The video blogs.
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!