Premier Guitar October 2014: Our annual pedal issue never disappoints, and this year is no exception: Continuing our history of brilliant stompbox-adorned covers, we teamed with animator (and avid PG reader) John Achenbach from Twentieth Century Fox’s The Simpsons™ to bring you cover model Homer Simpson—who’s clearly experiencing tonal nirvana … or something. But who can blame him? Inside we’ve got 30 killer pedal reviews—everything from sweet delays like TC Electronic’s Alter Ego X4 and Death by Audio’s Ghost Delay, to crazy fuzzes by Electro-Harmonix and Daredevil, dirt boxes by Greer Amps and Stomp Under Foot, modulation stomps by Wampler and Carl Martin, and bass pedals by Malekko and Tech 21. Other pedal radness includes a DIY distortion-pedal project, and a captivating story by Tom “Analog Tom” Hughes on the history of delay devices. In this issue we also talk to Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and Fredrik Åkesson about the making of Pale Communion, Red Hot Chili Pepper Josh Klinghoffer and Clint Walsh about their Dot Hacker project, psych-rocker Ty Segall about his breakout Manipulator album, and jazz badass Joel Harrison about his latest.
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.
This year’s annual Pro Pedalboards issue features up-close-and-personal picks of the stomp stations used by Chris Robinson and Neal Casal, Prophets of Rage and RATM bassist Tim Commerford, Band of Skulls’ Emma Richardson and Russell Marsden, Teppei Teranishi and Dustin Kensrue of Thrice, Modest Mouse’s Jim Fairchild, Brad Whitford, Bloc Party’s Russell Lissack and Justin Harris, and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea and Josh Klinghoffer. (We also spotlight a handful of sweet-looking reader boards!) At the other end of the signal chain, we’ve got an insightful feature on the far-reaching history of the plectrum. Meanwhile, our artist interviews section this month includes chats with Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses and 50FootWave), Dean Ween, Harvey Mandel, Luke Temple, AZIZA’s Dave Holland and Lionel Loueke, and Oozing Wound’s Zack Weil and Kevin Cribbin. Our gear-review section includes in-depth looks at IK Multimedia’s Fender Collection 2, Rock Stock’s Skyline Reverb, the BAE Hot Fuzz, Amptweaker’s Bass TightMetal Jr., the Paul Reed Smith Sonzera 50 combo, Supro’s Westbury, G&L’s Kiloton 4-string, the DigiTech Whammy Ricochet, Bullhead Amplification’s Matador half-stack, Joe Gore’s Gross, the Epifani Piccolo 999, Daredevil Pedals’ Red Light District, and D’Angelico’s Premier SS.