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.
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.
Premier Guitar July 2015: Our cover-story this month is a heartfelt tribute to the late blues legend B.B. King, who passed away just as we were going to press (don’t miss the accompanying, never-before-heard interview on premierguitar.com). We’ve also got brand-new interviews with an incredibly diverse set of artists, including the Word’s Robert Randolph and Luther Dickinson, Torres, My Morning Jacket, Bumblefoot, David Torn, Dwight Yoakam, and fingerstylist James Blackshaw. Our 16 in-depth gear reviews this month include not one but tworoundups—three small-bodied acoustics from Taylor, Martin, and Larrivée, and four 1×12 bass combos from Hartke, Ampeg, Fender, and Ashdown—as well as a look at Fender’s new American Standard Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker, the Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII, pedals from Gurus, Seymour Duncan, and Wren and Cuff, and more.