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

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Pay Siburian (Slank/BIP)

Name: Parlin Burman Siburian
Born: 2nd May, 1970 (Pematang Siantar, Sumatera, Indonesia)

Profile: He is an Indonesia musician and lead guitarist, notably known for his guitar works in the legendary rock group "Slank". He was one of the few Indonesian guitarist featured in the album 'Gitar Klinik' and jam with Andy Timmons (Danger Danger) at the Hard Rock Cafe, Jakarta.

History: Started to play guitar since year 4 at school, and determined to make music as his career. In his teenage years, he joined various of bands, but never had the opportunity to get a deal with any major recordings.

In the mid 80's, Pay was heavily influenced by Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai (at that time, Vai was still with David Lee Roth's band). With the help of these influenced, Pay started to play rock and heavy music.

In 1989, he joined "Slank", a rock group from Jakarta. Pay who at that time knew a few major producers, try his luck to sent the band's demos. Eventually, the band got a deal for an album and in 1990, "Slank" released their debut album 'Suit-Suit....Hehehe (Gadis Sexy)'. The album was a hit and received a lot of positive reviews, and the band was known as the new Indonesia Rock group, after "God Bless".

In 1996, after releasing 5 albums with "Slank", Pay quit the band. After four long years leaving "Slank", he formed a new rock band called "BIP", with other former "Slank" members (bassist Bongky and keyboardist Indra). With this new lineup (joined by drummer Jaka and vocalist Irang Perdana), "BIP" has released 4 albums, 'Turun dari Langit' - (2001), 'Min Plus' - (2002), 'The Best of .....' - (2003) and 'Udara Segar' - (2004).

Pay also collaborated with Ronald, vocalist Once (Dewa19) and the late vocalist Andy Liany to formed "Fargat 27". The band released their only album 'Seribu Angan'.

Influences: Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Keith Richard (Rolling Stone), Michael Lee Firkins, Eddie Van Halen, Eet Sjahranie (EdanE) and Edy Kemput

Axology: Fender Telecaster, Jackson guitars, Ibanez guitars, Laney amplifiers and Marshall amplifiers

Signature song(s): Hey…Bung! - Slank (Generasi Biru, 1995) and Ke Rumah Kak Butet - Pay Siburian (Gitar Klinik)


Kaori Muraji

Name: Muraji Kaori (村治 佳織)
Born: 14th April, 1978 (Tokyo, Japan)

Profile: She is a Japanese classical guitarist, and the first Japanese artist to have signed an exclusive international contract with Decca Music Group. She is considered as one of the most prominent classical guitarists of today, and her challenges and activities are always regarded with keen interest by the entire classical music community.

History: Kaori received her first lessons on the guitar from her father Noboru Muraji at the age of 3. From 10, she continued her studies with the renowned guitarist Shinichi Fukuda. From quite early on, her presence was dominant in competitions, winning the 1989 Junior Guitar Competition, and the 1991 the Student Guitar Competition for all categories.

In 1992, Kaori won both the Leo Brower International Guitar Competition (Tokyo) and the Tokyo International Guitar Competition. In 1993, she gave her debut recital at Tsuda Hall in Tokyo, which was soon followed by the release of her debut CD 'Espressivo'. Her orchestra debut came in 1994 with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1995 she joined Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI as soloist in Turin. This concert, which was broadcasted on TV throughout Europe, marked her European debut.

Kaori continued on with her musical education, and in 1997 she went to study under Albert Ponce at Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. In 1999, she had the extraordinary opportunity to perform for the legendary Joaquin Rodrigo's compositions, 'Tiento antigno' and 'En los trigales'. With her graduation from Ecole Normale that year, she returned to Japan to vigorously pursue her solo career. She performed with the major orchestras of Japan, including the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and gained a wide national following.

In the meantime, Kaori’s musical world continued to expand: her first chamber music collaboration came in 2000 when she joined the Vogler Quartet on their Japan tour, and her long time wish to perform in other Asian countries was realized as she gave her first Korean recital at the Seoul Arts Center.

Kaori’s international relationships continued to flourish. In 2006/07 season, Kaori participated in La Folle Journee de Nantes, had some recitals in west coast of USA. In 2008/09 season, Kaori toured in Japan and Korea with Bachochester des Gewandhauses zu Leipzig and Orchestre de Chambre National de Toulouse. In April 2009, she invited the Spanish orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia as a soloist of their subscription concert.

Influences: Shinichi Fukuda

Axology: Unknown

Signature song(s): The Summer Knows (Theme from "The Summer of 42') - Kaori Muraji (Lumieres, 2006) and Jongo - Kaori Muraji (Portrait, 2010)

Link(s): (Official website)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Tomo Fujita

Name: Tomo Fujita
Born: Unknown

Profile: He is a Japanese guitarist and an assistant professor in Berklee College of Music (Guitar Department). He is also a columnist for Japanese guitar magazines.

History: His love in music started when he was young, and determined to be a musician ever since. He went to Berklee College of Music, where he met and studied with Jazz-guitarist Joe Pass. Tomo earned a degree at Berklee College of Music and has been a faculty member at Berklee since 1993. Perhaps the most famous of his former Berklee students are "Soulive" guitarist Eric Krasno (Kraz) and John Mayer.

After he graduated from Berklee College, Tomo was interested in discovering more about the blues. He listened to all the records of legendary BB King and T-Bone Walker, and started playing with blues bands. He could play blues technically, but emotionally he could not connect himself to the music, he then started (experimenting) playing gospel music at church every Sunday, to capture the 'feel'.

He possesses all the elements of great musicianship; astounding technical ability, flawless rhythm skills, and a total command of his instrument. In his private lessons, he teach fundamental techniques for playing good music — by getting a good tone from the guitar and keeping a good rhythm. He discovered in playing blues songs, it was very difficult to achieve quality and the details, that is why he teach a lot of grooves and rhythm. It is very important for him, to emphasize expression, tone and time.

Tomo has performed with some of the best artists in the world, including Phil Collins, John Mayer, James Genus (Saturday Night Live), Will Lee (Late Show with David Letterman), Kenwood Dennard, bassist Jaco Pastorious, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Smith, Darryl Jones, Miles Davis, Sting, the "Rolling Stones", Paul Jackson, Ronnie Earl, Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, Steve Jordan and Susan Tedeschi.

Tomo is also affiliated with the major music schools in his native Japan. His articles have been published in the Japanese magazines 'Jazz Life' and 'Jazz Guitar', and he is a regular contributor to the Japanese edition of 'Guitar magazine'. His instructional materials are especially popular in Japan, where guitar players have bought more than 100,000 copies of his videos and books.
Tomo also enjoyed a guitar-playing gig in a Boston production of the musical 'Rent'. And, currently, Tomo is touring to promote his newly released album 'Pure', and he usually presents clinics annually in Japan.

Influences: BB King, T-Bone Walker, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Pass, Larry Carlton, Ray Charles, James Brown, Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan

Axology: Fender guitars, Fender amplifiers and Fuchs amplifiers

Signature song(s): Tomo Fujita (Right Place, Right Time, 2007) and (Pure, 2010)

Link(s): (Official website)

Christopher Amott (Arch Enemy/Armageddon)

Name: Christopher Amott
Born: 23rd November, 1977 (Halmstad, Sweden)

Profile: He is a Swedish guitarist, vocalist and younger brother of guitarist Michael Amott (Carcass) and founding member of the Swedish metal bands "Arch Enemy" and "Armageddon".

History: Inspired by his older brother Michael Amott's band "Carcass", Christopher began studying the guitar at 14, playing in local bands, and eventually attending music college at age 18. His style of playing consist of aggressive, fast vibrato, speedy alternate-picking and fluid lead lines.

While attending music school in 1996, Amott's brother Michael asked him to record solos for his new melodic death metal project "Arch Enemy". The 'Black Earth' album was released in Japan, and was an instant hit, receiving regular airplay on Japanese MTV. In 1997, the band were invited to play in Japan, and it was there that Amott secured a deal for his "Armageddon" side project. The project began as a melodic death metal band, similar in style to "Arch Enemy", but with a more conceptual feel to the lyrics. "Armageddon" released their first debut album 'Crossing the Rubicon' in 1997.

In 1999, with "Arch Enemy" gaining ground worldwide, Amott would go on to release 'Burning Bridges' and 'Burning Japan Live 1999', then take a break until the later part of 2000, when "Armageddon" released their second album 'Embrace the Mystery' in Japan. This time featuring a melodic singer, and more of an overall power metal feel, the album was a drastic shift from the straight ahead melodic death metal, and marked Amott's desire to branch out of the extreme metal genre.

In 2001, "Arch Enemy" were joined by new singer Angela Gossow, and the band reached new heights in worldwide popularity with the release of 'Wages of Sin'. After completing an extensive world tour with "Arch Enemy", Amott returned to his "Armageddon" project, and released 'Three' in 2002. This album featured Amott as lead vocals. In 2005, "Arch Enemy" released, 'Doomsday Machine', but immediately after the recording, Amott left the band.

He now spent the next two years teaching music in Sweden, as well as attending a university. In 2010, Amott revealed that he would be releasing a solo album early in the year entitled 'Follow Your Heart'.

Influences: John Sykes, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, John Norum and Michael Schenker

Axology: Caparison guitars, ESP guitars, Boss Digital Delay DD-3 and Peavey JSX amplifiers

Signature song(s): Seed of Hate - Arch Enemy (Burning Bridges, 1999)


Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe/Sixx: A.M.)

Name: Frank Carlton Ferrana, Jr.
Born: 11th December, 1958 (San Jose, California, USA)

Profile: He is an American bassist, author, fashion designer, photographer and the main songwriter for the band "Mötley Crüe". He has also played bass for glam metal bands; "London", the experimental band "58", the hard rock band "Brides of Destruction" and more recently, "Sixx:A.M."

History: Since a teenager who lived with his grandparents, Ferrana was always into trouble. His grandparents sent him to live with his mother, who had moved to Seattle. He lived there for a short time, and learned how to play the bass guitar, having bought his first instrument with money earned from selling a prior guitar he had stolen. At the age of 17, he struck out on his own, moving to LA selling vacuums over the phone while he auditioned for bands.

During this period of time, he changed his name, basing it on the stage name of a Riverside, musician Jeff Nicholson, called Niki Syxx. He unsuccessfully auditioned for "Quiet Riot" and "Sister" before joining "London", a local glam outfit whose lineup saw numerous changes. Sixx soon left the band.

In 1981, Sixx founded "Mötley Crüe" with drummer Tommy Lee, later being joined by Mick Mars and Vince Neil. The band decided to self-record their debut album, 'Too Fast for Love', which was subsequently released in November 1981 on the band's own record label. After signing with Elektra Records they re-released the album. The band then went on to record a new album, 'Shout at the Devil', and raising the band to national fame.

In 1989, Sixx was a featured guest artist on the album 'Fire and Gasoline' by Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), and co-wrote and performed on the song, 'We're No Saints'. In 1991, Sixx played bass on 'Feed My Frankenstein' on Alice Cooper's 'Hey Stoopid' album. Besides his "Mötley Crüe" duties, Sixx also had a side project dubbed "58", issuing their debut album in 2000, 'Diet for a New America'. Sixx also formed a band called "Brides of Destruction" with Tracii Guns (LA Guns). After one album, the band broke up due to extremely poor album sales and the inability to get any radio airplay.

Sixx wrote most of "Mötley Crüe's" material, including tracks such as 'Live Wire', 'Home Sweet Home', 'Girls, Girls, Girls', 'Kickstart My Heart' and 'Dr. Feelgood'. In 2006, "Mötley Crüe" completed a reunion tour featuring all four original members and embarked on a co-headlining tour with "Aerosmith", and in 2008, "Mötley Crüe" released their ninth studio album, 'Saints of Los Angeles', with Sixx credited as either writer or co-writer on all tracks.

Sixx also worked on a soundtrack to be released with the book called The Heroin Diaries. The soundtrack was recorded by his new band, "Sixx: A.M". The entire album was written and produced by Sixx. The album was released in 2007, and the book was released a month later. The single 'Life is Beautiful' went to #1.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Gibson Thunderbird, Gibson Blackbird, Epiphone Nikki Sixx Blackbird, BC Rich Mockingbird & Warlock basses, Hamer made Thunderbird style basses, Ernie Ball Music Man 5-string bass, Fender Precision Bass, Squier Precision Bass, Fender Bassman and Ampeg amplifiers

Signature song(s): Kickstart My Heart - Mötley Crüe (Dr. Feelgood, 1989) and Life is Beautiful - Sixx: A.M. (The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, 2007)

Link(s): (Official website)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Jeff Loomis (Nevermore)

Name: Jeff Loomis
Born: 14th September, 1971 (Appleton, Wisconsin, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician and guitarist, most notably known as the lead guitarist for the Seattle progressive metal band, "Nevermore".

History: Loomis started making music with drums, but soon he was bored and he started playing guitar. He got his first instrument at 9 or 10 years old, but did not start practicing seriously until around the age of 15. As a teenager in he played in a handful of cover bands and three death metal bands before joining more established bands. At the age of 16, Loomis won Wisconsin's 'Guitar Wars' contest.

After he won the contest, he auditioned for "Megadeth", after their lead guitarist Jeff Young left. After they played a few songs together, Dave Mustaine, the band's frontman, thanked Loomis and told him that one day he would become a great guitar player, but because of his age he was not right for the position.

Not long after the audition, Loomis join the band "Sanctuary" after guitarist Sean Blosl had left, however, because of a dispute caused by guitarist Lenny Rutledge wanting to make grunge oriented music, "Sanctuary" broke up 4 months afterwards. After the break-up, Loomis and former "Sanctuary" members vocalist Warrel Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard made plans to form "Nevermore", and in late 1994, Loomis became the lead guitarist of "Nevermore" after the brief period being in "Sanctuary".

Now, he is the main songwriter of the band, adding to the unique sound that fans are familiar with. Currently, Loomis plays an important role in portraying the sound that "Nevermore" has today, using a 7 string guitars and techniques such as sweep-picking. One of his more important musical showcases is in the critically acclaimed album 'Dead Heart in a Dead World', in which he wrote most of the songs before forming "Nevermore".

In 2005, Loomis reported that he would take some time as a break and then begin recording a solo album. In 2008, he announced that the album will be called 'Zero Order Phase', and was released on September via Century Media Records.

Influences: Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, Jason Becker and Marty Friedman

Axology: Schecter seven string guitars - Jeff Loomis C7 FR signature model, Schecter C-7 Hellraiser, Ibanez guitars, Gibson guitars, Jackson guitars, ESP guitars - Horizon 7 and Warmoth guitars, Peavey amplifiers and Krank amplifiers

Signature song(s): Timothy Leary - Nevermore (Nevermore, 1994) and Omega's Influence - Jeff Loomis (Zero Order Phase, 2008)

Link(s): (Official website)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Number Four (Stone Sour/Slipknot)

Name: James Donald Root
Born: 2nd October, 1971 (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Profile: He is an American multi-talented musician known for being the rhythm and lead guitarist in "Slipknot", and also known by his number #4. He was the last member to join the current line-up of "Slipknot", in 1999. He was also known for his work as a lead guitarist and backing vocalist for "Stone Sour".

History: Root started guitar in his teens and was a self-taught guitarist. In his early days as a guitarist, he has performed in various bands such as "Anal Blast", "Atomic Opera", "Deadfront" and "Stone Sour". Prior to joining "Slipknot" in 1999, replacing their original guitarist, Josh Brainard, vocalist Corey Taylor invited Root to join the band based on Taylor's past experiences working with him in "Stone Sour".

Root and Corey reunited the band "Stone Sour", during the hiatus between the "Slipknot" albums 'Iowa' and 'Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)'. As well as lending his guitar talents to the band, he has also performed drums on one song the band has recorded.

In "Slipknot", most of the guitar work is fast and heavy. Root and co-guitarist Mick Thomson do trade some leads on the band's 'Vol 3' album, but their music is otherwise almost completely devoid of guitar solos. All guitars in "Slipknot" are tuned to 1 1/2 steps down from dropped D (low to high; B, F#, B, E, G#, C#) except for on the songs 'My Plague', 'The Heretic Anthem', 'Skin Ticket', 'New Abortion' and 'Iowa', on which they are tuned to B tuning dropped A (low to high; A, E, A, D, F#, B). While in "Stone Sour", Root's guitar works concentrates more on building melodic metal anthems.

Outside "Slipknot" and "Stone Sour", Root has appeared on "Slipknot" turntablist Sid Wilson's "DJ Starscream" album 'The New Leader' and John 5's 'The Devil Knows My Name', and also appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing the solo and harmony guitars on 'Tired 'N Lonely' from the project's album 'The All-Star Sessions'. He also appeared on Jonathan Davis and the SFA´s cover of Lil Wayne´s 'Got Money'.

Influences: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, George Harrison (The Beatles) and David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)

Axology: Fender Telecaster, Gibson Flying V, Charvel guitar, Jackson guitars, PRS guitars, Maverick JR-4, Martin acoustic guitar, Dunlop Crybaby, DigiTech effects, Rivera amplifiers and Orange amplifiers

Signature song(s): Spit It Out - Slipknot (Slipknot, 1999)

Link(s): (Slipknot's official website)

Number Seven (Slipknot)

Name: Mickael Gordon Thomson
Born: 3rd November 1973 (Des Moines, Iowa, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician, best known as being the lead and rhythm guitarist for the Grammy winning metal band "Slipknot", and known by his number #7. According to vocalist Corey Taylor, Thomson is an avid writer of poetry, loves cats, and has a fascination with serial killers.

History: In his youth, Thomson performed in bands such as "Body Pit", and joined "Slipknot" in 1997, replacing the band's guitarist, Craig Jones, who then became the band's sampler.

Thomson expresses his pseudonym as #7 more than most members of "Slipknot". For example, as well as being credited with the number in the liner notes of albums he has recorded, he also has the word 'seven' tattooed on his left arm, and features the word 'seven' on the designs all of his custom Ibanez guitars, and on all of his Ibanez MTM1's.

Outside "Slipknot", Thomson has taught guitar lessons at Ye Olde Guitar Shoppe, a local music shop in Des Moines, up until 1999. And has appeared on "Malevolent Creation's" album 'Doomsday X'. He also made a guest appearance in the music video for Lupara's 'No Pity on the Ants'.

Thomson commonly employs an extremely fast and accurate alternate picking technique, also implementing pinch harmonics into his work. He also utilizes sweep picking on occasion. Other characteristics in his playing includes tremolo picking passages, and dropped tunings.

Influences: Randy Rhodes and Paul Gilbert (Racer X)

Axology: B.C. Rich guitars, Ibanez guitars, Ovation semi-acoustic guitar, Rivera KR-7 amplifiers, Boss and DigiTech effects

Signature song(s): Spit It Out - Slipknot (Slipknot, 1999)

Link(s): (Slipknot's official website)

Number Two (Slipknot)

Name: Paul Dedrick Gray
Born/Died: 8th April, 1972 (Los Angeles, California, USA) – 24th May, 2010

Profile: He was an American musician, best known as the bassist of the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band "Slipknot".

History: Gray started playing guitar in 1990, and he was not interested to play any other instruments. But when he moved to Iowa, he started to play bass, and got in love with it ever since. His first bass was a right handed Charvel bass. He took a few bass lessons to learn slap and pop techniques, from a local bass player named Mark, and learned a lot of techniques from rock to funk and even jazz. In his youth, Gray performed in various bands such as "Anal Blast", "Vexx", "Body Pit" and "Inveigh Catharsi".

In 1995, an early formation of the band were beginning to coalesce, when Gray and drummer Shawn Crahan formed "The Pale Ones". The band played their first live performance under the name of "Meld" at a club called Crowbar in Des Moines. Soon after, drummer Jordison suggested renaming the band to "Slipknot", after their song that eventually appeared on the band's demo 'Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat'. The band also began experimenting with their image, wearing grotesque make-up and eventually the anti-image concept developed towards the members wearing masks.

In 1998, the band recorded their demo, which included 'Spit It Out'. The demo was sent to many record labels and, along with a growing popularity on the internet and help from their then manager Sophia John, interest grew from record labels and eventually producer Ross Robinson was contacted. The band, which had a strong interest in working with Robinson, met with him and it was then decided they would work together. Soon after, DJ Sid Wilson was brought in to the band after showing great interest and impressing band members. With the new member, the band signed to Roadrunner Records.

Besides "Slipknot", Gray filled in as bassist for "Unida" during their 2003 tour, appeared on 'Drop Dead, Gorgeous' Worse Than a Fairy Tale', he even toured briefly with "Reggie and the Full Effect" and appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing bass on 'The Enemy' and 'Baptized in the Redemption' from the project's album 'The All-Star Sessions'.

Gray used to wear tape around his head for his mask. Later, he switched to a Halloween styled Pig mask which he used for the self-titled era, and it represented his indulgent personality. During the touring cycle for Iowa, he used a black mask with dark eye and nose holes, with a small slit near his mouth, and it bore a striking resemblance to the Man in the Iron Mask.

Influences: Cliff Burton (Metallica), Cliff Williams (AC/DC), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), Black Sabbath, KISS, Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys

Axology: Ibanez PGB1L signature model, Warwick basses, Ampeg amplifiers and Peavey amplifiers

Signature song(s): Spit It Out - Slipknot (Slipknot, 1999)

Link(s): (Slipknot's official website)

Scott Ian (Anthrax/Pearl)

Name: Scott Ian Rosenfeld
Born: 31st December, 1963 (Queens, NY, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist for "Anthrax". Ian is also the guitarist and a founding member of the crossover thrash band "Stormtroopers of Death". He has hosted The Rock Show on VH1 and has appeared on VH1's I Love the... series, Heavy: The Story of Metal and SuperGroup.

History: After witnessing "Kiss" live for the first time at Madison Square Garden in 1977, it made a huge impact on Ian, who has been very vocal over the years about his love for the band (KISS), he then started to play guitar and determined to form his own band.

In 1981, Ian met bassist Dan Lilker and formed a band called, "Anthrax" (they found the name in a biology textbook and claimed it because it sounded sufficiently evil to them). In a career spanning three decades, Ian helped to create the 'New Wave of American Heavy Metal' in the 80's alongside "Metallica". "Anthrax" have sold over 10 million records worldwide including 9 studio albums.

In 1991, Ian came up with the idea to crossover with rap pioneers "Public Enemy" and record what was to become the foundation of the Rap/Rock genre that exploded in the 90's. With their hit 'Bring The Noise', "Anthrax" reached new heights kicking open the door for such bands as "Rage Against The Machine", "Limp Bizkit", Kid Rock, and "Linkin Park".

Continually recording and touring through the 90's and into the new millennium, "Anthrax" has maintained the kind of career that only a handful of others can lay claim to as well. In 2009, the band celebrate its 25th anniversary of the release of its debut album 'Fistful Of Metal'.

In 2006, Ian starred in the VH1 reality series 'SuperGroup' with Ted Nugent, Sebastian Bach, Jason Bonham, and Evan Seinfeld. The show was a huge success and once again pushed the boundaries of Ian’s career to new heights. He is currently in the studio recording what will be the 10th studio album by "Anthrax" scheduled for year 2010.

Ian is also playing guitar in the group "Pearl" and did tours with "Velvet Revolver" and Meat Loaf. The debut album from "Pearl" was released on January, 2010.

Influences: Iron Maiden, KISS and Judas Priest

Axology: Jackson custom guitars, Washburn guitars, ESP Custom M-II, Fender Telecaster, DigiTech effects, Randall amplifiers and Marshall JCM 800 amplifiers

Signature song(s): Madhouse - Anthrax (Spreading the Disease, 1985) and I Am the Law - Anthrax (Among the Living, 1987)

Link(s): (Anthrax's official website)

Frank Bello (Anthrax/Helmet)

Name: Frank Bello
Born: 9th July, 1965 (New York City, New York, USA)

Profile: He is an American bass guitar player for the well known thrash band "Anthrax", and the nephew of drummer Charlie Benante (Anthrax).

History: Bello started playing bass when he was 13, often jamming with his uncle, drummer Charlie Benante. His first bass was a 1972 Fender Jazz Bass. In 1984, after the first "Anthrax" album, 'Fistful Of Metal', Bello joined his uncle’s band, replacing original bassist Dan Lilker.

A series of classic punk/speed metal albums followed as "Anthrax" sonically pummeled everybody within earshot, quickly reaching the upper echelons of metal stardom. Unlike many of their contemporaries though, "Anthrax" had a sense of humor and willingness to experiment, as shown by their 1991 collaboration with rap’s "Public Enemy" on 'Bring The Noise'.

Originally Bello was a guitar technician for the band, but later he replaced Dan Lilker on the 'Spreading the Disease' album. After leaving "Anthrax" in early 2004 Bello joined "Helmet" - another NYC-based band, for a brief stint.

Bello has since reunited with "Anthrax" and in 2009, he was the featured guest on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show. The rest of the band was part of an interview segment while at the Red Bull Snowscrapers event on February, 2009 at East River Park in New York City.

Influences: Geddy Lee (Rush), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden), Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick), Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath, Priest and KISS

Axology: Fender P-Bass, Fender Jazz Bass and Squier Jazz bass

Signature song(s): Madhouse - Anthrax (Spreading the Disease, 1985) and I Am the Law - Anthrax (Among the Living, 1987)

Link(s): (Anthrax's official website)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


"YouTube" is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. Three former PayPal employees (Jawed Karim, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen) created "YouTube" in February 2005. In November, 2006, "YouTube" was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google.

The company is based in San Bruno, California, and uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as 'video blogging' and short original videos. Most of the content on "YouTube" has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, BBC, UMG and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the "YouTube" partnership program.

This year (2010), "YouTube" celebrated their 5th anniversary. Personally, this website has help me a lot all these years, from providing me guitar/music lessons, music videos and even an introductions to great musicians around the globe who has showed their outstanding and extraordinary talents via "YouTube". Basically, "YouTube" really change the world with their most awesomeness videos.

As appreciations for "YouTube", 'RizMum' blog will share and list down some of the links that I have followed or subscribed this past few years. This links will show you an awesome guitar lessons as well as guitar techniques. Just check it out first, and if you guys love it, do subscribe. Cheers and enjoy (^_^)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Mick Mars (Mötley Crüe)

Name: Robert Alan Deal
Born: 4th May, 1951 (Terre Haute, Indiana, USA)

Profile: He is the lead guitarist and songwriter for American hard rock band "Mötley Crüe". In his career with "Mötley Crüe", Mars has created the aura of being a somewhat mysterious figure, letting the other members of the band speak for him in public and in print, despite being the eldest and most articulate member of the band. In what public interviews he has conducted, Mars often comes off as a very reserved and somewhat quiet individual.

History: After his family relocated from Indiana to California, Deal dropped out of high school and began playing guitar in a series of unsuccessful blues based rock bands throughout the 70's. After nearly a decade of frustration with the California music scene, Deal reinvented himself, changing his stage name to Mick Mars and dyeing his hair jet black, hoping for a fresh start.

In 1981, he put in a want ad in the LA newspaper 'The Recycler', describing himself as 'a loud, rude, and aggressive guitar player'. Bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee contacted him and after hearing him play decided he would be their guitarist. Upon Lee's prodding, they persuaded a former high school friend of Lee's and local rock & roll singer Vince Neil to join. It was Mars' suggestion that the band be called "Mötley Crüe", a name that had stuck in his head from his days as a member of a band called "White Horse".

Unlike many of the hard rock/heavy metal guitarists of his era, Mars' guitar style is steeped in the blues tradition. He employs frequent use of a metal slide in his soloing and takes on both the rhythm and lead guitar duties of the band. In the studio and live, Mars frequently tunes his guitar down a whole step to get a stronger and crunchier rhythm sound. The altered tuning also increases string slack to enable his characteristic hammer-on trills, pitch bending, and pinch harmonics during soloing. Mars also introduced the pedal steel guitar to many of "Mötley Crüe's" later recordings and live sets, and also taken a critical role in songwriting for the band, coming up with many of "Mötley Crüe's" best known riffs.

Recently, he contributed his songwriting skills to John LeCompt (Evanescence), "Machina" and to the Swedish band "CRASHDÏET". Mars also played lead guitar for "Hinder's" 2008 album 'Take It to the Limit' and "Papa Roach's" 2009 album 'Metamorphosis'. Currently, Mars is on tour with the three other original members of "Mötley Crüe", supporting their newest album, 'Saints of Los Angeles', which has revived a strong public interest in the band more than 25 years after its formation.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Gibson Les Paul customs guitars, BC Rich Warlock guitar, Hamer Blitz guitar, Gibson Flying V, Guild Flying Star, Kramer guitars, Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters and Marshall amplifiers

Signature song(s): Too Young To Fall in Love - Mötley Crüe (Shout at the Devil, 1983)

Link(s): (Official website)

Michael Amott (Carcass/Arch Enemy)

Name: Michael Amott
Born: 28th July, 1970 (London, England)

Profile: He is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter, founding member of the bands "Arch Enemy", "Spiritual Beggars", and "Carnage", as well as a member of the death metal band "Carcass". He is the older brother of Christopher Amott.

History: Amott began playing guitar as a young teenager, learning to play by copying Punk/Hardcore and Thrash/Speed Metal out of his record collection. he soon went to a new level with his playing. He has stated in guitar magazines that he has a preference for pentatonics scales, and his soloing style is frequently compared to that of Michael Schenker.

In 1988, Amott co-formed the death metal band "Carnage" with singer Johan Liiva, and released two widely traded cassette demos, gaining instant underground interest. Plagued by constant lineup changes, "Carnage" would eventually record their only album 'Dark Recollections'. In 1990, Amott was recruited by "Carcass", and released the album 'Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious' a year later, followed by, 'Heartwork', the album which help to define what is now known as melodic death metal.

In 1993, he left "Carcass" and decided to form a classic rock influenced band, "Spiritual Beggars". The band released their debut album a year later, which led to an European record deal with Music for Nations.

Still heavily into extreme metal, Amott formed a new melodic death metal project in the same vein as "Carcass", and he contacted original "Carnage" vocalist Johan Liiva, as well as his younger brother Christopher Amott and put together "Arch Enemy". The band's first album 'Black Earth' was originally intended to be a one-off project, but in 1997, the album's first single, 'Bury Me An Angel' received unexpected airplay on Japan's MTV Rocks! program.

In 2003, "Arch Enemy" released 'Anthems of Rebellion', and for the first time, their received US MTV airplay with the video for 'We Will Rise'. The band would reach new heights in popularity worldwide, and toured constantly until the release of 2005's 'Doomsday Machine'. Amott returned once again to "Spiritual Beggars" in 2005, releasing the album 'Demons'. He also recently performed a guest guitar solo on "The Haunted" and "Kreator".

Today, Amott is busy touring the world and recording with "Arch Enemy" and the re-formed "Carcass", and he does not rule out a return to "Spiritual Beggars" in the future.

Influences: Michael Schenker, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Frank Marino and Uli Jon Roth

Axology: Dean guitar Micheal Amott Signature Tyrant Bloodstorm, ESP guitars, Ibanez RG 550 Road Flare Red, Fernandes guitars and Marshall amplifiers

Signature song(s): Heartwork - Carcass (Heartwork, 1993) and Bury Me An Angel - Arch Enemy (Black Earth, 1997)


Brian Marshall (Creed/Alter Bridge)

Name: Brian Aubrey Marshall
Born: 24th April, 1973 (Jackson, Mississippi, USA)

Profile: He is an American bass player, for the bands "Creed" and "Alter Bridge". He originally played a 4 string Fender Jazz bass but he has switched to a custom made 5 string Sadowsky electric bass, which he has used exclusively since the release of "Alter Bridge's" first album. He is known for his distinctive deep, harmonizing sound as heard especially on more recent songs he has been involved with.

History: Marshall started out his music career by playing his father's drums. He states that after scratching his father's drum set a few times, that his dad decided it was time to get him a bass guitar. As a young bassist, he had joined many kind of bands, such as "Maddox Creed", to name a few.

After being recruited into the band as a full-fledged member by Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti, Marshall came up with the name "Creed", which the band had previously been known as "Naked Toddler". He was with "Creed" until late 2000, however, Marshall has since rejoined the band for their 2009 reunion, and appeared on Creed's 2009 'Full Circle' album. He performed with the band for the first time in 10 years.

After leaving "Creed" in 2000, Marshall played for the band "Head Heavy" and another one called "Grand Luxx". In 2004, he was asked to join "Alter Bridge" by Mark Tremonti and Scott Phillips personally, since the both of them enjoyed Marshall's playing. The band also consists of new vocalist Myles Kennedy (The Mayfield Four). The band released two albums, 'One Day Remains' and 'Blackbird', with a live DVD titled 'Live from Amsterdam'. A third "Alter Bridge" album is due out in 2010.

Influences: John Entwistle, Geddy Lee (Rush), Justin Chancellor and Doug Pinnick

Axology: Fender Jazz bass, Sadowsky Vintage 4 & 5-string NYC basses, Ampeg amplifiers and Mesa/Boogie equipments

Signature song(s): Bound and Tide - Creed (My Own Prison, 1997) and With Arms Wide Open - Creed (Human Clay, 1999)


Mark Tremonti (Creed/ Alter Bridge)

Name: Mark Thomas Tremonti
Born: 18th April, 1974 (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Profile: He is an American Grammy award-winning musician and songwriter best known as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the American rock bands "Creed" and "Alter Bridge".

History: At the age of 11, Tremonti started exposing to heavy music, like "KISS" and "Metallica", with the help of his brother Daniel and Michael. He (Mark) was greatly inspired by this music and it was around 1985 that he bought his first guitar, a TARA (Gibson LP knock off) for $25 from a man who wanted him to play in his band. Mark, enthralled by the deal, immediately signed up for lessons but quit after 2 weeks and began to teach himself, by buying a few tab books and trying to learn his favorite songs, practicing them until he got them right.

In the early 90's, Tremonti moved to Orlando, and met for the first time with future singer Scott Stapp. It was also here that Tremonti had his first rock band called "Wit's End", playing "Motley Crue" covers and other metal songs. After doing his studies at Clemson University for a year, he went back to Florida to reunited with Scott Stapp. At this point, his guitar skills had reached a new level, and the both of them agreed to formed a band together, and auditioned for a bassist and drummer, resulting in Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips's selection.

As the band sat down to think of a good band name, a funny article which Tremonti carried in his wallet, headlined "Naked Toddler" came to mind which led to the bands original name. But after a while, they realized they needed a change and Stapp and Marshall suggested "Creed". For Stapp, it was rememberance of his roots (Stapp's ancestors were Creek Indians) and Marshall's old band was "Maddox Creed". Tremonti and Phillips agreed and "Creed" was born.

After they had written a few songs, they put together all the money they had and recorded an album, called 'My Own Prison' which took only $6000 to make, and only 6000 copies were made, and their began to tour around America. Eventually, a Radio Jockey heard about "Creed" and decided to check them out, he heard 'My Own Prison' and the song was played, and became a success. In 1997, the band re-recorded the album 'My Own Prison', with a few small changes to the lyrics and guitars with Wind Up records.

The album was a huge hit and they have had 8 #1 singles and 3 multi-platinum albums in the US alone. In 2004, "Creed" officially announced their break-up after 3 highly successful albums. Tremonti, Phillips and Marshall formed a new band with Myles Kennedy (The Mayfield Four), called "Alter Bridge" while Stapp opted for a solo career. "Alter Bridge" name comes from a long-standing bridge near Tremonti’s childhood home in Detroit, which was often regarded as a boundary to the children in surrounding neighborhoods; beyond it was uncharted territory.

Tremonti also worked on producing for bands such as "Submersed" and with Troy Stetina, and has guest appeared on albums by Michael Angelo Batio and Fozzy. Tremonti's main project though had been creating a new band. From playing a cheap guitar, Mark now has his own PRS signature series guitar and Mark Tremonti Morley power wah pedal. With "Creed's" success Tremonti has achieved best guitarist of the year for 3 years and his success continues as he works on new projects, working with other bands and writing new music.

Influences: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Zakk Wylde (BLS), Joe Bonamassa, Neal Schon, Audley Freed, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Slash (G'nR), Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost and Testament

Axology: PRS Tremonti signature series model guitar, Taylor 614CE acoustic guitars, Morley wah-wah, T-Rex Michael Angelo Batio Overdrive pedals and Fender Twin Reverb amplifiers

Signature song(s): With Arms Wide Open - Creed (Human Clay, 1999) and My Sacrifice - Creed (Weathered, 2001)

Link(s): (Official website)

Monday, 7 June 2010


Name: Mak Hwa San
Born: 12th April, 1974 (Pematang Siantar, Sumatera, Indonesia)

Profile: He is an Indonesian multi-talented musician and a webhoster, and famously known for his work with former "Megadeth" guitarist Marty Friedman's official website.

History: Started to play guitar as a hobby since he was 14, in SMA with his guitar buddy Kinwie. The both of them was influenced by 80's rock music, such as; "Cacophony", "Duran Duran" and "Firehouse", to name a few. Mayzan first electric guitar was a Prince. Marty Friedman (Cacophony/Megadeth) is Mayzan favorite guitarist since 1988 and was a big influence for him until now, and this is the reason why he took guitar and music as a career.

In 1992, Mayzan moved from Sumatera to Jakarta, and seriously learned the 'art of electric guitar', he even bought his first Ibanez guitar an 'RG550'. Late that year, he and his friend, Wiwik Wibowo, formed a heavy metal band which covered songs such as "Megadeth", "Extreme", "Dream Theater", Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker and Vinnie Moore.

In 1994, Mayzan started to play 7-strings guitar for the band. The next year, he started to take violin lesson and bought a ZETA electric violin (influenced by the violinist Vanessa Mae). In late 1997, he met with Della Abdullah who taught Mayzan all about the internet, and after being with the band for almost 5 years, he made a decision to quit the band and concentrate on doing business. With this business, he did what he love most which was music and webhosting.

He then bought the name domain for, and At first, his intention was to make it as a fansite, but later on he change his mind and created an unofficial website for Vanessa Mae in 1997 and Marty Friedman in 1999 (though he never meet with his idols at that time) - but in 2002, Friedman contacted him, and wanted Mayzan to do an official website for Friedman.

Around 2001, Mayzan found out that it was very difficult to look for any information regarding Indonesian guitarist in the web. He then got the idea to create a guitarist community website; in 2001 (later change to In 2002, Mayzan got his first Jackson guitar from Marty Friedman as a present by doing his official website.

Starting 2004, Mayzan was very busy because; he had collaborated with "Fahrenheit's" guitarist Javier Bassino to create his official website and his band official website He also released his album, titled; 'Gitar Klinik 2', which received good reviews from the internet as well as in Indonesia. Marty Friedman was also featured in this album as a guest guitarist. Other artists who had Mayzan's touch in creating their website was; heavy metal band "MNEMIC" in 2005, Dino Cazares & Christian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory), Michael Amott (Arch Enemy) and Gus-G (Dream Evil) in 2006.

Influences: Mozart, Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, Jason Becker, Jeff Loomis, Blues Saraceno, Steve Stevens, Michael Thompson, Kiko Loureiro, Michael Schenker (UFO), Brian May (Queen), John Patrucci (Dream Theater), Herman Li & Sam Totman (DragonForce), Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde (BLS), Kirk Hammet (Metallica) and Eet Sjahranie (EdanE)

Axology: Ibanez guitars, Jackson guitars, Fender Stratocaster 1971 & 1966, Fender Telecaster 1967, Marshall JMP50 1972 amplifiers, Mesa Boogie amplifiers and DigiTech effects

Signature song(s): Innerfire Symphony - Mayzan (Gitar Klinik 2, 2004)

Link(s): (Official website)

Marty Friedman (Cacophony/Megadeth)

Name: Marty Adam Friedman
Born: 8th December, 1962 (Laurel, Washington DC, USA)

Profile: He is an American virtuoso guitarist, most widely recognized and best known for his as lead/rhythm guitarist for thrash metal band "Megadeth", which lasted close to 10 years. He has resided in Japan since 2003, and has hosted his own television programs, 'Rock Fujiyama' and 'Jukebox English' on Japanese television.

History: Friedman is a largely self-taught guitarist known for his improvisation and for fusing an Eastern musical feel with Western musical styles, such as neo-classical, thrash metal and later into progressive rock. When playing, Friedman often uses arpeggiated chords and various customized scales. He also occasionally uses sweep picking.

He has a very unorthodox right hand picking technique. The angle in which his hand is clenched goes against the conventional palm mute. He also frequently uses the upstroke as opposed to the downstroke, especially on the high strings (string E and B). These qualities make Friedman's solos unique and hard to duplicate using an alternate picking approach.

In 1981, Friedman formed "Vixen" (not the all-female band) then change the band's name to "Hawaii" a year later, the band was one of the two notable bands from Hawaii. The band did a major concert at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, supporting "Deep Purple", and it was Friedman first major concert.

In 1988, after "Hawaii" split up, he released his first solo album called "Dragon's Kiss", after the album he joined forces with Jason Becker to form the unrivaled dual guitar unit, "Cacophony", and have a strong influence on today's top guitarist. "Cacophony" featured neo-classical metal elements and synchronized twin guitar harmonies and counterpoints shared.

When "Cacophony" broke up in 1989, Friedman auditioned for the thrash metal band "Megadeth" after a tip from fellow guitarist Jeff Loomis. Friedman eventually auditioned for the spot, but was initially rejected by Dave Mustaine. However, after undergoing what Mustaine called 'Rock Star 101', Friedman officially joined "Megadeth" in 1990.

The first album he recorded with "Megadeth" was 'Rust in Peace', now considered a classic thrash metal album and sold platinum in the US. He further developed his style of playing exotic scale solos from the "Cacophony" era, and integrated it into the music of "Megadeth". After a total of 5 studio albums, and in 1999, Friedman announced his departure from "Megadeth".

Prior to joining "Megadeth", he formed and played lead guitar in several other bands, including "Deuce" and "Red Dye #2". In 2008, he released 'Future addict', an album consists of reconstructed, reworked and some completely remade songs spanning his carer all the way to his more recent recordings.

Now residing in Tokyo, Friedman has become a television celebrity appearing as a regular on 5 major networks, he can be seen on mainstream hit TV programs almost every day in Japan, and joined the band of Japanese mega-star Aikawa Nanase.

Influences: Elvis Presley, The Ramones, Black Sabbath, Kiss and Queen

Axology: Jackson KE-1 Marty Friedman model guitar, Hurricane guitars, Carvin guitars - V220M model, Gibson Explorer Z style shape, Fender guitars, Ibanez guitars and PRS guitars.

Signature song(s): Jewel - Marty Friedman featuring Jason Becker (Dragon's Kiss, 1988) and Viper - Marty Friedman featuring Steve Vai (Loudspeaker, 2006)

Link(s): (Official website)

"There is a big different between good in making music and good in playing the guitar" - Marty Friedman

Sunday, 6 June 2010


The natural minor scale, identical to the Aeolian mode, is a diatonic scale made up of seven notes (eight if you include the octave). The Aeolian scale, or mode, is the sixth of the seven musical modes.

Andy Wood (Down From Up)

Name: Andy Wood
Born: Unknown

Profile: He is an American guitarist, notably known for his work with the band "Down From Up". In 2003, he won the national competition of 'Guitarmageddon', soon after that, he was mainly known through the Internet and iTunes.

History: Born in a musical background, where most of his family members plays music. Wood started playing music around 5 years old with an old Alvarez mandolin, since then he always join the family's band to jamm. It was his grandfather who got him started on bluegrass songs, like Tony Rice, Bela Fleck and Bill Monroe, then he got into some acoustic jazz.

At the age of 18, he did a two year, jazz major at the University of Tennessee, and it was around this time he heard all of the 'standard issue shred' like the work of virtuoso guitarist Steve Vai and Steve Morse. But pretty much he got his skills by 'old school' hard work - practicing his ears. Eventually, after that he started playing electric guitar in 2000. His first electric guitar was a Fender Telecaster, with a Peavey Bandit combo amplifier.

The following years, he formed a band called "Down From Up". And in 2008, the band was a success, "Down From Up" even toured with "Drowning Pool" and "Sevendust". The next year, Wood released his first solo album, entitled 'A Disconcerting Amalgam'.

In 2010, he played along with guitarist Guthrie Govan. The both of them played in two shows in LA, at the Tone Merchants and Musician's Institute. Wood was definitely impressed with Guthrie and they played a great version of Guthrie's song 'Rhode Island Shred'.

Influences: Django Reinhardt, Paul Birchfield (Grandfather), Brian Arrowood (cousin), Greg English (stepfather), 10 Years, Coheed and Cambria, Shinedown, After Midnight Project, The Hellecasters, Albert Lee, Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, Diamond Rio, Jerry Reed, Brent Mason, Buck Owens and Clint Strong

Axology: Suhr guitar, Tom Anderson guitars, TC Electronic G-System and Diezel amplifiers

Signature song(s): Amazing Grace - Andy Wood (Disconcerting Amalgam, 2009)


John Mayer

Name: John Clayton Mayer
Born: 16th October, 1977 (Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician and songwriter. His career pursuits have extended to stand-up comedy, design and writing; he has written pieces for magazines, most notably for Esquire. He is also involved in philanthropic activities through his 'Back to You' fund.

History: His love in music started when he was young, he started playing clarinet for a while in middle school, with minor success. After watching Michael J. Fox's guitar performance as Marty McFly in the movie Back to the Future, Mayer became fascinated with the instrument, and when he turned 13, his father rented one for him.

Soon after, a neighbor gave him a Stevie Ray Vaughan cassette, which began Mayer’s intense love of the blues. Mayer started taking lessons from a local guitar-shop owner, and soon became consumed with playing the instrument. After two years of practice, he started playing at blues bars and other venues in the area, while he was still in high school. In addition to performing solo, he was a member of a band called "Villanova Junction" (named for a Jimi Hendrix song). After graduation, he worked for 15 months at a gas station until he saved enough money to buy a 1996 Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster.

In 1997, at age 19, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he refined his skills and gained a following. After two semesters, he left school and moved to Atlanta with a friend Clay Cook . In Atlanta they formed a two-man band called "LoFi Masters" and began performing in local coffee houses and club venues such as Eddie's Attic. According to Cook, they began to experience musical differences due to Mayer’s desire to move more towards pop music. As a result the two parted ways, and Mayer embarked on a solo career.

With the help of local producer and engineer Glenn Matullo, Mayer recorded the independent EP 'Inside Wants Out'. The EP includes eight songs with Mayer on lead vocals and guitars. Mayer’s reputation began to build, and in 2000, his appearance at South by Southwest brought him to the attention of Aware Records.

In 2001, Aware released Mayer’s internet-only album entitled, 'Room for Squares'. During that time, Aware inked a deal with Columbia Records that gave Columbia first pick in signing Aware artists, and so in September of the same year, Columbia remixed and re-released 'Room for Squares'. By the end of 2002, the album had spawned several radio hits, and Mayer won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for 'Your Body Is a Wonderland'.

In 2004, Mayer began to collaborate extensively, often working with artists outside of his own genre. He appeared on Kanye West's song 'Bittersweet Poetry', and Mayer received praise from rap heavyweights Jay-Z and Nelly. It was around this time that Mayer began hinting a change in his musical interests. In 2005, he began a string of collaborations with various blues artists, including Buddy Guy, BB King, Eric Clapton, as well as jazz artist John Scofield. He also went on tour with legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock.

In mid 2005, Mayer formed the "John Mayer Trio" with bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan, both of whom he had met through previous studio sessions. The trio played a combination of blues and rock music. In October, the Trio opened for "The Rolling Stones" during a sold-out club tour of their own, and that November, released a live album called 'Try!'.

In 2009, Mayer's 4th studio album, 'Battle Studies', was released and debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 album chart. The album consists of 11 tracks. Despite the album's commercial success, critics were mixed with their praise; while some reviews were glowing, calling it his 'most adventurous', others called the album 'safe'.

Influences: Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray and Freddie King

Axology: Fender Stratocaster

Signature song(s): Your Body Is a Wonderland - John Mayer (Room for Squares, 2001)

Link(s): (Official website)

Carlos Santana

Name: Carlos Augusto Alves Santana
Born: 20th July, 1947 (Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico)

Profile: He is a Mexican rock guitarist. He became famous in the late 60's and early 70's with his band, "Santana", which pioneered rock, salsa and jazz fusion. The band's sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin rhythms featuring percussion instruments such as timbales and congas not generally heard in rock music.

History: His father was a mariachi violinist, and young Santana learned to play the violin at age 5 and the guitar at age 8. In 1965, he met with Javier Bátiz, a famous guitarist from Tijuana, Mexico, and was said to have been Santana's guitar teacher who taught him to play a different style of guitar soloing. After learning Batiz's techniques, Santana would make them his own as well.

From Tijuana, he then moved to San Francisco, where he got the chance to see his idols, most notably BB King, performing live. He was also introduced to a variety of new musical influences, including jazz and folk music. After several years busking for spare change, Santana decided to become a full-time musician, and in 1966, he formed the "Santana Blues Band", with fellow street musicians, bassist David Brown and keyboardist Gregg Rolie.

With their highly original blend of Latin-infused rock, jazz, blues, salsa, and African rhythms, the band (which quickly became known simply as Santana) gained an immediate following on the San Francisco strip club. The band's early success, capped off by a memorable performance at Woodstock in 1969, led to a recording contract with Columbia Records, then run by Clive Davis.

Santana was signed by CBS Records and went into the studio to record their first album, simply titled 'Santana' and became a huge hit, reaching #4 on the US album charts, and the catchy single 'Evil Ways' reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1970, the group reached its early commercial peak with their second album, 'Abraxas', which reached #1 on the album charts and went on to sell over four million copies.

In 1972, Santana became a huge fan of the pioneering fusion band "The Mahavishnu Orchestra" and its guitarist John McLaughlin. A year later, Santana and McLaughlin recorded an album together, 'Love, Devotion, Surrender' with members of "Santana" and "The Mahavishnu Orchestra".

In 1983, Santana paid tribute to his early rock roots by doing the film score to 'La Bamba', which was based on the tragically short life of Rock & Roll legend Ritchie Valens. Although Santana and his band had concentrated on trying to produce albums with commercial appeal during the 80's, changing tastes in popular culture began to reflect in the band's sagging record sales. But, Santana retained a great deal of respect in both jazz and rock circles, when Prince and guitarist Kirk Hammett (Metallica) citing him as an influence.

In 1991, Santana made a guest appearance on Ottmar Liebert's solo album 'Para Ti', and on a cover of his own song, 'Samba Pa Ti'. Though, Santana's record sales in the 90's were very low. Toward the end of the decade, he was without a contract. However, Clive Davis, who had worked with Santana previously, signed him and encouraged him to record a star-studded album with mostly younger artists. The result was 1999's album 'Supernatural'. The single 'Smooth' which featured Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20), spent 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually sold over 15 million copies in the US.

Until now, Carlos Santana is still active and busy touring the world with his work in the music industry, he has spent more then 3 decades of his life as a musician and worked with so many artist along the way. In 2003, Santana was named 15th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the '100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time'.

Influences: BB. King, John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Valens, John McLaughlin and Mike Bloomfield

Axology: Gibson SG guitars, Yamaha SG 175B, PRS guitar - Santana signature series, Alvarez Yairi CY127CE nylon strings and Mesa/Boogie amplifiers

Signature song(s): Black Magic Woman - Santana (Abraxas, 1970) and Smooth - Santana (Supernatural, 1999)

Link(s): (Official website)

Saturday, 5 June 2010

George Benson

Name: George Benson
Born: 22nd March, 1943 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician, whose recording career began at the age of 21 as a jazz guitarist. He is also known as a pop, R&B, and scat singer. This one-time child prodigy topped the Billboard 200 in 1976 with the triple-platinum album, 'Breezin'. Benson uses a rest-stroke picking technique very similar to that of gypsy jazz players such as Django Reinhardt.

History: At the age of 7, Benson first played the ukulele in a corner drug store for which he was paid a few dollars; at the age of 8, his stepfather taught him to play guitar, soon after that he was playing guitar in a nightclub. At the age of 10, Benson recorded his first single record with RCA-Victor in New York, called 'She Makes Me Mad'.

As a youth, he learned how to play straight-ahead instrumental jazz for several years with organist Jack McDuff. At the age of 21, he recorded his first album, 'The New Boss Guitar'. Benson's next recording was 'It's Uptown' with the "George Benson Quartet" and followed up with "The George Benson Cookbook".

In the mid 60's, Miles Davis employed Benson, and featured his guitar on 'Paraphernalia' in the 1968 album 'Miles in the Sky'. Then Benson went to signed with CTI Records, where he recorded numerous albums with jazz heavyweights guesting to limited financial success. Benson also did a version of "The Beatles's" album 'Abbey Road' called 'The Other Side of Abbey Road'.

By the late 70's, as he recorded for Warner Bros. Records, a whole new audience began to discover Benson for the first time. With the 1976 release album 'Breezin', Benson began to put his vocal on tracks such as 'This Masquerade'. He had used his vocals infrequently on songs earlier in his career. 'Breezin' was a significant album in terms of popular music history - the first jazz release to go platinum.

In 1985, Benson and guitarist Chet Atkins went on the smooth jazz charts with their collaboration 'Sunrise'. In 1992, Benson appeared on Jack McDuff's 'Colour Me Blue' album. He even toured with Al Jarreau in America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to promote their 2006 album 'Givin' It Up'. He played during the second Monsoon Cup in Terengganu in 2006 and also Malaysia's 50th Merdeka celebration alongside Jarreau in 2007.

In 2009, Benson finished recording a new album titled 'Songs and Stories', with Marcus Miller and Steve Lukather. Currently, Benson will tour throughout 2010 in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim.

To commemorate the long term relationship between Benson and Ibanez guitars and to celebrate 30 years of collaboration on the GB Signature Models, Ibanez created the GB30TH, a very limited edition model featuring a gold foil finish inspired by the traditional Japanese Garahaku art form.

Influences: Django Reinhardt, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Charlie Christian, Robert Johnson, Albert King, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove

Axology: Ibanez GB30TH hollow body electric guitar

Signature song(s): This Masquerade - George Benson (Breezin', 1976)

Link(s): (Official website)

Tohpati (Simak Dialog)

Name: Tohpati Ario Hutomo
Born: 25th July, 1971 (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Profile: He is an Indonesian songwriter and a well known jazz guitarist. He has collaborated with many Indonesian musicians such as Glenn Fredly, Indro, Arie Ayunir and Shakila. Many of his work has traditional culture elements as he always try to combine both modern and traditional Indonesian music on his albums.

History: Since his early age, Tohpati has already interested to become a musician and often played on many shows around Jakarta, although it was not as a professional career. As a result of his effort, he had won the title 'Best Guitarist' at a band festival in Jakarta when he was just 14.

In 1989, four years after he won the title, he won another notable award of the 'Best guitarist' in Java. This award then contributed a major part in Tohpati's music experience as his name began to be noticed because he won another 'Best guitarist' award in 'Yamaha Band Explosion' show the same year.

After winning a series of awards, Tohpati decided to begin his professional career. His professional career began in 1993 when he joined a band called "Simak Dialog" with Riza Arshad, Arie Ayunir and Indro. With this band, Tohpati had released 3 albums, which were 'Lukisan', 'Bauk' and 'Trance/Madison'.

In 1998, Tohpati decided to start a solo career and released his first debut album. The album includes a collaboration with two pop singers in Indonesia Shakila and Glenn Fredly. To gained more popularity, he released two video clips of one of his songs on the album, 'Lukisan Pagi'. The video clip was a success and the song made its way to the Indonesian charts.

His second album, 'Serampang Samba' offered more instrumental hits. Quite different with the last album, Tohpati only included one song with vocals on the album, titled 'Jejak Langkah Yang Kau Tinggal'. This was also the only song with a video clip. This album consists of more traditional Indonesian music with more acoustic sounds and Balinese elements. It can be said that this album is more idealist and progressive compared to his previous album.

Tohpati was also one of the guitarist in the famous trio supergroup "Trisum", along with Dewa Budjana (Gigi) and Balawan (Batuan Ethnic Fusion).

Influences: Pat Metheny

Axology: Fender Stratocaster, Sadowsky guitars, Takamine guitar, Rocktron effects and Mesa/Boogie amplifiers

Signature song(s): Lukisan Pagi - Tohpati featuring Shakila (Tohpati, 1998)


Anik Jean

Name: Anik Jean
Born: 11th April, 1977 (Gaspésie, Québec, Canada)

Profile: She is a Canadian musician, singer, songwriter, producer and a painter. In 2008, she was the official spokesperson of the Trophée Roses des Sables’s and she also exhibited her paintings at the De la Scène - a L’Atelier art expose alongside other popular personalities like Christiane Charrette.

History: From a young age, Jean has been interested in blues music and the entertainment landscape. She was 11 years old when she expresses the wish to become a singer-songwriter. All it took was one David Bowie concert attended alongside her mother to convince her to devote her life to music.

She learned the basics of guitar and of piano, self-proclaiming herself as a freelance artist and in the years that passed Jean set musical roots down in Gaspésie, Los Angeles and in Montreal. Jean’s moving around enabled her to meet such established artists as Jean Leloup, with whom she created her first album.

In 2005, Jean’s first single, 'Je Suis Partie' was released and made it’s way to the commercial radio airwaves. The following single entitled 'Junkie de Toi' was met with even more success than the first, reaching the #1 on Nielsen BDS’ radio top 100. Her first studio album, 'Le Trashy Saloon' was released on August the same year and Jean was quickly embraced by the public and her peers as an authentic musical artist.

The album was met with much critical acclaim as well and received a nomination for French Album of the year at the 2005 Juno Awards. Thanks to her unique style, music and personal audacity, Jean was also able to land a spot as the opening act for the "Rolling Stones" in 2006 Montreal show. In addition to her prominent musical accomplishments, she is also known for having standout music videos. Her cooperation with directors Francis Leclerc and Robin Aubert resulted in - among other feats - a nomination at the Much Music Video Awards for the Tendre Sorcière video clip.

In 2008, Jean launched her second studio album 'Le Ciel Saigne le Martyre' upon which the rock star collaborated with David Bowie, Rita Mitsouko and Jean-Sebastien Chouinard, the end result was exceptional; the album was an intense rock album extremely reflective Jean as an artist. The first single 'Oh Mon Cheri' quickly reached the #1 position of the Nielsen BDS top 100 and was nominated at the Adisq Gala in 2008 in the Song of the Year category. Currently, she is working with Earl Slick on a new project called Project Pirate.

Influences: David Bowie

Axology: Eastwood - Airline 2P DLX guitar

Signature song(s): Junkie de Toi - Anik Jean (2005) and Oh Mon Cheri - Anik Jean (Le Ciel Saigne le Martyre, 2008)

Link(s): (Official website)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Jason Mraz

Name: Jason Thomas Mraz
Born: 23rd June, 1977 (Mechanicsville, Virginia, USA)

Profile: He is an American singer-songwriter. Mraz's stylistic influences include reggae, pop, rock, folk, jazz and hip hop.

History: Grew up in a family who love music, with a piano in their house, young Mraz were always singing and making up songs. Mraz was 13 when he began writing and when he was 18, he started to play guitar and determined to be a great musician. He spent 3 years sitting in his apartment learning how to play guitar and writing songs.

Musically, he is influenced by almost any genre. He grew up listening to the radio, so was into 80's and 90's pop, then moved onto troubadours and jazz and is now becoming interested in world music. Keen for the music he produces to keep evolving, Mraz tries to use all of these influences when he is writing in order to bring new rhythms and melodies.

He discovered he had a knack for spontaneously creating songs on the spot, often spurred on by a random phrase or word someone would suggest. The favorable response Mraz got, and the immediacy with which it came, served as a creative epiphany for him. It also provided the impetus to drop out, the better to follow his muse anywhere it took him.

He attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, for a short time, then pursue his dream as a musician in San Diego to look for inspiration. When he just started to get involved in the music scene there, he took lessons on people who were going to open mike nights and learn from the other people playing. He worked on it until he started doing his own show there, and spent about 2 years doing his own show every Thursday night.

In 1999, Mraz was discovered by former San Diego concert promoter Bill Silva during an impromptu Las Vegas performance. This led to the Los Angeles-based Silva becoming his manager and lots of gigs at Java Joe's in Ocean Beach – and a contract with Elektra Records.

In 2002, his debut album 'Waiting For My Rocket to Come' was released. Mraz's listener-friendly blend of folk, rock, hip-hop and jazzy scat singing has only grown more popular since then. In 2005, he released his second album 'Mr. A-Z' that achieved commercial success. The album peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 and sold over one hundred thousand copies in the US.

In 2008, Mraz released his third studio album, 'We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.' The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and was a commercial success worldwide, peaking in the top ten of many international charts. Mraz's international breakthrough came with the release of the first single from the album, 'I'm Yours'. The single peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Mraz his first top ten single.

Currently, Mraz is planning to release his forth album this year (2010). He posted on his Myspace page that he will be coming back to studio and begin recording. The process is unlike any of the other records before this and he plan to hit the road for tour anytime soon.

Influences: Michael Franks

Axology: Taylor acoustic model 714CE ES and Taylor T5

Signature song(s): I'm Yours - Jason Mraz (We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things, 2008)

Link(s): (Official website)

"... I make music out of a happy moment, a hardship I've overcome, a lesson I've learned, a love story I got to live. So, for me, it's just a chronicle of my life and putting reason to the voices in my head". - Jason Mraz

Bryan Adams (Sweeney Todd)

Name: Bryan Guy Adams
Born: 5th November, 1959 (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

Profile: He is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer. Adams was awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia for contributions to popular music and philanthropic work via his own foundation, which helps improve education for people around the world. He is also a well known photographer.

History: Adams musical goals began during his teenage years and took music seriously. He started to play musical instruments like guitar and piano. At the age of 15, Adams quit school to play in nightclubs with bands like "Shock" and "Sweeney Todd", who released an album called 'If Wishes Were Horses' as the lead singer.

In 1978, at the age of 18, Adams sent a few demo recordings to A&M Records in Toronto. Not long afterwards he signed with them, some of the first demos have surfaced over the years, most notably 'I'm Ready' and 'Remember', which was recorded on his first album. Both songs were covered by other artists even before his first album was released.

In 1980, his self-titled debut album was released and marked the beginning of what was to become a long songwriting partnership between Adams and Jim Vallance. The Adams/Vallance partnership wrote songs for many other artists notably Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond and "Kiss", to name a few.

In 1983, Adam's third album 'Cuts Like a Knife' was released. Singles from the album like 'Straight from the Heart' and 'Cuts Like a Knife' was the most successful songs which made Adams achieved international recognition, popularity and sales. The next year, Adams released another album 'Reckless', which included the hit singles 'Heaven' and 'Summer of '69'. The 'Reckless' album was Adams best-selling album in the United States and was certified five times platinum.

In 1991, Adams's next album, 'Waking Up the Neighbours', sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The album featured the power ballad '(Everything I Do) I Do It for You'. This song was featured as 'Original Soundtrack' in the movie 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', and spent a record-breaking 16 weeks at number one on the UK singles chart. It also achieved record-breaking sales of 4 million copies in the US.

In 1993, Adams released a compilation album entitled 'So Far So Good', that again topped the charts in numerous countries. It included a brand new song called 'Please Forgive Me', that became another number 1 single in Australia as well as reaching the Top 3 in the US, the UK and Germany.

With great albums and powerful songs which he composed and written, Adams is still in the music business. Recently, Adams released 'One World, One Flame' in Fabruary, 2010 - a track which will be used as a theme song by the major German TV station ARD for their Olympic TV Coverage of Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Stratocaster, Gibson acoustic and Guild acoustic guitars

Signature song(s): (Everything I Do)I Do It for You - Bryan Adams (Waking Up the Neighbours, 1991) and Please Forgive Me - Bryan Adams (So Far So Good, 1993)

Link(s): (Official website)