That Just Happened caught up with Red Dragon Cartel guitarist Jake E Lee at Obscenic Arts Recording Studio in Pennsylvania where he’s been working on the band’s sophomore album, Patina.
In an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview, Lee dives into his “Guitar-senal,” which includes his signature Charvel guitar, and how his goal is to make music that he wants to hear and to “stir things up a bit.”
Watch the clip below …
Stone Sour guitarist Christian Martucci is currently out on the road in support of fresh album Hydrograd, which debuted at No. 8 on the US Billboard 200 and features hit track “Song # 3.” During one of his recent tour stops, Martucci allowed Charvel the unique opportunity of heading sidestage for a close look at his touring rig.
In the video from that visit (available below), Martucci shows off his road case, which just so happens to be loaded with Charvel guitars — from a Jake E Lee signature guitar to an array of customized USA Select guitars.
“I started playing guitar around 1985, and my favorite guitar players at the time and even still to this day were guys like Warren DeMartini and Jake E Lee so Charvel was like the goal,” says Martucci.
As well as explaining what drew him to the Charvel brand, Martucci also gives a quick rundown of the features of each guitar, shares info about his tuning setups and details how he uses each one live or in the studio.
Check out the clip below, and be sure to enter for the chance to win a USA Select guitar signed by Martucci here.
Charvel continues its long-held partnerships with Warren DeMartini and Jake E Lee with the upcoming release of brand-new signature models. The Warren DeMartini USA Signature Frenchie and the Jake E Lee USA Signature Blue Burst will be unveiled this week at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tenn., and available to consumers in October 2017.
Warren DeMartini USA Signature Frenchie
Fans have long clamored for a replica of Warren DeMartini’s famed and beloved “Frenchie” guitar, as seen live on tour and on a slew of magazine covers throughout Ratt’s reign in the 1980s. Charvel has responded with the Warren DeMartini USA Signature Frenchie, available in a Snow White and a Gloss Black finish. Both are detailed with cross decals and a tribute quote to James Dean in French that translates “too fast to live, too young to die.”
The Frenchie also offers premium features such as a Dinky™ alder body, one-piece bolt-on quartersawn maple neck and a 12″- 16″ compound radius maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo stainless steel frets and black dot inlays.
Custom-made for the legendary lead guitarist, the Seymour Duncan® Warren DeMartini RTM (“Rattus Tonus Maximus”) bridge pickup is a powerful high-output humbucker that naturally compresses for a well-balanced and even tone, perfect for complex chording and precision soloing. The RTM is boosted by an SSL-4 Quarter Pound neck pickup, adding fat, supercharged punch and extra sustain.
The Frenchie also features a single volume control knob, three-way toggle switching, a Floyd Rose Original locking bridge and Gotoh® tuning machines.
Jake E Lee USA Signature Blue Burst
Jake E Lee’s original Blue Burst guitar gained notoriety during his stint with Ozzy Osbourne, as he recorded and performed live with the famous instrument throughout the band’s pivotal Bark at the Moon and Ultimate Sin years. Charvel® has recreated an unmistakable replica of Lee’s original model down to the very last detail.
The Jake E Lee USA Signature Blue Burst features a poplar body, one-piece bolt-on quartersawn maple neck and a 12” radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and white dot inlays.
Equipped with a versatile customized Seymour Duncan® JB Alnico II humbucking bridge pickup, this model can handle a diverse range of tones from sweet and warm to aggressive and distorted. It’s also supercharged with two powerful single-coil DiMarzio® SDS-1 pickups in the middle and neck for extra gain with a deeper, darker tone. The pickups are controlled with a five-way blade switch and single volume knob.
Available in a mesmerizing Blue Burst, this signature axe also features a brass Charvel hardtail bridge and output jack plate, and black Gotoh® tuning machines.
Charvel is proud to welcome solo American guitarist and songwriter Angel Vivaldi to the artist family.
“Working with Charvel has been incredible,” he said. “It’s an honor to work with a historic company that has had such an impact on the guitar community. What we’re currently designing together is nothing short of breathtaking… this prototype is already seeing a lot of miles on it! Humbled and excited to enter into this new era of my career with Charvel.”
Fans can catch Vivaldi out on the road with Andy James this fall on THE WAVE OF SYNERGY TOUR. The duo will hit 22 cities, which will also include joint VIP guitar clinics, complete with Q&A sessions, meet and greets, tour memorabilia and more.
Fans can also expect to hear brand new material from Vivaldi’s upcoming album Synapse. Get the details and tour dates here.
Charvel signature artist Guthrie Govan is currently in the middle of a summer-long Hans Zimmer Live tour, but he found a few minutes for this quick chat about the gig and his newest signature models.
Q: Is it a true story that when Hans Zimmer first contacted you on Facebook you thought it was a joke?
A: Yeah, it might sound paranoid but my experience with Facebook – I’ve had a few episodes like that where people purport to me that which they are not so experience taught me to be suspicious and it just seemed so farfetched.
Q: How did you reply then?
A: I think it was something along the lines of, “Come on, we both know you are not Hans Zimmer. You are wasting my time and your time. You are not really Hans Zimmer so who are you and what do you really want?” And he replied, “no, no it really is Hans, the dodgy German composer. Here’s my phone number, please call me,” and I did.
It sounded authentic somehow, something about the second message and the persistence— like okay, he’s keeping up the charade, maybe it is really him.
Q: How did that call go when you rang him?
A: Very encouraging, very flattering because this is what Hans does. He stays up until 5 in the morning watching YouTube videos and looking for weird new musicians that he might want to work with and he found some clip of me playing fretless guitar and he liked the eccentricity of it. Originally he was looking for people playing fretless guitar because he wanted to reinvent the Thelma & Louise soundtrack and on the original recording it was played by Pete Haycock. Pete was very good friend of Hans and is no longer with us so it’s a very emotionally charged piece of music for Hans. So he went to all of this trouble to look for someone who could play slide guitar in a different way and then realized the piece of music was close to him that he didn’t want to do it in the set —he wasn’t ready and so we did a whole European tour last summer and only on the last gig of the tour did we play Thelma and Louise. I guess I didn’t screw up too badly because its back in the set every night now.
Q: How familiar were you with his work before getting the gig?
A: I don’t know if anyone is familiar with ALL of his catalog because he’s just such a prolific guy but yeah, I was fully aware of his work and what he does. The funny thing is—even people who don’t the name have been exposed to that music. You can’t really escape it, he’s such a big deal in the world of Hollywood scoring.
Q: Is there a certain song in the set that is your favorite?
A: Everything is fun in a different way. From a guitar’s perspective, where I have the most spotlight if anyone’s curious, is the Thelma and Louise piece. It’s just a six-minute guitar solo. And there’s some stuff in Crimson Tide and Angels and Demons that I enjoy.
It’s just an interesting gig because it’s like acting almost. You have to be a different musician for each song. If you listen to the original soundtrack, there’s not that much guitar going on. When Hans gives you the gig, he just says, “I’ve hired you because I believe in you. I trust your mind, and I trust your fingers so you’ll know what to do. I’m not going to micromanage you. Do what you think is right and if I disagree, don’t worry, you’ll know about it.” So it’s flattering and high pressure. I’ve found a mindset that work, which is I just have to imagine what type of guitar player would complement that song and then become that guitar player for its duration.
So, it’s a really good contrast. Before I started this tour I was going around India and Japan playing my solo stuff with a trio of local musicians. This is completely the opposite in every way. I think balance is a healthy thing. I’d be tearing up the furniture if I just had to do one thing for the whole of my musical life—variety helps to keep things fresh.
Q: What led you to guitar to begin with?
A: It kind of found me. I started playing when I was so very young. I don’t remember choosing a guitar but there was a guitar in the house. My dad knew about five chords. So it was just part of growing up — a matter of thinking “What’s that object I see every day in the living room, and I need to learn how to operate it.” Then I discovered you could use it to play Elvis songs and the rest wrote itself.
Q: What was it that brought you to Charvel?
A: I just had a good vibe the first time I met people from the company and I sensed they actually wanted to work, and cooperate and collaborate to make a guitar that is perfect for me. It felt like they would listen to all of my input, and we spent about two years just fine-tuning and tweaking. They probably did get tired of me but they didn’t say so, and I think there is a unique and versatile instrument that came out of all of that process.
There are other companies I could have worked with, but it would have been more like “Here’s our flagship heavy metal guitar, we can put your initials on the 12th fret – what kind of paint would you like on it?” That would never feel quite right. If I’m going to stick my name on the back of a headstock, it feels so much better to have input into everything.
The most painful part of the genesis of my signature guitar was the tremolo. We spent a lot of time attaching different arm attachments and stuff like that. I can remember being on tour with Stephen Wilson, the guys would send me a new bridge and metal working tools and I’d be there changing the size of the hole where the arm goes into the bridge plate and leaving a pile of iron filings on the carpet when I checked out of the hotel. It was a lot of back and forth, but we got there in the end. The thing that really cheers me up is occasionally I’ll see a YouTube video of a respected player who doesn’t do the kind of thing I do and they found this guitar and found something about it that works for them.
I was very happy when I heard John Mayer bought one. I was like, “Okay, you are not really the target audience for this guitar but you found merit in it – that’s great.” That’s the proud parent feeling.
Q: You’ve got two new models out now. Can you talk a bit about what you were going for with the Signature HSH Caramelized Ash and Signature HSH Flame Maple guitars?
A. Yes, the Caramelized Ash … I like an ash guitar – it has a different frequency response, and I have also always liked the neutrality of basswood with a little bit of maple on the top. I think you can get pretty close to the sound of a lot of different guitars with that wood because there’s no EQ bias anywhere with that wood combination. Ash has a bit more of a character and asserts itself in a bit more noticeable way. It just kind of works for me. When we did the last Aristocrats album I deliberately wrote all of my contributions using a bolt-on guitar with three single coil pickups, which will go nameless, because guitar tones will make you play differently and you get a different kind of inspiration when the voice of a guitar is sounding a certain way. I very much went down that, okay, I’ll say it, the Strat route, and I thought for playing that live, wouldn’t it be really cool to have the GG but with a little more of that single coil DNA? Also, I really like the new secret switch — it kind of makes the humbuckers sound like single coils without the hum you would normally associate with those.
Q: How many guitars do you have in your collection in total?
A: I don’t know. Not that many. More than 10, less than 20. In touring and flying around so much, it gets confusing and sometimes I have no choice but to leave a guitar in a certain destination and I’ll see it in a year when I come back. My Charvel signature model in the Britannica Red – it’s currently in one of the Charvel offices. I’ve got a couple of these guitars stationed in unfeasible parts of the world right now.
Q: Are you one of those guys who will play guitar incessantly?
A: Not really. I like the idea of walking on stage and picking up a guitar and being pleased to see it. If I’m recording, yes, a lot of playing and your fingertips feel the difference and you are changing strings twice a day. Day to day life, sometimes I’ll take the guitar in the hotel room on a day off, sometimes I don’t. I’m always thinking about music. A lot of the practice I do now is just listening to musically actively or thinking about music and imagining how something would sound, and the actual guitar playing aspect of it is just motor skills. As long as you do some playing every day, you remain gig fit. I’ve never been one of those people to warm up for 8 hours before a show. Sometimes I’ll just walk on stage, plug in the ear-monitors and go.
Back in April, New York-based guitar dealer the Music Zoo held a special event with RATT’s lead guitarist Warren DeMartini that is now available to the masses via new online videos.
The session was hosted by Guitar World’s Andy Aledort, and finds DeMartini in his element as he shares personal accounts of his successful career and details about his signature Charvel models. In between reminiscing and fielding questions from the fans, DeMartini also entertains the audience with jaw-dropping demos.
Watch the footage below, and see DeMartini live on RATT’s summer tour. Dates here.
Andreas Kisser has kept himself very busy lately — supporting Sepultura’s recent tour and enjoying the long-awaited world premiere of their documentary, while also dedicating time to his supergroup side project De La Tierra.
De La Tierra released sophomore album II last November, with lead track “Puro” debuting just days before the record dropped. Just last week, the band returned with a powerful new video treatment for the single that reinforces its “always darkest before the dawn” theme. In the clip, members of the group are tortured while in captivity, but their perseverance during eventually leads to freedom.
Watch the video now, and see Kisser on his one-of-a-kind custom Charvel San Dimas.
Recently reunited RATT members Warren DeMartini, Juan Croucier and Stephen Pearcy caught up with radio station 98.9 The Rock during their appearance at Rockfest in Kansas City last week.
The original trio’s interview with station’s DJ Nivens included talk of their desire to head back to the studio to record a new album. While Croucier was reluctant to over-promise, lead singer Pearcy was more straightforward.
“I would love to get that done, actually. I would,” he said.
Earlier in the year, Pearcy told journalist Mitch Lafon about their plans to follow up last record Infestation.
“We want it to be brilliant, and we’re gonna take the time and effort to do it,” he explained. “We just don’t wanna go out there and … I mean, of course, we’re gonna go out there and play the hits and do what we do, but at the end of the year, we wanna start on the record.”
While fans will have wait for a future new album, they can at least catch the band live this summer on the following dates. Also, check out some great footage captured by Decibel Geek TV below of RATT’s recent performance at the Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, Okla.
Adrenaline Mob released new album We the People on Friday, June 2, and new single “Lords of Thunder” can be heard below.
Main members Mike Orlando (guitar) and Russell Allen (vocals) focused their writing efforts on the band’s third studio album on recent political events and their sentiments towards the current climate.
The heavy and melodic track “Lords of Thunder” reinforces that polarizing theme with the following lyrics mixed in between impressive soloing from Orlando.
You can die today or you can join with me
So let your voice be heard and tell us where you stand
We value the word of each and every man
Listen to the track now, and also watch the official video for We the People’s opening track “King of the Ring” below. The band is also about to head out on the road this summer. View tour dates here.
Stone Sour’s new single “Song #3″ recently cracked the Top 25 on Billboard‘s Rock Airplay chart, and now comes an accompanying music video.
Directed by Ryan Valdez, the clip begins with lead singer Corey Taylor walking onto a movie set. After donning a Wayne’s World looking long blond wig, Taylor hops onstage with his Stone Sour bandmates, who are all dressed in white. Several more wardrobe changes occur throughout the performance of the soaring track, which will appear on their upcoming June 30th seventh studio album Hydrograd.
Check out the video below …
Metalcore heavy hitters Miss May I have dropped another new official music video, this time for the title track of their upcoming June 2nd album, Shadows Inside.
Along with multiple shots of hands reaching towards an evil looking mask, the footage primarily features live performance by the band and is often dark and jarring.
“Not only does this song open up our new record, it also sets the tone for the record,” explains singer Levi Benton. “This album is all about changes throughout life, good and bad. It’s about the past that lives within everyone; their ‘Shadows Inside.’ The lyrics talk about how great new things can give light to your past and put you in a better place.
“We have quite a few videos and we’re always trying to change things up. With this video for ‘Shadows Inside’ we not only wanted to recreate the cover of the record in real life, but we also wanted the performance to be abstract. We had black lights and used old lens effects from the ’90s to achieve a very classic look and something totally different for us.”
Watch the clip below and pre-order the new album here.
Glam metal femme fatales Vixen are gearing up for a new album that will be released later this year.
The band reunited over three years ago, and fans have been anxiously awaiting their comeback studio album since last release Live and Learn in 2006. Rockpages.gr recently shared a statement from bassist Share Ross’ interview with 98.7 The Gater of Palm Beach about their progress on the new material.
“We’ve been working on stuff, which is challenging, ’cause we all live really far apart from each other,” said Ross. “But we are getting stuff recorded and getting it done, so hopefully this year we’ll finish that up. We started off trying to [work on new music separately], and we just got really frustrated, so we all just fly to where the drummer lives, in Detroit, [which is] way better.”
Ross also shared that the album will be dedicated to founding member and lead guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, who lost her battle with cancer in October 2013.
The current lineup also consists of original members Roxy Petrucci on drums and lead singer Janet Gardner, as well as Charvel artist Brittany Denaro on guitar.
Stay tuned for more album news throughout the year, and catch Vixen in a handful of live appearances this summer. Dates here.
In the meantime, get your Vixen fix below with fan-filmed footage from the M3 Festival in Columbia, Md.
Pennsylvania-based rock band CKY are making a return to music this summer with The Phoenix—their first album of all new material since 2009′s Carver City. Although not due out until June 16, their diehard fanbase can get a feel for what’s in store with the release of new single “Days of Self Destruction,” and its accompanying music video.
Guitarist and vocalist Chad I Ginsburg (Cig) has since stepped up as the frontman of the trio, which also features CKY co-founder and drummer Jess Margera and bassist Matt Deis (ex-All That Remains).
“It’s where things could have ended up,” Ginsburg told AP, referring to the averted demise of the band. “I definitely was writing a lot of this record from that place. Like a phoenix, it burns itself alive and is reborn from its own ashes. ‘Days Of Self Destruction’ is basically about the dangers of not learning from your mistakes.”
The new single also features a guest spot from Mastodon’s Brent Hinds.
“He rules,” Ginsburg said of Hinds. “He just shreds like crazy.”
The video gets off to a quirky start with a colorful parrot announcing the band before seeing behind the scenes footage of the band rehearsing and recording the album at David Catching’s Rancho De La Luna recording studion in Joshua Tree, California.
Check out the clip below featuring Cig on his modded Pro-Mod So-Cal.
The wait is finally over! Stone Sour have returned with a new music video for “Fabuless,” the first single off upcoming album Hydrograd.
Directed by Paul Brown, the video begins with the band preparing to hit the stage and then segues into a live performance as the song kicks into overdrive. The camera focuses in on each band member, zeroing in on gear that includes a nice shot of Christian Martucci’s Charvel Custom Shop San Dimas Style 1 in Satin Plum, featuring a single humbucking pickup and vintage-style tremolo. As the video continues, the crowd is revealed to include inflatable sky dancers that eventually trade places with the Stone Sour crew.
In addition to the new video, lead singer Corey Taylor recently told BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show more about the album’s direction.
“This album is great because it’s got elements of everything,” he said. “It’s got the heavy energy of the ’80s, there’s punk moments, there’s hard rock moments, all the great amalgam of music. There’s even jazz and hip-hop moments. It’s really, really cool. It’s probably the coolest album I’ve made since the first Slipknot album, let’s put it that way. It’s dope, dude. And, hey, I feel very confident making that statement, because it’s so good.”
Stay tuned for more details as Hydrograd’s June 30 release date draws near, and check out the band’s summer tour dates supporting Korn here.
Watch “Fabuless” now below …
Ohio’s metalcore band Miss May I went all out for an extreme video for new single “Lost in the Grey,” which will appear on the band’s upcoming album Shadows Inside, due out June 2.
“The shoot involved an entire forest landscape set, live action volatile weather elements and rodents in mouths,” shared singer Levi Benton with Loud Wire. “We have never had a video like this before. The vibe for the song is really captured well and sets a great image not only for the song, but the record as a whole. Shadows Inside is the most honest record we have ever created and a big part of that was just having the freedom and time to put everything we had into it.”
Benton also explained why “Lost in the Grey” was the perfect choice for the lead single.
“This is a great first track to release to the mass as it represents the effort it takes to get out of the complacent and stale life people live,” he said. “The song is about finding that hope and drive to push you to a new and better life. The lion has always represented hope and ambition and now with this video it’s physical and represented as a mask that one needs to show them there is a better life for everyone, if you push for it.”
Shadows Inside can be pre-ordered here, and look for Miss May I hitting the road in support of the album beginning in May.
Check out the video below, featuring guitarist Justin Aufdemkampe on his custom Charvel axe.