Charvel Blog

Guitar World Features Guthrie Govan & Jake E Lee Signature Models

Posted on February 25th, 2014 by MDuffy

Representatives from Guitar World were on-hand at the 2014 Charvel Showcase at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., where they got a close look at the new Guthrie Govan and Jake E Lee signature guitars.

Charvel’s own Mike McGregor points out all the key features of each model in the videos below.

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.

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.

Guthrie Govan Featured in November’s Guitar World

Posted on September 26th, 2013 by MDuffy

Guthrie Govan the Aristocrats
Guthrie Govan is featured in the November edition of Guitar World, where the genre-bending virtuoso talked about his band the Aristocrats and their sophomore studio album Culture Clash.

Govan also touched on his history with the guitar, why he picked it up and who has influenced him over the years.

“I had this wide-eyed fascination with all of music when I was three years old and learning to play my first Elvis Presley songs on guitar,” he told the magazine. “And something that I figured out a long time ago is that music is all around you. You don’t just have to learn guitar solos from your favorite records; you can learn jingles from the TV; you can learn the music that the ice cream man is playing. I’ve always tried to stay open to all the noises I hear around me.”

Read a portion of the feature here and pick up a copy of the Aristocrats’ new album and DVD here.

In addition, check out a preview of the live DVD Accept the Mystery: The Making of the Aristocrats’ Culture Clash below.

Guthrie Govan Demos Charvel Prototype for the Music Zoo

Posted on September 10th, 2013 by MDuffy

During a recent tour stop at New York City’s Highland Ballroom with his band the Aristocrats, guitar virtuoso Guthrie Govan was paid a visit by the folks from Music Zoo to check out his latest prototype guitar from the Charvel Custom Shop.

Check out the breakdown below and visit the Aristocrats’ official website for more information.

Charvel Joins Forces With Guthrie Govan

Posted on July 18th, 2013 by MDuffy


Charvel is proud to welcome U.K. guitarist Guthrie Govan to the family. A highly-respected and in-demand virtuoso guitarist, Govan travels the world as both a performer and clinician. Govan is currently splitting time between his rock/fusion trio, The Aristocrats, and touring the world with Steven Wilson’s band, promoting Wilson’s Alan Parsons-produced album, The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories).

Govan made a name for himself in 1993, winning Guitarist Magazine’s “Guitarist of the Year” competition: he subsequently worked as a regular transcriber for U.K. magazine Guitar Techniques. He has since appeared with Asia, GPS, Dizzee Rascal and The Young Punx. His diverse playing style ranges from classic shred to jazz-fusion to blues-rock, all of which are clearly evident on his solo album Erotic Cakes and throughout his numerous other musical projects.

“These guitars sound great, and the necks are just ridiculous,” said Govan. “The good people at Charvel are encouragingly keen to hear all my feedback about their instruments. Whenever I share an idea with them, it feels like they’re really listening – so I’m very excited to be working with these guys and I look forward to seeing what we can do together in the future.”

“Guthrie Govan is one of the best performers playing today, and we’re proud to welcome him to the Charvel ‘family,’” said Michael McGregor, product manager for Charvel Guitars. “He is currently road-testing a few Charvel models, and we are in the research and development phase of some possible future Charvel guitars.”

Visit the Aristocrats’ official website to check out their recently-released album Culture Clash and a list of upcoming tour dates.

Preview the Aristocrats’ Upcoming Culture Clash Album

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by MDuffy


Progressive/fusion band the Aristocrats have their second full-length album coming out July 16 in the form of Culture Clash, and the trio has offered fans a taste of the new tracks.

Made up of guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann, the Aristocrats believe they have pushed the envelope even further with this record.

Govan recently told MusicRadar, “We have an unreasonable amount of fun playing together. Every 20 seconds, I’ll hear something from one of the other guys that just makes me smile, or it terrifies me. But it keeps you on your toes. We all play for the same reasons.”

Watch the video below and visit the Aristocrats’ official website for a list of upcoming tour dates.

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