Premier Guitar magazine’s John Bohlinger caught up with Jake E Lee during Red Dragon Cartel’s recent tour for an episode of Rig Rundown, in which the axe fiend showed off his iconic Charvel signature guitars.
Lee’s signature models feature a unique HSS pickup configuration with a Seymour Duncan® JB Alnico II humbucking bridge and a pair of DiMarzio® SDS-1 single-coils mounted at a reverse slant.
“[The reverse slant] gives a little more bite to the bass strings and a little more depth to the treble strings,” added Lee, right before using Whitey to run through the myriad of tones on his pedal board.
Check out Lee in the full Rig Rundown interview below.
To say Angel Vivaldi knows a thing or two about guitar is an understatement. The axe genius has spent the better part of 17 years perfecting his craft to what it is today, and getting there meant overcoming several hurdles.
“I grew up with a lot of obstacles standing in my way of playing guitar, whether it was being very poor or having little-to-no support,” says Angel Vivaldi in an exclusive interview with Charvel. “Things like lessons and adequate gear were way out of the question. I spent a lot of time by myself just exploring the guitar, using my ear as a guide.”
Despite these setbacks, Vivaldi would soldier on and build an illustrious career in instrumental-prog rock with albums like Away With Words, Part 1 and Synapse. As his career blossomed, so did his need for an instrument that could keep up with his fiery fretwork.
“I remember playing with tons of different bands, some were in drop B and some were in drop C,” explains Vivaldi. “I couldn’t afford a guitar to play with each of these bands, so I figured if I had a 7-string I could cover all my bases. Sure enough, it did! Now it’s just become a huge part of how I riff and write.”
In early 2017, Charvel sent the guitarist a DK24 model to take for a spin. The guitar virtuoso immediately admired the classic-yet-unconventional approach Charvel took to crafting state-of-the-art instruments.
“I fell in love with the philosophy behind what Charvel does — breaking rules on traditional guitars,” says Vivaldi. “I found this philosophy really falls in line with my own philosophy of fusing modern-era guitar building with the blue prints of classic tradition.”
“To be honest, I didn’t expect to fall in love as much as I did,” continues Vivaldi grinning. “I was initially sent a 6-string DK24. The fact that I am a 7-string player who fell in love with a 6-string says a lot.”
This partnership would eventually spawn the Angel Vivaldi Signature DK24-7 Nova, an elegant 7-string guitar loaded with premium features and designed for an array of playing, from heavy metal riffs to articulate blues solos.
“The name Nova really represents so much of what I feel like this guitar stands for… which is driven innovation and creativity,” says Vivaldi of his signature model.
Watch the in-depth interview below, which includes a full rundown of the features on his signature axe as well as enticing playing snippets of his songs.
“If you’re like me and don’t want to play guitars that suck, you’re going to like these a lot because they’re the best-sounding, best-playing rock guitars,” promises Steel Panther guitarist Satchel in an exclusive new Charvel video about his Satchel Signature Pro-Mod DK models.
An ultimate rock machine, the Satchel Pro-Mod DK is locked and loaded with premium appointments including an alder Dinky™ body, rock-solid two-piece bolt-on maple neck, blazing 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard and Fishman® Fluence Classic bridge and neck humbucking pickups.
“I love the way they sound,” says Satchel. “They make it easy to rock, especially for heavy metal. When you’re looking for a high-gain, high-saturated tone, these pickups sound amazing.”
In his spec rundown (sometimes on point and sometimes totally false), Satchel also praises its Floyd Rose trem, calling it “one of the best systems ever made” and calls out the “huge benefit” of the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel.
If you’re not sold on the specs alone, Satchel assures you that the brand-new Slime Green Bengal finish or more familiar Yellow Bengal dressing will emphatically seal the deal.
“Even if you’re not a good guitar player, hang them on your wall,” he says. “These guitars look great in houses and apartments. Hang these in your bathroom or living room — girls go crazy for them!”
Oh, and if you like skateboards, we’ve got one of those with Satchel’s Yellow Bengal print, too! Pester your local authorized Charvel dealers for one of those.
Watch Satchel’s lively interview below, and catch Steel Panther on tour here.
Digital Tour Bus caught up with Angel Vivaldi on a stop during his Guitar Collective 2018 tour for a look at his rig, which of course included his Charvel Angel Vivaldi Signature DK24-7 Nova.
“This guitar is that old school and new school type of hybrid,” said Vivaldi.
The Nova boasts a slew of premium features including a reverse 7-string Fender Strat headstock tilted back for improved string tension at the nut, a recessed heel and scooped lower horn for easy upper fret access and a Gotoh® custom 7-string 510 tremolo bridge.
Known for constant antics and humor, Steel Panther’s Satchel also boasted about his impersonation skills during the final show of their European tour. With Greek guitar phenom Gus G. proving support, Satchel informed the crowd that he was about to pull off a wardrobe change and then do “an impersonation of Gus G. doing an impersonation of Randy Rhoads that is going to blow your f***ing minds.”
A few beats later and armed with his signature Charvel Pro-Mod DK, “Satchel” returned to the stage as “Gus G.” and gave a stellar performance of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” which only makes sense given the virtuoso spent nearly a decade as Osbourne’s guitarist.
Guitar wizard Chris Impellitteri and his eponymous band Impellitteri took on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famed “Phantom of the Opera” with a unique speed/power metal type approach.
As Impellitteri explained to Guitar World, it’s a song he had wanted to remake since he was a kid.
“When we created our musical arrangement for this song our collective band vision was to basically take the Phantom on a wild musical ride through Hell!,” he stated. “We wanted to turn the song into a speed/power metal type song. I will say our version can seem fairly challenging to play as a guitarist due to the various complex scale sequences, modes and speed at which we are playing. At the same time the lead vocals are quite brutal on our singer, Rob Rock, as he had to sing both the male tenor part as well as the female vocal part, which resides in the alto and soprano ranges.”
As for Impellitteri, he is simply masterful on guitar — fluidly reaching his high notes on his custom Charvel Strat, played through various modified Marshall amps, pedals and speaker cabs.
The track, which appears on his latest The Nature of the Beast album, recently received the full music video treatment, which cuts between green tinted clips of the band performing the track live and imagery from the horror film.
Feel up for an hour plus of being pummeled by French metal giants Gojira?
While the band may be currently holed up in New York working on their next album, fans can relive the thrill and palpable energy of their live show, courtesy of the recent video release featuring their entire Pol’And’Rock Festival set in 2018.
Mixed by Raphaël Bovey at MyRoom Studio and edited by Bryce Hall, the multi-camera footage begins prior to the band’s stage entrance and spotlights the half million crowd as they quickly stir to a frenzy. From there, unreal stage production and Gojira’s crushing performance combine for an unforgettable experience.
In advance of 11th studio album The Atlantic Jan. 25 drop date, Swedish dark prog metal masters Evergrey has debuted a new music video for its track “Weightless.”
Directed by Patric Ullaeus, the clip finds the band performing the track in the middle of a fiery blaze.
“This video is what you will get when watching us live pretty much,” stated the band. “Maybe minus burning down the drum kit every night! We’re really proud of ‘Weightless’ as it works as a phenomenal second chapter of The Atlantic drama.”
Frontman Tom S. Englund shared this about the making and direction of The Atlantic:
“We’ve fought through giant private obstacles as well as an extremely complicated break-in at our headquarters studio to bring this album to you. So at the same time as it’s certainly not been painless or at all easy, it’s been rewarding in new ways and our creativity has been painted in colors of honesty and sincerity.
“This is our heaviest, darkest, and perhaps also our most diverse album to date. It’s everything we wanted to compose and the written words come straight from a place of transparency and never before experienced lucidity. Finally, as of yesterday, we’ve reached new shores. We can’t wait for you to share this journey with us and dive into our worlds, our depths, and the waters of The Atlantic!”
Enjoy the clip below, featuring guitarist Henrik Danhage decimating his Charvel Star.
Angel Vivaldi recently sat down for a Metal Injection Ask the Artist session where the axeman dishes on everything from his approach to writing new material to which artist he draws the most inspiration from.
“My music always starts with a concept,” explains Vivaldi, while also playing a quick riff on his custom 7-string Charvel. “The theme of whatever that record is about really dictates the dynamic and the intention behind what I am writing.”
And which famous artist inspires this metal maven the most? Vivaldi’s answer might surprise you.
“Hands down, Michael Jackson!” says Vivaldi. “His music, his albums, his music videos, his live performances … he just cared so much about everything he did.”