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Rig Rundown: The Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan & Jeff Schroeder [2022]

Thirty-one years after Gish, the Smashing Pumpkins are still exploring the architecture of sound in their often explosive and unpredictable songs. For their current Spirits on Fire Tour, Billy Corgan leads with his Reverend signatures and a few other carefully culled guitars, and Jeff Schroeder lends support with his fleet of Yamahas.

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Isaiah Mitchell onstage with the Black Crowes. He’s been a member of the band since their 2019 reunion tour.

Photo by Tim Bugbee

The modern twisted-blues-rock hero and his long-jamming power trio, Earthless, take cues from vintage Japanese psych and folklore to tell the epic musical story of Night Parade of One Hundred Demons.

There’s no lack of instrumental, improv-based guitar music being made these days, but few bands in that niche exude the muscular power, cosmic intrigue, and impressive blues-rock bite of San Diego-based power trio Earthless. The band’s records undulate through melodies and hypnotic grooves that are fresh yet familiar, and breathe new life into many of the rock guitar tropes that have inspired so many players to fall in love with the instrument.

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Iriondo has been a member of the Italian alt-rock outfit Afterhours since 1992. Here he’s playing a custom Epiphone SG Custom at an Afterhours show in 2015.

Photo by Emanuela Bonetti

The Italian maestro talks about the spiritual inspiration he draws from his Basque roots, as well as channeling his endless guitar-tinkering passions into his latest musical project, Buñuel.

Italian guitarist and sonic adventurer Xabier Iriondo has an affinity for the Basque term, metak—which literally means, “pile”—and he often incorporates it into the names of his various projects. His custom-built experimental guitar is the Mahai Metak (or “table pile”). Some of his unconventional musical collaborations also include the term, as in PhonoMetak and PhonoMetak Labs. And Sound Metak was the name of the eclectic shop he ran for about a decade in the early 2000s, which sold everything from boutique guitar pedals to shoes. (Check out his Instagram profile, which, in addition to pictures of his amazing collection of guitars, pedals, and vintage amps, is also a showcase for his impeccable taste in footwear).

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