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 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.
This incredibly diverse issue includes features on famed U2 producer and pedal-steel guru Daniel Lanois, drone-metal duo Sunn O))), alt-surf outfit the Mattson 2, British metal newcomers In Search of Sun, studio legend John Siket, and a look at the first-annual Holy Grail Guitar Show in Germany. We also talk to acoustic badasses Daniel Bachman, Cian Nugent, Chuck Johnson, Tashi Dorji, and Adam Miller. To top it off, we spotlight intriguing new recording gear, and serve up four lessons from Brendon Small, Mike Stern, Greg Koch, and Shane Theriot. Our gear reviews this month include Schecter’s PT Fastback II B, the Park P45 head, Dunlop’s Clyde McCoy wah, the PRS SE Kingfisher bass, Electro-Harmonix’s 360 Nano Looper, the Yamaha LL16D ARE acoustic, Tech 21’s Fly Rig 5, Mission’s V-Boost pedal, ValveTrain’s Brandywine bass head, Kleissonic’s Tremulant, Flex Waves’ Flex EQ 7, Killer Guitar Components’ Killer Compensated Claw, and Shredneck’s Z-Series travel bass.