not to mention Machine Head, Mastodon and Of Mice and Men and yes, even Sturgill Simpson.</p> <p>Whether you're plugging into a vintage Vox AC30 with a medium-aged Nash Guitars TC63 or you just got your hands on an Axe FX and a new Ibanez eight-string, the guitar isn't going away any time soon.</p> <p>Below, check out <em>Guitar World's</em> picks for the 50 best albums of 2014, as chosen by the editorial staff. The list features staff-consensus picks plus several personal choices from individual editors. Of course, we can't get or listen to every new release, so if you feel something is seriously missing, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook. And, in keeping with GW tradition, this top 50 list actually contains 51 albums. It's what we do. Enjoy!</p> <p><em>As always, click on each photo to take a closer look. See you next year!</em></p> <p><strong>Check out the rest of <em>Guitar World's</em> 2014 year-end content (Note: More is coming soon!) <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/tags/year-end-2014">right here.</a> And be sure to take <em>Guitar World</em>'s <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/pick-best-shredder-best-album-and-more-take-guitar-worlds-2014-readers-poll">2014 year-end readers poll</a> to vote on the best album, best GW cover, best shredder, best blues guitarist, <em>Guitar World</em> MVP and much more!</strong></p> <p>See you next year!</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="/slipknot">Slipknot</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-50-best-albums-2014#comments Jack White Reverend Horton Heat Slipknot Sturgill Simpson Year End 2014 Guitar World Lists News Features Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:02:54 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/21750 Final Day of Massive Savings at Guitar World Store: DVDs, Books, T-Shirts and More http://www.guitarworld.com/final-day-massive-savings-guitar-world-store-dvds-books-t-shirts-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p>Yes, <em>Guitar World</em>'s 12 Days of Holiday Days sale is over, but we're giving you <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/12-days-of-deals/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals13">one more day to enjoy the holiday savings!</a></p> <p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/12-days-of-deals/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals13">Head to the the Guitar World Online Store</a> right now to save on instructional DVDs, T-shirts, books and more!</p> <p>Honestly, there's too much to list here, so <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/12-days-of-deals/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals13"><br /> visit the "One Last Day" sale page now!</a></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/final-day-massive-savings-guitar-world-store-dvds-books-t-shirts-and-more#comments 12 Days of Holiday Deals News Features Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:01:15 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23129 ‘Only to Rise’: George Lynch Talks New Album with Michael Sweet, Plus Lynch Mob and Dokken http://www.guitarworld.com/only-rise-george-lynch-talks-new-album-michael-sweet-lynch-mob-and-dokken <!--paging_filter--><p>When most people discuss potential supergroups, the last combination of artists they toss around are Michael Sweet of Stryper and George Lynch of Lynch Mob, Shadow Train and Dokken. </p> <p>Yet these two masters of shred have joined forces for <em>Only to Rise,</em> the debut album from their new project, Sweet &amp; Lynch, that will be released January 27.</p> <p>Joining the Sweet &amp; Lynch adventure are bassist James Lomenzo [Megadeth, White Lion] and drummer Brian Tichy [Whitesnake, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne]. </p> <p>From the opening notes of the “The Wish” to songs like “Dying Rose,” “Love Stays” and “September," it’s evident the blend of Sweet’s unmistakable voice and Lynch’s signature guitar tone has yielded exceptional results.</p> <p>I recently caught up with Lynch to find out more about <em>Only to Rise</em> and get an update on the new Lynch Mob record, <em>Sun Red Sun,</em> and his <em>Shadow Nation</em> documentary and Shadow Train band projects. Lynch also puts to rest any rumors of a Dokken reunion.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How did the collaboration with Michael Sweet begin?</strong></p> <p>Lynch Mob and Stryper share an agent, and we’ve done a few tours together. During a few of those dates here and there, Michael and I would hang out and casually start talking about the idea of working together. We enjoyed each other’s company and had mutual respect for each other musically and as people. It was a good fit. So when the opportunity from Frontiers Records came along to do this record, it was an easy decision. Just a handshake and off to the races!</p> <p><strong>How would you describe the sound of <em>Only to Rise</em>?</strong></p> <p>There are so many elements to it. Even though we're both legacy players who have influences that go so far back, the album doesn’t sound dated. At the same time, we've also matured as writers, and that really comes out in our music. If you can construct really great songs, it doesn't matter what era or what genre it's from. In the end, a good song is a good song. </p> <p>One of the examples on this album is “Dying Rose,” which has a country-esque, Nashville element to it. I could hear a modern country outfit do it as well as a rock band. It's a beautiful melody and chorus with a nice hook. There's also some showing off and old-school metal kind of stuff on this album as well. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jmmolV-B7xE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Did you approach the songwriting process for Sweet &amp; Lynch differently than some of your other projects?</strong></p> <p>Michael and I talked a little about it. His idea was to take the Eighties thing and make it sound more modern. When I write, I'm always aware of who I'm writing for and in what context. But as far as direction, I tried not to think too hard about it and just went in and had fun. I'm very happy with the sound of this record.</p> <p><strong>Do you have plans to tour as Sweet &amp; Lynch?</strong></p> <p>We're kicking around a few ideas right now. Since we share the same agent, there's even been talk about possibly doing a Lynch Mob/Michael Sweet thing. If that happens, one of our bands would play and then I would come out with Michael's band or vice versa. But we'll be playing in some context next year.</p> <p><strong>What can you tell me about the new Lynch Mob record, <em>Sun Red Sun</em>?</strong></p> <p><em>Sun Red Sun</em> is a record we started more than two years ago. It was from the last incarnation of the band, which is a great version. There are also four bonus tracks on there as well. We're also just finishing up the music for another new Lynch Mob record that will be coming out next spring. Jeff Pilson is playing bass, Brian Tichy is playing drums along with Oni Logan (vocals) and me. It's a very trippy record. </p> <p><strong>Can you give me an update on the <em>Shadow Nation</em> documentary and Shadow Train band project?</strong></p> <p>We're looking to release the film later in 2015. It's going to be a double CD soundtrack that's very eclectic. We did the first record with Vinnie Nicastro on drums. It was a different style, which was something a little cooler and mellower. The second record has Jimmy D'Anda on drums and is a little more focused and heavier. The second record is more of what the band is about. </p> <p><strong>The last time we spoke, you mentioned the long-shot possibility of a Dokken reunion and record. Do you have an update on that?</strong></p> <p>We tried for the umpteenth time to get that together as best we could because it made sense on so many levels. We thought we had triangulated all of the issues and finally agreed on things. But everything just blew up with the last few communications from Don. We gave it the old college try, but at the end of the day, it's just not going to happen.</p> <p><em>For more about Sweet &amp; Lynch, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SweetLynch">follow them on Facebook.</a></em></p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href="http://gojimmygo.net/">GoJimmyGo.net</a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/JimEWood">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/george-lynch">George Lynch</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/only-rise-george-lynch-talks-new-album-michael-sweet-lynch-mob-and-dokken#comments George Lynch James Wood Michael Sweet Sweet & Lynch Interviews News Features Tue, 16 Dec 2014 23:11:44 +0000 James Wood http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23127 Guitar World's 10 Best Box Sets of 2014 http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-10-best-box-sets-2014 <!--paging_filter--><p>While this was a somewhat uneventful year for new rock releases, it was bananas for interesting box sets. </p> <p>Record companies reached deep inside their vaults and discovered some really cool and weird things. </p> <p>The following are 10 ways to completely blow your holiday money, and it runs the gamut from classic the Beatles and Zep to bizarre prog oddities like Captain Beefheart and Jethro Tull. As is customary at GW, this top 10 list is actually a top 11 list. Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>Check out the rest of <em>Guitar World's</em> 2014 year-end content (Note: More is coming soon!) <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/tags/year-end-2014">right here.</a> And be sure to take <em>Guitar World</em>'s <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/pick-best-shredder-best-album-and-more-take-guitar-worlds-2014-readers-poll">2014 year-end readers poll</a> to vote on the best album, best GW cover, best shredder, best blues guitarist, <em>Guitar World</em> MVP and much more!</strong></p> <p>See you next year!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-worlds-10-best-box-sets-2014#comments Year End 2014 News Features Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:27:07 +0000 Brad Tolinski http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23114 12 Days of Holiday Deals from Guitar World: Day 12 — Get Any Guitar World DVD for Only $5 http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-12-get-any-guitar-world-dvd-only-5 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/12-days-of-deals/dvd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals12">Today is Day 12 of our third annual 12 Days of Holiday Deals Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></p> <p>You can expect a great new deal every day, including today's deal:</p> <p>Get any <em>Guitar World</em> DVD for only $5!</p> <p>These things make perfect stocking stuffers! And again, they're only $5 each.</p> <p>Titles include:</p> <p>• <em>20 Essential Acoustic Rock Licks</em><br /> • <em>20 Essential Beginner Blues Licks</em><br /> • <em>20 Essential Bluegrass Licks</em><br /> • <em>20 Essential Classical Licks</em><br /> • <em>20 Essential Jazz Licks</em><br /> • <em>20 Essential Metal Licks</em><br /> • <em>30 Hot Country Licks</em></p> <p>... and many more!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/12-days-of-deals/dvd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals12">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-12-get-any-guitar-world-dvd-only-5#comments 12 Days of Holiday Deals News Features Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:26:26 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23117 Great Musical Moments and Mistakes Made Magnificent in Headphones http://www.guitarworld.com/five-musical-moments-made-magnificent-headphones <!--paging_filter--><p>OK, so you have your headphones out. </p> <p>What do you want to listen to? Something beautiful? Something cool? Something you’ve never heard before? How about all three? </p> <p>The following are five tracks by some of your favorite bands worth putting under the microscope for reasons listed below. Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>Led Zeppelin, "Whole Lotta Love"</strong></p> <p>Someone laughs briefly at the very beginning, must be Robert Plant. </p> <p>It’s nearly impossible to detect except on headphones, but the laugh exudes a “get a load of this” confidence and sets the stage for one of the most crushing songs ever recorded. But most importantly it provides part of the human element that helped make Led Zeppelin one of the most revered and heralded bands of all time. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Mln0RciE2o0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Steve Howe, "Sketches in the Sun"</strong></p> <p>Most folks know Steve Howe’s fabulous “Mood for a Day” instrumental, but some folks may not be as familiar with his “Sketches in the Sun” track. </p> <p>On headphones, listen to the tender articulation of this performance and the interaction between the guitar and the lush reverb; the song takes on an amazing orchestral quality.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/guSzFIv3N_A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>David Lee Roth, "Drop in the Bucket"</strong></p> <p>There is so much going on in this song it is ridiculous, from a spunky acoustic guitar intro, to Jason Becker’s subtle finger-picked clean lines, to a signature sweep picking solo break. </p> <p>But starting around 3:37 the guitar and vocals begin a magnificent interplay where at one second you think you are listening to David Lee Roth singing in falsetto, but it is actually Jason Becker’s guitar, and the next second it is the other way around. This passage is just beautiful and gives me the chills every time I listen to it.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OksMf5ALal8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" from <em>Live Alive</em></strong></p> <p>This song is a pure treat on headphones as the guitar slathered in a slow panning effect just struts around the stereo field destroying all in its path. </p> <p>Stevie had a masterful way of making his guitar scream that was utterly unique. You can just feel the volume and the amount of air being pushed out of his amps. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FR_EAeFAyn8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Nirvana, "In Bloom"</strong></p> <p>This song jumps right out of the speakers and with incredible power. </p> <p>If you listen on headphones, you will notice that instead of simply double tracking the same exact guitar rig/EQ setup and panning hard left and right, the left side guitar was recorded with a different rig/EQ setup. These two different guitar sounds combine to make this track sound absolutely huge, and accentuates the quiet/loud verse/chorus structure of the song. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6vqfuAczm7g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Brad Tolinski is the editor-in-chief at </em>Guitar World.</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="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/led-zeppelin">Led Zeppelin</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/steve-howe">Steve Howe</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/nirvana">Nirvana</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/david-lee-roth">David Lee Roth</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/five-musical-moments-made-magnificent-headphones#comments Blue Microphones David Lee Roth Led Zeppelin Nirvana Steve Howe Stevie Ray Vaughan News Features Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:50:47 +0000 Brad Tolinski http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23112 From the Archive: The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-definitive-kurt-cobain-gear-guide <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This classic article from the August 1997 issue of </em>Guitar World<em> serves as the definitive guide to Kurt Cobain's grungy assortment of pawn shop prizes, turbo-charged stomp boxes and blown woofers.</em></p> <p>Kurt Cobain must have been amused when magazines like <em>Guitar World</em> and <em>Guitar Player</em> requested interviews and when Fender approached him to design a guitar. But here's where another irony exists — although Cobain often said he didn't care very much about equipment, he certainly possessed more than a passing interest in the tools of his trade. </p> <p>Cobain may not have collected vintage <strong>Gibsons, Martins, D'Angelicos</strong> and what-not, but he owned an eccentric cache of budget models, low-end imports and pawn shop prizes — most pursued with the same passion as a Gibson collector seeking a mint '59 Les Paul. Even when he could afford the best, Cobain's taste in instruments never changed. "Junk is always best," Cobain stated matter-of-factly to Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I use whatever I can find at junk shops."</p> <p>Over the years, rumors about Cobain using special processors and studio trickery to obtain his sound have proliferated, so we figured the time had come to get to the real bottom of the truth about Cobain's equipment to be revealed. To do so, we contacted the most reliable sources available — the dealers who sold him his equipment, the engineers and producers who worked with him in the studio and the technicians who looked after his gear on the road. </p> <p>A couple of well-researched websites, Chris Lawrence's site and Brian Haberman's site [<em>2013 Editor's Note: These websites no longer exist. Remember this story is from 1997!</em>], also supplied many useful details. Michael Azerrad's <em>Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana</em> (Main Street/Doubleday) provided excellent background information and photographs, and we also pored over the few interviews on the subject granted by Cobain himself.</p> <p>Cobain almost certainly would have laughed at the idea of a magazine scrutinizing the minute details of his gear. "I've never considered musical equipment very sacred," he once said. But for the thousands of guitarists who consider Cobain's music sacred, it's important to understand what he played and why he played it.</p> <p><strong>SCENTLESS APPRENTICE: COBAIN'S VIRGIN MUSICAL YEARS</strong></p> <p>Kurt Donald Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington, on February 20, 1967. His first guitar, a used electric, was a 14th birthday present from his uncle Chuck. "As soon as I got my guitar, I just became so obsessed with it," Cobain told Michael Azerrad. "I don't think it was even a Harmony. I think it was a Sears." </p> <p>Cobain took guitar lessons for less than a month — just long enough to learn how to play AC/DC's "Back in Black." Those three chords served him well when he began writing his own songs shortly thereafter.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain soon set his sights on forming a band. One day, a couple of friends invited him to jam in an abandoned meat locker they used as a practice space. Afterwards, Cobain foolishly left his guitar in the locker and was subsequently unable to return and get it back. </p> <p>When he finally made it back to the rehearsal space a few months later, he found his guitar in pieces. He salvaged the neck, hardware and electronics and made a new body for the guitar in wood shop, but Cobain lacked the skills to make the restored instrument intonate properly.</p> <p>When Cobain was 17, his mother married Pat O'Connor, whose ensuing infidelity led to a situation that greatly facilitated Cobain's acquisition of musical gear. After Cobain's mother learned that Pat was cheating on her, she dumped his gun collection in the river. Cobain observed his mother's antics and later encouraged some of the neighborhood kids to fish his stepdad's weapons out. Cobain sold the guns and bought a used <strong>Peavey Vintage</strong> amplifier with two 12-inch speakers with the proceeds.</p> <p>In early 1985, Cobain moved in with his natural father who discouraged his son's musical pursuits and convinced him to pawn his guitar. After about a week, Cobain got his guitar out of hock and moved out. He almost lost the guitar again when he loaned it to a drug dealer, but managed to repossess it a few months later. With this unknown guitar and the Peavey amp in hand, Cobain formed his first band, Fecal Matter, in late 1985.</p> <p>The Peavey amp disappeared sometime between early 1986 and late 1987. Krist Novoselic remembers that Cobain gave the amp to him for about a week, in what apparently was a friendly attempt to get him to join Fecal Matter. Novoselic declined on both offers. </p> <p>The amp disappeared sometime after that. By late 1987 Novoselic finally agreed to form a band with Cobain and drummer Aaron Burckhard, which they called Skid Row. Photos from this era show Cobain playing a right-hand model sunburst <strong>Univox Hi-Flyer</strong> flipped over and strung for left-handed playing. According to Azerrad, Cobain's amp during this period was a tiny <strong>Fender Champ</strong>. Also around this time, Cobain acquired a <strong>Univox Superfuzz</strong>, but it was stolen from his rehearsal space.</p> <p>The band's name changed frequently, from Fecal Matter to such similarly choice monikers as Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew, Throat Oyster, Windowpane and Bliss. Eventually they settled on Nirvana. When Burckhard proved too unreliable, Cobain and Novoselic kicked him out of the band and enlisted drummer Dale Crover, who they temporarily stole from the Melvins. Three weeks later, on January 23, 1988, Nirvana recorded its first studio demo at Reciprocal Studio with Jack Endino-whose early production/engineering/mixing credits include Soundgarden, Green River, Tad and Mudhoney-behind the board.</p> <p><strong>BLOND AMBITION: THE <em>BLEACH</em> YEARS</strong></p> <p>A few months after working with Nirvana for the first time, Endino played the band's demo tape for Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop Records, who signed the band to the label. Three of the songs that Nirvana recorded during that session ended up on <em>Bleach</em>, the band's first album.</p> <p>The band liked working with Endino, and they returned to Reciprocal Studios several times during the year to record more songs, although Chad Channing replaced Crover on drums. Nirvana signed a contract with Sub Pop, and in late December 1988, they entered Reciprocal Studios to record <em>Bleach</em>. The album was recorded in three days for $606.16, although five tracks from earlier sessions were included on the final album. Most of the remaining songs from the various Reciprocal sessions were released several years later on <em>Incesticide</em>.</p> <p>"When they recorded <em>Bleach</em>, Kurt's <strong>Randall</strong> was in the shop so they borrowed my amp, which was a Sixties <strong>Fender Twin</strong>," Endino recalls. "I'm a tube nut, so everything was tweaked and up to spec on that amp, but it didn't have speakers because I had fried them. Kurt brought in a little closed-back 2x12 cabinet with two <strong>Celestions</strong>, most likely 70-watt models. He was using a little orange <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion pedal and these Univox guitars [Hi-Flyers] that looked like <strong>Mosrites</strong>. The pickups were stock. I ended up getting one of those pickups from him once, because he was smashing those guitars all the time. I said, `You must have some extra pickups,' and he said, `Oh yeah. Here's one.' It was in two pieces. I was able to stick the wires together and use it. It's not the greatest sounding pickup in the world, but it seemed to work for him."</p> <hr /> <p>In 1989, Nirvana went on its first American tour. According to Earnie Bailey, a Seattle guitar repairman who was friends with Novoselic and who often worked as a technician for the band, Cobain's live rig during this period was a red <strong>Epiphone ET270</strong>, a solid-state <strong>Randall</strong> amp head, a <strong>BFI Bullfrog</strong> 4x12 cabinet and a <strong>Boss DS-1</strong> distortion. When his guitar was destroyed beyond repair, Cobain would look for cheap replacements in pawn shops or have Sub Pop ship him guitars via Federal Express.</p> <p>"I heard stories about Kurt's guitar destruction from the Sub Pop people early on," says Endino. "When he was out on the road he'd call them up and say, `I don't know what got into me, but I just smashed up my guitar.' I don't think he was planning on smashing guitars from day one. It was just something he did. The poor Sub Pop people would call all the pawn shops up and down the coast, looking for Univox guitars."</p> <p>Between tours, Cobain often bought equipment from Guitar Maniacs in Tacoma, Washington, and Danny's Music in Everett, Washington. According to Rick King, owner of Guitar Maniacs, Cobain "bought a whole bunch of <strong>Univox Hi-Flyers</strong> — both the P-90 version and ones with humbuckers. Those pickups have huge output and are completely over the top. He broke a lot of those guitars. We sold him several of them for an average of $100 each over the course of five years."</p> <p>Although humbucker-equipped Univox Hi-Flyers apparently were Cobain's favorite guitars in the pre-<em>Nevermind</em> days, he often appeared on stage with other models, including a blue Gibson SG and a sunburst left-handed Greco Mustang copy he bought from Guitar Maniacs.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/kurt-cobain-talks-gear-and-more-his-final-guitar-world-interview-1992">[[ Read Guitar World's Final Interview with Kurt Cobain from the February 1992 Issue ]]</a></strong></p> <p>Cobain purchased what probably was his first acoustic guitar, a <strong>Stella</strong> 12-string, for $31.21 on October 12, 1989. He brought the Stella to Smart Studios in Wisconsin to record some demos with Butch Vig in April 1990. The guitar wasn't exactly a studio musician's dream. </p> <p>"It barely stays in tune," Cobain told Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 <em>Guitar World</em> interview. "I have to use duct tape to hold the tuning keys in place." At some point in the Stella's history, the steel strings had been replaced with six nylon strings, only five of which were intact during the session. However, the guitar sounded good enough to Vig, who recorded Cobain playing a solo acoustic version of "Polly" on that guitar. That track can be heard on <em>Nevermind</em>.</p> <p>Cobain didn't seem to be exceptionally particular about what equipment he was playing through, with the notable exception of his effects pedals. Sometime in 1990, he bought an <em>Electro-Harmonix Small Clone</em> from Guitar Maniacs, and it remained a favorite and essential part of his setup to the end of his life. On January 1, 1991, Cobain used the Small Clone to record "Aneurysm," which later was issued as the b-side to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single. </p> <p><strong>BREEDING GROUND: THE RECORDING OF <em>NEVERMIND</em></strong></p> <p>Prior to formally signing with Geffen Records on April 30, 1991, Nirvana received a $287,000 advance for the recording of <em>Nevermind</em>. The advance was somewhat meager, but it gave the band some freedom in choosing equipment. However, Cobain didn't exactly go wild with his spending.</p> <p>"I sold Kurt a bunch of guitars and effects for the <em>Nevermind</em> album," says Rick King. "When they got signed to Geffen and started getting money, Kurt was still very frugal. He bought some Japanese left-handed Strats and had humbuckers installed in the Strats' lead position. He didn't spend very much money on guitars."</p> <p>Apparently Cobain developed a taste for Fender guitars just prior to recording <em>Nevermind</em>. "I like guitars in the Fender style because they have skinny necks," said Cobain in a late 1991 interview. "I've resorted to Japanese-made Fender Stratocasters because they're the most available left-handed guitars." During this period, he also acquired a left-handed <strong>'65 Jaguar</strong> that had a <strong>DiMarzio Super Distortion</strong> humbucker in the bridge position and a <strong>DiMarzio PAF</strong> in the neck position in place of the guitar's stock single-coil pickups. These modifications were made before Cobain purchased the guitar. Cobain also bought a left-handed, Lake Placid Blue <strong>'69 Fender Competition Mustang</strong> around then.</p> <p>"Out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite," Cobain told GW. "They're cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small. They also don't stay in tune, and when you want to raise the string action on the fretboard, you have to loosen all the strings and completely remove the bridge. You have to turn these little screws with your fingers and hope that you've estimated it right. If you screw up, you have to repeat the process over and over until you get it right. Whoever invented that guitar was a dork. I guess I'm calling Leo Fender, the dead guy, a dork." To overcome these tuning problems, Cobain had his '69 Mustang fitted with a <strong>Gotoh Tune-O-Matic</strong> bridge, a modification that was routinely performed on the Mustangs he subsequently acquired.</p> <p>Some claim that Cobain's preference for low-end guitars was a punk statement, but he insisted that it was a matter of necessity. "I don't favor them," Cobain told <em>Guitar World</em> in 1992. "I can afford them. I'm left-handed and it's not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars." Before entering the studio, Cobain purchased a rack rig consisting of a Mesa/Boogie Studio preamp, a Crown power amp and a variety of Marshall 4x12 cabinets. "I can never find an amp that's powerful enough," Cobain told GW. "And I don't want to deal with hauling 10 Marshall heads. I'm lazy-I like to have it all in one package. For a preamp I have a Mesa/Boogie, and I turn all the midrange up." Cobain brought this rig along with his Mustang, Jaguar, a Japanese Strat and his Boss DS-1 and Electro-Harmonix Small Clone pedals to Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where the band recorded Nevermind with Butch Vig.</p> <p>"Kurt had a Mesa/Boogie, but we also used a Fender Bassman a lot and a Vox AC30 on Nevermind," Vig recalls. "I prefer getting the amp to sound distorted instead of using special effects or pedals, which lose body and the fullness of the bottom end."</p> <p>Still, Vig allowed Cobain to use a few pedals on the album, especially since the guitarist felt that the DS-1 was the main factor in his tone. Cobain also used the Small Clone liberally. "That's making the watery guitar sound you hear on the pre-chorus build-up of `Smells Like Teen Spirit' and also `Come As You Are,'" says Vig. "We used an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff fuzz box through a Fender Bassman on `Lithium' to get that thumpier, darker sound."</p> <p>Cobain's pawn shop Stella was used again for "Something in the Way." Vig recorded the performance while Cobain sat on a couch in the control room. Against Vig's wishes, Cobain plugged his guitar direct into the board for "Territorial Pissings." During the recording of "Lithium," Cobain instigated the noise jam that became the "hidden" track "Endless, Nameless." (This track does not appear on the first 50,000 copies of the CD.) Towards the end of the track, Cobain can be heard smashing his Japanese Stratocaster.</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="/nirvana">Nirvana</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/kurt-cobain">Kurt Cobain</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-definitive-kurt-cobain-gear-guide#comments August 1997 GW Archive Kurt Cobain Nirvana News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:23:16 +0000 Chris Gill http://www.guitarworld.com/article/11150 The 100 Greatest Metallica Songs of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/100-greatest-songs-by-metallica <!--paging_filter--><p>Metallica are undeniably the most influential rock band of the past 30 years. That fact can be perceived simply by looking at the numbers. </p> <p>They are on the exclusive list of music artists who have sold more than 100 million records, and each of their albums has enjoyed multi-Platinum status, an achievement that even AC/DC, the Rolling Stones and U2 haven’t matched. </p> <p>And while they’ve never really had a bona fide pop hit, dozens of Metallica songs — including “Seek and Destroy,” “Master of Puppets” and “Enter Sandman” — have become vital landmarks on the vast landscape of music history, inspiring new generations of music fans and aspiring guitarists much the same way “Johnny B. Goode,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Stairway to Heaven” inspired previous generations.</p> <p>In that respect, Metallica’s influence can be observed simply by tuning into the very culture of modern music. To put it simply, Metallica redefined metal music. During the early Eighties, bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were considered heavy metal. But after Metallica burst out of the underground and into mainstream awareness, the terms heavy and metal didn’t quite seem to fit those bands any more. </p> <p>Metallica’s sonic signatures — extreme high-gain distortion, rapid-fire down-picked riffs and jackhammer double–bass drum rhythms — became the new vernacular for metal. Since Metallica’s arrival in 1983, thousands of bands—including industrial groups like Ministry, nu-metal newcomers like Korn and unabashed Metallica clones like Trivium—have adopted those characteristics as their own. </p> <p>Having deep influences has certainly helped Metallica hone their craft. Drummer Lars Ulrich’s vast collection of Seventies Euro metal, punk rock and NWOBHM records provided a bottomless well of inspiration during Metallica’s early days, when the band consisted of Ulrich, guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (who replaced founding guitarist Dave Mustaine) and bassist Cliff Burton. </p> <p>The band members never stopped searching for new inspirations, discovering unlikely muses like Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western scores, Tom Waits’ lowlife junkyard blues and Nick Cave’s gothic post-punk swamp rock. Along the way they lost members: Burton died in 1986 and was replaced by Jason Newsted, who left in 2001 and was later replaced by Robert Trujillo. But even as Metallica evolved from progressive thrash epics in the Eighties to shorter and more melodic songs in the Nineties, they never lost the essence of their personality — an indefinable intensity that makes Metallica songs as recognizable as any classic from the Beatles or Led Zeppelin catalogs.</p> <p>Considering the band’s lasting and ever-growing influence, we felt an examination of its contributions was long overdue. The following 100 songs are significant mileposts that have shaped and defined much of the hard rock and metal music made today, and they’re also the source of some of the coolest riffs ever written for the guitar. No wonder Metallica remain a powerful force to be reckoned with.</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> http://www.guitarworld.com/100-greatest-songs-by-metallica#comments GW Archive Metallica Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:04:00 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/11301 12 Days of Holiday Deals from Guitar World: Day 11 — 'Guitar Legends: 50 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs' for $5 http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-11-guitar-legends-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs-999 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-legends/products/guitar-legends-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals11">Today is Day 11 of our third annual 12 Days of Holiday Deals Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></p> <p>You can expect a great new deal every day, including today's deal:</p> <p>Get <em>Guitar Legends: 50 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs</em>, with DVD, for only $5!</p> <p>A collection of the best classic rock songs of all-time featuring Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nirvana, the Allman Brothers Band and the Eagles! PLUS, this issue includes an instructional DVD with TABS from the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones.</p> <p>The editors of <em>Guitar World</em>, the world's best-selling guitar magazine, have compiled an entire issue dedicated to the 50 all-time greatest classic rock songs. The issue, which includes greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Eagles, celebrates the finest of the classic rock anthems.This diverse list not only details every song and artist, but also provides perspective on how each song has influenced musicians. In <em>Guitar Legends: 50 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs</em>, you'll learn everything there is to know about how classic rock impacted the music world.</p> <p>Also included inside the issue: a 60-minute instructional DVD featuring guitar tabs!</p> <p>DVD video lessons on how to play songs from classic rock greats:</p> <p> The Beatles - "I Saw Her Standing There"<br /> The Rolling Stones - "Honky Tonk Women"<br /> Grateful Dead - "Casey Jones" &amp; "Friend of the Devil"</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-legends/products/guitar-legends-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals11">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-11-guitar-legends-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs-999#comments 12 Days of Holiday Deals News Features Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:33:17 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23098 12 Days of Holiday Deals from Guitar World: Day 10 — Get the Ultimate Wild Metal DVD Pack for $15 http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-10-get-ultimate-wild-metal-dvd-pack-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/ultimate-wild-metal-pack/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals10">Today is Day 10 of our third annual 12 Days of Holiday Deals Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></p> <p>You can expect a great new deal every day, including today's deal:</p> <p>Get the Ultimate Wild Metal Pack (three DVDs) for only $15! Get three metal DVDs for the price of one!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/ultimate-wild-metal-pack/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals10">Heavy Metal Hybrid Picking</a></strong></p> <p>Guitar World's instructional DVD Heavy Metal Hybrid Picking features Dave Davidson, with over 60 minutes of instructional lessons you'll learn how to combine sweep picking with fingerpicking, one-note-per-string arpeggios, and hybrid picking double-steps. Plus access to:</p> <p> • Zakk Wylde-style chicken pickin' techniques<br /> • "Jimi Hendrix-chord" arpeggio rolls<br /> • Hammer-ons, open strings, palm muting and note clusters<br /> • Wide-interval licks with string skipping<br /> • Legato seventh-chord arpeggios<br /> • Whole-tone and diminished scale runs<br /> • Blues organ licks</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/ultimate-wild-metal-pack/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals10">Metal and Thrash Rhythm Guitar</a></strong></p> <p>Learn the secret techniques of metal’s greatest riffmasters:</p> <p> • Gallop and reverse-gallop rhythms in the styles of bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer<br /> • Palm muting and chugging<br /> • Double and quadruple picking<br /> • Machine-gun-like bursts punctuated by “holes of silence”<br /> • Chromatic alternate-picking exercises<br /> • Chord stabs and jabs<br /> • Power chord riffs with pedal tones<br /> • String skipping, raking and fret-hand muting<br /> • Natural-and pinch-harmonic “squeals”<br /> • Integrating riffing up and down one string with fret-hand muting<br /> • Stacked power chords, and much more!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/ultimate-wild-metal-pack/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals10">John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom</a></strong></p> <p>Guitar World's instructional DVD, Wild Stringdom by John Petrucci featuring Dream Theater's frontman. This master lead guitarist shows you:</p> <p> • Prog-style shred runs<br /> • Melodic shapes<br /> • Scale and arpeggio patterns<br /> • Unusual fretboard paths</p> <p>This DVD is an exclusive to the Guitar World Online Store--you won't find this anywhere else! </p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/ultimate-wild-metal-pack/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals10">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-10-get-ultimate-wild-metal-dvd-pack-15#comments 12 Days of Holiday Deals News Features Sun, 14 Dec 2014 18:13:54 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23096 12 Days of Holiday Deals from Guitar World: Day 9 — 'Guitar World Presents the Best Instruction Book Ever' for $15 http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-9-guitar-world-presents-best-instruction-book-ever-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-world-presents-the-best-instruction-book-ever-hardcover-dvd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals9">Today is Day 9 of our third annual 12 Days of Holiday Deals Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></p> <p>You can expect a great new deal every day, including today's deal:</p> <p>Get <em>Guitar World Presents the Best Instruction Book Ever</em> (Hardcover/DVD) for only $15!</p> <p>Guitar World and the all-time greatest players show you how to play guitar the easy way - with the most exciting method ever devised! </p> <p>Instructors Andy Aledort, Jimmy Brown and Paul Riario combine their decades of experience to help readers master every aspect of playing the guitar, from the four types of guitars and how to read music, all the way to teaching their readers the most advanced tricks and techniques. Throughout the lessons readers will also receive encouragement and advice from guitar legends like B.B. King, Slash, Buddy Guy, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, and Brian May of Queen. </p> <p><em>Guitar World Presents the Best Instruction Book Ever</em> simplifies the learning process by including hundreds of full color how-to photos, charts and diagrams as well as an instructional DVD to supplement each lesson and make learning even more enjoyable.</p> <p><strong><a a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-world-presents-the-best-instruction-book-ever-hardcover-dvd/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals9">Purchase your copy today!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-9-guitar-world-presents-best-instruction-book-ever-15#comments 12 Days of Holiday Deals News Features Sat, 13 Dec 2014 21:58:11 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23095 Dear Guitar Hero: Lenny Kravitz Talks Vintage Gear, 'Let Love Rule' and New Album, 'Strut' http://www.guitarworld.com/dear-guitar-hero-lenny-kravitz-talks-vintage-gear-let-love-rule-and-new-album-strut <!--paging_filter--><p>He’s a vintage-gear-loving gunslinger whose mom starred in <em>The Jeffersons</em>. But what <em>Guitar World</em> readers want to know is…</p> <p><strong>You’ve said that your new album, <em>Strut</em>, is a very “raw” album. What do you mean by that? — Judah Kershner</strong></p> <p>I mean it’s raw in its execution as well as in the way it was recorded. All of my records are done very organically, on real instruments and with beautiful vintage gear. But this one also came together very quickly. I actually didn’t even realize I was making a record. </p> <p>I was shooting a movie by day [<em>The Hunger Games: Catching Fire</em>], and the music was all coming to me at night. I wrote it very quickly, recorded it very quickly and refrained from putting too many overdubs on there. It’s really just a guitar-bass-and-drums record. So it was a very raw experience, and a very spontaneous one, too.</p> <p><em>Your new single, “The Chamber,” has an almost early Eighties disco sound to it. What was the inspiration for that song? — Chris Kaysen</em></p> <p>What I like about that track is it’s got a very groovy feeling, but it’s still based in guitars. As for what inspired it, my inspirations are always based on my life, my experiences, my feelings, things I’ve observed. </p> <p>But I can’t really say what it was, exactly. It just came. I had nothing to do with any of it. That’s how I work. I wait for it to come. But it is a little bit of a different sound. You couldn’t really base the sound of the rest of the album off of that song. It would throw you. The record is all over the place, even though there’s a thread throughout it. </p> <p><strong>For years you’ve been talking about a “very funky” album that you already have recorded called <em>Negrophilia. Strut</em> sounds like it has a lot of funk elements on it. Is this it? — J. Goodman</strong></p> <p>This album is not that. <em>Negrophilia</em> is a very psychedelic, cool funk album. Very, very loose, and very free. Very free. It’s something I’ve been holding onto for a long time, and it’s almost time to have it see the light of day. In fact, I’m most probably going to release it right after this one. </p> <p><strong>What gear did you use on <em>Strut</em>? — Josh Lind</strong></p> <p>It was very simple. I only used two guitars. One was a ’59 Les Paul “Goldtop” that’s really muted and faded and has the most brilliant-sounding PAFs I’ve ever heard. Then there was a three-pickup black Les Paul Custom from the late Fifties. For amps, I used a modded Fender Super that has the most amazing sound. That’s the only one on the entire album, except for on the song “Strut,” where I played one guitar through a Fender Bassman.</p> <p><strong>You usually play all the instruments yourself on your albums. Why record that way rather than with a band? — Rick McDough</strong></p> <p>That way, when I’m writing and recording, I don’t have to explain anything to anyone. I don’t even have to talk about it. I just do it. So I’ll usually lay down drums first, then guitar, and then bass last. But really, more than anything, I think I do it because I just love to play.</p> <p><strong>I love the guitar tone on your early albums, like <em>Let Love Rule</em> and <em>Are You Gonna Go My Way</em>. What was your setup in the studio on those records? — Grayson Malloy</strong></p> <p>On <em>Let Love Rule</em>, it was primarily a tweed Fender Deluxe cranked to 10. When you turn that amp all the way up, it compresses itself and makes this beautiful tone. That’s pretty much the dirty sound on the album. I think I also had a Fender Twin Reverb for the cleaner stuff. </p> <p>The guitar, for the most part, was actually an Epiphone Sorrento. I used a Telecaster for some of the clean stuff, and that was it. <em>Are You Gonna Go My Way</em> was a little different. There were so many amps on the album that it’s hard to remember all of them. But on that song [“Are You Gonna Go My Way”] in particular I used a Gibson Skylark, a little tiny amp that has the most brilliant sound. And the guitar was a Les Paul—not the Flying V that’s in the video. Oddly enough, I’ve never used a V in the studio, even though I’m so associated with that guitar.</p> <p><strong>When you came out with <em>Let Love Rule</em>, it sounded so different from what was going on at the time. Did you feel like you were going against the grain of what was popular? — Elias Kaplan</strong></p> <p>I knew I was going in the complete opposite direction that everybody else was going. It was 1989 when it came out, so I was making it in 1988. And everybody back then was doing this really sort of Eighties sound, very effected, very bombastic, big drums. So I went the other way, to a very organic space. A very intimate space. And I used all this amazing vintage gear. So yeah, I was quite aware of it. But since I made the record on my own before I had a record label, I didn’t have anybody trying to tell me anything different, thank god.</p> <p><strong>Do you feel like you get pigeonholed as “retro”? — Jenny Gray</strong></p> <p>Not anymore. It was kind of the catchphrase at the time, but I make music, that’s it. Whatever color is required, I use. I don’t relate to any labels.</p> <p><strong>What was your first guitar, and can you remember the first song you learned to play on it? — Mike Hannon</strong></p> <p>It was a Yamaha acoustic with a pickup in it and two knobs on the front. My parents got it for me from Manny’s [in New York City] for my ninth birthday. The first thing I learned to play? What’s that song? “Country roads, take me home…mountain mama…West Virginia…” The John Denver song [“Take Me Home, Country Roads”]. That was it!</p> <p><strong>You and Slash attended Fairfax High School in L.A. at the same time. Were you friends? — Clark Daniels</strong></p> <p>Not really. We knew each other from the hallway, like, “Yo, what’s up, dude? What’s happenin’?” But that was the extent of it. We met later on when he was in Guns N’ Roses and I had come out with <em>Let Love Rule</em>. We started talking and I went, “Wait a minute. I know you, man. You look so familiar. Oh my god! We went to high school together! You were that guy!” So that’s how it happened. Because he pretty much looked the same.</p> <p><strong>A few years back there was a rumor that Velvet Revolver wanted you to fill the singer slot after Scott Weiland. Was there any truth to that? — Cooper Abraham</strong></p> <p>They reached out to me, but it wasn’t something that I could do at the time, because I was in the middle of my stuff. So we never actually jammed. But I was flattered. I love those guys. </p> <p><strong>Is it true you have some of the recording gear the Beatles used at Abbey Road in your studio in the Bahamas? And if so, how did you get it? — Gord Engber</strong></p> <p>Yup, I have the mixing board [the REDD.37] that they used. [The group used the REDD.37 console throughout 1963 and again in 1969 during the recording of tracks for <em>Let It Be</em>.] Right after I made <em>Let Love Rule</em>, that stuff came up for sale, and at that time nobody really gave a shit about that kind of gear. Then, all of a sudden, a couple years later, vintage gear was “it.” Everybody was using it, everybody was buying it, everybody was trying to find it. </p> <p>Fairchild compressors started going for $25,000. All these things were desired. So I was lucky enough to get it early. I have the board in my place in the Bahamas, but it moves around. Sometimes it’s in Paris. In general, though, I don’t buy gear anymore. I’ve got so much stuff that I don’t even see. I have a great collection of about 200 guitars that are all amazing. I have great drums and keyboards and synths, orchestral instruments and basses, and then recording equipment. So I’ve got enough for a lifetime. I’m good!</p> <p><strong>Are there any new artists you’re currently digging on? — Dave Fasciano</strong></p> <p>There’s a lot of stuff out there. I was talking about these kids today that I’ve been enjoying called the Strypes. They're from Ireland. A great band.</p> <p><strong>I read that you were named after your uncle Leonard, who was killed during the Korean War, and that earlier this year he received a posthumous medal of honor. What did he receive it for? — Pete DeLucie</strong></p> <p>That’s correct. He saved an entire platoon in Korea and sacrificed himself. In fact, the bill that got all the gentlemen their awards—because there were 24 given out that day, to people who should have gotten it already but didn’t—they were calling it loosely the Leonard Kravitz bill, because it was his example that kind of started the whole thing. [The medals were primarily given to Jewish and Latino servicemen who had been overlooked, due to discrimination.] </p> <p>A friend of his petitioned and worked hard to help make this thing happen. So it was a real honor to go to the White House and receive this award, knowing that he deserved it back when he passed. Because out of the original 24, there were only three who were still alive. But there was a whole ceremony, and President Obama gave out the medals. It was beautiful.</p> <p><strong>Do you have words of advice for musicians just starting out? — Jack Felton</strong></p> <p>Be yourself. We all have our gifts that we were given, and there’s nothing like being authentic to what you were created to be. So don’t follow the crowd. Follow what’s inside of you.</p> <p><strong>Looking back over your career, is there anything you would change? — Aaron Mitchell</strong></p> <p>No. You can always think of things you could have done differently and probably would have, if given another chance. But what I’ve done makes me who I am, and I take in all the lessons I was taught as a result. So I take the ups and the downs. I take all of it, and I accept it and I do my best to grow from the things you might call mistakes. But I’ve been quite happy with my journey, and I continue to be happy with it. I thank God for it.</p> <p><em>Photo: Greg Kadel</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/lenny-kravitz">Lenny Kravitz</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/dear-guitar-hero-lenny-kravitz-talks-vintage-gear-let-love-rule-and-new-album-strut#comments Dear Guitar Hero December 2014 Lenny Kravitz Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:17:37 +0000 Richard Bienstock http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23094 Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan Discuss Mr. Big’s New Album, '…The Stories We Could Tell' http://www.guitarworld.com/paul-gilbert-and-billy-sheehan-discuss-mr-big-s-new-album-stories-we-could-tell <!--paging_filter--><p>It’s been just over 25 years since virtuoso guitarist Paul Gilbert and bassist Billy Sheehan formed Mr. Big with singer Eric Martin and drummer Pat Torpey. </p> <p>At the time, Gilbert was just out of shred-metal act Racer X, and Sheehan was fresh off a two-album stint with David Lee Roth’s band. Mr. Big had huge success in little time with instrumentally dazzling pop-metal songs like “Addicted to That Rush” (from 1989’s <em>Mr. Big</em>) and the smash acoustic ballad “To Be with You” (from 1991’s <em>Lean Into It</em>). </p> <p>Today, they’re still going strong despite a past lineup change (Gilbert left in 1997) and a hiatus from 2002 to 2009. </p> <p>They’ve just released their eighth studio album, <em>…The Stories We Could Tell</em>, their second since reuniting, and it boasts the band’s characteristic mix of vibrant, hi-octane melodic rockers (the grinding opener “I Forget to Breathe,” the syncopated funk workout “Monster in Me”) and soaring ballads (the harmony-laden “Fragile,” the acoustic “The Man Who Has Everything”). </p> <p>As always, the music is filled with Gilbert and Sheehan’s nimble and mind-boggling guitar and bass interplay.</p> <p> It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and highly accomplished hard-rock record, which, like the band’s best work, manages to be instrumentally vigorous without sacrificing melody and songcraft. </p> <p>But while the Mr. Big formula has remained true all these years, there were significant differences in how the band approached the making of <em>…The Stories We Could Tell</em>. Some had to do with the fact that, these days, the members are busy with individual musical endeavors. </p> <p>Gilbert recently released a solo album, <em>Stone Pushing Uphill Man</em>, and teaches a web-based guitar course, Online Rock Guitar School with Paul Gilbert, among various other undertakings. “My life is a glorious tornado of musical projects!” he says with a laugh. Sheehan, meanwhile, has his hand in several ventures, most notably playing in the power trio the Winery Dogs, which also features drummer Mike Portnoy and guitarist Richie Kotzen, who spent several years in Mr. Big in the late Nineties and early 2000s when Gilbert exited the group.</p> <p>Additionally, prior to making <em>…The Stories We Could Tell</em> the band was hit with the sobering news that Torpey had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The symptoms, which the drummer had been battling for the past few years, were advanced enough that Gilbert and Sheehan ultimately wound up recording their parts to a click track, which was later replaced by programmed drums. </p> <p>“We had to do a lot of stuff backward and inside-out,” Sheehan says. “It took extra work on our part, but we were happy to do it. And the drums really do sound a lot like Pat’s playing. He was there with the programmer, and they did a lot of moves that Pat does. So I was pleasantly surprised when I heard it. But right from the beginning of discussions with this record, when we first found out about Pat’s situation, all of us said, ‘Pat is still the drummer, and Pat is gonna be our drummer, no matter what.’ We did what we had to do, because this is the band.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6smE1qhlghE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>It’s a camaraderie that perhaps was not always so evident in Mr. Big. Back in the early Nineties, even as they were gaining fame in the U.S. and becoming superstars abroad—particularly in Japan where, Gilbert says, “We couldn’t walk in public. It was Japandemonium!”—the members weren’t always on the best of terms. </p> <p>“I remember one time we headlined three sold-out nights at Budokan [in Tokyo],” Gilbert says, “and we all had our separate backstage areas, didn’t want to talk to each other. And I just thought that was a shame. We should have been having the best time in the world.”</p> <p>In 1997, Gilbert had finally had enough and left the band to pursue a solo career and reignite Racer X. A few years later, after a dust-up that resulted in Sheehan being relieved of his position, Mr. Big called it quits. Says the bassist, “That animosity happens in bands because there’s a lot of passion. Everybody wants it to be awesome. And it’s inevitable you’re gonna step on someone else’s toes with your awesome idea and their awesome idea vying for position.” However, Sheehan says that since reuniting in 2009, the group has been reinvigorated. “We’re older and wiser. Now it’s a blast.”</p> <p>And judging by <em>…The Stories We Could Tell,</em> there are still plenty of awesome ideas to go around. The key to the band’s continued success is that, despite the abundance of instrumental acrobatics—and one only need listen to the first few bars of a song like “Monster in Me,” or the tandem guitar-and-bass lead-riffing in “Light of Day” to hear a sampling of them—the emphasis has always been on the songs. </p> <p>“And that was a conscious thing,” Sheehan says. “Both Paul and I, as much as we love to do wild-ass playing, the real people we try to play for are the non-musicians. Because I think it’s in every musicians’ best interest to have your expertise applied to something that has great appeal. We didn’t think it through philosophically like that back in the day, but we knew that’s what we were going for.”</p> <p>Gilbert concurs. “The band that made me want to be a musician in the first place was the Beatles. And I think John Lennon used to say something like, ‘We’re just a singing group,’ when he talked about the band. So that’s what I say about Mr. Big—we’re a singing group! And that’s a side of us that you can hear on the new album, and that certainly isn’t overlooked by the average Mr. Big fan. They know that we have big melodies and lots of vocal harmonies, the whole thing.” </p> <p>Gilbert laughs. “Of course, at the same time there are always those people that are going, ‘Yeah, yeah, melody, sure. Now, what fret is he hitting there?’ ”</p> <p><strong><em>The Stories We Could Tell</em> Axology</strong></p> <p><strong>Paul Gilbert:</strong><br /> <strong>GUITARS</strong> Ibanez Fireman FRM250MF and FRM25, Ibanez PGM401 modified with Wilkinson tremolo<br /> <strong>AMP</strong> Marshall 2061X with THD Electronics Hot Plate power attenuator<br /> <strong>EFFECTS</strong> TC Electronic MojoMojo and Corona Chorus, MXR Distortion+, Dunlop Cry Baby 535Q Multi-Wah and Jimi Hendrix Signature Wah, Fulltone Mini-Dejavibe, A/DA Flanger<br /> <strong>STRINGS</strong> Ernie Ball RPS-8 and RPS-9<br /> <strong>PICKS</strong> Dunlop Tortex T3</p> <p><strong>Billy Sheehan:</strong><br /> <strong>BASS</strong> Yamaha Attitude<br /> <strong>PREAMPS</strong> EBS Billy Sheehan Signature Drive, Avalon VT-737sp<br /> <strong>PEDAL</strong> MXR M87 Bass Compressor<br /> <strong>STRINGS</strong> Rotosound Billy Sheehan Signature Set (.043–.110)</p> <p><em>Photo: William Hames</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mr-big-0">Mr. Big</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-gilbert">Paul Gilbert</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/billy-sheehan">Billy Sheehan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/paul-gilbert-and-billy-sheehan-discuss-mr-big-s-new-album-stories-we-could-tell#comments Billy Sheehan December 2014 Mr. Big Paul Gilbert Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:57:36 +0000 Richard Bienstock http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23093 AC/DC's Angus Young Discusses Malcolm's Dementia and Their Hard-Hitting New Album, 'Rock or Bust' http://www.guitarworld.com/acdcs-angus-young-discusses-malcolms-illness-and-their-hard-hitting-new-album-rock-or-bust <!--paging_filter--><p><em>This is an excerpt from the all-new January 2015 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the rest of this story, plus features on the Allman Brothers, Smashing Pumpkins and At The Gates, not to mention gear reviews, lessons and tabs, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-15-ac-dc?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=ACDCExcerpt">pick up the January 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></em></p> <p><strong>Forever Young: Sidelined by illness, Malcolm Young was the heart and soul of AC/DC. But his bandmates rock on with nephew Stevie Young and a brand-new album, <em>Rock or Bust.</em></strong></p> <p>“It was pretty hard,” Angus Young says about making the band’s new album, <em>Rock or Bust</em>. “I was doing a lot on my own.” </p> <p>Speaking from the Netherlands, where his wife’s family lives, AC/DC’s lead guitarist and eternal schoolboy sounds a bit more grave than usual, just a shade or two less whimsical. </p> <p>Throughout AC/DC’s 41-year history, Angus always wrote and recorded the band’s albums in close collaboration with his elder brother, Malcolm, whose monumentally solid rhythm guitar playing and gift for playfully dirty lyrical innuendo has been the band’s backbone. But when Malcolm fell victim to a debilitating condition that was recently diagnosed as dementia, Angus found himself alone at the helm of a band that has become a much revered rock and roll legend. </p> <p>“Especially for guitars, Mal was always my best critic,” Angus says. “No matter what producer we worked with, I always looked to Mal at the end if I played a guitar solo or a little break here and there. And he was always the one to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’ ” </p> <p><em>Rock or Bust</em> hits as hard and burns as nasty as any other record in AC/DC’s deep catalog of thunderous rock anthems—and that is a testimony to Angus’ perseverance and AC/DC’s deathless determination to tear the roof off any studio or stadium they happen to inhabit, come hell or high water. After all this is a band that not only survived the demise of its original lead singer, Bon Scott—who boozed himself to death in 1980—but also achieved even greater glory with salacious squealer Brian Johnson as its frontman. </p> <p>Much credit for <em>Rock or Bust</em>’s authentic crunch and swagger is due to the band’s new rhythm guitar man, Stevie Young, nephew to Angus and Malcolm. Stevie locks up seamlessly with Angus, marshaling massive slabs of power-chord muscle that support Angus’ stinging leads and skittering counter-rhythms like the rock-hard foundation of some towering skyscraper.</p> <p>“Mal’s are some big shoes to fill,” Angus says. “But Stevie was always the obvious choice to take on the role. Mal and I had a kind of psychic connection going on from playing together all these years. With Stevie, we had to work things out a bit more. But he understands the way Mal would do it. And he’s got some suggestions of his own.”</p> <p>Understanding “the way Mal would do it” was an essential factor in keeping AC/DC’s rock-and-roll train rolling on the right track. “Malcolm’s always been a strong presence in the band,” Angus says. “He formed the band. It was his brainwaves that put it all together. He kind of guided us from the beginning. So it is a big thing to try and keep going. And for as long as he could make his voice felt, Malcolm always said, ‘Well, you lot carry on.’ ” </p> <p>Dementia is extremely rare in people under the age of 65; Malcolm is just 61. The disease severely and permanently impairs a person’s ability to think clearly, to where even routine tasks become difficult. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TT8e7i0ccLQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“I noticed the signs for a number of years,” Angus says in retrospect. “Mal got a little disconnected when we were making our previous album, <em>Black Ice</em>. The tour after that was difficult. And in hindsight, I realize I was noticing things even before then. But it was hard to figure out what it was, strange as that seems. It was very hard to get a diagnosis—what he actually had. He’s not an old person.”</p> <p> The diagnosis, when it did come, was challenging on a personal level for the Young family. “With the condition itself, you know it’s not him,” Angus says of his brother’s affliction. “I know his wife kind of feels that way. It’s like she’s lost her husband.”</p> <p>And on a professional level, the situation was also extremely difficult. Official communications regarding Malcolm’s condition were evasive at first, coupled with a plea to respect his and the family’s privacy. AC/DC’s 40th anniversary, in 2013, slipped by more or less uncelebrated. Plans for a follow-up album to 2008’s <em>Black Ice</em> were relegated to the back burner. “We were kind of hoping that Malcolm would get better,” Angus says. “We kind of delayed on that, not knowing.” </p> <p>For a period of several years, AC/DC’s future seemed uncertain at best. “Typically at the end of every tour, we go our separate ways and decompress,” says Cliff Williams, the band’s longtime bassist, speaking from his home in Florida. “But it was on my mind certainly—the possibility that we wouldn’t do it anymore. So I was really glad when Ang called and said he was ready to do something. I was really happy about that. All of us in the band got the call to see if we were up for it, and we were. Stevie was the obvious choice to replace Malcolm. He fits in really well.”</p> <p>In a sense, the game plan for a Malcolm-less AC/DC was already in place. Back in 1988, Stevie took his uncle’s place on tour with AC/DC, while Malcolm dealt with alcohol problems. “It was Mal, actually, who brought Stevie in at that time,” Angus recalls. “He said, ‘I’ll get Stevie to fill in.’ So Stevie has got a good feel for who we are playing live, which helps.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_NdHySPJr8I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo: Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty Images</em></p> <p><strong><em>For the rest of this story, plus features on the Allman Brothers, Smashing Pumpkins and At The Gates, not to mention gear reviews, lessons and tabs, <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/guitar-world/products/guitar-world-january-15-ac-dc?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=ACDCExcerpt">pick up the January 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></em></strong></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202014-12-02%20at%201.11.08%20PM.png" width="620" height="806" alt="Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 1.11.08 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="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/acdcs-angus-young-discusses-malcolms-illness-and-their-hard-hitting-new-album-rock-or-bust#comments AC/DC ACDC Angus Young January 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:50:19 +0000 Alan di Perna http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23079 12 Days of Holiday Deals from Guitar World: Day 8 — Get 'Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock' Calendar for $10 http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-8-get-hottest-chicks-hard-rock-calendar-10 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/revolver/products/revolvers-hottest-chicks-in-hard-rock-calendar-2015/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals8">Today is Day 8 of our third annual 12 Days of Holiday Deals Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></p> <p>You can expect a great new deal every day, including today's deal:</p> <p>Get <em>Revolver's</em> Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock 2015 calendar for only $10!</p> <p>Revolver's exclusive Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock 2015 calendar is back! The 2015 edition stars cover girl Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. This year's calendar is featuring 13 of the loveliest ladies in hard rock and heavy music.</p> <p><strong>The 2015 lineup includes:</strong></p> <p>• Taylor Momsen from the Pretty Reckless<br /> • Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil<br /> • Ash Costello from New Years Day<br /> • Jill Janus from Huntress<br /> • Carla Harvey &amp; Heidi Shepherd from Butcher Babies</p> <p>... and many more!!!!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/collections/revolver/products/revolvers-hottest-chicks-in-hard-rock-calendar-2015/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=14XmasDeals8">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/12-days-holiday-deals-guitar-world-day-8-get-hottest-chicks-hard-rock-calendar-10#comments 12 Days of Holiday Deals News Features Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:49:41 +0000 Guitar World Staff http://www.guitarworld.com/article/23088