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May 2014
more... ArtistsPremier BlogStaff PicksMay 2013

Staff Picks: Heavy Lifting

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Staff Picks: Heavy Lifting

We let our hair down this month to ponder our weapons of choice as would-be metal gods. Prince’s touring guitarist Donna Grantis and reader Nick Atkins join us in our fantasy world, where we dream up the axes we’d use to rock faces off (literally, in some cases).


Nick Atkins -- Reader of the Month
What are you listening to?
Karnivool are currently reminding me that Australia exports more than just terrifying, murderous creatures. They also export terrifying, awesome music. Oh, and local band Boundary (shameless plug) out of Coventry, United Kingdom.
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
A Dean Razorback. Metal is all about looking like everything you’re wearing could kill someone. Color isn’t so important—you can have any color you like—so long as it’s black.


Rebecca Dirks -- Web Editor
What are you listening to?
I haven’t deviated from my 70-song Spotify playlist of ’90s classics from my youth in preparation for my new cover band with Jason, Dan, and Tessa. That’s still happening, right, guys?
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
A silverburst V—watch your back, Brent Hinds. I’d probably rock a face tat, too.


Daniel Dorman -- Video/Photo Editor
What are you listening to?
Finger Eleven’s The Greyest of Blue Skies, Soundgarden’s King Animal, and The Headhunters’ Survival of the Fittest.
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
I would have a low-slung Schecter Tempest Custom, because I would take that guitar for just about any type of band! (Though it might not hang as low for softer stuff.)


Andy Ellis -- Senior Editor
What are you listening to?
Tim Sparks, The Nutcracker Suite. In this 20th anniversary re-release, Sparks performs Tchaikovsky and amazing Balkan music on solo acoustic guitar. A true finger-style master.
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
My 2006 28"-scale Les Paul Studio baritone in dropped-A tuning. Its stock 490 humbuckers are a little brash—perfect for cutting through loud drums—and you can shake the walls with its .072 6th string. Bonus: 24 frets on a Paul!


Tessa Jeffers -- Managing Editor
What are you listening to?
My head’s a bobbin’ to the dirty sax and axe on Menomena’s Moms. I also was recently turned on to Marnie Stern … um, where have I been all her life?
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
Visionary Instruments’ unreleased metal model, called “Edges,” with a color-changing LED screen that alternates between images of Albert Einstein’s face with Medusa’s hair and an energy force field. It might impale me, but I’m an artist.


Chris Kies -- Associate Editor
What are you listening to?
Since I’m in a metal state of mind, I’ve been rattling my cerebrum with Dredge’s vicious Sediment, Dillinger Escape Plan’s twisting, jazzy-hardcore Miss Machine, and Kylesa’s forthcoming neo-prog, neck-breakin’ jammer Ultraviolet.
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
As a huge Dimebag fan, I’d go with an old ML, but to steer clear of the signature path and forge my own legacy, I’d probably bark at the moon with a less intimidating axe like a 6120 or an ES-355.


Donna Grantis -- Guitarist, Prince
What are you listening to?
Prince! Funk riffs for days with impeccable feel and some of the most spectacular lead and rhythm playing ever. Sly & the Family Stone, especially their live performance at Woodstock—the energy is incredible!
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
A custom PRS shaped like a lightning bolt, in white and bright purple, with diamond studs along the neck, gold and silver hardware, a Bigsby, and an ebony neck for fast shredding. Oh, and I’d like it to shoot out neon light beams.


Rich Osweiler -- Associate Editor
What are you listening to?
Low, The Invisible Way. Produced by Jeff Tweedy, this Minnesotan trio’s 10th effort is a ballad-rich grouping of mostly acoustic, alt-folk/country tunes with stunning harmonies.
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
A custom Ibanez RG8. Everything is black (of course) and no fretboard markers with the exception of the LED-powered goblin eyes at the 12th that become more intense the faster I shred. No animals were harmed in the process, but my headstock rocks baby goat horns.


Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor
What are you listening to?
Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog, Your Turn. I know Ribot mostly from his work with Tom Waits and his Cuban projects, but this album sounds like the hippest indie-rock from Brooklyn—without the skinny jeans and ironic facial hair.
You’re in a metal band. What axe are you rocking?
I imagine it would be an all-mahogany Les Paul loaded with EMGs, a set of .012s, and a scene from Game of Thrones painted on it.

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