Hello all, we are now in March, 2012... 'RizMum' blog sure is getting slower now, but as promised I will try my best to keep on going... and its been awhile now since my last post (T_T) and to update this took me almost a year, anyhow, this will be my final year so you guys know how it is when the big "E" comes. So guys, see you in my next post and keep on SHREDDING!!!! And as always please feel free to drop a suggestion/ideas via e-mail, Thanks

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Name: Jewel Kilcher
Born: 23rd May, 1974 (Payson, Utah, USA)

Profile: She is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actress, and poet. She has sold 27 million albums worldwide, and almost 20 million in the US alone.

History: Jewel learned to play guitar while at the 'Interlochen Arts Academy' in Michigan, where she majored in operatic voice. She started writing songs at the age of 16. In her early teens she and her father sometimes earned a living by singing in bars and taverns. It was from these experiences she learned to yodel, a quality demonstrated in many of her songs.

For a time, she was poverty-stricken and lived in her van while traveling about the country doing street performances and small gigs. She gained some recognition by singing at the 'Innerchange Coffeehouse' and 'Java Joe's' in San Diego, California.

She was discovered in 1993, when John Hogan (Rust), whom Inga Vainshtein was managing at the time, called to tell her about a girl surfer who sang at a local coffee shop. Vainshtein drove to the coffee shop with a rep from Atlantic Records. Danny Goldberg (head of Atlantic Record) offered to pay for Jewel to record some of her songs. Jewel's debut album, 'Pieces of You', was released when she was only 19 in 1995. The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for an impressive 2 years, reaching #4 at its peak.

In 2008, Jewel began work on a project with several dozen singer-songwriters to write and auction their lyrics with donations benefiting her 'Project Clean Water' charity. Many singers and songwriters besides herself have donated their written lyrics such as; Carrie Underwood and Pussycat Dolls, to name a few. The majority of the lyrics were written on paper, signed by the songwriter and also drew pictures to illustrate their lyrics.

In 2010, Jewel released a new single, 'Stay Here Forever'. It is also the lead-off single to Jewel's upcoming ninth studio album 'Sweet and Wild'. The single debuted at #58 on the Hot Country Songs chart and reached #34 in May 2010.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Martin acoustic guitars

Signature song(s): You Were Meant for Me and Foolish Games - Jewel (Pieces of You, 1995)

Link(s): (Official website)

Joan Jett (The Runaways/The Blackhearts)

Name: Joan Marie Larkin
Born: 22nd September, 1958 (Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, USA)

Profile: She is an American rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and actress. She is best known for her work with "Joan Jett & the Blackhearts" including their hit cover 'I Love Rock 'n Roll' which was #1 on the Billboard charts in 1982.

History: In her teens, Jett would sneak out at night to go to concerts with friends. She got her first guitar for Christmas from her father at the age of 13 (after she heard songs like 'Bang a Gong' and 'All Right Now' in the radio) and she mostly spent time after that writing songs. When her family moved to West Covina, LA, Jett took the opportunity to pursue her musical endeavors.

Jett is a founding member of "The Runaways" along with drummer Sandy West. Micki Steele, Jackie Fox, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie completed the line-up. While Currie initially fronted the band, Jett shared some lead vocals, played rhythm guitar and wrote or co-wrote a lot of the band's material along with Ford, West and Currie. The band recorded five LPs, with 'Live In Japan' becoming one of the biggest-selling imports in US and UK history.

While "The Runaways" were popular in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and South America, they could not garner the same level of success in the US. Altogether they produced five albums from 1975 until they disbanded in spring of 1979.

In 1979, Jett launched a solo career, first in England, then New York and finally back in Los Angeles, where she met producer Kenny Laguna. Laguna helped Jett put together a self-titled album that was rejected by more than 20 major record labels. Undeterred, Jett started Blackheart Records and thus became the first woman to own her own label.

Jett formed her next band, the "Blackhearts", with the help of Laguna. The group played several gigs in local California venues before hitting the road on a European tour, including the Netherlands and the Marqee in London. Upon return to US, the group developed quite a following, particularly in New York. Laguna and Jett decided to press some albums and sold them out of the trunk of their cars after each concert. Soon, demand was overwhelming and it was time to find a new label.

Casablanca Records signed Jett and re-released her album as 'Bad Reputation'. "Joan Jett and the Blackhearts" continued to tour and record and released the album 'I Love Rock and Roll'. Jett had become a hot commodity, with several Top 40 hits and sold out shows with "The Police", "Queen" and "Aerosmith". In 1987, Jett was selected out to appear opposite Michael J. Fox in the movie, 'Light of Day', in which she received critical acclaim.

Her musical and songwriting approach is heavily influenced by the hard-edged, hard beat-driven rhythms common to many rock bands of her native Philadelphia, often featuring lyrics surrounding themes of lost love, criticisms of insincerity, the quest for authenticity, the struggles and resolutions of the American working class.

Influences: T-Rex, Free and Suzi Quatro

Axology: Gibson Les Paul

Signature song(s): Crimson and Clover and I Hate Myself for Loving You - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (I Love Rock 'n Roll, 1981)

Link(s): (Official website)

"I grew up in a world that told girls they couldn't play Rock 'n Roll... girls have got balls. They're just a little higher up that's all" - Joan Jett

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Miki Berenyi (Lush)

Name: Miki Berenyi
Born: 18th March, 1967 (London, UK)

Profile: She is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. She was the lead singer of now disbanded group "Lush". She is mixed Japanese and Hungarian parentage, and currently she works for a magazine as a sub-editor.

History: Berenyi actually did not learn guitar formally, she just started to play guitar after forming "Lush" in 1988. At the age of 14, Berenyi met her friend and future bandmate, Emma Anderson. They became interested in music and together wrote the music fanzine 'Alphabet Soup'. Berenyi first music instrument was bass guitar while she was with the band, "The Bugs" and later went on to play with "I-Goat", "Fuhrer Five", and "the Lillies".

In 1988, Berenyi studied English literature at North London Polytechnic, where she met Emma Anderson (guitar) and Meriel Barham (vocal), and they decided to form their own band. When Barham left, the remaining members of "Lush" placed ads in local papers looking for Barham's replacement, but they could not find the singer they wanted, and Berenyi took over the vocals.

By 1990's, "Lush" supported opening tours for "Loop" and the "Darling Buds". Throughout those year, the band's reputation in the British music press began to grow as they released the acclaimed EP's 'Mad Love' and 'Sweetness and Light', played high-profile gigs like the 'Glastonbury Festival', and became favorites of the music weeklies' gossip columns.

'Gala', an album compiling their three EPs, became the band's first American release at the end of 1990. "Lush" spent most of 1991 recording their debut album, releasing the 'Black Spring' EP in the spring and their debut album, 'Spooky' in 1992, reaching the British Top Ten and topping the U.K. indie charts.

After "Lush" disbanded, Berenyi appeared as guest on "The Rentals" album 'Seven More Minutes'. Miki has also contributed vocals to a remix of a 'Flat 7' track by Robin Guthrie and appearing on four tracks as a guest vocalist for "Seinking Ships" on their debut album released in 2008.

Influences: Unknwon

Axology: Gibson Firebird guitar, Epiphone Riviera 12-String electric guitar and Marshall 1960B

Signature song(s): Single Girl - Lush (Lovelife, 1996)


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Poison Ivy Rorschach (The Cramps)

Name: Kristy Marlana Wallace
Born: 20th February, 1953 (San Bernardino, California, USA)

Profile: She is an American musician, songwriter and an actress. Ivy is famously known for her guitar works and founding member of the American garage punk band "The Cramps". Ivy was married to "The Cramps" singer Lux Interior, whom she had been with for 37 years, until his death on 4th February, 2009.

History: Ivy started to play guitar in her early teens but didn't take it seriously. At the age of 19, Ivy met young Erik Lee Purkhiser (Lux Interior) during a college course on art and shamanism, Purkhiser would later become her husband. Deciding that both of their birth name weren't quite edgy enough, the duo decided to change their names and form a punk band that would later come to change the style and sound of Rock & Roll.

After dubbing themselves "The Cramps", the both of them traveled and ultimately ended up in New York City. The band are noted as influencing a number of musical styles; not only are they one of the first garage punk bands but also by being the first known band to blend punk rock with rockabilly, "The Cramps" are widely recognized as one of the prime innovators of psychobilly, and they inspired many of the early goth rock bands.

Her stage persona is best defined by as being the bad-girl vixen from next door, this is underlined by the sexually explicit cover-art which she has frequently posed for the band's albums.

In 2009, after her husband's death, the group naturally disbanded, leaving Ivy without a lover and without a band. However, Ivy remains an inspiration for many reasons to the past, present, and future punk rockers of the world. Her unique sense of fashion, combined with her ability to wail on the guitar is the stuff that legends are made of. She did what she want, how she wanted, without worrying about appealing to a mass audience.

Influences: Link Wray

Axology: vintage Gretch hollow body guitar, 1958 Gretch Chet Atkins 6120 guitar and vintage Fenders amplifiers

Signature song(s): Monkey with Your Tail - The Cramps (Big Beat from Badsville, 1997)

Link(s): (The Cramps' official website)

Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies/Some Girls)

Name: Juliana Hatfield
Born: 27th July, 1967 (Wiscasset, Maine, USA)

Profile: She is an American guitarist/singer-songwriter and author from the Boston area, formerly of the indie rock bands "Blake Babies" and "Some Girls".

History: She acquired a love of rock music during the 70's, having been introduced by a babysitter to the music of the LA punk rock band "X", which proved a life-changing experience. She was also attracted to the music of more mainstream artists like Olivia Newton-John and "The Police", perhaps explaining the contrast in her later music between sweet, melodic pop songs and more hard rock oriented material.

Visualizing herself as a singer since her high school years, where she sang in school choirs and briefly played in a cover band called "The Squids", which played "Rush" songs.

After high school, Hatfield attended Berklee College of Music in Boston as a piano student, in the hope of finding a band with which to sing. There she soon met Freda Boner (Freda Love) and John Strohm, forming the "Blake Babies" with them in 1986, at the age of 19. The band, with which she sang and played bass guitar, was signed to 'Mammoth Records' and received a fair amount of airplay on college radio through the early 90's. The group toured the US several times, performed in Europe, and made several music videos.

Although the group's early work was essentially punk-oriented, they quickly settled into a sunny, melodic, and slightly jangly pop style reminiscent in style of early "REM" and Neil Young. Hatfield and Strohm shared songwriting credits and often sang together in harmony or octaves, creating a memorable "boy-girl" sound rarely encountered in rock.

Hatfield began her solo career following the "Blake Babies" breakup in 1991, releasing her first solo album 'Hey Babe' in 1992. The album was one of the highest selling independent albums. Hatfield recruited a rhythm section consisting of Todd Phillips and bassist Dean Fisher, and thus becoming "The Juliana Hatfield Three".

In 2001, she joined with Freda Love and Heidi Gluck to form the trio "Some Girls", with which she performs in addition to her solo work; the group has toured the US twice and has released two albums. The trio is another outlet for Hatfield's more lighthearted material. Their first album, entitled 'Feel It', was released in 2003. The lead single 'Necessito' is a funky affirmation of the power of music, sung in a mixture of English and Spanish. "Some Girls" second album, 'Crushing Love', was released in 2006.

In 2005, Hatfield toured the US with the band "X", whom she idolized during her teenage years. In 2006, Hatfield released her first live album 'The White Broken Line: Live Recordings', the album featured performances from her tour with "X". Hatfield's latest album, 'Peace & Love' was released on 16th February, 2010. The album's composition, arrangement, performance, production, engineering and mixing is solely credited to Hatfield.

Influences: Neil Young, Olivia Newton-John, X, The Stooges, the MC5, The Police and The Replacements

Axology: Gibson Les Paul Standard and Gibson SG

Signature song(s): My Sister - The Juliana Hatfield Three (Become What You Are,1993) and Necessito - Some Girls (Feel It, 2003)

Link(s): (Official website)

Ruyter Suys (Nashville Pussy)

Name: Unknown (Ruyter Suys - pronounced Rider Sighs)
Born: 5th November, 1967 (Canada)

Profile: She is a Canadian musician, mostly known as the lead guitarist for American hard rock band "Nashville Pussy" and the wife of guitarist Blaine Cartwright (former "Nine Pound Hammer").

History: She started to learn guitar ever since she heard her favorite 70's rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, to name a few, and wanted to be a professional musician one day, touring the world with her music. She also claims that the reason she plays guitar is because of Courtney Love (Hole), not as an idol, but the opposite reasons.

In 1996, Suys and Cartwright (husband) formed a new band called "Nashville Pussy" after the breakup of "Nine Pound Hammer", where her husband played as a guitarist. With "Nashville Pussy", Cartwright would take up vocal duties while Suys plays lead guitar.

The band has remained largely underground, however gaining a large cult following in Europe, Australia and Japan. The band has a modest fanbase. Grassroots promotion of the band has been aided by their taper-friendly show recording policy.

'ELLE' magazine voted Ruyter Suys as 'One of the Greatest Female Electric Guitarists'.

On 25th March 2010, "Nashville Pussy" will embark on the 'Parental Advisory Tour' with "Green Jelly" and the cult comedy metal band "Psychostick".

Influences: Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Iggy Pop, ZZ Top, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Motorhead and ABBA

Axology: Gibson SG

Signature song(s): Fried Chicken And Coffee - Nashville Pussy (Let Them Eat Pussy, 1998)

Link(s): (Nashville Pussy's official website)

"...good old-fashioned, humping-in-the-back-seat-of-a-car Rock ’n Roll" - Ruyter Suys

Kelley Deal (The Breeders/tkd6k)

Name: Kelley Deal
Born: 10th June, 1961 (Dayton, Ohio, USA)

Profile: She is an American multi-talented musician, composer, lead guitarist for "The Breeders" and the identical twin sister of musician Kim Deal. She also specializes in knitted handbags, which she sells on her official website.

History: Her love in music started when she was still in her early teens, where Kelley and her twin sister Kim formed the first line-up of "The Breeders" while in their late teens, with Kim on acoustic guitar, Kelley on bass, and both girls singing. They both had an opportunity to join the "Pixies" in the mid 80's, with Kim on bass and Kelley on drums (for just a brief of time).

In 1992, Kelley joined "The Breeders" (after Kim Deal and Tanya Donelly formed the second line-up of the band in 1989) as guitarist, even though she didn't really know how to play. In 1993, the album 'Last Splash' was released, the band toured opening for "Nirvana" and also got a slot on the 'Lollapalooza' tour in 1994.

In early 90's, Kelly started the "The Kelley Deal 6000" (tkd6k). She began writing her own songs, which appear in her band's set, while her sister was back home in Dayton playing in her new band "The Amps". "tkd6k" released two albums on Kelley's 'Nice Records label', their first debut album was 'Go To The Sugar Altar' in 1996 and 'Boom! Boom! Boom!' in 1997.

In 1997, Kelly also joined the "Last Hard Men" with vocalist Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins) and Jimmy Flemion (The Frogs). She played bass for them and they recorded an album, but it was not released until 2001 because they could not find a label that would release it.

She also co-wrote and played guitar on "Magnetophone" and performed duets with Kris Kristofferson and "Supersuckers".

Kelley teamed back up with her twin sister Kim in the late 90's, and began recording new demos for "The Breeders". With a new line up, they released 'Title TK' in 2002, which features three songs recorded in 1999, where the Deal sisters played all the instruments. In 2008, "The Breeders" released 'Mountain Battles'.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Gibson Les Paul Deluxe and Fender Statocaster

Signature song(s): Safari - The Breeders (1992) and Dammit - tkd6k (Go to the Suger Altar, 1996)

Link(s): (Official website)

Emma Anderson (Lush/Sing-Sing)

Name: Emma Anderson
Born: 10th June, 1967 (Wimbledon, London, England)

Profile: She is an English musician, best known for being a songwriter, guitarist and backing singer in the Britpop band "Lush". As a keen music fan, she used to write a fanzine called 'Alphabet Soup' with school friend Miki Berenyi when she was a teenager.

History: She started to play guitar in the 70's and attended 'Ealing College of Higher Education' in London where she first joined a band called "The Rover Girls" as a bass player.

In 1988, she formed "Lush" with friend and fellow song writer, Miki Berenyi. In "Lush", she played as a lead guitarist, and played their very first performance at 'Camden Falcon' in London. They went on to reasonable success, having a number of Top 40 hits over an 8 year career.

Both Anderson and Berenyi became major music press celebrities. 'NME' and 'Melody Maker' magazine gleefully reported their social activities on a regular basis, which could be said to overshadow their increasingly strong songwriting.

After their biggest hits, the Top 30 'Single Girl', 'Ladykillers' and '500 (Shake Baby Shake)' and Top 10 album, 'Lovelife' in 1996, the band disbanded officially on February 1997 due to personal reasons.

In 1997, Anderson formed a new band with vocalist Lisa O'Neill, "Sing-Sing". They released two albums - 'The Joy of Sing-Sing' in 2001 and 'Sing-Sing and I' in 2005, before officially disbanding on New Year's Day 2008.

Anderson currently resides in Brighton, with her daughter, and still works in the music industry.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: 1972 Fender Telecaster Thinline

Signature song(s): Single Girl - Lush (Lovelife, 1996)


Prisa (Dead Squad/Morning Star)

Name: Prisa Adinda Arini Rianzi
Born: 6th January, 1988 (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Profile: She is one of the few female guitarist in Indonesia, and was famously known after featuring in one of J-Rocks' song 'Kau Curi Lagi'. She is a young talented musician, singer and guitarist.

History: While staying at her high school's female dormitory, she started to play guitar (coincidentally), using a friend's guitar. Eventually, after been scolded many times by the guitar owner she was determined to took guitar lesson.

In early 2000's, Prisa was known to the underground scene with the all female heavy metal band "Zala". It was in 2006, where her band and Prisa, herself, make success in the Indonesian music industry, after she was offered to model and as a spoke person for '' in events and media conferences.

On June 2006, Prisa joined guitarist Stevie Item (Andra & The Backbone) to formed a new band called "Dead Squad". On July, the same year, she collaborated with Indonesian virtuoso Eet Sjahranie and his band "EdanE" at PRJ. Prisa also signed a 2 year contract as additional guitarist and backing vocal for "Sheila On 7's" album 'Band Sejuta Copy', and followed the band's tour in Indonesia and Malaysia.

In 2007, Prisa featured in "J-Rocks'" song 'Kau Curi Lagi' as a vocalist and guitarist for their second album. A few months later, she released her debut album. Prisa also had a side project band called "Morning Star", in this band she mainly sang and used acoustic guitar.

On July 2007, Prisa was endorse by Jackson guitars for their Jackson DKMG Arch Top. It was a phenomenal moment for every Indonesian musician because she was the first and only guitarist in Indonesia to be endorse by Jackson guitars. In 2008, Prisa released her second solo album entitled 'Muka Dua'.

Influences: Slayer, John Mayer, Mick Thompson, Steve Vai, God Forbid, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Megadeth, Unearth, Lamb of God and The Black Dahlia Murder

Axology: Gibson DKMG Archtop, Jackson USA Randy Rhoads RR1, Fender Telecaster, Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton signature series, Jackson Flathead Custom Shop, Martin acoustic X Series, Line 6 POD XT Live and Roland Cube 30 amplifiers

Signature song(s): Kau Curi Lagi - J-Rocks (Spirit, 2007) and Muka Dua - Prisa (Muka Dua, 2008)

Link(s): (Official website)

Friday, 14 May 2010

Jennifer Batten's guitars

(Left): Jennifer with MJ on stage in one of his legendary tours, back in those years, Jennifer main axe was an Ibanez guitars. (Right): One of Jennifer's Ibanez guitar, hang on a column for exhibition.

Brand: Ibanez
Neck : Ebony
Fingerboard: Rosewood with 22 frets
Controls: 1 Master volume, 1 Tone knob and 5 way switch blade
Pickups : Seymour's JB Jr's in the bridge (she's been using this pickups since 1985)
Bridge: Original Floyd Rose

Currently, Jennifer are using Washburn guitar (she even has her own signature series)

Brand: Washburn
Neck : Unknown
Fingerboard : Rosewood with 22 frets
Body : Basswood body (bolt on neck)
Color : Natural
Controls: 1 Master volume, 1 Tone knob and 5 way switch blade
Pickups : Seymour's JB Jr
Bridge: Original Floyd Rose

Jennifer Batten

Name: Jennifer Batten
Born: 28th November, 1957

Profile: She is an American guitarist and songwriter, has worked as both a session musician and a solo artist. Jennifer are famously known as a lead and rhythm guitarist on Michael Jackson's 'Bad', 'Dangerous' and 'HIStory' tours.

History: She started to play guitar in her teens where at one point she was in 6 different bands, playing everything from straight ahead rock, to metal, fusion, and funk. A major turning point came when she was selected from over 100 guitarists to play in Michael Jackson's highly skilled band which toured the world for one and a half years playing for over four and a half million people.

Jennifer wasted no time after the 'Bad' Tour's grand finale, diving into work on her own album with renown producer Michael Sembello. The stunning results can be heard on 'Above, Below, and Beyond', the title appropriately describing the interesting diversity within.

Shortly after the record's release in 1992, she was asked again to join Michael Jackson (MJ) for his upcoming 'Dangerous Tour'. In early 1993, she joined MJ to partake in Superbowl XXVII's half time entertainment which aired to one and half billion people in 80 nations. It was the largest audience in television history.

She completed her second solo record 'Jennifer Batten's Tribal Rage~Momentum', just before she was again asked to join MJ for his 2 year world tour supporting his double album 'HIStory' in 1997.

Jennifer's 'Tribal Rage' project took a much different direction than her first record and is heavily influenced by world music. It is a hybrid of rock and very exotic sounds, including African percussion, Australian didgeridoo, Caribbean steel drums and Scottish bag pipes.

In 1998, Jeff Beck asked Jennifer to join his band. They joined forces for 3 years doing 2 albums which were both supported by world tours.

Influences: Jeff Beck, Joe Diorio, Eddie Van Halen, George Lynch, Steve Morse, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, Johnny Lang and Michael Bianco.

Axology: Washburn guitars, Ibanez guitars, Adrian Belew Parker Fly, Marshall cabinet with greenbacks, Marshall EL34 100/100 Dual Mono Bloc power amp, Digitech RP 1000 and Stuart Box Doubleneck Tapping Guitars

Signature song(s): Black & White - Michael Jackson


Donna Austin

Name: Donna Austin
Born: Unknown

Profile: She is an American musician, singer and guitarist, mostly known for her blues style SRV's techniques. Her spirituality and supernova energy are a gifted quality that few possess. She is rich in diversity and master of many styles, Austin's passion and perfection are dedicated to her life's true love, music.

History: Started to play guitar in her early teens, where she will practice countless of hours with the instrument and knew that one day she will be a great musician as her idol Jimi Hendrix.

Several years ago, Austin moved to Florida and decided to make it her new home, where she had been playing in several concerts in central Florida and up and down the east coast while working on her first album project entitle 'Spirit of the Gypsy Rose'. When not on the road she is either writing, in the studio or rehearsing from 8 to 10 hours a day, but never failing to keep her high profile.

Austin is often seen out and about at some of the local concert halls, from Universal Studio's - 'Hard Rock Live', Disney's - 'House of Blues' and also TV and radio interviews, to name a few.

The music of Miss Austin captures the essence and purity of some of her great mentors in every genres, such as Jimi Hendrix (Rock) , Stevie Ray Vaughan (Blues) and Wes Montgomery (Jazz).

Influences: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Eric Johnson, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Django Reinhardt, Tony Mottola, Tommy Garrett, Julian Bream, Carlos Montoya, Charlie Byrd, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, Roy Block, Jim McCarty, BB King and J. Winters

Axology: Fender Statocaster and her favorite guitar; a custom-made yellow Telecaster with black pickguard

Signature song(s): Sunset Strip - Donna Austin

Link(s): (Official website)

"I meet a lot of guitar players but, Donna Austin is absolutely an awesome singer and guitar player." - Sammy Demo

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Robert DeLeo (STP/Army of Anyone)

Name: Robert Emile DeLeo
Born: 2nd February, 1966 (Glen Ridge, New Jersey, USA)

Profile: He is an American bass player and harmony vocalist for the rock band "Stone Temple Pilots" (STP). He has also played in "Talk Show" and "Army of Anyone". He is the younger brother of Dean DeLeo, who plays lead guitar for "STP".

History: Robert started to play guitar in his teens, but his interest are more in playing bass because his brother Dean already played guitar. DeLeo met Scott Weiland (who would eventually become vocalist of "STP") at a "Black Flag" concert in 1987. The both of them wanted to form a band and eventually hooked up with drummer Eric Kretz, and DeLeo managed to convince his brother to play guitar in their new band "Mighty Joe Young" which later changed to "Stone Temple Pilots".

During their years, "STP" came to be one of the most successful bands of the 90's. Robert is credited with much of the band's music, including the famous intros for the songs 'Plush' and 'Interstate Love Song'.

While "STP's" hiatus in 1997, he and his brother Dean, Kretz, Dave Coutts (Ten Inch Men) formed a new band "Talk Show", their debut album was released in 1997 and peaked at #131 on the 'Billboard 200' and was considered a commercial flop.

In 2003, the DeLeo brothers formed another group "Army of Anyone". The group met after Richard Patrick (Filter) contacted the DeLeo brothers on writing material for "Filter's" fourth album. The band eventually called in drummer Ray Luzier in for an audition, found the formula worked, and the band was formed. The band's self titled album was released in 2006. The album became a critical success; some went as far to label the album as one of the bests of the year.

In 2008, "STP" reunited and are planning on releasing their sixth album on 25th May, 2010. DeLeo is a former employee of Schecter Guitar Research and built the prototype of what later became his signature model while working there. The Schecter Model T was his primary live instrument during his years with "STP".

DeLeo is known for his smooth style of playing, with infusions of Jazz, 1960's rhythm and blues, and hard rock creating a rather distinctive tone. He is also known for being a master riff maker; he created most of the riffs for "STP" which was the band's trademark style, and wrote and arranged most of the band's songs. He also uses a bass Wah-wah pedal to change his tone accordingly.

Influences: James Jamerson, John Entwistle (The Who), Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power), Chris Squire (Yes) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).

Axology: Schecter Model T signature basses, 1966 Fender Precision bass, 1976 Rickenbacker 4001, 50's Danelectro Longhorn, Fender Musicmaster, Marshall and Ampeg amplifiers

Signature song(s): Interstate Love Song - STP (Purple, 1994) and Goodbye - Army of Anyone (Army of Anyone, 2006)


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Buckethead (Praxis/Guns 'N Roses)

Name: Unknown (he is also known as Death Cube K, Big B, The Boy and Bucky)
Born: 1969

Profile: He is an American musician, songwriter and virtuoso. He has released 29 studio albums, 4 special releases, 1 EP album and performed on over 50 more by other artists. His music spans such diverse areas as progressive metal, thrash metal, funk, electronica, jazz, bluegrass and avant-garde music.

History: He began playing at the age of 12, and took it seriously a year later. His playing began improving with lessons from various teachers including Pebber Brown, Johnny Fortune, Max McGuire and Paul Gilbert. He then began making demo recordings of his playing styles.

In 1988, 'Guitar Player' magazine's editor, Jas Obrecht was impressed with his demo, and encouraged him to make the most of his talent, and in 1989 a song called 'Sowee' composed by Buckethead got honorable mention by local guitarist.

In 1992, Buckethead, with bassist/producer Bill Laswell formed the supergroup "Praxis". Their first album, 'Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis)' was well-received. The project was Bill Laswell's concept, and has since involved other guests such as Serj Tankian (System of a Down), among many others. In 1994, Buckethead released two albums, the first was 'Dreamatorium' under the name of Death Cube K (an anagram of 'Buckethead'), and the second was 'Giant Robot', which features many guest appearances by artists such as Iggy Pop and Bill Moseley.

It was 'Monster and Robots' album - a collaboration with Les Claypool (Primus), which made Buckethead known to the music world and currently the best-selling album of his career. This album includes the song 'The Ballad of Buckethead', for which his first music video was made.

In 2000-2004, Buckethead achieved a higher public profile as lead guitarist for "Guns N' Roses". He recorded the often delayed album 'Chinese Democracy' with the band and appeared live on stage in 2001-2002. Despite being a member of "GNR", Buckethead released his sixth studio album, called 'Somewhere Over the Slaughterhouse' in 2001.

When performing, Buckethead used to wear a KFC bucket on his head, emblazoned with an orange bumper sticker that read 'FUNERAL' in capital black block letters, and an expressionless plain white costume mask. He also incorporates nunchaku, robot dancing, and toy trading into his stage performances.

Influences: Michael Jackson, Paul Gilbert (Racer X), Shawn Lane, Yngwie Malmsteen, Bootsy Collins, Eddie Hazel, Randy Rhoads and Angus Young (AC/DC)

Axology: Gibson Buckethead Signature Les Paul, Custom built ESP MV guitar, Ibanez X-Series Flying V, Ibanez X Series Rocket Roll II, Takamine Acoustic, Yamaha AES920, Custom built Jackson Y2KV, Heartfield Talon II model (by Fender), Digitech Whammy II and Peavey 5150 amplifiers

Signature song(s): Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' Theme

Link(s): (Official website)

Although a multi-instrumentalist, Buckethead is best known for his electric guitar playing. He has been voted number 8 on a list in 'GuitarOne' magazine of the 'Top 20 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time'.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Vicky Sianipar

Name: Vicky Sianipar
Born: Unknown (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Profile: He is a multi-talented musician, music arranger, composer and guitarist who plays music while preserving the ethnic culture of Indonesian music.

History: This Batak native started studying music when he was 6 years old and studied classical piano and guitar into his teen years. He played music professionally since high school, where he discovered his true love of new age and world of music.

In late 90's, he ditched his job in the family business and in 2001 began dedicating himself to music full time as a solo artist who played, arranged and produced his own album.

His first album called 'Toba Dream' claimed as the best selling World Music Album in Indonesia. The album was also awarded by 'Akedemi Musik Indonesia (AMI)' as the 'The Best World Music Artist'. His singles like 'Piso Surit' and 'Beta Hita' stays on MTV and local radio charts for weeks, also was known as the first ethnic new age music that was able to enter media's chart ever. He is, then, claimed as the youngest best selling Indonesian World Music artist that make him the icon of Indonesian World Musicians.

In his last four albums, Vicky has created music inspired by the music of north Sumatra (the birthplace of his ancestors). He is driven to learn and experiment with Batak music and instruments while updating their sound with modern keyboards and electronics. He continues to collaborate with musicians on other ethnics such as Javanese, Sundanese and Malay.

In 2006, he released 'Indonesian Beauty' an album where he experiment and produce all of his music in his state of the art studio complex in Jakarta called 'Vicky Sianipar Music Center', where he hopes to produce other groups dedicated to promoting and modernizing the traditional sounds of Indonesia.

Influences: North Sumatran music

Axology: Fender Startocaster

Signature song(s): Sesal Semu - Vicky Sianipar (Satu) and Sinanggar Tulo - Vicky Sianipar (Toba Dream III)

Link(s): (Official website)

Heather Nova

Name: Heather Nova
Born: 6th July, 1967 (Bermuda)

Profile: She is a singer-songwriter and poet. She has released seven full-length albums and has found lasting success in Germany where two of her albums 'South' and 'Storm' have made their way into the Top-5 of German official album chart.

History: Nova started playing guitar and violin at an early age, writing her first song when she was 12. Her family relocated to New England where she attended the Putney School in Putney, Vermont. Following her graduation in 1983, Nova enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she majored in film in 1989. She also sat in on poetry classes and wrote music to go with her student films. Later, she would forgo film study to focus on creating music.

After graduating from RISD, Nova briefly relocated to New York City (where she unsuccessfully tried to interest some major labels in a demo), before moving to London. In 1990, she released her first recording, 'Heather Frith', an EP; she had not yet changed her name. The name change came a year or so later, in an effort to create a name with more buzz.

The new name debuted in 1993 with her second EP 'Spirit in You' and her first full album, the critically acclaimed 'Glow Stars'. The success of the album led her to record and release her first live album 'Blow' the same year, which she supported by a tour of Europe.

In 1994, she released what many consider to be her finest work to date, the emotional yet jagged album 'Oyster', for which she toured for almost 2 years. 'Siren', the long-awaited album was released in 1998, after which she joined Sarah McLachlan and others on the 'North American Lilith Fair', a music festival with only female performers.

Over the years, Nova has written and recorded over 100 songs. With the release of 'South' in 2001, she returned to the international spotlight with an appearance on the soundtrack of the John Cusack movie 'Serendipity', the album followed by 'Storm' in 2003, 'Redbird' in 2005 and 'The Jasmine Flower' in 2008.

She also collaborated with the German trance artist ATB on tracks like 'Love Will Find You', 'Feel You Like A River' and 'Renegade'.

Influences: Patti Smith

Axology: Taylor acoustic guitar

Signature song(s): London Rain (Nothing Heals Me Like You Do) - Heather Nova (Siren, 1998) and Gloomy Sunday - Heather Nova (South, 2001)

Link(s): (Official website)

"One of pop's most enduring mysteries" - Sunday Times

Monday, 10 May 2010

Dean DeLeo (STP/Army of Anyone)

Name: Dean DeLeo
Born: 23rd August, 1961 (Newark, New Jersey, USA)

Profile: He is an American guitarist for the rock band "Stone Temple Pilots" (STP). He was also known for his guitar work in "Talk Show" and "Army of Anyone". DeLeo's playing has received strong critical acclaim over the years. "STP's" second album, 'Purple', was ranked at #73 on 'Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All-time list.

History: He started to play guitar in his early teens. As a guitarist and younger brother Robert as bassist, the both of them wanted to form a band together. In 1987, in a "Black Flag" concert, Robert met future vocalist Scott Weiland and soon after introduced Dean to Scott, they eventually hooked up with drummer Eric Kretz, and the band was formed.

At first they took the name "Mighty Joe Young" (inspired by the movie) and played gigs in many bars around the Hollywood area, and eventually landed a record deal with Atlantic Records in 1992. However, they were forced to change the band's name, for the name "Mighty Joe Young" had already been taken. Weiland decided on the name "Stone Temple Pilots" after seeing a sticker with 'STP' initials.

The band exploded with the release of their debut album 'Core', which sold over 8 million copies. The record sales propelled with the release of the singles 'Sex Type Thing' and 'Plush', and helped establish "STP" as a one of the many popular grunge bands in the early 1990's.

In the late 90's, "STP" was in hiatus due to Weiland departure, the DeLeo brothers and Kretz eventually formed a new band, "Talk Show", which released only one album. In 2003, the DeLeo brothers began to work with vocalist Richard Patrick (Filter) with drummer Ray Luzier and formed "Army of Anyone". The band's debut album was released on 14th November, 2006.

In 2008, "STP" reunited and are planning on releasing their sixth album on 25th May, 2010. DeLeo has also worked with various solo artist and bands such as; Alanis Morissette, Chris Robinson (The Black Crowe), "Chicago", "Alien Ant Farm", "10 Years" and affiliated with "Laughter Train", a Seattle band.

Dean DeLeo's crunchy guitar tone was a main trademark of "STP", and has a distinct tone. Not overbearing on distortion, his sound possesses a unique 'crunch', and is often seen as spacey. He pays homage to many genres and tones, most noticeably hard rock with elements of 'psychedelia, jangle pop, and other forms of melodic alternative guitar'.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Gibson 1978 Les Paul Standards, Gibson J-45, Gibson J-100 XT, 1960's Fender Telecaster and PRS hollowbody electric guitars

Signature song(s): Creep - Stone Temple Pilots (Core, 1992) and It Doesn't Seem to Matter - Army of Anyone (Army of Anyone, 2006)


Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)

Name: Stephen Percy Harris
Born: 12th March, 1956 (Leytonstone, London, England)

Profile: He is an English musician, best known as the bassist, band leader, primary songwriter and only constant member of the heavy metal band "Iron Maiden", in addition, he plays keyboards, and sings backing vocals.

History: Originally Harris wanted to play drums or be a professional football player; however he did not have much space for a drum kit in his house so he started to play bass and write songs. Harris is a self-taught bass player, his first bass was a copy of a Fender Precision Bass that cost him £40 when he was 17 years old. He went on to use a signature Lado 'Unicorn' model and an early 70's Fender Precision bass.

Harris joined numerous bands such as "Influence", "Gypsy's Kiss" and "Smiler". He ended up leaving "Smiler", as the members of the band made it clear that they did not care for a bassist who leapt around the stage and wrote songs, also his songs were too complicated for the band members, with the result that they did not want to play them, after "Smiler", Harris went on to create "Iron Maiden".

Harris is "Iron Maiden's" principal composer and lyricist. His song writing typically showcases his trademark galloping bass patterns and features long songs with epic lyrics that feature many tempo changes. Harris frequently writes lyrics about mythology, history or topics inspired from books and films.

Harris is often considered among the best and most influential heavy metal bassists. He is most known for his "galloping" horses - usually an eighth note followed by two sixteenth notes at fast tempo or eighth note triplets – which he plays with two fingers.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Precision Bass, Fender 70's Jazz Bass, Ibanez Roadster Bass, Ovation Acoustic Bass, Washburn Force 40 bass and Marshall amplifiers.

Signature song(s): Wrathchild - Iron Maiden (Killers, 1981) and The Trooper - Iron Maiden (Piece of Mind, 1983)


Mick Goodrick

Name: Mick Goodrick
Born: 9th June, 1945 (Sharon, PA, USA)

Profile: He is an American post bop jazz guitarist and educator most noteworthy for his work with vibraphonist "Gary Burton's band" from 1973 to 1976, where for part of that time he was playing alongside guitarist Pat Metheny. Metheny has actually cited Goodrick as an influence.

History: Goodrick began studying guitar when he was 11 after seeing Elvis Presley on TV, being inspired to play jazz while attending Stan Kenton summer camps. He went to pursue his love in music at Berklee College of Music and graduated in 1967, and joined "Gary Burton's band".

After working with vibraphonist Gary Burton, he began teaching at New England Conservatory and at Berklee College of Music where he still works today as a Professor. Over the course of his career, Goodrick has had many notable students including: Mike Stern, John Scofield, Avner Strauss, Rale Micic and Bill Frisell.

Goodrick is renowned for both his harmonic command of the guitar and his prowess as an influential teacher. He is author of the book known among players as the "guitarist’s bible" entitled, 'The Advancing Guitarist'. Goodrick has also written a series of books addressing the intricacies of harmonic voice-leading.

Goodrick has recorded and performed internationally for the past 40 years with other world famous musicians such as Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Dewey Redman, John Abercrombie, Dave Liebman, Joe Diorio and Steve Swallow, to name a few. His most recent recordings have been for Greg Hopkins, Gary Chaffee and Steve Swallow.

Influences: Elvis Presley and Stan Kenton (Jazz pianist)

Axology: Klein guitars

Signature song(s): Albums such as 'In Pas(s)ing' (1978) and 'Cities' (1993)

Link(s): (Official website)

"Like receiving an open-ended letter from a distant planet, filled with the truth serum of the universe..." - Pat Metheny

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Pat Metheny

Name: Patrick Bruce Metheny
Born: 12th August, 1954 (Lee's Summit, Missouri, USA)

Profile: He is an American jazz guitarist and composer. One of the most successful and critically acclaimed, he is the leader of the "Pat Metheny Group" and is also involved in duets, solo works and other side projects. His style incorporates elements of progressive and contemporary jazz, post-bop, latin jazz and jazz fusion.

History: He started on guitar when he was 13. He developed quickly, taught at both the University of Miami and Berklee College of Music with Jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton. He first made his name as a teenage prodigy under the wing of Burton.

In 1974, he made his recording debut for pianist Paul Bley's, along with bassist Jaco Pastorius. A year later, Metheny entered the wider jazz scene when he joined "Gary Burton's band", where he played alongside guitarist Mick Goodrick. Metheny's musical momentum carried him rapidly to the point that he had soon written enough material to record his debut album 'Bright Size Life' with Pastorius.

In 1977, Metheny's album 'Watercolors', was the first to feature pianist Lyle Mays (Metheny's most frequent collaborator). Metheny's next album formalized his partnership with Mays and began the "Pat Metheny Group".

Metheny has also joined projects such as "Song X", "Parallel Realities", "Jazz Baltica" and "EST". The "Pat Metheny Group" has released albums such as 'Offramp' in 1982, 'Travels' in 1983, 'First Circle' in 1984 and 'The Falcon and the Snowman' in 1985. Metheny then again delved into adventurous solo and band projects, the group integrated new instrumentation and technologies into its work, notably Mays' unique playing technique accomplished by adding midi-controlled synth sounds at command during acoustic solos via a pedal on the piano.

This period became a peak of commercial popularity of the band, additional Latin musicians appear as guests, notably Brazilian percussion player Armando Marçal. Metheny's latest side projects teams him with Brad Mehldau and his Trio. In 2006, Metheny appeared as a sideman on "Brecker's" last album, 'Pilgrimage'. Pat Metheny has been touring for more than 30 years, playing between 120-240 concerts a year.

Influences: Wes Montgomery, Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, James Taylor, Jim Hall, Joe Diorio, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bruce Hornsby, Joni Mitchell, Buckethead, Eddie Van Halen, Leo Kottke, Mick Goodrick, Blue Note and The Beatles

Axology: Gibson guitar model ES-175, 42-string Pikasso guitar, Acoustic Sitar guitar, Ibanez PM20 Signature Model and Roland GR-300 guitar synthesizer

Signature song(s): Minuano and Last Train Home - Pat Metheny Group (1987)

Link(s): (Official website)


The major scale, identical to the Ionian mode, is the cornerstone of western music. As other diatonic scales, the major scale is made up of seven notes (eight if you include the octave). The Ionian scale, or mode, is the first of the seven musical modes.

Dewa Budjana (Gigi)

Name: Dewa Gede Budjana
Born: 30th August, 1963 (Waikabubak, Indonesia)

Profile: He is an Indonesian guitarist, songwriter and composer, best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter of the band "Gigi".

History: Like many other guitarists, Dewa did not really have a formal education in music, however, his grandparents, played traditional 'gamelan' music in their spare times. His first guitar teacher was a construction worker who lived nearby his house. The passion grew stronger, and was nurtured when the boy moved to big city of Surabaya, where he took a classical music course when he was in high school, performed with a band, and indulged in dozens of music performances.

Dewa is initially into pop and rock, and his style veered heavily into jazz. He then established a jazz band called "Squirrel", which was pretty popular in the local scene. After graduation, he went to Jakarta to pursue a career as professional musician. He came across jazz maestro, the late Jack Lesmana, who taught Dewa the philosophy of jazz.

After a period of club performances, Dewa's skill later attracted many artists to collaborate with. He even joined several bands, such as "Spirit" and "Java Jazz", as well as working for noted musicians like Erwin Gutawa, Elfa Secioria and Addie MS.

In 1994, despite growing reputation as a top-notch guitarist, Dewa personal taste is actually pretty eclectic, which brought him to establish pop group "Gigi", the group survives until now, and still hailed as one of the biggest pop bands in the country.

He also manages to release four solo albums whose music is an amalgamation of jazz, pop and traditional music. His debut in 1997, 'Nusa Damai', was a collection of compositions he wrote ever since he knew how to play the instrument. In 2000, 'Gitarku' was released, a purely instrumental album with therapeutic and meditative sound. 'Samsara' followed three years later, an album highlighted with traditional Kalimantan flute and Japanese Shamisen. The album was a reflection of his journey and experience of working with international musicians, such Peter Erskine and bassist Dave Carpenter.

Influences: John Mc Laughlin, Pat Metheny, Jeff Beck, John Abercrombie, Chick Corea, Weather Report, Keith Jarret, Alex de Grassi, Bill Evans, Bill Frissell and Jan Garbarek

Axology: Parker guitar model Fly Delux, Klein guitars and Gibson guitars SG series, Carvin Legacy amplifier and Line 6

Signature song(s): Ruang Dialisis - Dewa Budjana (Nusa Damai, 1997) and 11 Januari - Gigi (Peace, Love & Respect, 2007)

Link(s): (Official website)

Jeff Hanneman (Slayer)

Name: Jeffery John Hanneman
Born: 31st January, 1964 (Oakland, California, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician and lyricist, best known as the lead guitarist and a founding member of the American thrash metal band "Slayer".

History: Started an interest in music in an early age, influenced by his brother Joey, the both of them started the band "Bloodcum" but nothing happened with that band. Early in the 80's, Hanneman approached guitarist Kerry King (when King was auditioning for a band). After the try-out session, the two guitarists started talking and playing "Iron Maiden" and "Judas Priest" songs, at that time "Slayer" was born.

In 1982, Hanneman, Dave Lombardo and guitarist Rocky George (Suicidal Tendencies) had a brief punk side project called "Pap Smear" - the band was due to start recording when Hanneman was advised to avoid the side project by "Slayer's" producer, Rick Rubin, and Hanneman took Rubin's advice, and later used two of the songs on "Slayer's" 1996 album 'Undisputed Attitude'.

Hanneman wrote probably the most well-known thrash song ever. It was 'Angel Of Death'. It should not be necessary to say, from where he got the inspiration to that song. Many know, that he for a long time, had interest in militarism.

Hanneman's and King's dual guitar solos have been called "wildly chaotic", and "twisted genius". Early albums, such as 'Hell Awaits' and 'Reign in Blood', featured a "wailing style" and "demented soloing often mimicking the screams of the song's victims". 'South of Heaven' featured "more technical" guitar riffs, utilizing the aforementioned tremolo picking and down-picked notes, improving musicianship while retaining a melodic sense.

Both Hanneman and King were ranked #10 on Guitar Worlds '100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time'.

Influences: Dead Kennedys, Alice in Chains, Type O Negative and Slipknot

Axology: ESP Jeff Hanneman Signature model, Jackson guitar and Marshall JCM-800 amplifiers

Signature song(s): Angel of Death and Raining in Blood - Slayer (Reign In Blood, 1986)


Thursday, 6 May 2010

Kerry King (Slayer)

Name: Kerry Ray King
Born: 3rd June, 1964 (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Profile: He is a American guitarist, best known as the rhythm and lead guitarist and one of the founding members of American thrash metal band "Slayer". He is also a long time and noted snake breeder, and is known to pop up at Southern California reptile events.

History: He started playing guitar in his early teens, and in early 80's, he was trying out for the position as a guitarist in a band. After the session was over guitarist Jeff Hanneman approached him and the two began playing "Iron Maiden" and "Judas Priest" songs, after a few months together the both of them formed American thrash-metal band "Slayer".

King has also made several guest appearances as lead guitarist for other bands and artist such as "Beastie Boys", "Pantera", "Hatebreed", "Sum 41", "Marilyn Manson", Ice-T and Rob Zombie.

Over the years, Kerry King's guitar style has remained similar, giving him a very distinctive sound. Aside from his strong, often angular rhythm guitar work, King is one of the most distinctive soloists in metal: focusing more on speed and chaos than on melody or typical metal-style technical precision, King typically makes extensive and unorthodox use of whammy bar and uses a very heavy, irregular vibrato.

Some fans and critics have disapproved of King's solo style, but it should be noted that King is an innovator: his solo style had little precedent, but has exerted a strong influence, particularly thrash and death metal bands, where diatonic-ism is less important than in traditional rock and metal.

Influences: Judas Priest, Venom, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath

Axology: B.C. Rich KKV Signature V guitar, B.C. Rich Wartribe 7-string guitar and Marshall JCM-800 amplifier

Signature song(s): Angel of Death and Raining in Blood - Slayer (Reign In Blood, 1986)


Andy Wahlberg

Name: Andy Wahlberg
Born: (Witchita Falls, Texas, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician, a singer who plays harp guitar, bongo, harmonica and trombone. He is a serious musician, classically trained, with a bent on jazz, traditional and blues music.

History: He was raised in Miami, Florida where he was first exposed to classical, pop and international music. He had his first gig at age 5 (where his first instrument was the bongos) with a Calypso Latin band that performed at his mother's restaurant in Miami every weekend.

Wahlberg struck out on his own at age 14, traveling across the country while teaching himself to play guitar. He became a full time professional performer at age 19, after completing two years of study at a college of the performing arts in Miami. During that time he honed his craft playing venues all over the United States. He started playing his trademark harp guitar which he found in a pawn shop in LA in the early 70's, and began a full time career as an entertainer.

He is the longest harp guitar player than anyone alive today and has been entertaining audiences this entire time with an endless supply of repertoire, from musical comedy to his own instrumental compositions, which, like his discovery of the Dyer harp guitar, have been ahead of their time.

Since then, Wahlberg's musical career has spanned over 25 years, more than 3000 concerts and performances nationwide, 4 albums and hundreds of television and radio appearances. He has performed on stage with groups such as "Chicago", "Spyra Gyra", "Firefall", "Hall and Oates", Don McLean and the "Spinners". In his own recording studio he has created soundtracks and scores for numerous television, radio and movie projects.

His most recent works include the soundtrack for the PBS Special Florida's Historic Lighthouses and the motion pictures 'Captiva' and 'Jericho'. He now performs in concerts and clubs where he resides in Southwest Florida in the US and abroad.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: custom double-neck harp guitar

Signature song(s): Johnny Cash tribute songs and 'TV Theme Medley'


"...a breath of fresh air. Listening to him perform is a guitarist's delight." - The Ithaca Times

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Chuck Schuldiner (Death/Control Denied)

Name: Charles Michael Schuldiner
Born/Died: 13th May, 1967 (Glen Cove, New York, USA) - 13th December, 2001

Profile: He was an American singer, songwriter, rhythm and lead guitarist for the heavy metal band "Death" and musical genre innovator.

History: He started playing guitar at the age of 9. His 16 year old brother had just been killed in an accident and his parents bought him a guitar, thinking it would help with his grief. He took classical lessons for less than a year in which his teacher taught him "Mary had a Little Lamb", which he didn't like very much, and almost stopped completely, until his parents saw an electric guitar at a yard sale and bought it for him. The young Schuldiner immediately took to the instrument. After getting amps, he never stopped playing, writing and teaching himself. Schuldiner was known to spend the weekend in the garage or his room playing his guitar, he first played in public in his early teens.

In 1983, Schuldiner formed "Death",initially under the name Mantas when he was 16 years old. He is often referred to as 'The Father of Death Metal'. In 1986, he moved to Toronto and temporarily joined the Canadian band "Slaughter". However, he quickly returned to continue the formation of "Death".

In 1987, the band underwent many lineup changes, however with Chris Reifert he eventually released his first "Death" album, titled 'Scream Bloody Gore'. After 1990's 'Spiritual Healing' album, Schuldiner stopped working with full time band members and instead worked only with studio and live venue musicians due to bad relationships with "Death's" previous rhythm section and guitarists. This earned Schuldiner something of a 'perfectionist' reputation in the metal community.

"Death's" breakthrough album, 'Human' saw the band evolving to a more technical and progressive style, in which Schuldiner displayed his guitar skills more than ever. He continued in this style (and continued the success of the band) with 1993's 'Individual Thought Patterns', followed by 'Symbolic' in 1995, and finally 'The Sound of Perseverance' in 1998.

He folded "Death" after this to form a new band called "Control Denied", and released 'The Fragile Art of Existence' in 1999. Schuldiner also played guitar in the supergroup "Voodoocult" in 1994. Schuldiner was also asked to be one of the many guest vocalists on Dave Grohl's 2001 "Probot" project. Grohl even campaigned to raise funds to help Schuldiner pay medical bills for the brain cancer that would eventually take his life. Schuldiner succumbed to the disease before any collaboration could happen.

Influences: Iron Maiden, Kiss, Billy Idol, Sortilège, Slayer, Possessed, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Metallica, Watchtower, Queensrÿche and Lush.

Axology: B.C. Rich Stealth model, BC Rich Mockingbird model, Axxtra guitar and Marshall Valvestate amplifiers

Signature song(s): Crystal Mountain - Death (Symbolic, 1995) and Spirit Crusher - Death (The Sound Of Perseverance, 1988)


"Chuck Schuldiner was one of the most significant figures in the history of metal" - Kerrang! magazine

"I don't think I should take the credits for this death metal stuff. I'm just a guy from a band, and I think 'Death' is a metal band" - Chuck Schuldiner

Karl Logan (Manowar)

Name: Karl Logan
Born: Unknown

Profile: He is an American guitarist/keyboardist for the heavy metal band "Manowar". He also give online lesson, an avid builder of fine scale models and various tutorial articles of detailed weathering techniques, creating dioramas and customizing parts from scratch published in 'FineScale Modeler' magazine. He is a fan of dirt biking too, where he relates how he met bassist Joey DeMaio by almost running him over with his motorcycle, which is how the two hit it off.

History: Started to play guitar in an early age. In 1992, he joined "Manowar", after local band gigs in northeastern Pennsylvania with "Arc Angel" and "Fallen Angel".

His playing style is vastly different from previous "Manowar" guitarists, especially Ross the Boss. While Ross employed a lead/soloing style that was characterized by maturity, substance and an epic feeling with an obvious 70's heavy rock influence, Karl follows the more delicate neo-classical school of guitar playing, which many fans believe does not suit the band´s sound.

Although "Manowar" has never been a mainstream commercial success in the United States, they maintain a strong cult following there. In contrast, they are extremely popular in the heavy metal scene in Europe, Japan, Australia and South America. Dedicated fans are known and referred to by the band as "Manowarriors" or "Immortals", and collectively their fans are known as the "Army of Immortals".

Recently, Logan has released a line of custom designed guitars which are sold through "Manowar" website.

Influences: Nazareth, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest

Axology: MC Guitar Heretic model

Signature song(s): Outlaw - Manowar (Louder then Hell, 1996) and Die for Metal - Manowar (Gods of War, 2007)

Link(s): (Manowar official website)

Monday, 3 May 2010

David Ellefson (Megadeth/F5/HAIL!)

Name: David Warren Ellefson
Born: 12th November, 1964 (Jackson, Minnesota, USA)

Profile: He is a bassist who is best known as one of the founding members of American thrash metal band "Megadeth". He also has various side projects which include "Temple of Brutality", "F5" and "Killing Machine".

History: He began music at a very young age on keyboards, picked up with tenor saxophone in 5th grade and started to play bass at 11 because of its presence in heavy rock music. He then became an accomplished rhythm guitarist and honed his songwriting skills while leading several of his own bands through the club scene of North America's Midwest region.

In 1983, Ellefson and Dave Mustaine (guitarist/vocalist) formed "Megadeth" after Mustaine left "Metallica". Ellefson's original playing style involved using his fingers, however, as "Megadeth" progressed and the music became more complex, he tended to prefer playing with a pick.

Ellefson formed "F5" following "Megadeth" disbandment in 2002. Their first album, 'A Drug for all Seasons' was released in 2005. "F5" appeared in support for "Disturbed" and toured the American Mid-West in the summer of 2006. He also appeared on "Killing Machine" record 'Metalmorphosis'. Currently, he is a member of the melodic power metal band "Avian", and works for Peavey Electronics Corporation as an artist relations representative.

Recently, he worked with underground Record producer Necro for his album entitled 'Death Rap' and a member of a tribute band called "HAIL!" which he formed in 2008. The band, as of April 2009, is touring Europe. In 2010, Ellefson rejoined "Megadeth" after 8 years.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: BC Rich Mockingbird, Jackson Concert 5-string basses, Modulus Quantum, Fender Precision Basses, an Epiphone El Capitan 5-string acoustic bass, an Ovation 4-string, a Hamer Chaparral 12-string bass, Peavey, Hartke and Peavey ampilifiers

Signature song(s): Reckoning Day - Megadeth (Youthanasia, 1994) and Train of Consequences - Megadeth (Train of Consequences, 1994)

Link(s): (Official website)

Ian Antono (God Bless/Gong 2000)

Name: Jusuf Antono Djojo
Born: 29th October, 1950 (Malang, Indonesia)

Profile: He is an Indonesian guitarist and songwriter, best known as "God Bless" lead guitarist since 1974,and "Gong 2000" in 1991 - 1996. Ian also recognized as one of the very first rock guitarists in Indonesia.

History: Originally, Ian was interested in playing drums, where he began to learn since his earlier years. However, when he started to listen to "The Shadows" music, he changed his mind and began to learn guitar.

In 1970, Ian Antono went to Jakarta and joined a band called "Bentoel" which was a session band for famous singer Emilia Contessa and "Trio The King". Later, his popularity increased while he gained many experiences - which made him join the legendary Indonesian Rock band "God Bless".

By joining "God Bless", Ian had started his first professional music career with Achmad Albar (vocalist), and released 'Huma Di Atas Bukit' in 1975, 'Cermin' in 1980 and 'Semut Hitam' in 1989. With these albums, Ian's popularity jumped through the roof due of rock music at that time had not become an atmosphere in Indonesian music scene. So while "God Bless" pioneered rock music in Indonesia, Ian Antono lead the way into a new rock guitarist world.

In 1989, Ian decided to form a band called "Gong 2000" with vocalist Achmad Albar and released three more albums, 'Timur' in 1991, 'Laskar' in 1994 and 'Prahara' in 1996. His style of playing in "Gong 2000" was different compared to when he was with "God Bless". With this new band, Ian tried to include Balinese music into most of his songs. This was followed by including at least 20 Balinese dancers in his performances.

In 1997, he work together with his former bandmates "God Bless" adding a well-known local guitarist, Eet Sjahranie. This concept of duo guitarists grabbed media and listeners attention although the album 'Apa Kabar?' was not a commercial success.

Other than becoming a lead guitaris, he also written songs for numerous other singers. Some of them are notable Indonesian artistes, such as Iwan Fals, Anggun, Nicky Astria, Doel Sumbang, Gito Rollies, and Ikang Fawzi. Moreover, many songs that he has arranged for other musicians have become some of the most popular songs of their time, like 'Zakia' and 'Panggung Sandiwara'.

In 1999, Ian Antono was invited in a Formula-1 event, which was also a collaboration with G3 (Joe Satriani and Steve Vai) and rock legends, "Jethro Tull". It was at this time, Ian studied most of Vai's equipments which he will not gain in Indonesia. Apparently, because of this reason, Ian has owned an Ibanez JEM77, a Steve Vai signature series.

Influences: The Shadows

Axology: Hamer, Kramer, Fender Stratocaster, Ibanez JEM 77, Washburn N-4, Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, Ovation Elite, Gibson Chat Atkins signature series, Martin CMF, Martin EST 12 strings and Seagull, Marshall JCM 900 and Mesa Boogie Strategy 400 amplifiers.

Signature song(s): Rumah Kita - Indonesian Voices and Panggung Sandiwara - Nike Ardilla


Saturday, 1 May 2010

Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit/Black Light Burns)

Name: Wesley Louden Borland
Born: 7th February, 1975 (Richmond, Virginia, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician, best known as the guitarist for the band "Limp Bizkit". He has been in several other bands, including "The Damning Well", "Goatslayer" and "Big Dumb Face". He also recorded on "From First to Last" album in 2006, and served as bass guitarist for the band's subsequent tour. Borland is well known for his bizarre stage appearance, and for his fondness of musical artists that differed greatly from the musical tastes of his bandmates in Limp Bizkit. Borland performed in "Black Light Burns", in which he sang and wrote most of the music.

History: He started playing music in an early age, growing up in Florida, he met bassist Sam Rivers, but the two did not get along due to rivalries between local bands. He went to school with John Otto. When "Limp Bizkit" was looking for a guitarist, John Otto threw out his name, stating he was more of an artist than a guitarist, but the band decided he'd be worthwhile for the position. In one of these bands, Borland sang and played guitar but didn't use a guitar pick. He would only play guitar using the two hand tapping style of guitar playing that he would go on to use in "Limp Bizkit" songs such as 'Stalemate', 'Sour', 'Re-Arranged' and 'Indigo Flow'.

With his black bulging eyes, outrageous stage costumes, freakish makeup and artistic sensibilities, it could be said that Borland is the modern day Ace Frehley (Kiss) - a consummate guitarist with a flair for showmanship and an eye for spectacle. His penchant for the bizarre stems from his background in visual arts (in his spare time, he's a painter, illustrator and sculptor), combined with a healthy interest in science fiction.

In 2001, Borland left "Limp Bizkit" but before leaving he formed the band "Big Dumb Face" as an outlet for his creativity, followed by "Eat the Day" (with brother, Scott Borland), he also played bass for the band "dobmyer" for a short time.

During this down period, Borland began production on his solo album. He was also featured twice on the Underworld soundtrack: 'Weak and Powerless' and 'The Awakening' with a supergroup called "The Damning Well".

In 2003, Borland co-produced and played guitar on several songs for "The Crystal Method". The tracks he worked on were 'Broken Glass', 'Weapons of Mass Distortion' and the lead single 'Born Too Slow'. In 2005, Borland declared himself a full time member of his new project, "Black Light Burns", where Borland as vocal and guitarist.

Recently in 2009, Wes Borland rejoined "Limp Bizkit" after he attacked the bands comeback plans and Durst's songwriting skills; claiming he had more freedom with his current band "Black Light Burns".

He's been known to restring his guitars in unique ways and experiment with all sorts of weird tunings, and layering guitars across the mix is something he's got down to a science.

Influences: Eddie Van Halen

Axology: Ibanez 7-strings guitar, Paul Reed Smith guitar, Master guitars 4-strings semi-acoustic baritone, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch hollowbody reissue, Mesa/Boogie and Deizel amplifiers

Signature song(s): Nookie - Limp Bizkit (Significant Other, 1999)

Link(s): (Limp Bizkit official website)

It's just a lot more fun to dress up and look completely bizarre onstage" - Wes Borland

Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd)

Name: Roger Keith Barrett
Born/Died: 6th January, 1946 (Cambridge, England) - 7th July, 2006

Profile: He was an English singer, songwriter, guitarist and artist. He is most remembered as a founding member of psychedelic rock band "Pink Floyd", providing major musical and stylistic direction in their early work.

History: His parents encourage him in his music when he was just 3 years old. Barrett acquired the nickname 'Syd' at the age of 14, a reference to an old local Cambridge jazz Double Bassist, Sid Barrett. He then changed the spelling in order to differentiate himself from his namesake.

Barrett formed his first band "The Mottoes", where his mother encouraged his band to perform in their front room, Barrett and Roger Waters were childhood friends, and Waters often visited such gigs. During this time he wrote such songs as "Effervescing Elephant" to play at local parties.

In 1965, Barrett joined a band called "The Tea Set", when they found themselves playing a concert with a band of the same name, Barrett came up with the name "The Pink Floyd Sound" (later "The Pink Floyd"). He devised the name "Pink Floyd" by juxtaposing the first names of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council whom he had read about in a sleeve note by Paul Oliver for a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller LP.

In 1966, "Pink Floyd" had gained a reliable management team in Andrew King and Peter Jenner (who took their original songs to the recording behemoth EMI), soon after that the band was offered a contract for an album. By the time the album was released, 'Arnold Layne' had reached number 20 on the British singles charts and 'See Emily Play', had done even better, peaking at number 6.

Their first three singles, including their third 'Apples and Oranges', were all written by Barrett, who also was the principal visionary/author of their critically acclaimed 1967 debut album, 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'.

In 1972, after a few guest spots in Cambridge with former "Pink Fairies" members Twink and Jack Monck, the trio formed a short-lived band called "Stars". Though the band was initially well received, one of their gigs at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge proved to be disastrous. A few days after this final show, Twink recalled that Barrett stopped him on the street, showed him a scathing review of the gig they had played, and quit on the spot.

After leaving "Pink Floyd", he was to record the poignant solo albums 'The Madcap Laughs' and 'Barrett', but otherwise was reclusive and was to suffer a continuing history of mental ill health.

Barrett was active as a rock musician for about seven years, recording two albums with "Pink Floyd" and two solo albums before going into self-imposed seclusion lasting more than 30 years. His post rock-band life was as an artist and a keen gardener, ending with his death in 2006. A number of biographies have been written about him since the 80's and "Pink Floyd" wrote and recorded a classic song about him after he left, 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' on the 1975 album 'Wish You Were Here'.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Telecaster and Acoustic guitars

Signature song(s): Apples and Oranges - Pink Floyd (1967) and Baby Lemonade - Syd Barrett

Link(s): (Official website)