Premier Guitar’sShawn Hammond bids adieu after 13 years as editorial director.
It’s crazy how 13 years fly by. When I applied for the editor-in-chief position at Premier Guitar, it was the 2009 holiday season and I was only peripherally aware of the fledgling Iowa-based outfit. Having spent the previous decade working both full-time and as a freelancer for the industry’s biggest guitar magazines, long the power players dominating from the coasts, I could see PG was poised—with help from the singularly awesome team we built—to take the guitar universe by storm. And I was right. Over the ensuing years, long-timers and new hires alike worked side by side to elevate PG to the best in the business, hands down.
As a Salt Lake City native who’d done two stints in the San Francisco Bay area, I’d never been to Iowa, let alone contemplated living here. Known to most as the U.S. “swing state” first to hold presidential primaries in general elections, Iowa—if it ever entered my consciousness at all—pretty much only conjured images of Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly, a character portrayed as a naïve farm kid from the tiny town of Ottumwa in the old TV show M*A*S*H.
My always-awesome wife/best friend made the trek out to Cedar Rapids with me on New Year’s Eve that year to see if it was a place and an opportunity we could feel good about uprooting our family of five for. Stepping off the plane, we were welcomed by icy winds and the most ungodly temperatures I’d felt since being caught in a blizzard at the top of Snowbird ski resort as a teen. But, as I’m typing this from the confines of the office I’ve occupied ever since, needless to say it has been all that and more.
I’m honored to have worked alongside—and become lifelong friends with—some of the best people I know. (You know who you are!)
When my role expanded to editorial director a few years later, I entered some of the most rewarding, challenging, and lesson-filled years of my life. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to achieve the career goal I set way back in university, when I chose to major in journalism with the specific aim of one day taking the reins at the world’s best guitar-media outlet. I’m exceptionally fortunate to have been able to go to work every day in a sphere that resonates within me more than almost any other. I’ve gotten to meet many of my musical heroes and to discover many more, and I’ve been introduced to an incredible amount of life-enriching music I never would’ve heard, let alone even been aware of, had I not taken this path.
Most of all, I’m honored to have worked alongside—and become lifelong friends with—some of the best people I know. (You know who you are!) I will miss y’all somethin’ fierce, but “Goonies never say die” … or some such shit. (Interpreted: You better stay in touch, or else!)
For anyone wondering, my love for guitar and music in general have not diminished one iota. I have long been, and will always be, a guitar junkie. But it’s time for me to move on to other work.
Peace and love, friends!
PRS’ first foray into stompboxes yields sonic gold.
Inside each box containing a brand new PRS pedal, there’s a little fold-out card with a picture of Paul Reed Smith and a simple caption: “I hate pedals.” It’s not hard to imagine Smith’s indifference to stompboxes. PRS guitars are immaculately executed, ultra-playable instruments that reflect a focus on elemental interactions between fingers, strings, and fretboard. Indeed, for much of Paul Reed Smith’s career, stompboxes were probably held in the same regard as a broken toaster—a needless impediment to the communication of unadulterated tone.
Certainly, there is a visceral thrill to playing a guitar without effects—particularly one as nice as the average PRS. But while that’s true, stompboxes are, to many musicians, equally artful and thrilling vehicles of expression. And more than a few pedals have done their magic with a PRS guitar at the other end of a cable.
PRS’ three debut pedals—an optical compressor, overdrive, and dual flanger—do not feel like willy-nilly concessions to market pressures. In fact, in keeping with PRS tradition and ethos, these pedals seem selected and designed to offer minimal intrusion on the guitar/amp relationship if the player chooses that route. But they also have the bandwidth to be bold and even positively extroverted. Unsurprisingly, they are also built to a very high standard of quality and reflect an intense attention to detail.
Read the reviews of each pedal here.
It's time for everyone's favorite giveaway, STOMPBOXTOBER! Enter here for your chance to win the just announced PRS Mary Cries Optical Compressor! Come back tomorrow for another chance to win.
The PRS Mary Cries optical compressor pedal is intuitive and sounds incredible. Based on the storied LA-2A, Mary Cries will thicken your tone, help control signal peaks, lengthen sustain, and push your tone without losing definition or clarity. Depending on your settings, it can be used as a boost as well as a straightforward compressor.
PRS pedals were created to be high-end pieces of audio gear.
Designed by PRS Guitars in Stevensville, MD, USA. Made in the USA