Archive for the ‘ Journalism ’ Category

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!

Slagwerkkrant featuring my interview with Pauw

Even though I don’t contribute to as many issues of the Slagwerkkrant than I do to Gitarist – which would be technically impossible anyway, given that Gitarist is released twice as much per year – I am always happy to interview for them. Especially when the conversations are as nice as the one I had with Rens Ottink from the Dutch psychedelic band Pauw. He’s a very friendly guy and it was fun to talk about his vintage drumkits and some of the recording tricks he used for the band’s debut album ‘Macrocosm Microcosm’. What tricks? I guess you’ll just have to buy the Slagwerkkrant; it’s in stores now.

And if you’re enthusiastic about drumming; what are you waiting for? There’s loads of product tests, as well as interviews with the likes of Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini and Madonna’s drummer Brian Frasier Moore, while Mark Guiliana talks about his contributions to David Bowie’s last record ‘Blackstar’. I despise Bowie’s music – no, I’m not among the hordes of people who suddenly like him now that he passed away – but even I found it an interesting read. Oh and before I forget: the Noorderslag feature has two photos that I took and includes my reviews on the showcases of Typhoon, Jett Rebel and the aforementioned Pauw.

My first cover story in seven years!

Earlier this week, the new issue of Gitarist appeared in stores and it is one that I’m extremely proud of, because it features my first cover story in almost seven years. It features the interview I had with Pablo van de Poel about DeWolff’s amazing new album ‘Roux-Ga-Roux’ – listen to it now if you haven’t yet – and I’m glad the editorial office gave me four pages to fill, because we had quite a lot of interesting subjects to cover. Also, I spoke with De Staat guitarist Vedran Mirčetić about ‘O’, which was album of the week here two weeks ago, and with BloYaTop guitarist Mark Vergoossen.

There’s quite a lot of interviews in this month’s issue anyway, which I always see as a good thing. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any gear reviews included of course. Also, I contributed quite a few reviews to the issue. One in particular I’d like to point out and that is the debut album by the Leif de Leeuw Band. It’s called ‘Leelah’ and although the band has a Blues basis, it’s a fantastic blend of Rock, Blues, Soul and Roots influences in a couple of amazingly written and executed songs.

If you haven’t got it already, please share the honor with me and go out and read it.

25 years of Gitarist and Walter Trout!

Looking for something to do during these dark, ridiculously warm December days? Maybe you should get the 25th anniversary issue of Gitarist! I’ve been working with the Gitarist crew only for the last seven, but the editors were kind enough to include me in their anniversary special. For every year of Gitarist’s existence, Michiel Roelse analyzes one remarkable guitar related product and I’ve done the same with three guitar albums per year. It was quite some work, but a lot of fun to do and I even discovered a thing or two along the way.

Furthermore, there’s a few reviews from my hand and two interviews. One of them is with Theo van Niel Jr., whose father used to own the Rocky Road record store in downtown The Hague, where I occasionally bought some music. Junior is an amazing lead guitarist and he has shown so on Mojo Man’s very cool self-titled debut album. Also, I spoke to Blues hero Walter Trout for the second time in a year and a half. Last time, he was recovering from hepatitis C; his life was barely saved by a liver transplant and he was so positive about the whole thing that he blew my mind. Now that he’s back performing, his positivity even went through the roof. These two interviews with him have left a lasting impression on me and so has his surprisingly good new record ‘Battle Scars’.

And if that’s not enough for you, there’s loads of interesting product tests and interviews with James Bay and Briqueville to lighten these dark days. In stores now!

More interesting things in Gitarist, part 2

When I referred to more interesting things coming up in Gitarist, one of the things I referred was the interview with Vicente Amigo in last month’s issue. This month’s issue – available in stores tomorrow – has something even more exciting. A childhood dream came true when I had the chance to interview Adrian Smith about Iron Maiden’s brand new ‘The Book Of Souls’ album. It was a very interesting conversation and the result can be read in Gitarist now. Another joy to do was the interview with JB Meijers and the lovely Ilse DeLange about Eurovision success The Common Linnets’ new album. And if that wasn’t enough, another interview of mine – with Black-Bone frontman Steef van den Boogaard, another nice guy – rounds out my contribution.

Not completely of course, because a lot of the reviews included are mine as well. But my work is not all there is. We published an exclusive interview with former Pink Floyd man David Gilmour, focusing on his gear and his brand new record ‘Rattle That Lock’, and there’s a host of gear reviews and background stories that is bound to please anyone interested in guitars. And don’t you just love the sober nature of the cover? I know I do!

All of that and more in stores tomorrow!