Gear fanatics rejoice! Our cover story this month details the droolworthiest guitars, basses, amps, and effects from Musikmesse—Europe’s biggest show for new music toys. On top of that, we’ve got 18 guitar and bass reviews—including gear from G&L, Alvarez, Mesa/Boogie, Moog, TC Electronic, Greer, Matthews Effects, Mastro, Taurus, and Function f(x)—as well as a six-pedal overdrive roundup featuring stomps from J. Rockett Audio, Way Huge, T-Rex, SviSound, Visual Sound, and Sonic Fusion. Meanwhile, our totally stacked feature section includes interviews with Faith No More’s Billy Gould and Jon Hudson, Courtney Barnett, JD McPherson, Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch, Torche’s Steve Brooks and Jonathan Nuñez, and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard and Heath Fogg. Plus, we’ve got an eye-popping excerpt from celebrated photographer Jay Blakesberg’s new book, Guitars That Jam: Portraits of the World’s Most Storied Rock Guitars.
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.
Pedal freaks rejoice! We’ve got info and close-up photos of 10 of the coolest stomp stations from our recent Rig Rundowns—from Pixies to Brent Mason, the War on Drugs, Larry Carlton, Brand New, Jonny Lang, Death from Above 1979, Bring Me the Horizon, the Gaslight Anthem, and Third Eye Blind. Then we’ve got a gallery of your pedalboards, which often give the pros’ boards a serious run for their money. We’ve also got a review roundup of “spring-reverb” pedals—Subdecay’s Super Spring Theory, Mojo Hand Fx’s Dewdrop, and Catalinbread’s Topanga—new photos from our Gwar and Lucinda Williams Rig Rundown video shoots, and a DIY feature with setup and maintenance tips for 12-string guitars. Our artist interviews this month include chats with Robert Pollard, Cancer Bats’ Scott Middleton, and Consider the Source’s Gabriel Marin. Other gear reviews include toys from MXR, Eastwood, Veillette, Tone Bakery, TC Electronic, T-Rex, Schertler, BC Audio, Red Witch, Outlaw, Electro-Harmonix, and Stone Deaf.