In addition to talking to Gene Baker about his involvement with the boutique consortium of designers at Premier Builders Guild, we go back in time to look at the rise of B.C. Rich-one of the most iconic guitar brands of the 1980s. Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and John Myung talk about thriving after the apocalypse of founding drummer Mike Portnoy’s departure and their subsequent epic, A Dramatic Turn of Events. We also interview Primus’ bass-and-guitar freak show-Les Claypool and Ler LaLonde-to find out how friendship and new tone toys resurrected the most bizarre power trio of the last 25 years. And then we talk to mind-boggling classical guitarist Matt Palmer about his evolution from learning Yngwie tunes to redefining classical guitar with an incredible new nylon-string picking technique. We also take you way outside the box with Avant Guitar 101: Alternate Attacks-a how-to feature that explores the unorthodox playing approaches of iconic experimentalists Keith Rowe and Fred Frith. In the gear-review room this month, we take a look at the new Line 6 POD HD, the Collings 290 DC, the Dingwall Z3 bass, the Blackstar HT-5R, the Amptweaker TightMetal, the Yamaha A3M acoustic, the DV Mark DV40 212, the MXR M87 Bass Compressor, the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18, and the Gretsch G6128T-GH George Harrison Signature Duo Jet.
Premier Guitar September 2011: In this issue, we take you to two of the year’s biggest gear shows-Summer NAMM in Nashville and the Montreal Guitar Show. At the former, we saw the latest guitars, basses, amps, and effects from both big companies and smaller outfits, while the Montreal gathering found us talking to some of the most prestigious and forward-thinking acoustic and electric luthiers in the world. We’ve also got features on Def Leppard’s Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell, Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, and UK bluesman Matt Schofield. Gear reviews this issue include Kendrick Amplifiers V-Front 212, Vigier Guitars G.V. Wood, Jack Deville Electronics Mod Zero, Ampeg Portaflex PF-350 head and PF-210HE cabinet, Breedlove Guitars Focus SE Custom Walnut, Electro-Harmonix Stereo Talking Machine, Richmond Guitars Empire Mahogany, Crimsontone SE Mini Amp, ToneNation Heartland Standard, Peavey Void 4 PXD.
Our annual “Pedal Issue” is one for the record books-literally: At 272 pages, it has been verified by Inquiry Management Systems, an independent publishing research firm, as the largest single issue of a US guitar magazine ever. It’s also the first PG ever to have four randomly distributed covers, each featuring a fully functional custom pedal with the issue’s cover lines printed directly on its face. (The pedals are a JAM Pedals RetroVibe, a DigiTech Whammy, a Diamond Pedals Halo Chorus, and an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, and you can enter to win them at premierguitar.com Oct. 19 through Nov. 16.) Inside, the issue is packed with 30+ stompbox reviews, three features-on Rolling Stone Ron Wood, Iron Maiden, and Zakk Wylde-a profile on “5 Boutique Stompbox Builders You Should Know,” a profile on Electro-Harmonix founder Mike Matthews, a wrap-up of Experience PRS 2010, and reviews of three guitars and two amps.