Archive for the ‘ Journalism ’ Category

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.

My second cover story of the year


After seven years of not having any cover stories, I am proud to announce that the second Gitarist with a cover story of my making is in stores now. It’s about ‘Santana IV’, the brand new album that Santana recorded with a majority of the 1971 lineup, including Neal Schon. We didn’t get the chance to interview either Schon or Carlos Santana, but I drew up a profile that explains the relevance of Santana as a guitar player and reviewed the album in the process. As much as I would have loved to have interviewed them, this gave me a freedom as a journalist that I very much enjoyed, I hope it shows!

In addition, there’s an interview with Leif de Leeuw. A very nice guy who got elected best Blues- or Bluesrock guitarist in the Benelux by our readers. We had a nice conversation about the Leif de Leeuw Band’s downright fantastic debut album ‘Leelah’, the equipment he used to record that album and the versatillity he displays as a guitar player and a composer, since he doesn’t just play Blues. There’s a smaller interview I had with guitarist Ruud van Halder of Marutyri, who play some nice Funky Fusion, and there’s interviews from my colleagues with John Scofield, The Posies and John Petrucci. Plus loads of product tests and an album reviews section that I wrote almost entirely by myself.

So please, get over the fact that Carlos Santana looks like Muammar Gaddafi on the cover – as some of our readers have pointed out – and get it while it’s hot! I’m very proud of this issue for sure!

Vegetation-based names in Gitarist


No, seriously. The bands I have interviewed for this issue of Gitarist are named Black Stone Cherry – about their surprisingly good new record ‘Kentucky’ – and Mandrake’s Monster. So apparently, I was attracted to plants this month. Both interviews were pleasant meetings and if you haven’t heard of Mandrake’s Monster, be sure to check them out live, because their as of yet unreleased new material is incredible. It’s a bold step to go that heavy and that poppy at the same time, but they blew me away at Eurosonic Noorderslag. Speaking of which: there’s a photo spread of the shots I took at that festival in the new Gitarist as well.

As if that wasn’t enough already, there is an extensive article on Megadeth’s fantastic new album ‘Dystopia’ in which both band leader Dave Mustaine and new guitarist Kiko Loureiro – who is also half of the guitar duo in one of my favorite Power Metal bands: Angra – are interviewed. The other large specials are about the guitarists who worked with David Bowie – despite my intense dislike for his music, the article is very interesting – and the NAMM Show, where my colleagues have had a first look at many interesting instruments, amplifiers and peripheral equipment for the rest of the year. Alice Cooper’s guitarist Nita Strauss speaks with us in the wake of her first clinic, there’s the amazing Robert Cray, there’s loads of gear reviews… Plenty of fun for the guitar geek.

This issue should be in stores throughout Holland and Belgium from today. Get it while it still has that great new magazine smell!