Premier Guitar December 2015: PG spends the entire year putting a ridiculously diverse lineup of gear through a rigorous battery of tests, and this issue recaps the Premier Gear award-winning guitars, basses, stomps, amps, and accessories that blew our minds in 2015. And this is no snob’s club either—the coveted Premier Gear prize goes to a wide array of equipment that stands apart from the crowd due to astounding tones, flexibility, build quality, and value. We also have brand-new reviews on Cort’s Matt Bellamy signature guitar, the Vox AC10, La Bella’s Olinto bass, Benson’s Monarch combo, Analog Man’s Black Logo envelope filter, Hovercraft’s Ionostrofear Fuzz, the Boss Waza Craft DM-2 analog delay, and more. We’ve also got a full house in the artist-interview department: We talk to the one and only Billy F. Gibbons about his Afro-Cuban-inflected solo album, Perfectamundo, visit with classic-rock legend John Fogerty from Credence Clearwater Revival about his iconic career and new memoir, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, chat with Deafheaven’s Kerry McCoy about the brutal-but-ethereal New Bermuda, get psych-rock scion Kurt Vile’s story on his Southern-rock-tinged new album, and catch up with Brazilian nylon-string virtuoso Badi Assad about her new LP of pop and electronic-dance-music covers. And our latest Forgotten Heroes piece examines the life and career of Miles Davis sideman Pete Cosey, whose gnarly tones and playing hinted at a more “out” Hendrix.
If you’re itching to mod your axe, you’ll find tons to dig in this issue. Our cover story is an in-depth interview with BilT Guitars’ Tim Thelen on the technical minutiae of installing effects in your guitar—as well as the musical epiphanies that await open-minded adventurers who walk this path. On the flip side, ace Nashville luthier Tony Nagy walks us through 10 mundane-seeming—but no less-impactful—ways to drastically alter the sound and responsiveness of your guitars for less than a hundred bucks. To round out the mod section we’ve even got a gallery of PG readers’ own guitar mods. Other features this month include interviews with the always-entertaining Noel Gallagher, prog-rock veteran Mike Rutherford, and Awolnation’s Adam Bruno. We’ve also got a Forgotten Heroes piece on late Chili Pepper Hillel Slovak, and acoustic troubadour Pete Huttlinger’s advice on gigging with your flattop. Gear reviews this issue include guitar and bass products from Dunlop, Taylor, Danelectro, Korg, Supro, Engl, Relish Guitars, Xotic, DV Mark, JHS, Keeley, and more.