playing guitar

Ernie Ball Music Man Kaizen Demo | First Look

A new, evolutionary seven string is made approachable with help and a guiding hand from the Animals As Leaders maestro.

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“I was thinking about how I might’ve had to approach it if I was making this record in the early ’80s.”

Photo by Annie Atlasman

Working with some of rock’s biggest bands, including GNR, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, and the Smashing Pumpkins, prepared the guitarist to produce records—A Perfect Circle’s and his own. On his new What Normal Was, vocals and dark ’80s pop propel the soundtrack.

Billy Howerdel has topped the charts in A Perfect Circle (APC). He’s been a guitar tech with high-profile acts like Nine Inch Nails, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Tool (where he worked with future APC frontman Maynard James Keenan). He’s even scored video games. All the while, he’s crafted a unique and identifiable guitar style full of expansive ambiance, octave-fuzz-laced melodies, and crushing low-C riffs. Each of these experiences informed and inspired the next, like a row of dominos.

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Photo by Jackie Lee Young and Victoria Villasana

On Boleros Psicodélicos, Black Pumas cofounder, Adrian Quesada, explores traditional romantic Latin ballads from a personal, modern perspective.

You may know Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada from his myriad and diverse projects like the nine-piece Latin funk ensemble Grupo Fantasma or Brownout—a gritty Fantasma side project that gained notoriety covering Black Sabbath (as Brown Sabbath) and Public Enemy (Fear of a Brown Planet)—and, more recently, Black Pumas, his critically acclaimed collaboration with vocalist and guitarist Eric Burton. But his most recent outing, Boleros Psicodélicos, an homage to the psychedelicized late-1960s take on the classic Cuban-cum-Mexican genre bolero, is one of his more interesting musical diversions.

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