Charvel Blog

‘I Just Beat My Guitar’ – Gojira’s Joe Duplantier to ‘Total Guitar’

Posted on July 19th, 2016 by Chrissy Mauck

In its July issue, Total Guitar features a lengthy article with Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier.

The piece covers the blood, sweat and tears that went into making new album Magma, including building a recording studio, Joe and sticksman brother Mario moving to New York and the loss of their mother.

“It drastically affected the creative process,” Duplantier said of her passing. “I kinda want to say the entire record is all about that … I’m all about that, I mean, I lost my mum. It’s difficult to explain the reasons behind the art sometimes. You recycle every single thing that happens to you. We’re all confronted by death… that’s what people do. They die! It’s interesting how something like that can be that extraordinary and painful, yet totally normal. Life has all these traps and forces you to evolve, so our music is a good image of what we are – anger, frustration, violence … but also peace.”

Duplantier also provides insight into the band’s gear and sonic approach for the album.

“For me, when it’s time to record, I just run around, try to find my guitar (signature Charvel San Dimas), quickly get it all working and wrestle it into submission.

“But the Whammy is an exciting and cool tool. This was the first time we’ve actually used a pedal. Before that, our noises have been hand-made, like the pick scrape, which came from an accident on tour when I made this sound with strings and thought it was cool. So I did it again the next night and wrote it into some of our songs, along with pinched harmonics and weird bends. People always ask what pedal I use, and I always have to say ‘I just beat my guitar and find sounds!’ I was really proud of that. The only effect for us really has been the distortion of the amp. Now it will be impossible for me to play those riffs without the Whammy!”

Instead of stacking guitar tracks on top of each other, Duplantier said the band went for a more minimalistic approach.

“I wanted to record something that allowed people to hear the texture and tone of the guitars more than ever before,” he shared. “Like the pick attack on the strings. So rather than a wall of sound, it would be at most two guitars. During the choruses I added a Telecaster underneath my signature Charvel— I love the sound of them because they’re very bright and make a big difference even when super low in the mix. It brings a different vibe with the single-coils.”

Click here to purchase the July issue (available via print or digital) to read the full article!

Total Guitar Reviews the Pro-Mod Collection

Posted on July 11th, 2016 by Morgan Brunner

Total Guitar magazine reviewed the full lineup of the new Charvel Pro-Mod guitars in its August issue, honoring each of the three new models—So-Cal Style 1 HH FR, San Dimas Style 1 HH FR and San Dimas HH HT—with a “Total Guitar Best Buy” award.

The five-page spread includes a spotlight on Charvel’s history, a highlight of the models and a side-by-side quick glance spec comparison. The breakdown also includes a stellar rating of each instrument for features, sound quality, value for money, build quality and playability. The So-Cal Style 1 HH FR and San Dimas Style 1 HH FR scored a perfect five-star rating across all categories, while the San Dimas HH HT earned five stars in all categories, save for features and value for money, which received four stars.

So with those excellent ratings, here’s the mag’s final verdict:

“Some guitars choose their new owners, and retro metal guitars such as the Charvel Pro-Mods will appeal to a particular type of player. If you need us to spell it out, we’re talking shredders, metalheads and the hair-metal throwbacks. To us, the wide tonal range, flawless playability and choice of tasteful or retina-melting finishes take us back to a fun era to be a guitarist. It was a time of innovation, and Charvel was at the forefront of that. There are countless rock machines out there these days, but few are better than these well-priced Pro-Mods. They are, as Bill and Ted might say, most triumphant…”

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