Archive for the ‘ Journalism ’ Category

Iced Earth and more interviews in Gitarist


If you had told me 15 years ago that I would be interviewing Iced Earth main man Jon Schaffer someday, I would go insane. I was an Iced Earth fan to the point of obsession and although I have come to think about Schaffer in a more moderate light these days, it was great to sit down with him and discuss some developments surrounding the band with him for about an hour. A portion of this conversation can be read in this month’s issue of Gitarist, which should be in stores by now. We have been discussing the new Iced Earth album ‘Incorruptible’, his inimitable rhythm guitar style, sounds and equipment as well as running the band. I was pleasantly surprised by his honesty and self-criticism, resulting in what I think is a very interesting article.

As for my other contributions, I have interviewed guitarist Jan Wouter Oostenrijk about his brand new ‘We Are Connected’, an album heavily influenced by Middle Eastern and North African music, for which he modified his guitar to be able to play the quarter tones common in music from that part of the world. Naturally, we talk in-depth about this “quarter tone guitar” as well. What else is a guitar magazine for? In addition, there is an interview I had with Dutch session guitarist extraordinaire Age Kat about ‘Rhythm, Space & Time’, an album based around his guitar playing.

I wrote a handful of reviews as well, while my colleague Patrick Lamberts talked to upcoming djent and progmetal guitarists Plini, Sithu Aye and Jakub Zyteki. There is also an extensive feature about the Stratocaster that Robbie Robertson used at The Band’s ‘The Last Waltz’ concert as well as loads and loads of gear reviews. There’s even a short interview with Michael Schenker, who I consider one of the finest guitarists in the world. So if you are interested in guitars, there is no excuse to not check it out. You can do so right now!

My Eric Bibb interview in Gitarist


It has been in stores a while already, but I would still like to inform you about this month’s issue of Gitarist. I have had a very nice interview with Eric Bibb about the recordings of his fantastic new album ‘Migration Blues’ and the concept behind the record. It was a very pleasant and insightful interview and on top of that, Bibb is a very kind guy. I am also happy that Gitarist used one of the photos I took of him at his show at De Flux in Zaandam.

There is plenty more to enjoy. Tons of gear and album reviews for instance. Or more practically: a 10 page chord special. It is in stores now, so enjoy it while it still is!

Navarone, Drive Like Maria and more in Gitarist


Those of you who want to know more about the most recent Album of the Week, but prefer to get their information from the musicians involved should look no further than this month’s issue of Gitarist. I didn’t just interview Navarone’s guitarists, but the entire band about the creation of ‘Oscillation’. It’s a special album that deserves a lot of attention from everyone. Also, I spoke extensively with Drive Like Maria’s Nitzan Hoffmann about their new album ‘Creator Preserver Destroyer’, another great rock album from the Benelux. I can only say that the year has started out great in that respect.

Furthermore, we have interviews with Eric Johnson about his new acoustic record and new blues prodigy Aaron Keylock. There’s a big feature about mini pedals and we have loads of gear and cd reviews. I can’t see a reason not to rush to the store and buy it unless you already have a subscription.

Yoshiki in the Slagwerkkrant


Are you a fan of X Japan or do you need a Christmas gift for someone who is? May I suggest you the new issue of the Slagwerkkrant? Included is an interview with their drummer, pianist and band leader Yoshiki. It’s based on the same conversation as the interview I published here a couple of weeks ago, but there’s a bigger emphasis on his playing and his equipment. If you’re a drummer, make sure you get it. If only because there’s a lot of educational material and drum equipment, as well as interesting interviews with the likes of Steve Smith and the awesome Jay Bellerose.

Ironically, we have Yoshiki in the magazine graced by a cover with a kit from Sakae drums, which is also Japanese.

For a preview, check out this link.

More Epica in Interface


As I had implied in my post about this month’s issue of Gitarist: Mark Jansen and Isaac Delahaye weren’t the only people with whom I spoke about the recording of Epica’s brand new album ‘The Holographic Principle’. I also went to the Sandlane studio to talk with keyboard player Coen Janssen and the production team, consisting of producer Joost van den Broek and engineer Jos Driessen. We had a very pleasant chat about the pre-production and the recording process, as well as a handful of technical details. Are you curious yet? Well, as luck would have it, it’s available in all good bookstores throughout the Netherlands and Flanders as of today.

My Epica cover story in stores now!


Early this year, I said I didn’t have cover stories for a long time and today, my third one of the year is in stores. And it’s one that was fun to do as well; I sat down with Epica guitarists Mark Jansen and Isaac Delahaye to talk about their brand new album ‘The Holographic Principle’, on which they have – for the first time – used actual orchestral instruments only. If you’re curious how that influenced the guitar work on the record, go check out Gitarist now. My experiences with Isaac, Mark and the entire management team of Epica have been incredibly pleasant, so this was a breeze to prepare and write. And there’s more where that came from, but more on that later…

Aside from a vast amount of gear features – one of which is an interesting story on the 70th anniversary of Australian guitar manufacturer Maton – there’s some more interviews. One of which is the interview I had with Belgian Blues man Shakedown Tim, but be sure to check out the lengthy Blues feature with Billy Gibbons, Robben Ford, Walter Trout, Lance Lopez and – surprisingly – Steve Lukather as well.

In addition, the reviews section was remarkably hard to do this month, as we only have two pages and September 30th this year is by far the most popular release date I have experienced in almost eight years of being a professional music journalist. But we did it! King Of The World’s fresh new album ‘Cincinatti’ is our album of the month, but there are also amazing new releases by the likes of Marillion, the Ruben Hoeke Band and my favorite Blues lady of the world: Joanne Shaw Taylor.

Get it now, while it still has that amazing new magazine smell!

Guitar heroes where they belong: in Gitarist


In stores now: the “guitar hero special” of Gitarist. I have contributed quite heavily to this one by interviewing Adrian Belew about his fascination with strange sounds and providing a background to our Prince workshop. Tim Eijmaal maybe isn’t considered a guitar hero in the traditional sense, but I think he’s a great player and he gets an increasing number of opportunities to show how good he is in the amazing Sven Hammond. Be sure to check them out if you haven’t already. Other guitar heroes included that talked to my colleagues are Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck and Joe Bonamassa. Talk about big names…

Naturally, we have gear and music reviews of all kinds included as well, so I can’t see any reason to not run to the store right now. Unless you get it delivered to your house, of course.