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Interviews

Misha Mansoor Interview – Periphery (2015) Misha Mansoor Interview – Periphery (2015)
April 29th, 2015


The past five years of Misha Mansoor’s career with progressive metal pioneers Periphery have been filled with exciting landmarks: tours with  legendary bands like Dream Theater and Deftones, four varieties of a signature Jackson guitar, and now, a pair of high-charting albums on the Billboard Top 200.  The band’s third full-length, the cinematic double-disc concept album Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, is actually their fifth release since 2010’s debut, Periphery. Filling out their lineup of material are 2011’s Icarus EP and the songwriting experiment Clear, which displayed the diverse talents of the entire band by giving each member a chance to be the sole creative... Read More →


NAMM 2015: Zakk Wylde Interview @ Wylde Audio NAMM 2015: Zakk Wylde Interview @ Wylde Audio
January 24th, 2015


Guitar Messenger’s NAMM 2015 interview with Zakk Wylde began with a long black car with tinted windows pulling into the 7-11 parking lot where we’d been told to wait. After being whisked away from the convention grounds, we were welcomed as friends by Zakk in a spacious hotel room filled with unfamiliar gear bearing his trademark bullseye. After making himself a household name by destroying arenas with Ozzy Osbourne, charting his own path with Black Label Society, and partnering with numerous high-profile companies for signature guitar gear, Zakk has finally taken his star power to the logical conclusion – his very own line of audio products. Read on as he reveals the... Read More →


Francesco Artusato Interview (Devil You Know): Part 2 Francesco Artusato Interview (Devil You Know): Part 2
April 30th, 2014


In PART ONE of our interview, guitar maestro Francesco Artusato revealed details about the formation of his new band, Devil You Know, and gave us a glimpse into the writing sessions that spawned the group’s debut record, The Beauty of Destruction.  In this next segment, Francesco offers some insight about his upcoming solo instrumental record, his approaches to expanding music harmony, and what it means to be a professional musician: IC: I know you have some new solo material in the works. What can you tell us about that and how it’s coming together? FA: All I do when I’m home and not on tour, is write music. And it happens that some material goes to one record, and some goes... Read More →


Francesco Artusato Interview (Devil You Know): Part 1 Francesco Artusato Interview (Devil You Know): Part 1
April 30th, 2014


Known for his explosive, harmonically-laden guitar fireworks, solo artist and All Shall Perish axe-slinger Francesco Artusato has fired off a new chapter with his supergroup, Devil You Know. The new band found its beginnings amidst writing sessions between Francesco and Australian drummer John Sankey, who is best known for his work with Devolved, as well as Divine Heresy and Fear Factory. Shifting focus from their extreme metal forte, the duo entered into a prolific songwriting period, carefully choosing between moments of elegant progressions, and fiery, calculated aggression. Powerhouse vocalist Howard Jones joined Artusato and Sankey in late 2012. Renowned for his decade with metalcore pioneers... Read More →


Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 4 Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 4
March 24th, 2014


  Having covered the ins and outs of his musical past, present, and future in parts I-III of our interview series, Paul Masvidal now opens up about the non-musical forces at work in his life and the merits of art that ‘argues with itself.’  Part I | Part II | Part III PHILOSOPHY LD: The one thing that always just seems paradoxical about your band is your very pervasive sense of positivity, consciousness, and cosmic understanding that comes across through your lyrics, but at the same time you’re called Cynic. It seems almost like a cynical name to have for yourself. Can you speak to the name? PM: It’s funny; we put the definition of a cynic in the liner notes of Focus, because... Read More →


Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 3 Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 3
March 24th, 2014


In the third installment of our interview series with Paul Masvidal, we discussed what Paul does to keep his hands busy when he’s not working on Cynic, how even a player of his caliber still deals with insecurities, and how working so close to death helps inform his own life.  Part I | Part II | Part IV   SESSION WORK / MUSIC THERAPY LD: You probably could do Cynic full-time, with rigorous touring, recording and all, but you don’t seem to feel that need or that pressure. What do you feel you get as an artist, lending so much of your craft and time to other people’s recording sessions and compositions? PM: I want Cynic to be something that’s really pure and driven by art, not... Read More →


Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 2 Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 2
March 24th, 2014


In the first part of our interview, Paul Masvidal took us inside the composition and recording process for Kindly Bent to Free Us. Read on for some insight into the tools of the trade he employed to make the album and why you should be first in line to pick up his new .strandberg* Masvidalien signature guitar.  Part I | Part III | Part IV GEAR LD: I know you were using the [Fractal Audio] Axe-Fx Ultra on Carbon-Based Anatomy. What is your amp and guitar setup like these days, both in the studio and live? PM: I still don’t have the Axe-Fx II and I was really curious about it. I called my friend Tosin [Abasi of Animals As Leaders] and said ‘I want to try one of these new ones out,’ so he... Read More →


Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 1 Paul Masvidal Interview – Cynic (2014): Part 1
March 24th, 2014


When the ‘prog’ label is invoked, does it imply a ‘progressive’ take on broader musical traditions, or rather, can it refer to an individual band’s own ‘progress’ of musical growth and exploration? With that question in mind, I submit to you Cynic’s new album Kindly Bent to Free Us as an early front-runner for prog album the year. Extreme music fans across the globe have unanimously sung the praises of Cynic since their return with 2008’s Traced in Air, though the new album has proved to both confound and divide critics and fans alike. While their 2011 EP Carbon-Based Anatomy teased lush soundscapes along with more worldly orchestration and percussion, the new release is unabashedly... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Marco Sfogli Interview @ DV Mark Amplifiers NAMM 2014: Marco Sfogli Interview @ DV Mark Amplifiers
January 26th, 2014


Marco Sfogli has been blowing the minds of industry veterans like James Labrie for a decade now with his trademark blend of soulful, inflective rock stylings and stunning technique. We first spoke to Marco around the release of his first solo album, There’s Hope, back in 2008, but over the years had never been able to meet up in person – until now! At this year’s NAMM, Guitar Messenger’s Ivan Chopik managed to track down the incredible axeman at the DV Mark Amplifiers booth, where he described and demonstrated the terrific tones of the new Triple Six III head that he helped develop: IC: Tell me a little about this brand new amp that you’ve got coming... Read More →


NAMM 2014: Ola Englund Interview – Part 2 NAMM 2014: Ola Englund Interview – Part 2
January 25th, 2014


In PART ONE of our interview with Ola, he opened up about building his own brand as a high-gain amp expert, playing with bands like The Haunted and living on the road. In this conclusion, Ola talks about how his tone philosophy informed the design of his new signature Randall Satan amp and Washburn Solar line of guitars, and offers some practical advice for guitarists looking to make a career in music.     IC: I’d love to talk to you about some of the new stuff that’s come out, like the [Randall] Satan amplifier. If you had to describe in a few words what you were looking for in that amp, what would they be? OE: I wanted it to be modern, brutal as fuck, and like…... Read More →