Charvel Blog

Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel and the Aristocrats Rock the NAMM Jam

Posted on January 25th, 2014 by MDuffy

Over the past few years, the NAMM Jam has hosted some of the most talented artists in an event that is always called the hottest ticket at the NAMM Show.

This year’s concert was no different.  The buzz for the NAMM Jam built throughout the week, and as the concert at the Grove in Orange, Calif., neared on Saturday night, it was clear that it was going to be tough to gain access.

And rightfully so, as the crowd was set to witness the exciting progressive stylings of Guthrie Govan and the Aristocrats and Periphery, and to also see legendary guitarist Jake E Lee in action after a lengthy hiatus.

Lee’s new band Red Dragon Cartel has been touring in support of their self-titled debut album, which is an excellent showcase of his blues and hard rock background.  In addition, the prospect of viewing the former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist perform “Bark at the Moon” was the topic of constant chatter.

Things started off with Jake Allen, a late add to the bill, but a welcome one, for sure.  Allen’s inventive and original sounds blend rock, jazz and progressive music.  The fact that he achieves those sounds as a fingerstyle guitarist make Allen all the more impressive.

Allen, whose latest record is called Etherica, seized the audience’s attention by plucking away at this acoustic guitar, working his way up and down the frets and slapping its body for added percussion.

Then it was time for the Aristocrats, the technically mind-bending trio consisting of Govan, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minneman.  Govan explained the union of a Brit (Govan), a German (Minneman) and an American (Beller) as part of the reason for the title of the band’s sophomore studio album Culture Clash.

The band was expertly tight all evening, and the collective atmosphere of the group shone through with each song.  There was one that Minneman wrote that challenged traditional blues concepts, and another one – “Louisville Stomp” – that Beller said sounds like the theme to the popular 1990s cartoon Ren & Stimpy.  Funny thing is, Guthrie’s rambunctious guitar in “Louisville Stomp” kind of does recall the show’s intro.

Periphery was up next, carrying the flag for the djent movement in progressive metal with an amazing instrumental performance.  For this D.C.-area group, the three-pronged guitar attack of Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen and Mark Holcomb put forth an aural assault that bassist Adam Getgood and drummer Matt Halpern complemented with their aggressive rhythm section.

Following a 30-minute interlude by the always-provocative Johnny Coffin Fashion Show, in which L.A. fashion designers focused on an “Ode to Motorhead” theme, it was time for Red Dragon Cartel.

Coming out dressed in all black with his long hair tied in a topknot, Lee was hot from the beginning.  Not only did Red Dragon Cartel pull out several gems from their new album like “War Machine,” “Shout It Out” and the latest single “Seether,” but they also paid homage to Lee’s tenure with Osbourne and Badlands.

“I’m very, very lucky to do this song,” singer D.J. Smith said before launching into a stirring version of Badland’s “In a Dream.”  For that one, Smith was joined only by Lee’s soulful guitar as he plaintively sang, “In the morning I awake, and I’m blessed by God’s grace, just to open my eyes, see your face.”

The band also played Badland’s “Rumblin’ Train,” with Lee wringing every bluesy note out of his guitar.

For the big finale, Lee broke into his famous riff for “Bark at the Moon,” the iconic Osbourne track.  Several shouts of approval came from the crowd, as camera phones popped up to capture Lee doing what he does best.

The invitation-only NAMM Jam also gathered together many other musicians who were at NAMM, including Machine Head’s Phil Demmel, Chris Broderick and David Ellefson of Megadeth, Letlive’s Jeff Sayhoun, Wes Hauch and Michael Keene of the Faceless, and Bleeding Through’s Dave Nassie; among others.

And with all that star power under the Grove’s roof, the NAMM Jam continued its status as a must-see event.

Falling in Reverse Kick Off Tour in Los Angeles

Posted on January 17th, 2014 by MDuffy


Falling in Reverse decided to call their current run of shows with Escape the Fate the “Bury the Hatchet Tour,” and Wednesday night’s kickoff at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre certainly embodied that sentiment.

Not only did both bands deliver killer sets, but FIR frontman Ronnie Radke closed out the evening by performing two songs with Escape the Fate, marking the first time he’d shared the stage with his former group in over six years.

That joyous moment was met with wild cheers, as Radke and the guys from Escape the Fate tore through “Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliché” and “Situations” before the lights popped on inside the historic venue.

Before that, however, Radke and Falling in Reverse nearly blew the roof off the Wiltern.

An enthusiastic crowd chattered in anticipation while the crew set up Falling in Reverse’s gear, a din that only increased as a black curtain was slowly lowered to obscure the band’s entrance.  Once it rose, a pair of white risers flanked drummer Ryan Seaman, whose kit sat atop a video screen that displayed graphics and song titles throughout the concert. (more…)

Chasing Safety Release New Video for ‘We Believe’

Posted on January 16th, 2014 by MDuffy


Chasing Safety has a new EP called The Machine coming out Jan. 28, but the band formerly known as Us, From Outside has already released a music video for the track “We Believe.”

Filmed by Carlo Oppermann, the clip splices shots of the band performing the song in a woodsy setting with a wanderer searching for something elusive.  All the while, quick cuts to a kaleidoscopic lens distorts the look of the video.

Click here to watch the video over on Alternative Press and visit Chasing Safety’s official Facebook page for more information.

Skarlett Riot Drop New Video for ‘Rock N Roll Queen’

Posted on January 2nd, 2014 by MDuffy

U.K. rockers Skarlett Riot recently released a music video for the track “Rock N Roll Queen,” which comes off their debut full-length album Tear Me Down.

The clip was shot last summer at Sound Control in Manchester and features the quartet whipping the crowd into a frenzy as they run through their new single.

Check out the video below and visit Skarlett Riot’s official website for more information.

Adrenaline Mob Release New Lyric Video

Posted on December 20th, 2013 by MDuffy


Adrenaline Mob’s latest album Men of Honor is set to drop on Feb. 18, and the supergroup recently premiered a lyric video for one of their new tracks.

“Come On Get Up” is led by a thumping groove and heavy guitar riffs.  In addition, guitarist Mike Orlando handles some of the vocal duties, trading lines with singer Russell Allen.

Check out the lyric video after the jump and visit Adrenaline Mob’s official Facebook page for more information.  (more…)

Jake E Lee Rocks the Whisky With Red Dragon Cartel

Posted on December 13th, 2013 by MDuffy

Many years ago, the legendary Jake E Lee quietly rode off into the sunset after an amazing career with Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands, preferring to live a life out of the spotlight.

Now, with a new band – Red Dragon Cartel – and a new white Charvel signature guitar, Lee is back. Twenty years was certainly a long time to wait, but perhaps that’s what made Thursday night’s debut concert at Whisky A Go Go so special.

Fans packed the Hollywood landmark eager to see the wild-haired guitarist do his thing, with the crowd growing after each opening act completed their brief sets.

By the time the clock struck 11, Eddie Trunk, the influential hard rock and heavy metal radio personality (and host of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show), walked out on stage to introduce Lee. Trunk told the story of how he worked for years to not only seek out Lee, but also book him on That Metal Show, first as guest guitarist, and finally as a member of the rock-talk roundtable.

Eventually, around 11:30 p.m., it was time. Descending the Whisky’s stairs from the dressing room to wild applause, Lee unbound the topknot in his long hair, acknowledged the audience with an appreciative grin and picked up his trademark weapon. (more…)

Red Dragon Cartel Release New Tracks Ahead of Album Release

Posted on December 12th, 2013 by MDuffy


Jake E Lee’s new band Red Dragon Cartel is set to release its self-titled debut album on Jan. 28, but they’re giving fans a taste of the new music with a lyric video for the track “Feeder.”

In addition to his current bandmates, the former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist teamed up Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander to sing on “Feeder,” and the album also boasts guests like former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, ex-Pantera bassist Rex Brown and In This Moment frontwoman Maria Brink.

If fans pre-order the record via iTunes or Amazon, they will also receive an instant download of a second new track called “Deceived.”

In the meantime, check out the clip for “Feeder” after the jump and visit Red Dragon Cartel’s official Facebook page for upcoming tour dates. (more…)

Take a Lesson in Thrash Metal Guitar With Dave Nassie

Posted on December 10th, 2013 by MDuffy


Guitarist Dave Nassie was recently featured in another lesson from Next Level Guitar, in which he explored fast picking rhythm techniques inspired by Testament.

Watch Nassie in action below and click here for more tutorials.

Watch De La Tierra’s Brutal New Video for ‘Maldita Historia’

Posted on December 4th, 2013 by MDuffy


When Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser previously talked to Charvel.com about his new band De La Tierra, he said the music would be heavy.

De La Tierra’s initial music video from their upcoming self-titled debut album proves Kisser to be correct.

In the clip for “Maldita Historia,” the band – which also consists of Andrés Giménez, former leader of A.N.I.M.A.L., Sr. Flavio, bassist of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, and Alex González, drummer of Manà
- performs in a dingy basement with strobe lights and quick cuts adding to the insanity of the hard-hitting song.

Check out the video below and visit De La Tierra’s official website for more information.

Charvel Q&A: Andy Williams of Every Time I Die

Posted on November 26th, 2013 by MDuffy


Currently on tour with Letlive and Code Orange Kids, Andy Williams of Every Time I Die has been hard at work igniting sold-out crowds with his searing fretwork.

The Buffalo, N.Y., native has been doing it for a long time, too.  Founding the metalcore band in 1998, Williams marvels at the fact that Every Time I Die continues to chug along 16 years later.

Charvel.com recently caught up with Williams to chat about the guitar he’s taking on the road with him and the secret to keeping a band together.

Charvel.com: What drew you to Charvel guitars originally?

Williams: I’m not really into guitars with a Floyd Rose on it, but I noticd that Joe [Duplantier] of Gojira has a stop tail piece on his.  I thought, “Holy shit, they have stop tails, hard tails.  This is going to work.”  I’m a guy that has always loved Strats, and so what I ended up using is one of the super Strats, the Pro Mod San Dimas with a hard tail.  It’s what I’ll bring out with me on the road.

(more…)

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