Author Archive

Hellyeah Performs Ace of Spades in Lemmy Tribute

Monday, January 4th, 2016

hellyeah

It totally sucks when an icon passes. But what doesn’t suck is the amount of bands that pay tribute with kick ass covers of their songs. Here is a killer version of Ace of Spades done by Hellyeah. I can dig it!!

John 5 to Headline Namm Jam 2016 Presented by Delve Texas

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

namm-jam-2016

GearZombie has attended this event for the last several years and it never disappoints. This year looks to be just as kick ass! Friday January 22nd John 5 & The Creatures will be headlining the night. Also on the bill is L.A. Guns and Beasto Blanco as well as the Coffin Case Fashion Show. Looking forward to seeing everyone there again this year at this great Delve Texas event!!

John 5 “Black Grass Plague” Video is awesome

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

john 5

John 5 has a new solo track out titled Black Grass Plague. “The video was produced and directed by Jonny Coffin of Coffin Cases,” says 5, who also plays lead guitar for Rob Zombie.

“We filmed it in a warehouse right next to Jonny’s place. It was swelteringly hot in there that day, but we got through it, and if anything, the heat contributed to the energy in the video. “The star-shaped stage with all the neon lights is actually Elton John’s piano riser,” continues 5. “It turns out you can rent it. Who knew? Thank you, Elton!”

The promo is dedicated to the memory of camera operator Khalil Tiner, who was killed by a drink-driver soon after filming was completed. Colleagues George Maria, Tyki Sato and Ryder Page say: “He was an amazing filmmaker and one of those rare people who could brighten any day with his smile. Khalil you are missed, and we are honoured to have called you friend.

It’s a kick ass video to watch unless you don’t like to watch kick ass musicians doing kick ass musician stuff. In which case may I direct you to the nearest cat video. John will be headlining the 2016 Namm Jam hosted by Delve Texas January 22 at the Grove of Anaheim.

Lemmy Kilmister and MOTÖRHEAD What Metal Is Made Of

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Lemmy
Whether or not you’re into MOTÖRHEAD you know who they are. And even if you can’t name a single tune you probably know who Lemmy is. While one of the planets most iconic voices in metal was silenced Monday December 28th 2015 the legend will live on and god willing his example will as well. Admittedly I am not the biggest MOTÖRHEAD fan. I am however a massive fan of who they are and what they do.

While it’s very well know that Lemmy fueled most of his life with a buffet of various chemicals, that (believe it or not) is not the mark I am hoping he left on the music scene. In my eyes MOTÖRHEAD was about Rock N’ Roll at its very core. They were the working mans group. Never really had commercial success but still managed to become a household name, you sure didn’t see many pop tours headlined by MOTÖRHEAD. Yet they were always there, always going to be in your area in the near future. And I think that is going to be the toughest part, them not being there. While they didn’t really have commercial success, they still managed to obtain iconic status and in my opinion that could only be attributed to their hard-core work ethic.

This was a group of guys that played Rock N’ Roll because that was simply what they were put on this planet to do. Not to get chicks, or make money. They wanted to play in a band, embrace the excesses that came with it, push themselves to the edge and tell the world to fuck off. That’s really what Rock N’ Roll was rooted in anyway telling everyone to fuck off. Think back to the Beatles, or Elvis they were protested and perceived as dirty. MOTÖRHEAD to me is that kind of iconic, they were the pillar of heavy metal and godfathers that kids of today will hopefully look up to. They type of band your parents didn’t want you listening to but unknowingly could teach a lot of musicians a lesson. The lesson of just grabbing your buddies, playing unapologetically loud, and unapologetically saying uncomfortable things, touring until you’ve out run your transportation, equipment, and eventually your body. That’s the lesson that I hope some kid somewhere can see and capitalize on. It’s worth noting that while they were the bad guys of rock, you almost never heard a negative word about them. And with the passing of Lemmy musicians came out of the wood work to express their sorrow. Lemmy was God.

Lemmy and MOTÖRHEAD were honest at least in the spirit of music. You didn’t see them change their image, sound attitude, habits. They just did what they did. And you can’t say that for really much of anyone anymore. Everyone has an agenda be it financial or for fame. You didn’t see MOTÖRHEAD doing press tours, product placement. In part I’m certain because while that sort of thing didn’t fit their personality it also didn’t fit in much of mainstream society. But there is a certain type of beauty in that type of honesty. They always seemed to look like they played music because that’s what was hard-coded in their DNA. I love that.

Lemmy, whose health had been rapidly deteriorating had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer a couple of days before his passing. Lemmy sought treatment after his birthday party at the Whisky a GO GO in Los Angeles on December 13th. He was initially released from the hospital with a clear bill of health but they decided to continue testing due to irregular speech patterns. Having thought he had suffered a minor stroke they found “an extremely aggressive cancer” in his brain and neck which lead to the terminal diagnosis.

Todd Singerman tells Sky News.

“Nobody had any idea,” Singerman adds. “We just learned Saturday, two days ago (sic), that he even had cancer and the doctor told him he had between two to six months to live. He goes (dies) today as I was making calls to (band mates) Phil and Mikkey telling them to come on out so they could have a last goodbye while he was still upbeat and everything. He was feeling mighty low… He wasn’t expected to die like that … That (cancer) was the last thing we thought he would ever have. When you think about it he has been to every doctor and hospital around the world and nobody caught that… That comes as a massive shock.”

“He took it (the news) better than all of us,” Singerman tells Rolling Stone. “His only comment was, ‘Oh, only two months, huh?’ The doctor goes, ‘Yeah, Lem, I don’t want to bullshit you. It’s bad, and there’s nothing anyone can do. I would be lying to you if I told you there was a chance.’” Lemmy was also in favor of telling fans what was going on, even though the news was obviously sad. Unfortunately, Lemmy passed before that press release could be sent.

Memorial services for iconic MOTÖRHEAD frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister will be held on Saturday, January 9 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood, California.

RIP Lemmy and MOTÖRHEAD.

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.