Artists

Charlie Hunter refines his art

Charlie Hunter refines his art

GUITARISTS THAT play bass is not a new development. The same can be said for bassists that play guitar. A number of bands rotate instruments among players either out of necessity or a desire for new directions in sound or improvisation. But how about playing both instruments at once? When Charlie Hunter showed up on the scene in the early 1990s, the idea of playing guitar and bass on the same stringed instrument was a fairly fresh approach.  more...
Mark Tremonti is a busy guy

Mark Tremonti is a busy guy

EVER THE workaholic, Mark Tremonti is releasing two new Tremonti albums this year, separate projects showcasing twenty songs. The first disc, Cauterize, will be available on June 9 via his Fret12 Records label. Dust will follow later. Both albums feature Mark Tremonti on vocals and guitars, Eric Friedman on guitars, Wolfgang Van Halen on bass and Garrett Whitlock on drums, and follow the Tremonti project’s 2012 debut, All I Was.  more...
Cancer Bats’ Scott Middleton loves his boutique gear

Cancer Bats’ Scott Middleton loves his boutique gear

CANCER BATS guitarist Scott Middleton likes to go into a new album project with at least one new piece of gear, usually a guitar or pedal, as a point of inspiration in the creative process. Perhaps it has been this prerequisite that has led the Canadian axe man to explore the boutique end of the industry a bit more than the stereotypical heavy rock player. He sees a lot of his band in some of these smaller builders -- grassroots projects, independent and making art... where every sale means something.  more...
Faith No More’s Jon Hudson talks gear, new album

Faith No More’s Jon Hudson talks gear, new album

Faith No More guitarist Jon Hudson is more about foundation than flash... more structure than strut. He has been the guitarist in the Bay Area-based quintet for almost 20 years, yet due to a decade’s long hiatus and the timing of his tenure, he has only appeared on one of the band’s albums -- 1997’s Album Of The Year. Later this year, he will appear on his second. Sol Invictus, due out in late spring, will set the stage for a new tour, which is currently set to roll across the West and East Coasts of the United States starting in April and carrying across the pond to Europe at the beginning of summer.  more...
Forty years and counting for Kansas’ Rich Williams

Forty years and counting for Kansas’ Rich Williams

FOUR DECADES, eight gold albums, three multi-platinum studio albums, a platinum live album, a million-selling single, total record sales in excess of 15 million, sold-out concerts worldwide, and Kansas’ lead guitarist Richard Williams is practicing. All day. He and his bandmates — drummer Phil Ehart, bassist/vocalist Billy Greer, keyboardist David Manion, vocalist/keyboardist Ronnie Platt, violinist/guitarist David Ragsdale — are traveling to Mexico tomorrow for two performances, and Williams is determined to be prepared.  more...
The Incomparable Greg Howe

The Incomparable Greg Howe

“VIRTUOSO,” “guitar hero,” “guitar legend,” and of course “shredder” — they’re all tags and titles attached to Greg Howe’s name, and while each may be apt, they neither define nor determine his musical trajectory. Howe has been recording and touring nationally since 1988, when Shrapnel Records released his self-titled debut album. The disc introduced him as part of a group of innovative guitarists who raised the bar on technique, but Howe soon broke away from the niche by venturing into the worlds of jazz fusion, production, session work, and tours with rock and pop artists.  more...
Buzz talks road rig

Buzz talks road rig

THE MELVINS’ Buzz Osborne spent much of 2014 on the road — first on a 90-plus show acoustic tour in support of This Machine Kills Artist, an album recorded mostly on his red white and blue Buck Owens American acoustic, then out for a stretch in autunm with the his bandmates bringing the new Melvins record, Hold It In, to the masses. The latest Melvins effort finds Buzz and Dale Crover (drums) teamed up with Butthole Surfers veterans Paul Leary and JD Pinkus on a 12-cut slab of crunch that also showcases a more jangly, pop influence in spots.  more...
The Vintage Modern Stylings of TK Smith

The Vintage Modern Stylings of TK Smith

STANDING over his circa 1912 Valley dual-wheeled buffer, with its assuming cast iron construction more akin to a ship’s anchor than any of its poten- tial modern counterparts, a wry smile creeps across the face of luthier TK Smith. He can run the venerable machine for hours on end and the motor never even gets warm. It is the epitome of the classic idiom -- the just don’t build them like that anymore. Smith and that buffer have a lot in common. He has dedicated years to the study and creation of exquisite, high-end guitars in the vein of classic guitar builder and inventor Paul Bigsby because, among other reasons, they just don’t build them like that anymore... and he’s just getting warmed up.  more...