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.

Charvel Showcase Gets Rolling at NAMM 2014

Posted on January 24th, 2014 by MDuffy

When walking by the Charvel Showcase at the 2014 NAMM Show, it’s almost impossible to not stop and look at the eye-popping guitars that are on display from the Custom Shop.

Or the electric new Transparent Purple Burst and Transparent Marigold guitars in Charvel’s Desolation series.  Or the artist signature models for Guthrie Govan, Jake E Lee and Gojira’s Joe Duplantier.

Lee, in fact, made an appearance to check out his axes and talk about his new band Red Dragon Cartel, while Warren DeMartini and Dave Nassie were also spotted.

Go inside the Charvel Showcase in the video after the jump and click here to see more photos from NAMM. (more…)

Red Dragon Cartel and the Aristocrats to Play NAMM Jam 2014

Posted on January 7th, 2014 by MDuffy


This year’s NAMM Jam at the annual NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., is set to be yet another blockbuster event, as the legendary Jake E Lee will headline the concert with his new project Red Dragon Cartel.

In addition, international guitar virtuoso Guthrie Govan and his band the Aristocrats are set to perform, as will progressive metallers Periphery.

Now in its fifth year, NAMM Jam 2014  is an invitation-only event that will be held at the Grove of Anaheim on Friday, Jan. 24.  Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the concert beginning at 7 p.m.  NAMM Show attendees who would like an opportunity to attend should visit the Charvel Showcase in Ballroom E on the third floor of the Anaheim Convention Center or Rock-N-Roll Gang Star in booth No. 4196.

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…)

Warren DeMartini and Jake E Lee Wow Fans in Japan

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by MDuffy


Hundreds of fans in Japan were recently treated to a rare meeting of rock royalty, as the legendary Warren DeMartini and Jake E Lee came together for a series of clinics in Osaka and Tokyo.

In each location, DeMartini and Lee participated in two clinics per day – one for area dealers and one for fans.

During the clinics, DeMartini and Lee shared stories from their days living in a house together in Los Angeles, writing some of their bigger riffs – such as DeMartini’s “Round and Round” with RATT and Lee’s “Bark at the Moon” with Ozzy Osbourne – under the same roof.

Then, as a special treat, the guitarists demonstrated what being that room would have sounded like, playing both songs at the same time.

Check out more pictures from the event here. 

Charvel Q&A: Warren DeMartini

Posted on October 30th, 2013 by MDuffy


The legendary Warren DeMartini is slated to head to Japan soon with former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E Lee to attend a series of meet-and-greets with fans.

The duo actually share a long history together, as Lee was briefly a guitarist in RATT and his departure opened the door for DeMartini to join the band.

As DeMartini gears up to hop across the pond, Charvel.com caught up with him to talk about the sold-out events and his relationship with Lee.

Charvel.com:  What can you tell us about the clinics?  Have you done this before?

DeMartini: I’m very excited to spend a few days with my old pal Jake E Lee.  I’ve done one clinic in Japan way back during our first or second visit there sot this is almost a first for me. We haven’t worked out what we’re going to do yet, but I think we’re going to be talking a lot about our Charvel guitars and our history with the brand.  And of course, we’re going to play.

Charvel.com: How did you first get involved with Charvel?

DeMartini: I kind of happened onto it by accident.  I was visiting Grover [Jackson] one day, and he was making several necks based on a classical guitar template.  They were very wide and thin, and I really liked the feel of them.  He made some for me, and I had those put on the Crossed Sword … and pretty much everything I was experimenting with at the time.  I’ve got three or four guitars that have that template.  That was the guitar I recorded “Lay It Down” with and “You’re In Love.”  By then, I had a good collection of amps, and those guitars were all part of the sound back then.  It was a great find, and they still sound great.  I have the original within reach. (more…)

Jake E Lee Returns to That Metal Show

Posted on July 23rd, 2013 by MDuffy

Jake E Lee went another round as the featured guitarist on That Metal Show last weekend after holding down that spot during the previous episode.

The former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands axeman actually sat down with the guys of That Metal Show earlier in the season to talk about his latest project Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel. But as the program’s musical accompaniment, Lee demonstrated that his fretwork is as fiery as ever.

Watch Lee in action below.

Watch Jake E Lee Perform on That Metal Show

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by MDuffy

A few weeks ago, Jake E Lee sat down with the guys of That Metal Show to talk about his new project Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel and his storied history with Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands.

The guitarist recently returned, but this time, he got a chance to showcase his legendary chops.

As the featured guitarist, Lee played the program in and out of commercial breaks with a few searing riffs.

Check out Lee in action below.

Jake E Lee Drops By That Metal Show

Posted on June 26th, 2013 by MDuffy


The legendary Jake E Lee was recently a featured guest on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, and the former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist discussed his hiatus from music and his return with a new band – Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel.

In addition, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen joined the panel to discuss his storied career.

Check out the full episode after the jump. (more…)

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