Guthrie Govan Lesson • Abasi Pathos Review • Children of Bodom’s Alex Laiho • Judas Priest’s Gear • Reignwolf’s Jordan Cook • & More!
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Our annual pedalboards of the stars issue gives you an up-close-and-personal look at the coolest stomp stations from Billy Gibbons, Eagles of Death Metal, Slipknot, John Fogerty, Heart, Between the Buried and Me, My Morning Jacket, and Best Coast. We’ve also got a MIDI-guitar primer by Avi Bortnick—who incorporates a laptop into his rig onstage with jazz legend John Scofield—that shows you how to get started with minimal cost and surprising ease. In our interviews section this month we talk to Ben Monder and Tim Lefebvre about the sessions for David Bowie’s farewell masterpiece, as well as speak with Anthrax’s Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais (formerly of Shadows Fall), Gemma Thompson from London-based post-punk outfit Savages, Brad Shultz and Daniel Tichenor from Cage the Elephant, Sun Club’s Mikey Powers and Shane McCord, and Ride’s Andy Bell and Mark Gardener. Gear reviews this month include the Music Man St. Vincent, the PRS SE A15AL Alex Lifeson thinline acoustic, Dr. Z’s Z-Lux, Mesa/Boogie’s Subway D-800 bass head, the Dusky D20 head, ThorpyFx’s Muffroom Cloud, F-Pedal’s Eddie Kramer-designed PhazeVibe Lite, Dr. No’s RoadRunner Octave Fuzz Wah, and more.
The vaunted annual Pedal Issue returns! This year it sports an amazing cover by noted French illustrator/guitarist/stompbox-junkie McBess, as well as 33 guitar- and bass-pedal reviews by our astute team of pedal addicts. But that’s not all—we also take you inside the wacky labs where the folks at Union Tube & Transistor, Chase Bliss Audio, Hungry Robot, Fuzzrocious, Mantic Conceptual, Cusack Music, 3Leaf Audio, and Darkglass zap unicorns with shrink rays to put clangorous tones in little metal boxes. Meanwhile, our artist interviews this month include chats with Rage Against the Machine and Prophets of Rage bassist Tim Commerford, Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster and “King” Mike Abbate, jazz maestro Charlie Hunter, possessed Australian bluesman C.W. Stoneking, and Deerhoof’s John Dieterich and Ed Rodríguez. We also visit with the brain trust behind Recovery Unplugged, Jail Guitar Doors, and other rehab centers that have found success using guitar and musical activities to help patients overcome substance addiction. And finally, our latest Forgotten Heroes piece recounts the rich life and legacy of the father of free-jazz guitar, Sonny Sharrock.
Gear fanatics will find a lot to love in this issue. For starters, our cover story details 44 new instruments, amps, and effects that wowed us at the Winter 2015 NAMM show. And our reviews start out with a roundup of four face-melting metal and hard-rock amps—Randall’s Ola Englund Satan, Engl’s Invader II E642/2, Mesa/Boogie’s Mark Five:25, and Friedman’s Double J Jerry Cantrell signature model. We also take a look at new gear from Ibanez, Demeter, Fender, Free the Tone, Radial Engineering, Dawner Prince, Acoustic, GreenChild, Phil Jones, and Slick Guitars. Rounding things out, we’ve got an in-depth feature on the history of steel guitar, as well as interviews with a wide array of players—from Imagine Dragon’s former jazzbo Wayne Sermon to avant-gardist Ben Chasny, experimentalist Oliver Ackermann from A Place to Bury Strangers (and Death by Audio pedals), tone alchemist Reine Fiske from Sweden’s the Amazing, and globetrotting acoustic adventurer Sir Richard Bishop.
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