Archive for 2015 | Yearly archive page

Namm Is Coming!!!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Starting to get excited for the Namm show. Any juicy rumors catching your ear?

I’m gonna jam out some new videos in the coming weeks (hopefully days). Working on setting some interviews, and working on launching a podcast as well. The podcast is going to revolve around all things music. Be it gear, tone, production, song arrangement you name it.

Thanks for checkin in!!!NAMM-Show-2016

Check Out The MOTÖRHEAD Warpig Watch Get One!!

Monday, May 18th, 2015

So you’re showing all your buddies your new iWatch that won’t work properly because you have tattoos on your wrist. Guess what’s there to give you the time with a huge dose of badd assery??? The MOTÖRHEAD Warpig Watch.

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The MOTÖRHEAD Warpig (Grey) Vannen watch is now available. This watch features a classic matte black finish, with index markings and the MOTÖRHEAD logo printed in white on the inside surface of the crystal.

The durable stainless steel back casing of the watch is also engraved with “Born To Lose / Live To Run”, and a spade is engraved on the watch’s crown.

Each of special edition “Warpig” (Grey) Watch come packaged in a custom embossed sleeve with an exclusive MOTÖRHEAD sticker.

Water resistant up to 10 meters / 30 feet. Comes with a limited 90-day warranty.

Specs:

* Wrist: Med-Large. 8.5 inches Max
* Crystal: Plastic, Flat w/ White Art
* Movement: 3-Hand Japanese Quartz
* Buckle & Loop: Plastic, Matte Black
* Dial: 34.8mm, Matte Black w/ Dark Grey Art
* Hands: Metal, Glossy Black
* Case: 43mm, Plastic, Matte Black
* Straps: 22mm Wide, Plastic, Matte Black

And this sucker is only gonna pull $59.99 out cha wallet. Unlike yer chick. This watch is gonna look back up at you no matter what like “yer a bad mother trucker” So don’t waste another minute trying to make your smart watch do something it can never do. Look bad ass!! Get over HERE and pick yourself up one!!

motorheadwatch2

Stone Temple Pilots On Possible Reunion with Scott Weiland. “That F**king Mess?”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

If you’ve ever dealt with a singer that was a problem you know how debilitating it can be for a band. If you’ve never had the experience it’s difficult to explain. It can kinda go like this. One person thinks they’re so valuable that the band can’t go on without them. It can be any band member really, but where a band will more willingly can another member, the vocalist is always the last to go. Especially in a well known band with a distinct sound like STP. But eventually once you’ve had your fill and pull the trigger to move on, if you’re lucky enough to land someone that is talented and level headed the thought of moving back is impossible. In a story viewed on blabbermouth.net STP guitarist Dean DeLeo was asked about reuniting with Weiland.

According to The Pulse Of Radio, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS guitarist Dean DeLeo was asked in a new interview with Yahoo! Music to compare current vocalist Chester Bennington with former frontman Scott Weiland. DeLeo replied, “There’s no comparison. It’s like talking about the strength of a two-year-old baby compared to a professional body builder. I’ll tell you this man, Robert [DeLeo, bass], Eric [Kretz, drums] and I are really fortunate. We’re having the time of our lives right now. We really feel like this has been a rebirth.”

As for a possible reunion with Weiland somewhere down the road, DeLeo said, “Why the fuck would we want that? That fucking mess? I just told you earlier we’re on a rebirth now. We’re with a guy that pushes us. We’re with a guy that is 1000% present. I’ve waited almost my entire career for this.”

STP dismissed Weiland in February 2013, claiming that his erratic behavior held back the band’s career. The two parties exchanged lawsuits which have since been settled.

“[Robert, Eric and I] never had trouble,” DeLeo said. “Our trouble was Scott. Scott’s troubles were our troubles.”

STP recruited Bennington that spring and have so far cut one EP, “High Rise”, with the LINKIN PARK singer. A new album is due out later this year.

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS are just wrapping a tour now but have announced new fall dates, starting on September 15 in Cleveland.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/stone-temple-pilots-guitarist-on-possible-reunion-with-scott-weiland-why-the-fk-would-we-want-that/#IYbXdjB1m7KCUFr8.99

Did you miss me? Looky what I got coming.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

612A6608Hello all,

A lot has happened post Namm and please forgive me for dropping off the radar. I’ve been emailing manufacturers trying to get more gear in to demo. I’ve also been recording like a mad man trying to get some material licensed. But I have some cool stuff coming up.

First of all, working on getting some new amps in to review. There is a lot of killer stuff out there. Right now the one I am most interested in the is the 5150III S or Stealth. If you remember I had a 50 watt in the studio for a while and it produced some killer tones. I would like to have some time with a stealth and give it a proper review.

Ogre had some killer stuff. I’m hoping to get some of their effects in the studio to try out.

I have a box full of Hughes & Kettner tube loaded pedals I’m going to do a video on. I didn’t know these existed but my buddy had them all and sent them to my studio. I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet but it’s going to be cool.

Old Peavey Rockmaster. I have one of those preamps in my possession and man, loaded with new tubes running into my VHT 2/50/2 is bad ass. I freaking love it!! So video to come on that.

I’m going to do a video about my isolation box I use for recording and demoing heads. I get a ton of questions about that thing so I think it will make for a good video and write up.

Also I picked up an Ibanez RG7620 that’s seen way better days. This one we’re going to tear down and try to swirl it ourselves. I think I may pickup a 3rd party disappearing pyramid neck for this one too. Maple fret board of course!! I’ve been watching a ton of videos and reading a bunch of articles so hopefully this will turn out killer!!

Anyway, here are just a few things to keep me busy over the next couple of weeks. If you have a piece of equipment you want demo’d shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to contact the company and see if I can get a demo unit.

Later zombies!!!

Guitar Center LayOffs A Musicians Perspective

Friday, February 6th, 2015

I wanted to take a minute and write an article about all the press that Guitar Center has been receiving in regards to layoffs of high level executives. Initially posted at Geargods.net was an email sent to all employees at the corporate and field-supervision level detailing the situation GC is in. It’s been no secret that GC is in trouble. They have been going through executives, some stores are actually becoming union stores, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating them, as well as unfair labor practices. The list goes on and on. Just after the Namm show, CEO Darrell Webb who has also held executive and board positions at companies like The Sports Authority, Jo-ann Fabric and several others sent this email to the aforementioned employees….

After a comprehensive evaluation of our staffing levels, including a detailed benchmarking of staffing levels by function and department compared to similar size specialty retailers, Guitar Center’s leadership team made the difficult decision to reduce corporate and field supervision staff. The reduction included less than one percent of the overall workforce and consisted of reductions at the corporate offices in Westlake Village and field management positions. This action was designed to create a more effective and efficient organization and was based on functional area. Despite this reduction, we continue to actively recruit for a variety of positions in Westlake Village that are matched with the needs of our ongoing growth plans.

Guitar Center thanks these individuals for their dedicated service and we all wish them the best in their future endeavors.
There are no plans to reduce staff at our 260+ stores. Our customer base is strong and for them business will continue as usual. Our store opening and remodeling program continues, as does our ongoing dedication to the opportunities we offer musicians — unparalleled inventory and selection, clinics, lessons, repairs, our nationwide searches and competitions and unmatched service every day. In spite of how difficult these decisions were to make, and the challenges that these reductions present to some of our dedicated associates, this restructuring was made to put us in a more positive position to serve our customers and vendors.

Now I don’t want to go into the corporate issues deep in the belly of Guitar Center. But I would like to discuss part of why they’re financially in trouble. As big box stores go Guitar Center has been able to stick around longer than many huge names with broader appeal. Think Circuit City and Montgomery Wards for example. Selling gear is a huge business, if you’re reading this you probably have some gear close to you. But where Guitar Center fails on a MASSIVE scale is they don’t understand music, musicians what people need/want to have. Honestly, GC your stores suck. You know who loves them?? My kids. And that is what these stores are geared for. People that don’t really take music seriously. It caters to the school kid wanting his first guitar, or the 40 year old man that really wanted a kick ass Stratocaster or Les Paul when he was younger and couldn’t afford it until adulthood. What they don’t cater to is the serious musician. Guitar Center needs someone to steer this ship in the direction of its customers and that’s all customers.

My amount of travel has picked up a lot of the last few years. I’m trying to grow this blog into something I can do forever and maybe even make a living at. I attend the Namm shows and interview gear manufacturers, I make demo videos of equipment and while doing all this, I visit music stores. A lot of those are Guitar Centers when I can’t find anything else.

My actual market is a small one. Guitar Center is fairly new to us maybe 7 years or so. Before that a good friend of mine and I used to take weekend trips up to Minneapolis to hit Guitar Center and what was a much better chain Mars Music. I still miss Mars Music as it was the super-mega center for musicians built by former Office Depot CEO Mark Begelman. . Giant stage in the middle, INCREDIBLE selection of gear. Whatever you needed. It was geared for musicians. Unfortunately, due to rapid expansion, lack of capital, huge stores and a recession they were unable to keep the franchise above water closing all stores in 2002. Which I’m sure plays into the Guitar Center format. But here’s the real problem with GC.

Go into a Guitar Center and pick a guitar off the wall. Is it set up? Are you holding a $1500 Strat that plays terrible? Ask one of the employees a real question. Can they answer it? Can they even come close? Go in and look for accessories do they have what you need? Go into pro audio and ask a question period.
Guitar Center staffs their stores with people that are wet behind the ears musicians. Not in 100% of the cases but largely you will be talking to a kid that couldn’t tell you squat about anything in the store. They’re programmed to cram their promotions down your throat like String Club…. “Hey Bro, have you heard of our string club”??? No, because I don’t buy strings here. I just had to buy 2 separate sets in an emergency to cover my 7 string because you guys have no string options…. “Ohh well I could tell you about it if you want”…… As a drummer it’s just as bad.

They’re missing out on the used market even as they have knocked out a lot of second hand music stores. While they have a small section of used generally they’ve taken no time to make sure those instruments are playable. So what you’re stuck with is a tiny section of a wall with uninteresting used pieces. If amps are your thing forget about it.

My store pretty much has 1 head. The Peavey 6505. Don’t get me wrong, I personally love that head but that’s about it. Plenty of small combos, plenty of guitars on the bottom end of the spectrum. And a wall of Strats. If you’re an Ibanez fan like myself your selection will be generally in the $499 and below range, extended range instruments are not really stocked. The bottom of the line 7 and 8 string models will be there but nothing someone that actually plays will want. But what’s really shocking is that it’s not just the one in my market. Over Namm I stayed near the store in Orange and it was the same thing. No selection. I honestly would buy a lot (A LOT) more gear from Guitar Center if I could touch it. Or if I could ask a question and get a real answer about it from a knowledgeable person in their field.

They don’t want to pay for talent in the stores they kind of want to be the fast food of music retail. But to be honest being a musician is a personal experience. The music retail can survive but that path must be examined. When my kids go into a music store and they have that magic look in their eyes, to them it’s a dream. The excitement of being around all that cool stuff is what tattoos the thought of being a rock star on their brain. But if they start to truly play the $399 Ibanez is probably not going to be what they want to play. Maybe they want to play and Orange or a Bogner or an Engl. And when the minimum wage kid tries to fill them full of nonsense about the gear, well that’s only going to work as long as they’re naïve.
I didn’t mean for this article to be this long but retail is just another part of how screwed music is in general right now. No if you’ll excuse me I need to order some new pickups for an old Ibanez RG I picked up. I need to order them because I can’t get them locally, and I need to order strings to cuz well… Same thing. Till next time, keep your head up and keep working those strings , sticks or keys!!

GearZombiee

Line 6 Variax Standard Guitar and Firehawk FX Demo

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Here is the demo presentation that was put on by Line 6 covering the new Variax Standard Guitar and the Firehawk FX.

Scott Dixon Cases Demo

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Here is a great interview with John from Scott Dixon guitars at Namm 2015.

Jason Becker Carvin Guitars Kiesel Guitars Namm 2015

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Ken Susi ESP Guitars: (Unearth) Signature LTD KS-7

Monday, January 5th, 2015

ESP Guitars has a Ken Susi Signature model and it looks bad ass if for no other reason it comes loaded with an EverTune bridge.  I actually got to meet Ken at Namm last year (2014) and he’s a super cool dude to.  Congrats to him getting his own signature ESP.  Certainly deserves it just out of chops alone. 

The guitar looks super cool it’s a Neck-thru 25.5″ scale seven string with a Mahogany body, quilted maple top, maple neck and ebony fingerboard. For pickups it’s loaded with EMG 85-7H Chrome in the neck and the EMG 91-7h Chrome in the Bridge.

If you’re not familiar, check out the video that ESP released.  And Ken has a bunch of stuff all over youtube so google the dude he’s a champ.

Ibanez Announces Guitar Lineup Namm 2015

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

For Gearzombiee Namm is the event.  Like the superbowl of gear.  As a guitar player and an Ibanez fanboy it’s the first booth I want to hit when I get there, and then I hit it again like 30 times more over the next couple days.  The second booth??  Well since i’m a drummer also it’s the Tama booth, normally located right next to Ibanez.  So Hoshino is my day 1 Namm warm up.  So the musicradar.com post announcing the lineup for this years Namm show tickled me more than normal for one reason.  The Ibanez Jem 77P.

I have always wanted a blue floral but finding the original in any kind of shape has been tough.  And if you do find a decent one it’s the price of a nice used car!  If the musicradar.com post is correct it’s going to be a Jem Premium so the price wont be terrible.  And if you’ve played any of the premiums you know that they’re decent guitars.  Are they full blow Jem quality??  No.  Will you care???  No.  I think for the most part they’re killer guitars and for me a Jem while a beautiful guitar, the price to quality ratio isn’t there for me personally.

Musicradar posted 27 items in total, one of them being a mini tube screamer which was kinda cool.  But below are the guitars that grabbed my attention, please go to musicradar.com to check out the full listing!