Author Archive

Matt Halpern Mapex MyDentity Drums

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Have you heard of Matt Halpern?? If not, leave my website and go to google now!!! Dude is the drummer for the progressive metal band Periphery. I was fortunate enough to work on some stuff with those guys when I was freelancing for the magazine. During that time one of the most apparent things was that Matt was the real deal.

In prog music there are a lot of great drummers. But, IMO many of them tend to be mechanical. I don’t know that I would call that a bad thing but lets just say it’s something that I pick up on. In all reality a lot of prog music is rooted in mechanics be it odd meters or blazing speed, or blazing speed in odd meters!! For some making music that complex and unnatural sound natural is a more difficult than just mechanically learning the tunes.

But when I first saw Matt this dude was touring with the Goodwill drum kit. Busted up cymbals and hardware, drums looked like they had been on tour without cases since the 80’s but you didn’t notice once he played. He’s still pretty much a minimalist with his set up but does 10x’s more than most drummers using 10x’s more. And he does it with buckets of feel. Don’t take that as my saying he’s missing technique because that’s certainly not the case. Just think of it more as a huge blend of technique and feel. It seems when watching him play he’s not really thinking of what he’s going to do next he’s just playing his instrument with a massive amount of understanding.

Anyway enough stroking, Matt is using Mapex drums now, which IMO has always been one of the most underrated drum companies out there. I’ve played their stuff and known lots of people that have and I’ve personally never really heard a bad thing about them.

They have a really sweet line called MyDentity. Basically you can go out to the Mapex website and assemble your own kit, pick shell type between birch or maple, wrap types, hardware colors and hardware set up. And it’s really at a decent price. The coolest thing is in the end you’re getting what appears to be a great kit at a playable price. I’m looking at replacing my recording kit as life may allow me to start recording more drums live than programming. And I just miss playing!! I would love to try out a set of these!! Below is a video of Halpern talking about the MyDentity line.

If you want to visit Mapex there is a link HERE

Ibanez RG920MQM FTW

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

I am a total sucker for maple fret boards!! I remember when I first realized I loved them!!! While I had played them before I still remember the epiphany or the “holy crap why didn’t I notice this before” moment. My brother scored a old Fuchsia Ibanez RG USA Custom with the matching mirrored pick guard and from that point on I was sold. And it’s not like a tone thing because I really don’t believe your fret board makes that much of a difference. It was more of a dryness to me. Maple always felt very dry and smooth to me where rosewood or ebony always had more of a tackyness to it. To me the maple just felt faster. Not that I’m doing any Racer X covers or anything but to me the maple just felt more natural.

Unfortunately, it seemed that Ibanez had kind of bailed on the maple for a while but over the last few years we have been seeing a lot of them come back. Yesterday on the mighty Facebook Ibanez tossed up a pic of their new RG920MQM which comes in the sexy blue I have pictured or a red that’s cool too. It’s a 25.5 scale so as far as I know still no extended scales with maple fret boards, Hence my still not having an extended scale Ibanez. But this is one I would love to have hanging on my wall!! If you want to drool while holding your credit card you can check it out on Guitar Center’s website HERE or get more details on it from the Ibanez website HERE.

Avenged Sevenfold Tune “Carry On” from Black Ops II Available for Streaming

Monday, September 24th, 2012


I dig Avenged Sevenfold. They play music that I can’t personally play back after listening to them once. They have a track that appears to be included on the new Black Ops II game. Which BTW i’m starting to piddle in my shorts about, or that may be my damaged urethra. But either way, check out the new track HERE.

Billie Joe Armstrong Checks Into Rehab After iHeartRadio Fest Rant Video

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Drugs are bad… mmmmmkay…. Or I guess booze as appears to be the case. But here is the situation. Green Day is playing the iHeart Radio Fest mmmmkay…. Big Monitor above what appears to be sound or light crew or both in front of Billie mmmkay…. Big monitor has time counter which apparently dropped to 1 minute mmmkay… Green Day was supposed to have 45 min set mmmkay… But apparently that got cut short because Usher needed more time. Billie Joe stops song to voice his opinion on their set being cut short.

Billie, freaks out , drops a lot of F-bombs, and basically says fuck the establishment in a way that to me is still totally Rock N’ Roll. Then in a total crowd pleaser he takes out his aggressions on a Les Paul, which btw make the bass player follow suit (good thing Bill didnt jump off a bridge) and storms off the stage. So I have to say, to me this is totally bad ass. But with most things that are bad ass, something had to happen and in this case Billie goes to rehab.

Here is the statement released on the Green Day’s website www.greenday.com

“Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong is seeking treatment for substance abuse. Green Day would like everyone to know that their set was not cut short by Clear Channel and to apologize to those they offended at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. The band regretfully must postpone some of their upcoming promotional appearances.”

So, obivously I hope that BJA is ok but I have to say, from watching this video I kind of wish I was at that show!!! But then I would of had to watch a longer Usher set so I’m kind of glad I just get to watch the YouTube highlights.

Steve Harris of Iron Maiden Streaming Solo Album British Lion On Facebook

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Steve Harris the founding member of Iron Maiden has recorded a solo album titled British Lion. Currently, this album is available to stream in it’s entirety on Facebook HERE.

Deftones New Tune Leathers For Free Download

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The Deftones have a new disc on the way called Koi No Yokan. One of the tracks on that disc is called Leathers and the Deftones have it currently posted on their website for free download. The full release is expected on November 13th.

Below is from their site, you can download the track HERE

Deftones are pleased to announce the premiere of “Leathers” from their forthcoming album KOI NO YOKAN exclusively at Deftones.com. The track is also available as a free download for a limited time, so act fast!

Official track listing for KOI NO YOKAN is:
1. Poltergeist
2. Romantic Dreams
3. Leathers
4. Swerve City
5. Entombed
6. Graphic Nature
7. Tempest
8. Gauze
9. Rosemary
10. Goon Squad
11. What Happened To You?

Stone Temple Pilots Pulling Their Typical STP Showtime Letdown

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

If you grew up in the late 80’s early 90’s you probably remember the death of hair metal or glam rock and the cross to grunge. If you were a musician this was a dark time. Not because everyone put away the lipstick and man thongs, but because almost all the playing went away. We traded singers that had really practiced and learned their craft (think Jani Lane) for Curt Cobain who showed us that pitch really didn’t matter all that much. We traded guitar players like Nuno Bettencort for … Well …. Curt Cobain. Granted, the 80’s thing totally got played out and a change was needed.

Now the grunge era wasn’t a total loss, we had Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and the first couple of STP discs to name a few. After that they really tried to embrace the retro just a bit too much for me. But in the end a lot of the sucky talentless bands start to die off and the STP’s and AIC’s which are still spun on the radio today survived. In my opinion because there was still musicianship in those bands. While Cantrell wasn’t giving anyone at the time sweep picking lessons he was showing us some of the coolest striped down groove riffs on the radio. And when he did bust into a solo it was thought out and melodic and had some value. As a guitar player I had no problem appreciating players like Dimebag and Cantrell from the same perspective.

But, enough about my growing years. This is about STP sucking and doing what unfortunately they tend to do a lot live. In an article found at concertaddicts.ca they paint a pretty good picture of what a typical STP show is. It seems every year or so a story like this floats around the interwebs here is a clip below…

(“Scott Weiland is a fucking selfish asshole” proclaimed one very drunk and very angry concert-goer at last nights Stone Temple Pilots show in Abbotsford at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.

I think many attendees from last night concert would agree with this statement, it was a fucking train wreck. After the band delayed their start time by nearly 2 full hours, they came out and played a mediocre set. Weiland was never really present, he always seemed far away. He sang a mumbled mix of inaudible moans. Although a good portion of the notes he sprayed over the crowd were in tune and in time with the rest of the group, the real words were lost in his mind. It was like a really horrible cross-over between junky-rock and that Sigur Rós made-up-word approach to singing.)

It’s unfortunate, because when Weiland is on, he’s a total champ!! Remember how Velvet Revolver sounded at first?? Please take a minute to read the rest of the article at concertaddicts.ca HERE

Aerosmith On Tour With Cheap Trick

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Aerosmith is touring again this fall with Cheap Trick.
The band will be kicking off this second leg of thier Global Warming Tour on November 8th in Oklahoma City.

Aerosmith will be touring in support of their new studio album, Music From Another Dimension, which is set for release on November 6th.

Thu 11/8 Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Arena
Sun 11/11 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena
Wed 11/14 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
*Fri 11/16 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
Tue 11/20 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Fri 11/23 Atlantic City, NJ Revel Resorts – Ovation Hall
Sun 11/25 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Tue 11/27 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Sat 12/1 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Mon 12/3 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
Thu 12/6 New Orleans, LA New Orleans Arena
Sun 12/9 Fort Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
Tue 12/11 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay Times Forum
Thu 12/13 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena

Mnemic New Video For I’ve Been You

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Mnemic released a new video for the track I’ve Been You from their latest album Mnemesis. I stumbled onto this band many years ago and in all honesty had no idea what they were up to now. This track is similiar to what I remember only tuning down into the gutter with the rest of us!! Cool track for sure!!!

OFFICIAL music video for the track “I’VE BEEN YOU” from MNEMIC’s latest album MNEMESIS, out now via Nuclear Blast Records!

MNEMESIS is available at:

NUCLEAR BLAST Europe: http://www.nuclearblast.de/suche/mnemic_mnemesis
NUCLEAR BLAST USA: http://store.nuclearblastusa.com/Search/mnemic_mnemesis
iTunes: http://bit.ly/mnemaff
Amazon: http://amzn.to/mnesamz

Lamb Of God’s Chris Adler Details Randy Blythe Arrest

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Unless you’ve been living in a closet you’ve probably heard about the Randy Blythe arrest and detention in Prague for manslaughter. He was arrested for an incident that had taken place a few years prior in the death of a fan that had rushed the stage and was pushed back into the crowd. You know, pretty much like every metal show you see everywhere. Only this dude hit is head and died.

In this interview done by MetalInsider.net Chris Adler talks about how the arrest went down. Pretty much how you would think only with ski masks, body armor and such. Below is a segment from the MetalInsider article.

So we’re getting off the plane along with everyone else, and they’re pulling us aside one at a time. At first I didn’t think anything of it, and then they pulled me aside and I still didn’t think anything of it. Then I notice that it’s not random and it’s just the band and the crew. I still wasn’t thinking anything of it – since we all check in together, maybe somebody forgot something that they shouldn’t have put in their bag on an airplane and they’re going to want to talk to us all about it. Then once they had us all corralled together, the 12 of us, they opened a door behind us to another room, and I assumed it was just to begin the process of telling us what the deal was or what the fine was for carrying liquor or a joint in a bag or something.

So we walk in this room and there’s ten guys that look like they’re ready for the apocalypse. Scary, scary dudes with black ski masks on, huge machine guns, full body armor, guns strapped to thighs, calves and chests, and mace out. This is where it gets very scary, and we realized it was something far more than what someone had in their bag. The plainclothes officer explained to us in broken English that they were investigating a homicide. Even when they said that, of course it became much more serious than someone pissing in public, but still, we’d been flying around the world for the last 5 ½ weeks, maybe something happened at one of these festivals and they’re talking to all of the bands, or someone we know might be in trouble – we never thought they were investigating us. Then they hand us all a piece of paper that explains in broken English about the situation that happened in 2010. They said they needed us all for interrogation, but they’re taking Randy with us now. That’s when it hit us. No one had heard anything about this, it was very very scary to be involved in, and we realized with the SWAT team standing around us that there was nothing we could do about it.

Well how bout that to crap on your tour!!! Read the full metalinsider.net article HERE