I discovered Benn Jordan’s YouTube channel, Benn and Gear through the usual side panel recommendations on the platform. I quickly realized that he is one of the most interesting musicians around. A guitarist who plays upside down and makes extensive use of the Roland VG-99, he is into boxing and MMA, has toured for years as The Flashbulb, combining metal and jazz guitar stylings, electronics, and beats, done extensive music for advertising and museum installations, and has a wicked sense of humor.
Wow! Andy Summers! I got an email from the legendary guitarist’s publicist saying he was a fan of Guitar Moderne and would love to talk to the mag about his latest record, Metal Dog. When I picked myself up off the floor I contacted her and said, “Sure.”
It would be fair to say Summers was one of the rare players who changed the sound of the guitar in pop music. Echoes (no pun intended) of his style can be found in U-2, Rush, even Nirvana. For deep background, I recommend his book, One Train Later: A Memoir , and movie, Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police. A great site about his gear through the years is here, and he also discusses the subject in some of these videos.
With a limited time to talk, I chose to concentrate on the Metal Dog record, as it is a perfect example of everything Guitar Moderne stands for: pushing the sonic and conceptual boundaries of making music with a guitar.
My homies at Premier Guitar went to the Adrian Belew Power Trio’s Nashville venue to do one of their fabulous rig rundowns. Check it out here and go to the Guitar Moderne gear tour for a glimpse of the “Magic Closet” they reference here. This may be the ultimate modern guitar rig.
On October 22nd Adrian Belew begins a North American tour with The Adrian Belew Power Trio, featuring Julie Slick on bass and Tobias Ralph on drums. Before leaving Adrian invited Guitar Moderne to his home, north of Nashville, to discuss Flux , the new music delivery system he has labored over for four years. It will be hopefully released in November and will receive full coverage here. He was also kind enough to give a video tour of the gear he will be using on the road and a peek at the “toy” closet that provided many of the sounds for Flux. Enjoy!
Most modern guitar sounds continue to exist in the instrument-pedals -amp world. Mark Wingfield is one of the few to explore the possibilities that spring to life when you attach a hexophonic pickup to the guitar. In his masterful use of Roland’s VG-88 and soft-synths in a laptop he remains almost alone among purveyors of the instrument. He was kind enough to take time out of a schedule so busy it doesn’t allow for Facebook (or maybe because it doesn’t) to wax eloquently on his path towards this approach to the instrument as well as modern music in general.