Interviews

Josh Smith talks new studio

Josh Smith talks new studio

WHEN JOSH Smith bought his house near Reseda north of Los Angeles two years ago there was a plan in place that would see through the fulfillment of a life-long dream. The 1,100 square foot home had a detached garage in back that is currently just three weeks work away from becoming a 1,000 square foot recording studio. Smith has scratched and saved extra cash from gigs and session work to make his dream a reality.  more...
Visual Sound’s Bob Weil: Can You See It?

Visual Sound’s Bob Weil: Can You See It?

Seeing is believing. Bob Weil founded Visual Sound on that simple notion. Looking for a better solution to the existing volume pedals on the market, Weil employed a light meter that would show guitarists how much oomph was passing through the pedal. Things were good... then things got bad. Out of money on the cusp of the release of the company’s flagship Jekyll and Hyde distortion/overdrive pedal, Visual Sound filed for bankruptcy. Weil, accepting but not happy about the defeat, started his search for another job. Not long into the process, an unexpected phone call from overseas changed the game and brought Visual Sound roaring back to life.  more...
Reb Beach: Better Days Here

Reb Beach: Better Days Here

IN THE 25 years since Winger released their self-titled debut album, everything and nothing has changed for guitarist Reb Beach. He still makes music with the band’s original members, vocalist/bassist Kip Winger and drummer Rod Morgenstein, now joined by guitarist John Roth. He still uses the same Suhr guitar and Marshall amp that he purchased over 20 years ago. He is still, in his words, “an ’80s rock guitarist,” and an in-demand one at that, always busy recording and performing with his bandmates, as a member of Whitesnake, and with his own group, The Reb Beach Project.  more...
Mojo Hand FX profile – Mojo Risin’

Mojo Hand FX profile – Mojo Risin’

IT WAS NO sure thing in 2012, when Brad Fee took on his Mojo Hand brand of effects pedals as a full time gig. He had just sold out his portion of popular boutique effects retailer Tone Factor and knew he had a tough road ahead to grow the small brand into a daily breadwinner for himself, his family and staff. The seeds of Mojo Hand can be traced back to around 2006 and the beginnings of the Tone Factor Custom Shop.  more...
Rich Robinson …After The Flood

Rich Robinson …After The Flood

WHEN IT CAME time to record his third solo record, Rich Robinson had lost his father and a treasure trove of near-priceless gear, but not the passion for music or the fire of creativity. He walked into Applehead Recording near Woodstock, New York about as unprepared as ever at the beginning of a new project, but with the assistance of drummer Joe Magistro and keyboard wizard Marco Benevento, the month-long process yielded The Ceaseless Sight - a 12-track slice of bluesy Americana drenched in shimmering rhythms and deft fretboard work. It’s his most mature and complete album to date.  more...
Collings Guitars… Made To Order

Collings Guitars… Made To Order

WE ROLLED into the Collings Guitars complex west of Austin, Texas, on Highway 290 the morning of ‘Salsa Day’. It was the day when employees would bring in their own secret recipe salsa for judging by their peers and company management and, we suppose, ultimately reign as the guitar maker’s Salsa Champion, at least for 2014. Regrettably, we were not asked to judge.  more...
The Summer of 65

The Summer of 65

DAN BOUL got his first tube amp in 1978. It was a ‘71 Marshall 2x12 combo. He immediately took it apart in an attempt to decipher what made it tick. He met guitarist and long-time friend Peter Stroud in Atlanta in 1987. Both worked at music store there and would buy amps that came in on trade. It was this process that allowed the pair to cut their teeth on amp design. Later, when Stroud needed an amp to take on the road with Sheryl Crow, the duo sat down and designed the ‘London’, an amp based on a pair of favored low-watt combos from the past.  more...
Morgan is batting 1.000

Morgan is batting 1.000

WHAT STARTS out a hobby... soon becomes a business. This evolution happens a lot with the entrepreneurial-minded craftsman, and is a very common tale in the boutique musical instrument business. Now, taking the giant leap from the guest room to the board room rarely happens, but graduating from the garage to the office park is a much more traditional progression... and that’s where California-based amp builder Joe Morgan finds himself today.  more...