However, due to the extremely slow upload to the blog section,
I've decided against posting a photoblog this year. Instead I've created
a photoalbum labelled "MusikMesse 2013" on my FaceBook page, so please go there instead.
On location in Frankfurt now, for the 2013 MusikMesse!
However, due to the extremely slow upload to the blog section,
I've decided against posting a photoblog this year. Instead I've created
a photoalbum labelled "MusikMesse 2013" on my FaceBook page, so please go there instead.
In this blog post I will (try to) update daily (scroll down to view newer posts) during my clinic/performance tour in Asia this month.
I'm doing Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo, so without further ado let's go!
(click on all pics to get a larger pop-up)
Here's two clips, first one some jams from Beijing with MOEN. Second one from the Leqtique clinic in Tokyo
Tuesday, October 10 - Wednesday Oct 11
Departure day for me. Started out in a cold and cloudy Umeå, but expecting Asia to be on par with Swedish summer (only much more humid). Took the better part of a day packing and arranging everything that needed to come with me. No small feat making the it on board, nearly over-weight and with both the PRS and Kemper as carry-on =)
Made it through the check-in, and uploaded a fancy-pancy pic of my self with my most "let's go to Asia-look". Of course sporting both a UFC hoodie and my (very) worn leather jacket.
Once airborne I couldn't sleep (as I seldom can on planes, or buses for that matter. I'd make a lousy touring musician, that's for sure!).
But the view was excellent! I really should look into getting some noise canceling headphones for these trips.
I managed to delete the pic I took over Ulan Bator, but there the snow lay deep on the mountain ranges, and here I though it was getting nippy in Sweden :)
The inflight entertainment left much to be desired, so I took the opportunity to catch up on some MMA shows I had missed lately
Had to transfer between Shanghai and Beijing, and nearly missed the flight because SAS Umeå had informed me that I would need to re-check my luggage in Beijing. After waiting half an hour and then asking around, turned out so was not the case. I was lucky enough to get a helping hand by the accommodating staff to secure and check-in my tax-free gifts (some bottles of premium Skåne Akvavit ;)
Then an hour long taxi ride to the hotel took me past everything from skyscrapers to what seemed like hundred year old buildings.
This view from a staircase at the hotel gives you an idea on what a hot-pot of old and rundown vs. modern high-tech Shanghai really is!
My Chinese endorser Steve Chen is setting up shop at the Music Messe, so I'm kicking back at the hotel until dinner. Not a single english speaking channel to be found, but at least found some live rock (or something I think supposed to be rock) concert =) Time for dinner later, and after that on to the show area to do a late night sound check, I'll be back with more updates later this evening.
Steve came by, and we packed all the my gear up for the show, then headed of to do a late night soundcheck.
Shanghai is a completely different city at night, the whole city is like a fireworks display with all the scyscrapers lit up like x-mas trees.
The expo place is probably twice as big as Frankfurt Messe or NAMM, which is saying something, during the day they have shuttle buses connecting the different expo halls.
MOEN's booth was still under construction, but the main decor was finished, with yours truly pasted across one wall. I'll some demos in this booth as well, but the main performances will be outside, on the bigger stages. First performance at 10:15 tomorrow, so time to get some shut-eye!
Thursday October 11
First opening day of the Expo started out with great weather. I however, overslept and missed breakfast. To top that off it seems darn near impossible to get a regular black coffee in Shanghai :O
Here we are outside the Expo area with One Control's owner Tomokaz
And me and Steve as well
The lobby was filling up nicely, the whole area is probably twice as big as Frankfurt Messe, in other words, it's HUGE!
The MOEN booth was busy, with Steve's staff setting things up
Here's a picture of a new pedal board Steve is developing, from this angle it looks pretty ordinary
But here you can see that the sides is made from some super hard acrylic, and also you bolt on the sides to the actual "planks" of the board. This means you can can decide the width of the pedal board yourself, by changing the length of the boards. Smart idea, and to be able to easily change the size of your pedalboards with some backup "planks" is superb.
One of the MOEN guys, unfortunately Steve's the only one that speaks a word of English, so communication was not so easy, good thing music is a universal language huh? :)
And here is mine and Denander's signature MOEN pedals, mine the green dual channel OD, and his the dual channel Soul Compressor. My is the final production version seen here, whilst his is still not 100% decided as far as the cover art is concerned, sounds great though!
The idea is also to actually ship them in these sweet wooden boxes too, kinda cool idea I think =)
And here I am with a smirk on my face holding the first two jewels of the MOEN custom shop line. And, posing in front of a life-size of oneself is kinda weird :D
Another MOEN guy, seen here test driving the piezo system of the P22
Here's a still frame from the first performance of the day (videos will come when I get better bandwidth).
I'm using the pedals straight into the Kemper amp, using a profile I made of a Bassman from -64, sounded sweet, and a perfect way to get control of the levels going out into FOH
After my performances of the day, I took a walk around some parts of the Expo (was too big to muster an entire walkthrough right off the bat, but at least its something). Here just some random pic
Here's some guy doing some acoustic playing (will also be featured in the video)
Here's some pretty cool Ibanez and LP copies I though, check that body carve out!
Here's a guy demoing for Orange, pretty cool idea with him playing along to a video behind him of himself playing the same song
A group playing traditional Chinese instruments together with a piano, notice all the girls also wearing traditional Chinese dresses. Video of this will also be available
The Artec booth also had some acoustic demos going on, I remember their stuff as being pretty good too, but never heard their acoustic amps before
Not many non-asian brands had their own booths at the Expo, but was rather represented by their retailers. Tom Anderson was an exception though
Farida guitars is Chinas largest guitar brand, and is here demoed by an extremely popular French guitar player nick-named Inophis, "über-shred" is probably the best way to describe his playing, and he is also a real showman on stage (as you will see in the videos)
Then outside, on one of the stages I perform at was a Chinese guitarist ripping it up
Then we had lunch. What I thought were regular McDonalds chicken nuggets, were actually some spicy chicken from hell to say the least, super hot!
Then I arrived for another performance at Stage S1. Some guy was doing a drum demo, really energetic to say the least, but rather un-tight
And here's me from the second performance at the Peavey stage. Larger stage, but the monitoring sound was pretty awful, so loud I had to wear earplugs ;)
Up after me was a Brasilian guitarist (living in L.A), called Conrado Pesinato, really nice guy, and really ballsy rock player!
Also, it turns out the lead singer and good friend in his former band in Brazil, is now the singer in Hate Ammo in my hometown in Sweden, small world!
Also, don't be surprised to see a jam with us two coming up, Steve was eager to see it happen =)
Conrado doing his thing with a sweet rendition of Foxy Lady
Took another stroll through the halls after his performance, here some cable company
Do you have a cramped pedal board? How about these Mooer pedals? You could probably fit 30 of these babies on a normal sized pedal train :D Some really cool design in the line also
An over-the-shoulder peek at a guy demoing some of them
Now this was a pretty different booth, people (mostly girls it seemed) could sit on that "throne" chair and get their picture taken with some of the most outrageously pimped guitars :)
When I got back to the booth, and old acquaintance from NAMM was playing my PRS and enjoying the tones of the Parallax and the Jimi Vibe
Then it was time to head out, outside the sun was setting rapidly
Pretty crazy house, like something from Barcelona, but without the colors. Kinda looks like something Edward Munch would have designed in this light :O
Apparently it's an art gallery of some sort
Then we went out for dinner. I'd heard a lot of mixed opinions about Chinese food.
Most Swedes really like Chinese food, and there's at least one Chinese restaurant in almost every city in Sweden I would guess. However, I bet THIS is not on any of their menus =)
Deep-fried crab? That's a new sight for me at least.
And yeah, there was plenty of deep fried food in the menu
We ended up with a wide variety of dishes to sample from.
All of them tasted great, but not a single one had ANY resemblance to what we call Chinese food in Sweden. I'm guessing it's like Swedish pizza, has absolutely nothing in common with Italian pizza expect the shape of it =)
Final pic of the day is with Steve and wife, a co-worker of his, and Tomokaz of On-Control. My addition to the sampling was a bottle of Skåne Akvavit. Went down really well!
Over and out for the first day of Music China!
Friday October 12
Came in from a different direction to the expo today, and ended up passing a hall with tons of traditional Chinese instruments
How's this for a scalloped neck??
The classic old Tokai brand is still alive and kicking!
First off for today was some in-doors performances at the MOEN booth, here doing some whammy bar acrobatics. And boy am I ever unused to these flat necks nowadays :D
Another tune, another guitar, another angle
One thing is true about Chinese, they love to take photos!
I must have taken a dozen or so pics with various onlookers every day, and no, this is not the face I pull most of the time ;)
Here's a pic from one of the outdoor performances, apparently I'm caught up in one of my regular tapping-frenzies
Back in the booth, there was always a constant stream of visitors, several of whom wanted to jam out. This here guy, was from the Czech republic, living in Shanghai, and playing in a Japanese punk band. He was also a bad-ass at gypsy jazz!
And here's some guy from Guitar Center in the US
After a long day at the expo, we went out for dinner (one of our two tables visible here)
We were toasting in a gift from WJ guitars of China, some sort of spirit made from wheat, tasted similar to grappa, but much stronger.
Apparently very popular in southern China (which was also evident from the way it went down with the Chinese attendants)
One thing I have learned here is that they like to eat in larger groups, with many dishes placed out that everyone take what they want from, not unlike our Swedish "buffé". Once again, many dishes, not a single one tasting even remotely like the Chinese food served in Sweden,
This was also interesting, think cold tea in can, sweetened with about a ton of sugar
Later, back at the hotel, I was presented with one of the drawbacks of bringing a guitar everyone wants to play with me. Humid climate, and some peoples acid hands equals some really dead strings. The PRS was in serious need of new strings and some cleaning of the fretboard. Time to get to work, check back again tomorrow. Who knows, there might be some more playing even?
ps. still no bandwidth, nor time to edit the huuuge amount of video material shot and both my shows and others.ds
Saturday October 13
Today started out pretty much like any other, breakfast, then a shuttle to the expo.
The area is so huge, so there's at least 30 min walking every single day, regardless from which direction we enter.
Once there we were revisited by our friend from yesterdays dinner, the Chinese guitarist. His own music is a strange brew of traditional Chinese music and modern funk and fusion, very different and interesting.
We also had a short jam together over some tracks, was caught on video of course!
Always tons of performances going on all over the expo, here som guys doing one of Al Di Meola's tunes, from the Guitar Trio years. Can't remember the name of the tune at the moment though.
At the T.C Electronics booth opposite us, bass player Dan Zylinski and his girlfriend did some great demos for TC's products. Very, very musical bass player to my ears!
here's a pic of a pedal board bag has as a prototype for his upcoming pedal board. Very sturdy, and great looks too!
Tried to take a panorama picture of the booth. It's kinda glitchy in places, but you get the idea. As always, click the pic to enlarge it.
After dinner we took a cab down to the Shanghai center to the view point, and what a view it was! Unbelievable!!
Me and Steve Chen. Look out Beijing, we're coming for you next week!!
There were tons of neon lighted boats cruising up and down the river, this one was particularly big! Looks like some old Portugees fregatt!
And this boat looked like something out of the Tron movie =)
And let's just say we weren't exactly alone!
That's all or today folks, tomorrow is the last day of the expo,
time for a final live performance, must get some rest before then =)
Sunday October 14
Last day of the show! I did several performances this day, not only on the larger outside stages, but also some inside.
At one of the outside venues there was a Chinese entertainment TV-company there shooting, and asked Steve if I would be interested in being invited to China to perform on TV. Pretty cool, but he will investigate further to see what kind of show they're doing =)
In this pic we see on of Steve's employees assembling his new Pedal Bridge board, just had new red sides delivered from powder coating. Looks really nice!
And here Steve is holding the assembled board. Light weight, very sturdy, and the option to custom make your own size is killer
Steve also does OEM work for overseas companies. Here are a few examples of pedals he has manufactured for an American company.
here you also see that the top bar of the pedal bridge is replaced with some modules. In this you have power, a built in speaker and line-check module, as well as global in/outs.
Here's another version of the standard parallax. Slightly different red, and different knobs. The white trim is made of rubber, for extra grip.
Our friend Honza visited the booth again today, doing some killer "italian movie music" with as T.C pedal. This guy can play a huge range of styles.
Me and Honza took a walk around the expo as well, here at the Mooer booth, checking out a Acoustic pedal of some sort. I'm intrigued to hear this with my PRS P22 piezo, would be a good small option for the acoustic signal live maybe.
We also visited the Electro Harmonix booth, since Honza wanted to show me a sick pedal. This guy was doing demos for them
And here's the pedal Honza wanted to show me, the Micro POG.
I've tried many octave pedals, since I'm really interested in finding a good one for using with a looper to lay down simple bass lines for soloing over at clinics and workshops. This was by FAR the best I have ever heard! Tracks perfectly, no aliasing what so ever, and it even does chords all over the range of the fret board PERFECTLY!
Contacted Shun right away, we need to find one of these to use at the Tokyo clinic for sure. And, a bass playing friend of mine in Sweden would kill for this one, he's still struggling with the old Boss Octaver, which is all over the place :/
Then Honza demoed the pedal for me, and started doing a seriously sick rendition of the Coltrane classic "countdown" with bass and harmonies at the same time. Sounded crazy with this pedal
This new "talk box" rocker pedal from EH was also insane!
I do a lot of cover gigs in Sweden, and every time I play a Bon Jovi song I wish I had a real talk box. This is by far the best Talk Box I have ever head in a pedal (no hose) format! This is also going on my X-mas list :D
Some ( I assume) famous Chinese rock guitarist drew quite the crowd at another booth
I also found a café at the expo that served espresso, nice!
The crema wasn't all that good, and it was a little watery (I think they didn't temper it enough), but it was still the best coffee I had so far =)
After the show was packed up, we went out for a farewell dinner with Kaz in down town Shanghai. All the building there are really lit up to say the least!
I thought this restaurant name was pretty funny =)
Me posing with some sculpture
We finally decided on a Japanese sushi restaurant. I love sushi, especially Maguro (breast filét of Tuna). I had my fill, and we also finished the last of the spirit I brought for Steve. Very nice dinner!
That was the end of the Shanghai Music expo 2013.
Tomorrow we leave for Beijing, see you there!
Monday October 15
Today was yet another travel day, this time we fly from Shanghai to Beijing.
One reflection I made whilst here in China is that the "copy" market doesn't just extend to things such as guitars and iPhones, but is (at least I think) more geared towards the domestic market, and we just happen to see this stuff as well.
Like this car for instance, why buy a BMW, when you can get a BYD that looks about the same for a fraction of the cost =)
Once in Beijing, we took the airport express in to the subway center. This place was even more crazy than Tokyo at rush hour, you had to actually wait in line for a long time just to get in to the subway station (and out of it). The trains themselves were packed to the max!
The hotel was a Home Inn, very near to where I will do my clinic show on Wednesday.
The hotel corridor gave me some serious "shining" vibes though, can anyone say "REDRUM" ? ;)
Then we went out to find some dinner.
Next to the dinner place we chose was this small place that sold cakes and bread.
This particular picture is solely for my beloved fiancée, who loves to bake :)
We ended up eating some Chinese Hot Pot, delicious, but indeed extremely hot!!
And finally... BAZINGA!!
I finally got to try real Chinese dumplings, Sheldon Cooper's favorite.
I can see why, most tasty dish I have yet to try in China. Now if only I could find these (as tasty, not store-bought) back home in Umeå!!
Time for bed, tomorrow Steve will take me to see BOTH the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, I can't wait!!
Tuesday October 16
Me and Steve spent almost 2 hours trying to get a cab, but finally giving up and getting on the subway. We finally got the bus that would take us to the Great Wall, and our first bit of luck this day, as we secured the last two seats on the packed bus!
The bus trip was very scenic and took about 1 hour. The mountain regions of China are just stunning, and no picture can do them justice (especially when taken whilst on a moving bus!)
We finally arrived at our destination!
Plenty of other coaches around, and tons of tourists (mostly Chinese).
You can see a small part of the wall in the background here.
Here's a map of the part of the wall at this location. The wall is seemingly endless, and this section is just a tiny part of it.
Time to start a very long climb up a very steep wall indeed!
This is a experience of a life-time guys, I've always been an extreme nut for ancient history, and it doesn't get much more ancient than China!
Part of the way up now, I can't imagine the soldiers running up and down this wall in heavy armor, just crazy!
Note: The picture taken "vertical" can't be super-sized I'm afraid :(
I can see the top!
And by this time my legs were burning!
A stunning over the other side of the valley!
This is really THE perfect time to visit the Wall. The autumn colors really makes everything come alive!
Here i am, finally at the top of the wall (at least this length of it)
I used the panorama function of the iPhone, to try and capture a little of the majestic scenery. Not possible of course, but maybe this will give you some idea
(click to enlarge)
After making our way down again, we took abus in and headed directly to the Imperial Forbidden city. This place is a bout as huge as it cant get. I doubt there is a bigger palace in the world (at least I can't imagine it).
The palaces just continued and continued, we could easily have walked here for the better part of a day!
I tried using the panorama function here too. When objects move within the panorama however, they get distorted, but perhaps this gives you some idea of the size of just ONE of these palace squares
The palace is grand in it's majesty, but equally impressive in my mind is the complete attention to detail they took so many hundred years ago when building this. Just a small thing like the windows are elaborate in the minutest detail
This here stone carving is not only 3.7m wide and like 20m long, but the slab is also 1.7m thick and weighs 200ton, that is sick!
The emperor also had his own garden, with some pretty great trees and sculptures
This here is all man made stone made to resemble a koral reef, all for the emperor's eyes only
I took hundreds of pictures during this day, so this is a just a bare minimum of what I thought the blog could handle before boring you guys with my escapades ;)
I'll leave this part with a pic of the exit out of the Forbidden city, we weren't exactly alone :)
Finally back to something music related =)
To conclude this day we visited the No.1 Jazz café in Beijing where tomorrow's clinic/show/jam will be held. Had one of the greatest red wines I have ever had there, from the Great Wall winery (how fitting!), custom made for the Jazz Café.
Tomorrow's event will be killer. Some of China's most guitarists and bass players will be there, and hopefully jam to! renowned
Tonight we discussed the plan for tomorrow's event. We want to make it a "laid back" environment, inviting players to join me for a jam onstage.
If the invited musicians just want to catch up with their fellow players they rarely get to meet, they are free to do so upstairs in the lounge, and if they want to get down
and dirty with me or each other on stage, it's free to do so too.
has the potential to be a REALLY cool night tomorrow!!
Ps. ANY place that has a picture and real autograph of Bruce Lee on the wall, AND serves a MEAN espresso
gets a A+ in my book! .ds ;)
Wednesday October 17
This morning we were planning to go to see the Temple of heaven.
The weather was really nice, and so thought the neighborhood cat that was basking in the sun outside the hotell =)
On the way there I got the chance to take a picture of one of these modern day moped-rickshas parked. usually you see them racing through the torrents of Beijing traffic seemingly unmindful of any danger. The traffic situation is just crazy in Beijing, I wouldn't dream of driving in that city, not to mention bike or go by scooter in the midst of hundreds and hundreds of racing cards with blaring horns =)
The whole area around the temple grounds seem to be a sort of huge recreational place especially for middle-aged and senior citizens. Here an old man writing kanji calligraphy with water, really an artform in and by itself.
Also, the whole area was filled with people playing some sort of kick-ball with a smal feathered ball that weren't allowed to touch ground. Some really skillful people amongst them!
This guy was doing some cool stuff with a ribbon that I think could have made an olympic gymnast envious =)
Here's a picture of the main temple of the area.
Apparently it was first built in a square shape in the 15th century, and the rebuilt in to this round shape after a fire ravaged it
Tried another panorama picture of course =)
On the way out we saw some older women doing some sort of yoga.
Talk about agile for their age!
Then we arrived at the No.1 Jazz café to set up for the clinic show
Setting up, using both the Kemper and an amp with two deeflexx, really fat sound!
Here's a show cabinet with pedals form the MOEN line.
My green Parallax is the center piece on the top shelf,
and is it ever eye-catching =)
Then we went upstairs where many Chinese musicians and guitarists had gathered. Also several TV channels were present to document the event.
We had a round of introductions, where I didn't understand a single word :) I did get to see myself in a round video loop on the TV on the wall, so I think some of it referred to the launch of my pedal
Then we went down stairs to start the performance
Me and the main men of MOEN doing a pre-performance interview with some Chinese TV-channels at attendence
Here I am in the middle of a tapping run during a jam with one of the Chinese players
Apart from my own solo performances, we also did a number of impromptu jams with assembled musicians, some really good jams!
The assembled players also signed a board and a loop switcher for a give away
We also had some more informal gatherings upstairs throughout the evening, discussing amongst one another, and also doing some more presentations
Here I am doing another jam with a young Chinese player.
At the end of the evening we went to a realyl nice restaurant and a huge farewell/celebration dinner for MOEN fx. Unfortunately though,
I don't have the pics from this as of yet, I'll update this post later on =)
Thursday October 18
I had some serious lack of time to update the blog last couple of days, but here is Thursday's post all be it a bit late.
Eaaarly Thursday morning I got up at the airport hotel to get to the airport for my flight to Tokyo. Good thing I did go there that early though, as the hotel shuttle dropped me off at the wrong terminal, and it took the better part of one hour to get to the correct one.
At the airpot I was met by my old friend and endorsers Shun Nokina of Leqtique effects, Japan Sporting a new hair-cut for the day (he used to look more like a wild-haired Mongolian step-warrior back in the day =) ). Haircut courtesy of gf =)
The familiar sight of the Tokyo scy scrapers!
It was raining quite heavily off and on, which is a common thing for Tokyo this time of the year.
The street where Shun's fantastic house was located
(a wonder of modern technology, where even the shower speaks with you).
Another cool feature (and space saving) is the retractable dinner table in the living room :D At the press of a button it disappears into the floor
Perfect timing, the new Boden 8-string by Ola Strandberg had arrived!
Fantastic instrument, but boy do I get lost amongst those additional strings :D
We also visited the Ikebe Ampstation store, talk about a packed place!
When we returned Shun's mother was visiting, and had prepared the most traditional Japanese dinner, outstanding!
For dessert and late snacks, Sapporo beer, soybeans and some local chocolate-dipped chips from Sapporo, nice!
Kohei with another co-worker of Shun's (total Gojira nut btw).
That's all for tonight, tomorrow will be a full day of Tokyo sightseeing with Kohei, looking forward to it and hope for good weather!
Friday October 19
This morning started out with a coffee at Starbucks, mine a cappucino, Kohei's is some sort of milkshake/ice cream thing that looked awesome :D
Then we went to Harajuku for some shopping frenzy =)
These crepes I've had before when in Tokyo, among the tastiest stuff you can imagine!
As you can imagine the previous pic is not of the actual crepes, and neither is this. The Japanese have taken working with plastic and paint to an artform, making perfect replicas of their dishes for the display windows.
Every other store in Harajuku is already displaying for Halloween, pretty early in my mind ;)
Then we headed to Shibuya, here in the ESP store where you can see that Japanese guitarists have some pretty outrageous signature models :D
Another freaky guitar model
I've seen snake skin boots, but real snake skin on a guitar?
On our way to Ikebe we passed the Disney Tokyo store, 8 floors of Disney magic!
Then we arrived in the department of Ikebe that deals with PRS, managed by Mr. Inazawa-san. This is one of the best PRS-selections on earth!
DOuble dragon PRS Private Stock, price tag around a new luxury car!
One of the beautiful PRS amp models in stock.
Non of these are available in Sweden (or Europe), so I will definitely take the chance to try some out on Monday before I leave.
Thumbs up for this store!
A wall of Gibson, talk about packed!
Some Fender custom shop strats, also with quite a price tag!
On the way back, Kohei bought me and Mona this minitaure cats, looks a lot like our cat Viggo :D
Apparently this cat is called "GiGi" in Japan
We also stopped by a market with some beautiful Japanese hand crafted stuff!
Traditional Japanese slippers
The most beautiful hand painted soaps I've ever seen (and they smell good too!)
On our way back we stopped to listen to a Canadian guitarist playing classical guitar, he was stunning!
When I got back I made a radio interview over Skype with Swedish radio. Gerhard Stenlund did the interview.
It'll be aired on Monday in Sweden, P4 Västerbotten.
Check it out (it'll be in the archive as well).
Then we went out for sushi dinner with the Ikebe Ampstation store manager
And when I say we went for sushi, we REALLY went for sushi!
On the way back we took a wrong exit, and ended up stopping by Tokyo Towers =)
The time was probably 3AM before we were home!
Saturday October 20
Clinic day! Time to pack the car!
Shun's house is really beautiful, but so big it's hr to make it any justice on camera, so you'll have to make do with this nice entrance :D
Shun's gf Ayaka is a walking smile basically =)
Setting up for the clinic at Ikebe Ampstation, 3rd floor meeting room
Shun made these 30 beautiful Maestoso OD's especially for this event (custom color). number 31of them is coming home with me =)
Place was packed!
Me and Ike Uneo. This guy started his career at Roland back in -77, and was responsible for the V guitar system (for example all the pickup emulations are based on his personal guitars).
He is also an excellent translator, and has been my side-kick on every single clinic I've ever done in Japan
Another of Shun's friends and co-workers was a HUGE Gojira fan.
So, I decided to give him the RiptApparel Gojira shirt I had.
This site releases one print every day/all year, and its only available for 24 hours. So it's pretty safe to assume, that even in Tokyo, he'll be pretty alone with this one!
The event was a great success, and half of Shun's MAT's were taken right away. The Strandberg guitars also caught a lot of interest!
After the show we all went out for a great dinner at a Korean BBQ place in Shibuya
Didn't know it whilst eating, but this was apparently tongue. Super tasty though!
Some more of the guys at the dinner.
This was one VERY long dinner, we were back home after 6Am!!
So time to sleep!, Tomorrow I will have a private lesson with one of Shun's friends, we will try to use the Kemper to profile Kohei's excellent Two-Rock, and Shun's mother will take us out to Shabu Shabu at one of Tokyos finest restaurants! Can't wait!
Sunday October 21
This day began with having a short lesson with one of Shun's friends, Yukinori Harada, then updating the blog and some videos which I have been a few days behind on.
Later we went out for dinner with Shun, his gf and mother.
We had superb shabu shabu at a very traditional and high-class Japanese restaurant
Very packed table =)
The waitresses wore very traditional kimonos, and this particular girl was tiny enough to have been a 10-year old =) Either that, or all this good food has made me grow to giant :D
Japanese understated decoration, only one in the room. I like it!
After dinner we paroosed a huge department store, like a mix between H&M and Best Buy, electronics and clothes in a great mix at every floor =)
On the way back, I got to try some new koffein-free Coke Zero, tasted very funny indeed
For the rest of the evening it's packing and movie on the schedule =)
Monday October 22
Today started out by going back to Shibuya to say farewell to the Ikebe guys, and then off to the airport. Here we have Inazawa-san with the new Strandberg Boden.
Just can't get over how many guitars can fit into a room =)
It's literally a forest
Some great Gibsons here too, that Murphy guy sure knows a thing or two about relicing guitars!
One of the most gorgeous private stock PRSi I've seen.
Cocobolo fingerboard for the win!
Also got to try out the PRS Dallas amp. Super warm and punchy,
would probably take an overdrive really well! Unfortunately all mine were in the suitcase.
Then off we went for the one hour drive to the airport, sayonara Tokyo!
Lunch at the airport, saying farewell and see you soon!
This will be my last post for this (very long) blog. Tonight I arrive in China, and tomorrow is just travel day(s), so see you in a future blog post from somewhere else in the world =)
In the blog for Frankfurt, I've decided to keep all the weeks happenings in one long post, divided by headlines into different days, rather than a ton of different posts. So just click to this one post, and it will be updated as the week progresses.
The video blogs.
Just as I did for the NAMM show, I've collected the video blogs first in the post (since those are often the most popular.
In these videos, you will see amongst others:
Mika Tyyskä (Mr.Fastfinger)
Mattias IA Eklundh
Monday 19th March - Arrival and patch cable fiasko
The day started out eeeearly at Umeå Airport with very cold and drab weather!
The plane was late taking off due to cold rain and ice, so I almost missed my connecting flight to Frankfurt, not a good way to start the day (but hey, it's Monday, what did I expect!)
I finally did arrive in Frankfurt though, where I met up with Shun, Ama and Kohei.
(I also met Avid's Anders Glanz at the airport, but forgot to take a pic of him ;)
Kohei is btw helping Shun revive his old "Miniature line" of SND (Shun Nokina Design).
Here's some of Kohei's pedals, a color explosion!
We arrived at Messe, which is a huuuuge complex to say the least! Took at least 30 min just to walk through to our hall.
Our booth was nicely placed on a corner, smack in the middle between Gibson and Fender.
Think this might be a good spot.
We commenced by setting the pedal board together, trying out a bunch of different pedal combinations for the show board. Plenty colorful isn't it!
We also spend the better part of 4 hours making lava patch cables, everything from the long to the very, very short!
Once done, we were oh so tired!
Unfortunately! After all our hard work, not ONE single cable was working on our board! Complete fiasko! Probably have to do with us not being able to cut the cables to perfection with a sharp knife, but had to use wire cutters. We'll see if it can be solved. The idea behind Lava is dead simple, but turned out to be hard to get perfect. We eventually got some signal from one cable, but very, very weak. We'll investigate further.
All I got to show for the days work, were some very chaffed hands!
Tired and disappointed as we felt, we decided that some good sushi might cheer us up, Shun definitely looked like he could use it!
Once the (VERY good) sushi arrived, topped with some hot sake, spirits were lifted all around though! A nice end to a very long day!
Tuesday 20th March- Build day and stuff
So, we found the problem with the patches. Seems like the center pig wasn't perfectly centered in the core of the cable, thus not providing good contact. Took it's sweet time remaking 20+ patches though!
Maybe hard to see in this pic, but you should be able to pick out where the hole in the white part of the center cable is punched off-centre from the actual core.
So, we finally got the cables sorted, and the pedal board all assembled and ready to rock!! Pretty nice palette of colors right?
Me and Shun, dialing in some sweet tones!
Pedals CAN be a work of art too =)
Me in the mood, slinging some guitar while finding my tones.
Even though it was still only build day, there were of course plenty of exhibitors around, here I'm demoing the MAT Overdrive for a Indonesian exhibitor. He digged it, big time.
Also got the time to take a stroll around some of the messe hals (this place is like NAMM times 5 at least, it's HUGE!) and spotted a bunch of cool things. Many booths hadn't been set up yet, so here's just a few things that caught my eye. First of a new amp from Hayden, that I thought was a cool take on the "toaster" design.
Traveller guitars sported some different models, all in that super compact size. Shun has one that he always brings with him (tuned in b5's though, to everyones dismay!)
This is not really "news", but I just LOVE the look of the new Bonamassa cry baby, so classy, and (at least when he plays it) it sounds great!
Apparently the forgot something during the last Frankfurt car show =)
Some ESP guitars (a lot even!)
The Kemper guys were also setting up shop. This booth definitely needs to be revisited!
Edwin Kool at Koch amps was kind enough to borrow us the new Twintone III for our booth, so we have 2 amps and are ready for some serious jam sessions! The Twintone was a new experience for me, and I really digged it! It was much more "modern" sounding than the Egnater we use, and really balanced out the more vintage sounding of Leqtique's pedals nicely, so I think we have a very nice tone option in the booth to suit almost anyone.
Speaking of Egnater, I also got to meet and speak at length with Bruce Egnater himself, which was very cool indeed! He is a legend in the field of amplifiers.
Fast forward to the evening, and we hooked up with Tom Quayle, Jack Gardiner and Tim Hoover for dinner.
Great food, good company and very tasty fresh beer (some sort of seasonally made beer in Frankfurt) made for a long, fun filled evening to wrap up my second day in Frankfurt!
(Tim is in the pic too, behind Tom on the far left)
Wednesday 21th march - First day of the show
The first open day of the show started off with great weather, and even Wagner's statues basked in the sun!
Like at NAMM, there are big konsert stages where there are constantly stuff happening, this morning some big band doing latina brass music, groovy!
First task of the day though, was to get Jack "ol geezer" Gardiner in the show, as his deal for a pass bummed out. While we waited for Shun to arrive, Kohei snapped this one unbeknownst to us.
In the show, first thing I saw was Mr.Fastfinger himself ripping it up at the Hughes & Kettner booth (will be featured in the upcoming videos of course).
Feel insecure on a high bar stool? Get on one of these, and tuck your spurs into it =) yihaa!
Godin was performing in the Laney booth when we arrived, circus guitar at its best!
Do you think basses are big, bulky and heavy?
Think again! =)
Our neighboring booth, ToneMaster. Tons of guitar parts (both relic'ed and standard), looked very nice!
Alex Beyrodt, the owner of ToneMaster dropped by and jammed. Great rock player, and fantastic looking strat! (Alex plays with Primal Fear and Glenn Hughes amongst others).
I jammed on and off throughout the day (as is to be expected, surrounded by great gear =)
Marshall's new miniature 1W re-issues are killer looking!
Dropped by Fibernare guitars to check out Tom and the axes. I'd previously only ever seen these "alien" looking ones.
I wasn't aware that they had their "jazz" series that are more conventional for the lack of a better term. Stunning instruments, that both sounded and played amazingly.
Check out the rosewood neck! Gorgeous! Makes me wish for a PRS McCarty series with a Rosewood neck!
On the way back to our booth, I came across this space age looking guitar =)
Which in turn was situated just opposite the Gibson booth which, surprise, was packed
There were also a HUGE booth with vintage guitars. Apart from the tried and true 50's and 60's Fender and GIbson's, apparently now also Ibanez qualifies as belonging in the vintage department.
If orch's played the violin?
Tom & Tim jazzing it up at Fibernare!
And the price for weirdest looking axe at Messe goes to...
Later that night, after a SICK jam with Nico, we ended up at Urban Kitchen again, Tim was this happy about it =)
During the evening Kohei presented Tom with a Redemptionist pedal he buildt especially for him!
Thursday 22th march - Second day of the show
This morning we took another route to the Messe, and saw this huge statue. The arm with the hammer actually moves slowly up and down.
First thing I did at the show, was to drop by a booth and get a new strap, "comfort strap". And boy is this ever the most comfortable strap I've worn! Intended for bass players, but why should they have all the fun?
Then I got some new straplocks, from the company LOXX, opposite us in the hall. Very nice design, and super smooth to operate.
Tom Quayle stopped by today as well, me and Peter Greier are observing with some disbelief
And a nice "artsy" pic of the man Shun calls "legato sensei" =)
Fellow Swede Ola Englund is now a poster boy for Duncan pickups, well deserved recognition for the guy that makes the best amp-vids ever!
(and he pulls a pretty great duck face too! =) )
I also tried out some Dunlop wah's. The new Bonamassa hade a huge vocal sweep, and sounded REALLY cool on a clean sound (wasn't available to test with OD unfortunately).
Annihilator guitarist Jeff Waters demoed every day both for H&K and for GIbson. Old school!
Fred Brum trying out the new ESP Devin Townsend V.
Jam pedals had an interesting booth where people could paint their own enclosures, never got to hear the pedals though.
Finnish builder Roukangas makes some truly beautiful guitars!!
Martin Miller and Ricardo Bertuzzi in a great jam!
Trying the new AMT amp can get you excited!!
And trying Shun's Leqtique pedals will make you go like this! =)
After the Messe at night, I met up with my Greek friend Orestis and his pal Dimitris, heading out to a concert with German super session guitarist Marcus Beml and his band Errorhead, courtesy of Hoovi. Was great to finally meet up in person!
The concert was amazing, and Marcus tone and playing nothing short of incredible, like a Landau with a funk/rock steriod injection!
The singer sounded like Chris Cornell on a good day!
Both me and Orestis are total gear heads, so of course we had to check out Marcus setup after the show =)
And afterwards, we got to speak a bit with Marcus, swell guy and an amazing musician! Hopefully some of the iPhone videos aren't too distorted to use the upcoming video blog!
Friday 23rd march - Third day of the show (first public day)
My shoulder being somewhat busted up from a fall on the ice a few weeks back (probably a torn rotator cuff), I started out the day doing some exercises with the perfectly weighted bottle of Apple punch that Hoovi was kind enough to give me and Orestis the evening before.
Frankfurt is a mix between hyper modern sky scrapers and turn of the century old buildings and churches, very interesting!
Today was also the day when Ola Strandberg arrived at our booth, bringing with him Kohei's Strandberg guitar. Weighed in at roughly 1.8kg's! Plays effortlessly too =)
Ola also brought a very cool 7-string he'd built especially for shows and demos. VERY cool cocobolo top on this one!
Almost the second after they were up in the stand, the Djent kids started lining up for test drives!
The Djentleman himself, Tosin Abasi, with his band Animals as Leaders, played for a packed Agora stage, doing a show for Ibanez and Tama.
After the show, Tosin and band mate Javier Reyes stopped by to take the Strandberg's for a spin.
Tosin always draws a crowd where ever he goes
After some time at the booth, me, Tosin, Javier and Ola walked around the Messe for an hour or so, checking stuff out. We also met up with Orestis and Dimitris
We stopped by the Fibernare booth, and both Tosin and Javier took these beauties through their pases
Frank Hartung guitars showed some nice curves, and futuristic designs.
These guys had some very unorthodox basses!
Spunge Bob seems to be the new Hello Kitty when it comes to kids guitars
LD-systems doesn't deal with bondage as one might think, but rather sells Bose-like systems, which according to rumor plays as well or better at a much lower price.
When I returned to the booth, Ola Englund and Fred Brum were ripping it up!
Tommy Denander stopped by, as at NAMM, to check out the booth. Him and Gewa were supposed to stop by to demo the MOEN, but unfortunately they couldn't make it, or perhaps we were just away when they stopped by.
Looks like Kohei might not get to keep his guitar after all =) Shun seemed mesmerized!
One Control presented their new 10-loop switcher, it was massive! Tom Quayle is getting this one.
I hope he has a roadie for his upcoming pedal board ;)
Legendary founder of www.thruthinshredding.com, Laurie Monk stopped by!
And this happy face just sums up the joy of playing the McCarty '58....
Through this marvelous set-up we had going on!
After the show, the whole gang went out for dinner with the guys from Jamtrackcentral (Jack Thammarat, Andy James and more). Unfortunately no photographic evidence seem to exist from this evening (once again at Urban Kitchen), so maybe I just imagined it? :)
Saturday 24th march - Third day of the show (second public day)
The last day of the Messe, and the one most packed with people, started out with some friendly posing with genious Hubert "Hoovi", the inventor of the Deeflexx, and Shun, equally genial pedal-wizard and the man behind Leqtique.
Jack "guitarjacku" Gardiner, stopped by to take fly away on the Strandberg.
So did our youngest visitor by far, mayhaps the future Thomas McRocklin of his generation?
The Koch Twintone amp proved to be a work-horse and the full-range sound of it, proved a perfect demo-partner for the Deeflexx. Thx for the loan Edwin!
Here is a style study of a master of two-handed tapping, Fred Brum! Like yours truly, he favors the "pulling-off upwards" when tapping approach.
This guy was at a neighboring Indonesian booth, and was a top-class shredder. Heard him rip through For the love of god like nothing :D
At another neighbor booth, this jazz duo was ripping it up as well!
Me and Tim Hoover (of PRS UK) headed off to Hall 3 to finally visit the PRS booth! Outside was packed, and the weather beautiful!
On the way we met fellow Swede (and Umeå resident) Leif at the Hagström booth. He was this happy (or sleepy?) after a full week!
On the way we passed the Ibanez booth, and apparently Ibanez has also jumped on the "relic" trend, here with a reissue of Vai's no.1, the EVO.
And finally we arrived at (at least my) hallowed ground!
Some private stocks on display. If you can dream it up, I guess they can build it? :D
Hey Private Stock on the right? The 80's called and wanted their airbrush paint job back =)
J Hayes demoed the new P22 model, which in one word was AMAZING!
I literally had shivers running down my spine when he mixed the piezo with the magnet pickups in overdrive with delay! You know, that kind of almost profound experience you get maybe a couple of times in your life, when you hear a sound or song that just grabs you by the neck and shakes you do the core!
...And if that wasn't enough, they're available in charcoal black with rosewood neck!! :S
Hayes.. THANK you!
Once down in Hall 4.1 again, still with the occasional shivers I got the chance to hook Tom and Orestis up for a photo opp.
Once everything was packed away, the whole "gang" took one last pic! Until next year at NAM you guys, it was GREAT meeting you all!
For dinner that evening, with the Leqtique gang, was once again Sushi, at our hotel restaurant, delicious!!
Later that night Orestis arrived at our hotel, and we setup his PRS, and exchanged gifts 09 It was great hanging out with you bro! Until next time!
After he left, me and Kohei stayed up the entire night, afraid to miss the taxi to the airport, as it was turning into day light savings time an everything. Therefore I was just TOO darn exhausted to even snap a pic of Sundays excursions, so I'll leave you with this!
Since I didn't shoot video every single day of the show, I decided to instead collect all the video in a new post, for you guys to find it easily. So here we go:
In this video you will see playing by:
In this video you will see playing by:
In this video you will see playing/appearances by:
Random Disneyland tourists =)
Scottish folk music band
Random bass player dude with a white bass
Random accordion dudes
Dwarf Craft pedals
Harp & Harpiscord duo
Two unknown booth visitors
Tony Royster Jr. & Friends
In this video you will see playing/appearances by:
Tom Quayle (lots of him)
The day after we were all very tired, myself I hadn't slept at all, part due to packing and blog updates, and part to make myself tired enough to sleep on the plane (always have a problem with that) to minimize jet-lag when coming back to Sweden.
We began the morning by returning the rental. The rain was pouring down in intervals. After the car deal was set, we had a farewell breakfast with me, Shun, Ama, Steve & Terry.
Then I was supposed to take the shuttle out to LAX. Unfortunately it turned out you needed to reserve such a trip a day in advance, whilst there were no such need when actually arriving. This we were all uninformed about, so I ended up having to take a cab to the airport :(
The flight to Chicago was uneventful, and I dozed off a couple of times, still trying to stay awake.
At Chicago O'Hare airport, they had this behemoth towering over you. Of course I know dinosaurs were huge and all, but actually seeing one to scale was quite amazing!
I really lucked out for the long flight between US and Europe though! Got 4 seats all to myself, so I slept like a log for almost the entire flight!
Eventually got back to my cold hometown of Umeå, Sweden. Time for more sleeeeep!
Final post, day after arrival. Coffee will be a necessity the coming days for sure!
WIth that I close the NAMM blog for 2012, but remember to check back towards the end of this week, as I will update with the videos from the last days of the show, and believe me, it's worth waiting for, some amazing jams took place!
New blogs will come from Frankfurt Messe in March and Moscow in May, stay tuned!
Over, out and good morning!
This last day at the show began with some random band performing at the stage in Hall E
Tom dropped by again, this time he got to try Shun guitar with the symmetrical tuning. It's quite the testament to his musicality that he actually nailed that sucker within minutes!
Fellow brit and Suhr artist Jack Gardiner was also subjected to the tuning from hell, and let it rip as well!
This guy just improves in leaps and bounds! Scary!
This day also entailed jams with Tom, Jack and myself, so stay tuned for the video.
Fellow Swede, T-rex artist and a monster guitar player Tommy Denander, which has 3000+ albums to his credits stopped by, was floored, and dropped out with an order for the MOEN switcher
Ama gets a massage!
Paul Gilbert acting the Sharp Dressed Man on a meet and greet
james Trussart guitars, cool stuff
How's that for a hollow body huh?
Carlos Osnaya, MOEN FX endorsee, lets it rip for us!
Don't know this guys story, didn't ask... NAMM mascot maybe?
He's still more decently clad than most of the booth girls at the show, which is saying something!
SKB had a new "i-Case" with life-time warranty, rock solid durability, air travel approved (with the customs lock), and water proof. It was solid!
They even had a special PRS-version, I see one of these in my future for sure!
The whole gang from Leqtique, MOEN and One Control gathered one last time at the booth after packing up. See you next year guys!
After closing up shop, me Shun and Ama drove back up to L.A, this time for a double serving of Holdsworth at Baked Potato!
And of course, no evening at the Baked Potato is complete without a serving of their Baked Potato! Our choice was Marinated Beef.
Me and old Maestro!
Unfortunately the guy that took the picture had his finger too close to the flash :/
And with that crowning achievement, we close the book on day 7 of the NAMM trip. Tomorrow is travel day, but stay tuned for all the multitude of vids to come!
Saturday began with some moderate rain, something you don't see everyday in L.A, even in winter!
After Friday's photo and video marathon, Saturday ended being a lot less intense, but with some esteemed visitors =)
At the show I checked Holdsworth's new signature OD by Rocket pedals.
Also also held a signing in their booth during the day (see below).
Gentleman fusion extraordinaire Tom Quayle dropped by the booth, Shun was excited! Tom checked out the pedals as was impressed (what else =) And of course there were jamming! (see vid once it's up at the end of the post).
Holdsworth at the signing.
Shun shows Allan his lap guitar, and explains his b5 tuning (D#, A, D#, A, D#, A). Allan was interested and even brought out pen and paper to note the tuning (and signed the guitar at the 12th fret)
Florent Atem showing his "tapping with pick" technique
After the show we were supposed to rent a car and drive to L.A for the Bozzio/Macacheck show at the Baked Potato. But, we couldn't find any open rentals. At last, the hotel clerk found us one open at the local Anaheim airport (stil like 30 min away). The arranged a ride for us, and what we ended up riding was a stretch limo :) Nice!
We got the rental, drove the Santa Ana freeway up to L.A, and like 4 seconds after we were in the door, Boozio counted in the first tune!
For those that haven't heard Macacheck, imagine a mix between Holdsworth, Frank Zappa and Schönberg, it is quite insane, with little or no tonal center what so ever! But it was great!
And that was all for the day (after driving back in the middle of the night that is).
To start of this post, I thought I would post some pictures and info about the products and brands I'm actually over here at NAMM to perform for.
First of is Leqtique, hand made boutique pedals in milled aluminum casings from Japan by Shun Nokina.
Pictured is his classic MAR - Maestro Antique Revised*
It is the Leqtique version of the earlier Shun Nokina Design "Maestro", and it's a decendent of the classic overdrives of old. It has a ultra-smooth gain tone and feeling, and uses very rare NOS Japanese diodes.
It has a refined voicing however, and is able to fit well in to modern musical settings as well. Also works really well as a boost in front of an overdriven tube amp.
Controls: Volume, Tone, Gain.
*note: MAR will be discountinued in 2012 because of component avaliability issues.
Next up is MAT - Maestoso.
MAT is an evolution of MAR. It doesn't have the same "ultra-vintage-smoothness", but instead has more low-end (selectable low-end freq inside the pedal) and clarity, as well as a higher volume and gain range. This is Shun's answer to to all the classic overdriven needs, and it does the job beautifully!
This pedal was a clear winner at the NAMM show.
If you need and extremely versatile overdrive, this is the one for you!
Controls: Volume, Tone, Gain.
Then we have the very special CLD - Caeruleum Lightdrive.
CLD is a unique overdrive, designed to produce a very musical clean boost, up to low gain heaven. It's a great one for say light fusion, bossa nova, latin, country, ballads and so forth. Extremely dynamic.
It also works very well as a "always on" buffer pedal, or even as a preamp stage.
Control: Volume, Lower, Gain.
With this one we leave overdrive territory behind and head into high-gain. 9/9 is a versatile high-gain unit with a clever mid control that does not only change the middle freq response, but also changes overall balance.
Great for modern rock and metal, and looks really nice too =)
Then we have a prototype that really lifted some eye brows at the show! To be launched into production in 2012, ZEQ is a first in the world of stomp boxes. A 17 band EQ in a small sized stomp box. This one sports Ultra HI-FI components, even superior to most studio rack systems, thanks to Shun's premium selection from Linear Technology and Audience components.
100% Hand crafted Analog circuitry, 31hz-18Khz frequency range with 15dB cut/boost (6dB/15dB/30dB selection switch as well). Also works with 5-36V extensive operation.
This one got several interests and offer of OEM deals from established builder.
Next up is MOEN FX, which makes (amongst other great FX pedals) the effect routing system GEC9,
which is easily the most intuitive unit I have ever used. Had this plugged in throughout the show, and both dealers, passers by and very high-ranking players fell for this one! I will build a new pedal board around this one to use both for my own gigs, as well as my upcoming performances at Frankfurt Messe, NAMM Moscow, Music CHina 2012 ( in Shanghai) and so forth. I'll post a separate video demoing this one on my YouTube channel, since describing it all in detail here would take a bit too much space.
As I said, MOEN makes many sweet pedals, this compressor being one of them. I've tried many high-end compressor pedals in my days, to try to find one that adds that little extra to my lead tone without squaching it or degrading it in any way.
This one fits the bill like nothing else I've tried, it is just SO musical, and extremely quiet too!
Check out their full line HERE
One Control of Japan is another company that focuses on switching systems, including larger ones with built in buffers by Mad Professors Björn Juhl, and MIDI compatability.
They also makes these VERY tiny power supplies, milled out of one piece aluminum, making them super light weight, yet extremely rugged. 9 supplies with one of them being a sag 12-18V, it's a no brainer!
Their website is still all in Japanese, but is currently being translated, you can check out the pictures at least, HERE.
I also brought a Deeflexx with me from Hoovi.at.
This in order to a.) Get a completely even sound distribution around the booth, so that no passers by heard any beam, and just heard fat goodness of tone =)
and b.) To avoid dB spikes when the SOund Police walked by with their dBmeters (and fine tickets). Actually asked one of them to walk by and measure the dB level ast the booth while I was playing. 85.6dB all the way, no spikes, no problem! Works like a charm!!
The day started out with a very nice morning, providing a perfect photo opp at the main entrance.
Well inside we were met by an defening morning show! All out Scottish folk music, complete with bag-pipe amplified to levels befitting the show!
And no, I don't know if they were actually wearing anything under those kilts =)
We stopped by the shared booth of Rick Toone guitars and Ola Strandberg Guitarworks, both focusing on making the most ergonomically sound instruments possible. Rick's guitars has to be seen to be believed, pretty outrageous design!
His website can be found HERE
Check out the slate aluminum neck on this one, sick!
Then we turned out gaze right to find Ola Strandberg himself
The fanned frets one these might looks akward at first, but every inch of these instruments has been made with ergonomics in mind, and plays and feels like butter! Just ask Toshin Abasi of ANimal as Leaders, endorsing Ola's axes.
Check out his previous and upcoming builds HERE
Some nice Tom Anderson guitars right here!
Now this was unique to say the least! Words unnecessary, check the video at the bottom (once I get back to Sweden to be able to post it that is)
Didn't catch the name of this fine player, but check him out in todays vid!
Right next to the stand providing our much needed morning coffee we found this pair. Harp and Harpsicord duet? Heck yeah! (see vid).
This guy sold a scratch remover that was sick! Plaster scratches, sand paper, you name it.
Got myself a kit, since my fave PRS has gotten quite scratched by all people trying out our pedals.
Amptweaker is run by a man named James Brown, who designed the Peavey 5150. This pedals seriously doesn't sound like distortion boxes as much as a really got hi-gain metal preamp. And combined with noise gate, built in loop as more, the design is quite brilliant!
My fave was the Tight Rock.
Passing by the Schecter booth. They make good guitars (owned a few over the years).
The price for highest hair at NAMM goes to this gentleman at the Carvin booth!
Steve Vai at the Carvin booth, talking about his new Legacy amp, seemed cool, but I wasn't too sold on the design of it.
This bass player is featured in my video of the day =)
Never got the "colored fret board" thing myself
I also stopped by the Ibanez booth to check out the new Meshuggah model.
yeah, you saw correctly, 8000USD!!
For a guitar with a natural dyed finish, and a rosewood board died to ebony stain?
Here's the Evertune booth, amazing innovation, which enables your guitar to stay in tune regardless of what you put it through. No if they'd only make a top mounted model that didn't require routing of the guitar!
J Hayes of PRS guitars demoing the new P22!
G.A.S!! (see vid!)
This one's to give you an idea of just how busy the show really is!
Great L.A based session guitarist Mason Stoops stopped by the booth to check out the MOEN loop system (and of course we jammed some, see upcoming vid!)
Dwarf Craft pedals always has something new (and different) in stock!
If the guy a few pics above took the price for highest hair, this guy surely takes the longest hair award! Having to carry your dreads around in a sack? Reeespect!
Visiting the PRS demo room upstairs, some amazing amps here!
Dave Grissom and Davy Knowles getting their groove on, MAN can Dave play! (see vid)
Toshin Abasi stopped by the booth, really nice guy!
Toshin is also a sick player, with the slap chops of Victor Wooten combined with extreme metal schops.
At the Sheraton hotel show room, Sabian 30th ANniversary drum night with Ola, Ama and Shun
Tony Royster Jr. and friends was one of the grooviest things I have ever seen! And Adrian (the bass player) was indescribable!
Allan Holdsworth, Virgil Donati, JImmy Haslip, Dennis Hamm. Perfect ending to another perfect day at the 2012 NAMM show!
First day of the show! I stopped by Strictly Seven Guitars to check out Ola Englund's new model.
Here we have Fred Brum ripping it up!
Pretty insane 9-string guitar!!
Fredrik Thordendahl (Meshuggah) stopped by and took some axes for a test drive, the booth got pretty crowded fast!(see YouTube vid at the bottom)
And Ola himself test driving his new Solar 7 axe and Fortin Satan amp, evil riffing ensues!
Later that day Ola stopped by our booth for some posing and guitar riffing (see YouTube vid at the bottom)
Then I was off to the PRS booth of course!
I met up with J Hayes, Product Manage for PRS, the gentlemen that many of the PRS product vids as well. And I just had to snap some shots of the 2012 models!
A very sweet charcoal black Studio, claaaassy!
And this Private Stock semi hollow was eye candy =)
And finally the 2012 PRS amp line up, will definitely be back to play these babies later this week! What I have heard from the Channel H sounds sweet.
On the way back to the Leqtique booth, I stumbled on a performance by the mighty Johnny Hiland performing in the Emotiva booth. (see YouTube vid at the bottom)
After the show we were supposed to get on the NAMM transit buss that goes around to all the hotels in the area for drop offs.
However, we ended up on the wrong transit, and ended up at a Holiday Inn 30 min north of Anaheim! doh!
It was all good however, a little excursion wasn't gonna kill us, and we decided to get some dinner whilst waiting on the return buss to Anaheim.
Buffalo burger! Hell yeah!!
Good end to the day. Check out the vid below to for some NAMM playing =)
Over and out!
Day 3 in Anaheim was build day. So we all started out pretty early for the convention center. Egnater and Deeflexx with, and the suitcase packed to the brim with pedals!
Really nice weather on the way there, and the palm tree boulevard is truly exotic for one used to snow covered birches =)
The convention center is MASSIVE, and having been here before, I know that it can take a really long time to wak through, get our bagdes and registration, but fortunately things went very smoothly for us.
After check-in, we ran into Ron Thal "Bumblefoot (current GnR guitarist, insane guitar freak and all around nice guy!)
Setting up our booth was a pretty quick affair, but these things have a tendency to need alterations as we go so we'll see where we'll end up.
For now though, we have a very nice sound with the Deeflexx. Backing track volume is a little low with the Logitech, so we might need to look at other solutions
When leaving the show, dark had already fell, and I got the chance to take a nice pic of the main entrance =)
Now we were heading for the House of Blues and the Eric Johnson concert..
We finally found our way to down town Disney, which is as chaotic at night as during the day. A band featuring native America indians playign flutes and drums were entertaining (at least I think they were Native Americans, might have been from South America, couldn't tell from a distance).
FInally arrived at the House of Blues, thankfully we beat the rush hour and got our tickets hassle free.
Inside we met up with Japanese master of Funk and Berklee professor Tomo Fujita, and I got the chance to once again play the role of Casper the ghost in flash light =)
We also hooked up with fellow some fellow Swedes that were kind enough to buy me the infamous South Park "White Trash" beer. Tasty? no, not so much =)
Acoustic wizard Andy Mckee was warming up for Eric, and really woved the audience!
(Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions, any eventual videos from this evening can't be posted here, but I'm sure you'll find some on YouTube).
And then Eric with band came onstage. Eric played with his usual good guitar tone, and off beat arrangements and unique style.
However, both I and many others agreed that he sounded a bit "tired" this time, sort of struggling at times even. Still, a legend player!
But Day 3's BIGGEST shock was surely what happened half-way through the set, Eric strapped on a Les Paul!! That was truly the last thing I expected =)
After the show, we had a long walk back to the hotel, and with sore feet, it was time to call it a night!
Over and out!