bryan beller

Govan recently announced his partnership with Charvel and described one of the sticking points about the prototypes: "Different bridge—that's all I'm saying." Photo by Kris Claerhout

Go inside the sessions for The Aristocrats' new album, Culture Clash, and see what Guthrie Govan and Bryan Beller have to say about life on the road, breaking boundaries, and Govan's disdain for double-locking trems.

By definition, an aristocrat is a member of a "government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class." The chops-heavy trio of guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Bryan Beller, and drummer Marco Minnemann could be easily voted into office if the main issues were musicality, a progressive approach to instrumentals, and overall ability to create face-melting solos.

With Culture Clash, the group members (now with some road time under their belts) sound more comfortable and more willing to trust each other musically. " We're happier with this album,” Beller says. “The material, we feel, is more cohesive as a band. We like the sound of it better. The first one was done so quickly we didn't really know what we had on our hands because we were such a new band." Although this album wasn't recorded at a leisurely pace, it was recorded with a focus and a level of comfort that was missing from the Aristocrats’ self-titled debut.

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