In the five since since Prince left this Earth – no doubt transitioning flawlessly to his new role as the headline act at a neon-lit speakeasy in Guitarist Heaven – his legacy has only grown more iconic, more revolutionary, and more essential. In the cover story for Australian Guitar #144, we get down to the wire with some of the guitarists that knew Prince well and worked closely with him, exploring the magic behind the guitar's most eccentric mind.
As you're flipping through the issue in search of that story, you may notice a few pages with a blue tint and a dazzling, floral-inspired illustration. That would be our epic eight-page special celebrating the 2021 edition of the Byron Bay Bluesfest; ahead of the legendary event's hotly awaited return this October, we caught up with just a few of the names we can't wait to see play at it: Tex Perkins, The Living End, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Hiatus Kaiyote, Ross Wilson, Jeff Lang and Hussy Hicks.
As for the rest of the interviews in #144, you'll find some enrapturing chats with the likes of Wolfgang Van Halen, the Hoodoo Gurus, Shihad, Kathleen Hanna, The Screaming Jets, Myles Kennedy, Nancy Wilson, The Superjesus, Rise Against, Children Collide, Juliana Hatfield, Anna Leone, The Jungle Giants and Tropical Fuck Storm... Y'know, just to name a few!
Once you've delved into the worlds of the guitarists making the biggest waves in today's music world, why not pick up your own axe and start riffing away? In this issue, we'll teach you how to play classic tracks by Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mac and Pearl Jam. And by virtue of our hands-on section, you'll learn how to master harmonised chord scales, chromatic movement, extended major and minor chords, and a few key stretches. And if you're down to get your hands dirty, you can learn how to wrangle some physical tone mods in this issue's DIY feature.
On the editorial side, we uncover the tonal secrets behind tracks by Nirvana, Prince, the Sex Pistols and Slash, plus tap into a whole new world of next-gen players making the most of an unlikely platform perfect for budding musos: TikTok. Yes, really! We also ask the question, how much difference does your taste in guitar strings really make? And we explore how you can take action if and/or when the pressures of being a musician impacts your mental health.
One thing we don't recommend is blowing all your savings on retail therapy – but, if you're already in the market for a new guitar, why not take a look at our rundown of the best online guitar companies? After you check out our feature on the jaw-dropping guitar collection of Keith Richards, we're sure you'll find an excuse to get around a new piece of kit. "But what am I going to play it through?" Don't worry, we've got that part covered too – head to page 74, we've squeezed in a giant shootout of the best combo amps on the market right now.
For all your other gear-frothing needs, we've packed Australian Guitar #144 with a whopping 21 gear reviews, including some choice equipment for home recording enthusiasts. Speaking of which, this issue's Technique mini-mag features articles on the tonal tricks you can employ to master the art of reverb, and some essential tips for anyone wanting to become a master of... Well... Mastering! We've also got an interview with the legendary Mick Jones, whose production on Eddie Van Halen's 5150 album hasn't aged a day.
All of this, of course, is in addition to our regular Hot Gear, Final Note, Fresh Frets and Spotlight columns, plus CD reviews, news and more.
Subscribe to the print edition of Australian Guitar, and you'll enjoy each new issue on the day it's published, delivered straight to your door.