However, it wound up in our inbox over the crazy-long holiday break, and we thought we'd share it anyway.
It's a clip of a guitarist named Jan Laurenz performing a piece he identifies merely as an "old folk song." The catch, I suppose, is that he's playing it on a custom-made BearTrax tap guitar.
This is a 12-string, semi-solid Alpen model; you'll notice its 12 strings are spaced as they'd be spaced on a six-string guitar, so it has an ultra-wide neck. You'll also notice that Laurenz frets—but doesn't pluck—the melody line on the bottom six strings, while plucking the top six strings (he also taps on the top six strings mid-way through the performance).
For more about Laurenz, follow him on YouTube. For more about this guitar, including several more photos and specs, head here. And no, I don't know Laurenz or the guys at BearTrax Guitars; I just think it's cool!
The latest album by Norwegian black metallers 1349, Massive Cauldron of Chaos, is out now on Season of Mist. Photo by Aline Miladinovic.
What inspired you to first pick up a guitar?
When I was eight, I watched the TV show Power Hour on the U.K.’s Super Channel. I remember Jennifer Batten’s playing took hard rock and heavy metal to a different level. During that time, one of my best friends got his first guitar, a Cort. It was magic, and suddenly something so unattainable became reality.
What was your first guitar?
My first electric was a white Maya Les Paul–style guitar that my mother got me. It wasn’t the best in the world, but I still regret getting rid of it.
What was the first song you ever learned?
That’s so long ago! I guess it must have been Metallica’s “Seek & Destroy” or “One.” I was really into the old thrash metal bands before I turned 10, and my friends and I did covers of those at rehearsal.
Do you remember your first gig?
Yes! That was such a milestone. It was at secondary school at this youth party held in the gymnastic hall. I was making backstage passes and planning the event big time! [laughs] We only performed cover songs, and although there were only 100 people present, it felt like a stadium show.
What’s your favorite piece of gear?
My two Dean Custom Shop guitars. They’re the jewels of my guitar collection. My Dean “Demonoir” guitar is a magnificent piece of craftsmanship. That through my Marshall JVM 410 amp produces a killer guitar tone.
Massive Cauldron of Chaos is your first album in four years. What can your fans expect from it?
It’s heavy in nature but also the most varied record we’ve done. We went all in: frenetic guitar work, fast picking, tweaks, turns and even guitar solos this time! The lead in “Exorcism” is one of my favorites. The entire album holds a higher level of
quality than ever before.
Do you have any advice for young players?
Don’t ever let anyone stop you from trying to achieve your goals. Start slowly and play thoroughly. If you play a theme 100 times, no matter how boring it might seem, rest assured that, if you record them, on the 101st time you’ll hear the improvement.
The new issue is the ultimate tribute to Dimebag Darrell, 10 years after his death. We take a look at his incredible guitar collection, fan art and ink.
This comes with an exclusive, previously unreleased Dimebag demo called "Whiskey Road" on a 7-inch Flexi-Disc. This 2001 recording features Dimebag playing all instruments. This is a Guitar World exclusive item!
Purchase this single issue with the "Whiskey Road" Flexi-disc now for $9.99. Or click here to subscribe to Guitar World and get this Flexi-Disc with your February 2015 Issue.
Next, we celebrate the heaviest of the heavy with Pantera's 25 greatest songs from "Revolution Is My Name" to "This Love."
Pantera producer Terry Date recalls on Dimebag Darrell's laser-like perfectionism, side-splitting hijinx and how he set the bar higher than most.
Finally, in his new autobiography, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian recalls how he nearly drank himself to death with the help from the master of excess himself.
Six Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass:
• Dimebag Darrell - "Whiskey Road" • Black Label Society - "In This River" • Metallica - "Motorbreath" • Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water" • Judas Priest - "Rapid Fire"
New subscribers will get the February 2015 issue of Guitar World, which comes with a 7-inch Flexi-Disc of an exclusive, previously unreleased Dimebag Darrell demo called "Whiskey Road." This 2001 recording features Dimebag singing and playing all the instruments. For more information about this offer, head here.
Once upon a time, the mere act of strapping on an electric guitar and cranking up an amplifier marked one as an outsider, a rebellious badass who refused to live by the laws of a "decent" society.
But today's cookie-cutter rockers and forgettable pop janglers make studying for the priesthood seem like an edgier pursuit than playing guitar in a band.
Guitar World thought it might be instructive to salute some genuine rock weirdos—25 individuals whose unique personalities and/or playing styles have been dictated not by popular trends, market research firms or knit-capped A&R guys, but by an all-consuming need to express themselves to the fullest.
Some have crashed and burned, especially when LSD was involved, and you probably wouldn't want to invite most them to dinner. But they're all colorful characters whose flying freak flags have contributed much to rock's rich tapestry.
Numerous books have been written about the late Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's original leader and rock's first serious acid casualty. His madcap antics range from the amusing (fixing Pat Boone with a murderous stare during an interview on Boone's TV show; styling his hair with Brylcreem and crushed Mandrax tablets) to the psychotic (locking a girlfriend in a bedroom for days with nothing to eat but crackers).
An incredibly inventive guitarist who combined an unorthodox slide technique with various echo units to create a truly "interstellar" sound, Syd unfortunately became synonymous with "losing one's shit entirely."
The wildest one-man band in the history of recorded music, the late Hasil Adkins cranked out warped rockabilly paeans to sex, dancing and decapitation for many decades.
A manic-depressive lover man whose diet consisted entirely of meat, nicotine and endless cups of coffee, the Haze liked to scare visitors to his rural Appalachian abode with his collection of mannequin heads, and had been known to send unsolicited copies of his new records to the White House.
True connoisseurs of weirdness (including the Cramps, who covered Hasil's "She Said") worshiped his every primal clang and growl.
This reclusive, robotic guitarist (whose personal brand of shred encompasses the most out-there elements of art rock, heavy metal, hip-hop and free jazz) is never seen in public without a white mask on his face or a fried-chicken bucket on his head.
According to legend, the latter helps him harness the spirits of all slain and martyred chickens, without which he is powerless.
Buckethead has visited Disneyland hundreds of times (He even claims to have jammed with Haunted Mansion house band) and dreams of building his own surreal theme park, Bucketheadland. For more on that, head here.
Guitarist and founding member of the world's first psychedelic band, the 13th Floor Elevators, Erickson has claimed at times to be from Mars, and his songs are filled with convincing references to aliens, demons and reincarnation.
Busted for pot in 1969, he tried to beat the rap by pleading insanity. Although his habit of tripping four to five times a day might have already qualified Erickson for the nuthouse, the ensuing three-year incarceration (complete with Thorazine and shock treatments) in Texas' Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane certainly didn't help.
Roky recorded prolifically in the Seventies and Eighties, but he currently spends most of his time at home.
The very definition of "weird beard," Wood has always cut a uniquely hirsute figure in the world of English rock. A worrying number of his songs for Sixties psych-pop legends the Move dealt with paranoia, insanity and mental anguish and allegedly resulted from the band's manager instructing Wood to "write about what you know."
An inventive guitarist capable of everything from shuddering power chords to delicate classical filigrees, Wood spent much of the Seventies cranking out Phil Spector-meets-Sha-Na-Na Fifties pastiches with Wizzard, doubtless scarring countless impressionable youngsters for life with his hideous glam-clown makeup.
Like the man himself, former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley's playing remains maddeningly unpredictable—to this day, he can sound like a teenager who's just picked up his first electric — but he always injected Kiss with a jolt of electricity.
Ace's coked-out 1978 self-titled solo LP perfectly encapsulates his "life is one big joke" philosophy, but it's also one of the great bonehead rock albums of all time, right up there with the first Ramones record and Foghat Live.
Glenn Ross Campbell
The visionary behind Sixties garage-psych ravers the Misunderstood, Campbell could barely play a chord on a six-string guitar. But armed with a pedal steel and a fuzz box, he produced a mind-blowing squall that sounded like the missing link between Jeff Beck's work with the Yardbirds and Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced.
Inspired by his spiritually oriented mother, Campbell and his band toyed with the vibrational effects of feedback and light, sending unsuspecting audiences in to a communal trance with the sensory overload of their powerful performances. Sadly the Vietnam War draft destroyed the band after it had waxed only a handful of tracks.
A visual cross between the Joker of Batman fame and Ronald McDonald, Cleminson was the musical lynchpin of Scottish glam terrorists the Sensation Alex Harvey Band.
Cleminson's contorted, grease-painted mug, green Lurex body stocking and synchronized dance moves invariably provoked an avalanche of catcalls and projectiles from audiences who didn't appreciate the SAHB's theatrical bent—ditto the band's "talent show" routine, wherein Cleminson recited Shakespeare while tap-dancing.
But his deft fretwork and monstrously fat sound endeared him to mid-Seventies rock fans with a taste for something beyond the usual arena fodder.
Slashing his speakers to create that distorted "You Really Got Me" sound, Davies has clearly been thinking outside the box from the early Kinks days onward.
In the late Seventies, Davies became deeply interested in telepathy and mental visualization, and claims to have used these concepts to energize or heal concert audiences many times since then. In 1982, he was telepathically contacted by "five distinct intelligences" from another dimension, who significantly enhanced his consciousness and taught him the principles of "etheric magnetism."
Davies loves to scan the skies for UFOs, and extraterrestrial elements abound on Purusha and the Spiritual Planet, the techno/dance/New Age record he recorded in 1998 with his son Russell.
The mustachioed fret-mangler for Mayhem, Norway's original black metal band, Euronymous spent most of his downtime concocting explosive potions in his home laboratory, or presiding over pagan rituals and orgies in the basement of Hell, his Oslo record store.
When Mayhem's lead singer blew his own brains out with a shotgun, the guitarist harvested the scattered grey matter from the suicide scene, then gleefully ate it in a stew of ham, vegetables and paprika. The accumulated bad karma finally caught up with Euronymous in 1993, when he was stabbed to death by Count Grishnackh of rival black metal purveyors Burzum.
An intimidating enigma in dark shades, greasy pompadour and a black leather jacket, Link waxed guitar instrumentals so pungently crude, one of 'em (the 1958 hit "Rumble") was even banned on numerous radio station for being "too suggestive."
After losing a lung in his twenties to tuberculosis, Link let his cheap-ass guitars do most of the talking—or swearing, as the case may be. In the Fifties, he freaked out more than a few studio engineers with his primitive fuzz tone, achieved by punching holes in the speaker of his Premier amplifier.
The tastiest guitarist to emerge from the British blues boom of the Sixties, Peter Green was also the most troubled.
Originally a brash and arrogant player, the Fleetwood Mac founder decimated his ego with numerous LSD binges and became deeply uncomfortable with is modicum of fame and fortune. He gave most of his money and belonging away to charity—and unsuccessfully tried to convince his bandmates to do the same—and took to wearing flowing robes and crucifixes.
Green left the band in 1970 and was later institutionalized, where his schizophrenia was only worsened by repeated shock treatments. Although he still records and performs, the psychic scars from his ordeal remain.
Ever the straight man to Gibby Haynes' psychotic jester, Leary gave up his stockbroker ambitions to wreak sonic vengeance on the world as the Butthole Surfers' lead guitarist.
With his permanently dilated pupils and Rockettes-style leg kicks—and, for a brief period, a hot-pink "sideways Mohawk"—Leary would have been the resident freak in any other band, but he was typically overshadowed by Haynes' lysergic meltdowns and the Buttholes' collection of surgical-training films.
Still, there was no denying the potency of Leary's bad-trip guitar grind, or his propensity for smashing and setting fire to his instruments at the beginning of a show. As he explained to Guitar World in 1991, "Why wait for the end, you know?"
No one who saw Bryan Gregory onstage with the Cramps will forget the arresting spectacle of the stick-thin guitarist coaxing scorching feedback from a polka-dot Flying V (several years before Randy Rhoads wielded one!) while wiggling his ass and flicking lit cigarettes into the crowd.
With his pockmarked skin, viciously pointy fingernails and impossibly long bleached fringe, Gregory looked like a Times Square hooker returned from the dead, thus accomplishing the impressive feat of making bandmates Lux Interior and Poison Ivy seem positively normal.
Gregory allegedly left the band to join a snake-handling cult, though the Cramps have always maintained that his exit was drug related.
It's one thing to put on a mask or makeup when everybody else in your band is doing it; it's another thing entirely to dress up as a randy satyr or acid-crazed monkey when the rest of your bandmates are all backward-baseball cap-wearin' slobs.
In Limp Bizkit, Borland's individualism extended not just to bizarre getups and mind-bending guitar noise but also to his very public discomfort with the band's dumbed-down shtick. Wes also has channeled his ADD-fueled energy into considerably more twisted projects like Goatslayer, Big Dumb Face and Eat the Day.
Jeff "Skunk" Baxter
Worried about American coming under missile attack from evildoers in faraway lands? No doubt you'll sleep easier knowing Jeff "Skunk" Baxter is counseling our elected officials on missile defense. That's right—the beret-wearing former Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan guitarist currently works for the U.S. Department of Defense as an adviser to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.
Baxter apparently immersed himself in defense manuals and technical weapons texts while his bandmates were out partying, and now peppers his interviews with anecdotes that begin, "When I was in Afghanistan—well, I can't tell you why I was in Afghanistan, but when I was in Afghanistan..."
The unlikeliest guitar hero to emerge from the New York City punk scene, the bald, bearded and bespectacled Quine looked more like a lawyer than a lead guitarist—before joining Richard Hell & the Voidoids, he'd actually spent three years writing tax law for Prentice Hall Publishing.
But Quine's musical presence was commanding as hell, and his ability to whip off the most mind-bendingly surreal solos without breaking a sweat won him work with such notorious hard-to-please figures as John Zorn, Tom Waits and Lou Reed.
And on Reed's The Blue Mask, Quine did something no guitarist has accomplished before or since: get a killer tone out of Peavey Bandit amplifier.
A sorely underrated player in the annals of P-Funkdom, rhythm guitarist Lucius "Tawl" Ross turned on George Clinton to the high-energy sounds of fellow Detroiters and the Stooges and the MC5, and his distorted, protopunk riffs perfectly complimented Eddie Hazel's freaky leads on the first three Funkadelic albums.
Tawl's voyage on the Mothership came to an abrupt ending 1971, following a tête-à-tête he'd had with his long-dead mother while tripping on a winning combination of raw speed and at least six hits of pure LSD. Though he briefly resurfaced int he Nineties, Tawl Ross essentially remains the Syd Barrett of funk.
The West Coast psychedelic scene's answer to Syd Barrett, Alexander "Skip" Spence was a free spirit who took a serious wrong turn in 1968 during the recording of Moby Grape's second album: believing a bandmate to be possessed by Satan, Skip tried to "save" him with a fire ax.
After a stint in New York City's Bellevue Hospital, he wrote and played everything on Oar, a thoroughly deranged amalgam of folk, blues and psychedelia that's since become a cult classic. Unfortunately, Oar marked his last period of prolonged semi-lucidity; doomed to battle schizophrenia and substance abuse issues, Skip was in and out of various institutions until his death from cancer in 1999.
Everyone associates B-52's with Fred Schneider's campy bark and the bewigged antics of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, but these perennial new wave faces wouldn't have gone far without the twangy licks of Cindy's guitarist brother, Ricky.
Heavily influenced by the disparate likes of Captain Beefheart and Joni Mitchell, Ricky (who allegedly learned guitar by playing along to TV commercials) used a variety of weird-ass tunings on his old Mosrite, dispensing with the D and G strings entirely.
At a time when Dire Straits and Van Halen ruled the rock roost, Ricky's thrift shop, surf-meets-spaghetti western sound was a total revelation.
Hound Dog Taylor
Born with six fingers on each hand, Theodore Roosevelt "Hound Dog" Taylor once drunkenly tried to remove his extra digits with a razor blade. Thankfully, he was only partially successful, leaving his left hand intact to execute his wild Elmore James-in-crystal meth slide runs.
Despite his clownish stage persona, Hound Dog loved to fight with his bandmates, and even wounded HouseRockers guitarist Brewer Phillips with a handgun when one dissing session got out of hand. A devotee of $50 pawnshop guitars and busted amps, Hound Dog rarely practiced, and he never performed sober. "When I die," he sagely predicted, "they'll say, 'He couldn't play shit, but he sure made it sound good!'"
He claimed to know only five chords, but nobody ever whipped a Les Paul with as much effete elan as the T.Rex main man. The bisexual elf's Freudian fixation on guitar flagellation began during his stint with mod provocateurs John's Children (wherein he routinely beat his ax with chains during live shows) and continued long after he'd morphed from acoustic folkie to high-heeled glam warrior.
Bolan's weirdo credentials were more confirmed by his impressive string of gibberish-laden hits—songs like "Metal Guru,""Hot Love" and "Telegram Sam" so brilliantly walked the line between genius and idiocy, no one is sure to this day which is which.
"I'm from outer space and I'm here to kill you all," was a favorite between-song threat of the erstwhile Faith No More guitarist, and frankly it wasn't hard to believe him.
With his Furry Freak Brother beard and man—the latter gradually turning into an unsightly "reverse Mohawk," thanks to pattern baldness—his penchant for wearing several pairs of sunglasses at once and his unapologetic love for classic rock, "Big Sick Ugly Jim" always seemed the odd man out in the groundbreaking funk-metal band.
Since parting ways with FNM in 1994, the reclusive Martin as lent his searing tones to a handful of projects but his main interest seems to be growing giant pumpkins that tip the scales at well over 800 pounds.
The pretty boy of the Manson Family (Charles, not Marilyn), Beausoleil was a talented musician who played rhythm guitar in Arthur Lee's Love, back when they were still known as the Grass Roots. In 1967, Beausoleil landed a gig playing guitar and sitar for the Magick Powerhouse of Oz, an 11-piece rock band formed by filmmaker Kenneth Anger to provide soundtrack to his occult film Lucifer Rising.
After a headed argument, Beausoleil stole Anger's car, camera equipment and 1,600 feet of his film—the latter of which he gave to Manson, who buried it in the desert and demanded $10,000 in ransom. While in prison, Beausoleil has built a wide array of electronic instruments, including the Syntar, a stringless, digital, touch-controlled guitar.
Angus is such an established member of the rock pantheon, most of us don't even flinch when AC/DC's diminutive lead axman duck-walks across the stage in full schoolboy drag, despite the fact the dude is several decades past his 16th birthday.
But how's this for a job description: not only do you sport a velvet jacket-shorts-and-cap look on a nightly basis but you do it while playing impossibly loud blues licks, punctuating each performance with a striptease and a full moon of the audience. If that isn't a weird way to make your living for 40-plus years, we don't know what is.
Guitar World and the Music Zoo invite you to the event of a lifetime.
Together, we’re granting you an all-access Master Class with Guthrie Govan.
Famed for his super-versatile ability to play just about any style under the sun and his impeccable improvisational skills, Govan is hailed as one of the most skilled guitarists of this generation.
Ever since his playthrough of his instrumental track “Fives” went viral around six years ago, Govan has remained in the spotlight among guitar players around the world and continues to push the boundaries of guitar music with his band, the Aristocrats.
At 6 p.m. February 23, Govan will appear at the Music Zoo in Roslyn (Long Island), New York (less than an hour outside of Manhattan), to host a Master Class followed by a clinic and gear demo. The night also will include a Q&A session moderated by Guitar World contributing editor and columnist Andy Aledort. The evening will culminate with a meet-and-greet for everyone in attendance.
This is one of very few Master Classes Govan has hosted in the U.S., so don’t miss this rare opportunity!
Tickets are available here. Each ticket allows one person to enter the event, so please buy one ticket per attendee. The event will take place at the Haute/Durvo event space within the Music Zoo complex. For more information, visit themusiczoo.com.
To kick off 2015, Epiphone has announced its new exclusive signature model designed by Gary Clark Jr.—the Ltd. Ed. Gary Clark Jr. “Blak and Blu” Casino with trapeze tailpiece or Bigsby Vibrato.
The guitar will be available in spring 2015.
“I pretty much knew from day one that I needed a few things for my arsenal, and the Epiphone Casino is the one guitar that always stood out,” Clark said. “Getting my first Casino changed my life. And my new Epiphone Ltd. Ed. 'Blak & Blue' Casinos are amazing guitars. They're a dream. I love 'em!”
In only a few years, Clark has become a living legend to music fans and musicians. Whether he’s touring with his band, sitting in with the Rolling Stones or performing at the White House, Clark is never seen without his favorite guitar, an Epiphone Casino.
Clark’s new Signature Ltd. Ed. “Blak & Blu” Casino is a Laminated Maple, 5-ply (Maple/Birch) hollowbody archtop in a beautiful custom Blak and Blu Burst finish with Gibson USA P90 pickups, the same pickups that have powered two generations of hits by Casino fans like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Oasis and more.
The new Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Gary Clark Jr. “Blak & Blu” Casino is available with either a traditional trapeze tailpiece or a Bigsby Vibrato B70 Vibrato.
MSRP: Trapeze: $1,332 MSRP w/Bigsby $1,415
Look for the Ltd. Ed. Gary Clark Jr. “Blak and Blu” Casino this spring and visit Epiphone.com for details.
C. F. Martin & Co. is celebrating 50 years of its D-35 Dreadnought with a special model to debut at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show—the D-35 Brazilian 50th Anniversary Limited Edition.
The D-35 was first created by C.F. Martin & Co. in 1965 and has gone on to be one of the most popular and replicated models of our time.
With no more than 100 created, the D-35 Brazilian 50th Anniversary Limited Edition model is constructed with Madagascar rosewood sides and back wings, a Brazilian rosewood back center wedge and headplate, FSC-certified European spruce top, ¼-inch non-scalloped X bracing and ivoroid bindings.
Each model features an interior label personally signed by CEO & Chairman Chris Martin IV (numbered in sequence with the edition total), a limited-edition D-35 Anniversary poster designed by Hatch Show Print (mailed when model is registered) and a 50th Anniversary booklet and warranty card.
In addition to the Limited Edition Brazilian 50th Anniversary model offering, Martin is celebrating the milestone year with the inclusion of a special 50th Anniversary interior label seen through the sound hole of every stock model D-35 initiated during 2015.
That whooshing sound you hear is millions of guitar players exhaling in one, collective sigh of relief.
On December 30, 2014, the US Department of Transportation finally issued a final rule to implement section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-95, 49 U.S.C. §41724) regarding the carriage of musical instruments as carry-on baggage or checked baggage on commercial passenger flights operated by air carriers.
The final rule does not change the earlier provisions of the Act, but mercifully puts a period at the end of the sentence:
"Section 403 of the Act and this final rule provide that carriers are required to allow passengers to stow their musical instruments in an approved stowage area in the cabin only if at the time the passenger boards the aircraft such stowage space is available. With the exception of certain disability assistance devices, overhead bins or under seat stowage space is available to all passengers and crew members for their carry-on baggage on a “first come, first served” basis. Accordingly, carriers are not required to remove other passengers’ or crew members’ carry-on baggage that is already stowed in order to make space for a musical instrument. However, this also means carriers are not allowed to require a passenger to remove his or her musical instrument that is already safely stowed (e.g., in the overhead bin) to make room for carry-on baggage of other passengers who boarded the aircraft later than the passenger with the musical instrument. This is true even if the space taken by the musical instrument could accommodate one or more other carry-on items."
The DOT has also provided a helpful page with links to procedures for complaining to an airline or to the DOT regarding air travel with instruments, and tips for traveling with a musical instrument, available here.
Best practices? PRINT A COPY OF THE RULE AND CARRY IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU TRAVEL so you can stop arguing with that officious ticket agent who insists that you have to check your guitar as baggage or buy another seat for it. And exhale. While you’re at it, add a couple of words—we call that singing. And this is definitely worth singing about!!
Singer-songwriter Laura Zucker wins audiences over with a hard-won perspective and a positive spin. The powerful imagery of her songs and stories ring so true you might think she’s read your diary – and you’ll find yourself humming her infectious melodies for days to come. She’s a two-time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition in Texas, 2013 West Coast Songwriters Association Best Song of the Year, and has received numerous accolades and awards from the organizations around the world. She has released four CDs of original songs with the latest, Life Wide Open, released in late 2013. Find tour dates, music and more at LauraZucker.com
This entry comes from Angus Young's classic Guitar World column, "Let There Be Rock."
Last time, we ended the column by talking about your brother Malcolm's rhythm playing and what it adds to AC/DC's sound.
ANGUS YOUNG: Malcolm's really underrated. He makes the band sound so full, and I couldn't ask for a better rhythm player. Sometimes I look at Malcolm while he's playing, and I'm completely awestruck by the sheer power of it. He's doing something much more unique than what I do—with that raw, natural sound of his.
People like Malcolm, Steve Cropper, Chuck Berry and Keith Richards—they're all doing something better than the rest of us. I can't deny that Eric Clapton's and Eddie Van Halen's lead stuff has influenced a stack of people, but for me it's the rhythm thing that's way more impressive and important to a band.
Malcolm is a big inspiration to me; he keeps me on my feet. Even when I'm tired from running around the stage for two hours, I'll look back at what he's doing and it gives me that boot up the backside I sometimes need. [laughs] Also, he can always tell me if I'm playing well or if I'm not.
Mal's a very tough critic, and I know that if I can please him, I can please the world. A lot of people say, "AC/DC—that's the band with the little guy who runs around in school shorts!" But I wouldn't be able to do what I do without Malcolm and the other guys pumping out the rhythm. They make me look good.
Mal is really a great all-around guitarist. I know it says "rhythm guitar" on the album jacket, but if he sits down to play a solo, he can do it better than me. Not a lot of people have picked up on this, but in the early days he used to play lead. But then he said to me, "No, you take the solos. I'll just bang away back here." And what's more, he actually plays rhythms. He just doesn't make a noise; he works them out, and he knows when not to play.
What Malcolm plays behind your intro to "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)" is a great example of what you're talking about here. It's powerful, yet sparse, complements your part perfectly and is very well thought out.
Yeah, he's right on the money on that one. As soon as he comes in, he kicks the song into a higher gear. He immediately lets you know what it's all about and who it is. I mean, as soon as you hear that first B chord, you know it's him.
And, if you listen carefully to what he's doing, he's not just repeating the same four-bar riff over and over. It's different each time around, and that really helps build up the intensity of the intro until the whole band gets going. To do this kind of thing well isn't easy; you have to be a master of rhythm, and that's exactly what Mal is.
My part in AC/DC is just adding the color on top. Mal's the band's foundation. He's rock solid and he pumps it along with the power of a machine. He doesn't play like a machine, though. Everything he does grooves and he always seems to know exactly what to play and when to play it. He's a very percussive player too, his right hand just doesn't stop sometimes. It's scary, it really is!
The first verse riff in "Dog Eat Dog" [Let There Be Rock] is a perfect example of Mal's percussive approach.
Yeah. I play short, sharp stabs while Mal does something a little more busy. He's like a friggin' human metronome. It's all in his right wrist, y'know!
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the February 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
Can anyone deny the beauty of the perfect acoustic metal power ballad?
I, for one, cannot! Steel Panther’s debut release, Feel the Steel, features the much requested “The Girl from Oklahoma,” which is a great example of a song played in this style. And believe me, the song is a hell of a lot better looking than the girl.
All of the song’s guitar parts are performed on an acoustic, tuned down one half step. I fingerpick all the rhythm parts, using my thumb to pick the bass notes on the bottom two strings and my middle finger, ring finger and pinkie to pick the higher strings.
I don’t use my index finger because it’s clasping the pick in the crook of its knuckle, allowing easy access to it when I switch to flatpicking for the guitar solo.
Periphery have become a force to be reckoned with in the progressive metal scene with their unique “djent” sound, poly-rhythmic patterns and soaring melodies.
Guitarist Mark Holcomb helps achieve this full, lethal sound with PRS guitars loaded with Seymour Duncan Mark Holcomb Signature Pickups dubbed “Alpha” and “Omega.”
In conjunction with Periphery’s 2015 Juggernaut tour, Holcomb and PRS have joined forces to produce a limited-edition signature model based on the company’s flagship Custom 24 model and personalized with some unique, artist-specified features that deliver a bold, impressive sound.
Features unique to the Mark Holcomb Custom 24 include a 25.5-inch scale length rock maple neck with ebony fretboard and 20-inch radius, a newly designed PRS plate-style bridge, green abalone “J” birds, black Hipshot O-ring controls, glow-in-the-dark side dots and the guitarist’s signature Seymour Duncan “Alpha” and “Omega” pickups.
Holcomb designed these pickups to be clear and punchy. The Holcomb Custom 24 also comes standard with a carved, figured maple “10” Top, mahogany back, 24-fret Pattern Thin neck, PRS Phase III locking tuners, and volume, tone, 5-way blade switch control layout.
"As someone who's been obsessed with PRS since my youth, it has been an absolute dream to be able to develop my own PRS signature guitar," Holcomb said. "For nearly the past year, we've designed this instrument with the intention of making it not only unique, but something that would satisfy my every taste as a guitarist, from both a technical and aesthetic standpoint. The result is something that truly stands on its own in the PRS lineup, and a guitar I can undoubtedly say is the best instrument I've ever laid my hands on."
There's no limit to the number of Mark Holcomb signature guitars that will be made, but the order window is limited to January 6 March 6, 2015, to coincide with the band’s Juggernaut tour. You can see all the dates below the video.
For more information about this model, visit prsguitars.com/markholcomb. You also can check out a short Q&A with Holcomb where he discusses his signature model, offers advice for aspiring musicians and more right here.
Periphery’s Juggernaut tour dates are as follows:
01.12 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
01.13 Tampa, FL @ Orpheum
01.14 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
01.16 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
01.17 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
01.18 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
01.20 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
01.21 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
01.22 Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
01.23 Anaheim, CA @ Yost Theater
01.26 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
01.27 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
01.28 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
01.30 Salt Lake City, UT @ In the Venue
01.31 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
02.02 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
02.03 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
02.04 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
02.06 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
02.07 Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
02.08 Albany, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
02.09 Rochester, NY @ Waterstreet Music Hall
02.11 Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
02.12 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
02.13 Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
02.14 Philadelphia, PA @ District N9ne
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the February 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
When PRS introduced its first tube amps a few years back, the products earned praise and acceptance from the company’s core customer demographic of classic rock, blues and even country guitarists.
However, the numerous hard rock and metal guitarists that PRS attracted in recent years—thanks to endorsers like Frederik Åkesson, Marty Friedman, Clint Lowery, Zach Myers and Mark Tremonti—might have felt a little left out by the company’s initial amp offerings.
With the introduction of the PRS Archon Series, PRS has delivered a line of high-gain amps that will satisfy not only its current hordes of metal guitarists but also a new generation of players who may not have considered PRS products in the past.
Got a question for your favorite guitarist? Let us be your go-between. The concept is easy — you submit your queries and we pass them on to some of the world's greatest guitarists. Only the sharpest and funniest questions will be used.
This month, we're giving you the chance to ask progressive metaller Jeff Loomis anything you want! From his solo shredding skills to his time in Nevermore and his most recent joining of Arch Enemy...nothing's off limits!
Just email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Jeff Loomis" in the subject line. Remember to include your name in the email body, so you can get credited in the magazine, and impress and annoy your jealous friends!
Here's Jeff Loomis' amazing cover of "Perpetual Burn" by Jason Becker:
<em>Guitar World</em> and Reverend Guitars have teamed up to offer one lucky reader a brand-new Reverend Bob Balch Signature Guitar!
Guitar World and Reverend Guitars have teamed up to offer one lucky reader a brand-new Reverend Bob Balch Signature Guitar!
"The Reverend Bob Balch Signature is not named after some rockin’ preacher," writes Chris Gill in the all-new February 2015 issue of Guitar World. "Rather, it’s a Reverend brand signature model made for guitarist Bob Balch of the iconic Southern California stoner rock band Fu Manchu.
"The model is based on Reverend’s popular Sensei model, but Balch suggested a few mods that make the guitar the equivalent of one of the sweet custom rides often pictured on Fu Manchu album covers. While the guitar is designed to deliver when dealing down and dirty fuzzed-up grooves, it’s as ideal for straight-edge players as much as it’s sure to please those who walk on the wild side."
For Balch's signature model, Reverend added body bevels and routed a tone chamber under the pickguard. Railhammer got to work designing an all-new Bob Balch Signature Railhammer Pickup for the bridge—a brass-covered Railhammer with a ceramic magnet for smooth and clear tone. A Railhammer Chisel in the neck position adds in its cutting upper-mid tone.
The guitar comes in Satin Transparent Brown or Satin Tobacco Burst and has a rosewood neck.
Santa Cruz-based hard rock/heavy metal trio Archer have premiered the official music video for "My Atrocity."
You can check it out below.
"My Atrocity" is the first song from the band's upcoming studio album, which is due early this year. The album was produced by Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses, Megadeth, UFO) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Halford, Sepultura, Yngwie Malmsteen).
Fans of classic heavy metal and killer guitars will enjoy this first cut from this Epiphone-endorsed trio. Be sure to pick up "My Atrocity," at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and beyond!
Ryley Walker is excited to announce his new album, Primrose Green, out March 31 on Dead Oceans.
The title sounds pastoral and quaint, but the titular green has dark hallucinogenic qualities, as does much of the LP.
Ryley didn't have much time to write this LP, so some of it he didn't.
Bits of lyrics were improvised into full-blown songs in the studio, more often than not on the fly.
However, the ratty bits of handwritten words that make up the balance of the record grew from scattered misadventures across an ill-fated 2013 tour.
The band on Primrose Green is a mixture of new and old Chicago talent, blending both jaded veterans of the post-rock and jazz mini-circuits together with a few eager, open-eared youths. (It's worth stating at this point that this is not a jazz record, despite the sheer volume of jazz and experimental heavyweights that make up the rest of Primrose Green's all-star cast. Chicago has blurred these lines since forever.)
Ryley Walker is the reincarnation of the True American Guitar Player. That's as much a testament to his roving, rambling ways as to the fact that his Guild D-35 guitar has endured a few stints in the pawnshop. Swap out rural juke joints for rotted DIY spaces and the archetype is solidly intact. His personal life might be tumultuous and his residential status in question, but his bedrock is disciplined daily rehearsal and an inexhaustible wellspring of song craft.
Raised on the banks of the ol' Rock River in northern Illinois, Ryley's early life doesn't give us much more than Midwestern mundanity to speak of. Things start to pick up in 2007, when he moves to Chicago and briefly attempts a collegiate lifestyle. Here, he storms the local noise scene with his Jasmine-brand electric guitar, and a few years of wasted finger-bleeding basement shows firmly established his name locally, if not always positively. By 2011, at age 21, Ryley's music offered impressive displays of fingerpicking prowess, though not fully elaborated documents.
It was a 2012 bike accident that set Ryley on his current path. Practice became more diligent. He began lacquering his fingertips at cheap salons. Ryley was finding a new path refracting the British traditional spectrum, from Bert Jansch to Nick Drake, and defying all the limitations of the genre. His 2013 recordings - The West Wind EP and All Kinds of You LP - fully express these Anglophilic tendencies to the point of nearly exhausting their possibilities.
LISTEN TO RYLEY WALKER'S "PRIMROSE GREEN":
The title track "Primrose Green," was nearly discarded after its incarnation on a bleak St. Patrick's Day spent in Oxford, Mississippi. "Primrose Green" is a colloquial term for a cocktail of whiskey and morning glory seeds that has a murky, dreamy, absinthian quality when imbibed, and a spirit-crushing aftereffect the morning after. It is the moment before departure from the mindstate of Ryley's previous release, All Kinds Of You.
Ryley will tour throughout 2015 in support of Primrose Green including shows with Zola Jesus, Hamilton Leithauser, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kevin Morby, Moon Duo andSteven Gunn and performances at Big Ears Festival, Savannah Stopover Festival, Tomorrow Never Knows and FRZN Fest. A full list of dates is below with more to be announced soon!
RYLEY WALKER TOUR DATES:
Tue. Jan. 13 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right (w/ Hop Along, Beach Slang)
Fri. Jan. 16 - Chicago, IL @ Athenaeum Theater (Tomorrow Never Knows w/ Zola Jesus) [tix]
Sun. Jan. 18 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon (FRZN Fest w/ Hamilton Leithauser) [tix]
Thu. Mar. 5 - Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover Festival (w/ Hiss Golden Messenger) [tix]
Sat. Mar. 7 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place (w/ Kevin Morby) [tix]
Tue. Mar. 10 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop (w/ Kevin Morby) [tix]
Wed. Mar. 11 - Nashville, TN @ Stone Fox (w/ Kevin Morby) [tix]
Thu. Mar. 12 - Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight (w/ Kevin Morby, Moon Duo)
Fri. Mar. 13 - Washington, DC @ DC9 (w/ Kevin Morby) [tix]
Sat. Mar. 14 - Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle (w/ Kevin Morby) [tix]
Sun. Mar. 15 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right (w/ Kevin Morby) [tix]
Thu. Mar. 19 - Houston, TX @ Walter's Downtown (w/ Steve Gunn)
Fri. Mar. 20 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa (w/ Steve Gunn)
Sun. Mar. 22 - Columbus, GA @ WC Bradley Museum (w/ Steve Gunn)
Mon. Mar. 23 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
Fri. Mar. 27 - Knoxville, TN @ Big Ears Festival [tix]
Sat. Mar. 28 - Louisville, KY @ The New Vintage (w/ Steve Gunn)
Sun. Mar. 29 - Columbus, OH @ The Spacebar (w/ Steve Gunn)
Wed. Apr. 8 - Copenhagen, DK @ Copenhagen Jazzhouse
Thu. Apr. 9 - Oslo, NO @ Internasjonalen
Fri. Apr. 10 - Stockholm, SE @ Grand Central
Sat. Apr. 11 - Aalborg, DK @ 1000Fryd
Sun. Apr. 12 - Rostock, DE @ JAZ
Mon. Apr. 13 - Berlin, DE @ Monarch [tix]
Sat. Apr. 18 - London, UK @ Sebright Arms [tix]
Sun. Apr. 19 - Manchester, UK @ The Castle
Mon. Apr. 20 - Bristol, UK @ The Birdcage
Austin, Texas-based Moniker Guitars, an online custom guitar manufacturer/retailer, recently launched a line of guitars dubbed "The Texas BBQ Series."
The guitars, which are inspired by what some would call the charm of Austin—not to mention the company's love of Texas barbecue—feature a whitewash finish, aged gold hardware and custom walnut pickguards, truss rod covers, knobs and mounting rings.
"To help get the preliminary run of these guitars into the hands of players, we've turned to Kickstarter," says Moniker Guitars owner Dave Barry.