photo manupulation by nacrowe
before the creation of its current STRING THEORY series of YOUTUBE videos showcasing modern guitarists and guitar-based songwriters speak about their influences and love of all things amplified, ERNIE BALL had briefly created a longer-format series of videos called THE PURSUIT OF TONE that treaded the same territory except much more in depth.
my assumption is that they realized that these long-form videos could generate more traffic and viewership on YOUTUBE if chopped up into smaller chunks a la STRING THEORY. its also why these longer form videos are no longer on the main channel, instead reposted by numerous unauthorized third parties on YOUTUBE. oh well.
the four i could locate following the inspirations, techniques and gear behind MIKE NESS of SOCIAL DISTORTION, CHICAGO BLUES icon BUDDY GUY, BILL DUFFY of THE CULT, TOM DELONGE of BLINK 182 and producer BUTCH WALKER. quite the diverse roster of guitarists and you really get a feel for their approach and individual aesthetic regarding the instrument.
i understand why they didn't pursue it further but i'm glad these exist. enjoy!
photo manipulation by nacrowe
as corporate propaganda goes, ERNIE BALL MUSIC MAN's online STRING THEORY video series on YOUTUBE is pretty effective. they basically created extended interviews with such notable players as JOHNNY MARR, DAVE NAVARRO, JERRY CANTRELL, KIRK HAMMETT, DARON MALAKIAN, JADE PUGET, TOM DELONGE and J MASCIS among many others, all explaining how they came to play guitar and what being a musician / songwriter means to them. somewhere, of course, they mention the strings.
there has definitely been a move towards these types of online cross-promotional infomercials (well-produced as they are) by various companies in the retail guitar space, each showcasing how their product in concert with products by other notable manufactures support recording and touring musicians and allow them to pursue their art. and just in terms of marketing i think that is a smart move since it equates your product with the quality of other well-known brands, in this case guitar manufacturers like FENDER, GIBSON, IBANEZ, G&L and PAUL REED SMITH and amp companies like MARSHALL, MESA-BOOGIE, FRIEDMAN, FENDER, DIEZEL, ORANGE and BOGNER among others.
in terms of each artist, hearing them talk about their influences and how they came about playing guitar as they strum off iconic riffs through their live rigs is just such a sweet spot to hit for any fan of guitar playing. i can never hear enough of "THIS CHARMING MAN" or the solo from "THREE DAYS" in its entirety, no matter the context.
kinda feel guilty for showcasing blantant, unapologetic corporate propaganda, but oh well. enjoy!
photo & text by nacrowe
this straightforward, un-adorned memoir co-written by BLINK-182 drummer / FAMOUS STARS & STRAPS founder-owner TRAVIS BARKER delivers on the goods of walking his audience through the ups and downs of his improbably career.
my interest, aside from the fact that he's a sick musician that has been in several killer bands that basically defined my formative adolescent years (i.e. THE AQUABATS! , BLINK-182 and THE TRANSPLANTS), was mainly in how he went about his career. what i learned is that the dude has an addictive personality that basically informed his relationships with weed, women, tattoos and all things material. that drive throughout this self-spun narrative of his life essentially allowed him to pursue and push further without being sidelined by doubt or obstacles.
and man, were there obstacles. namely the death of his mother at 13, but also the horrific experience of being in a lear jet plane crash after a gig in 2008. both events defined him and the later gave him the opportunity to reassess his priorities.
its easy to find many of the things written about here wrote and rife with cliches, but i dont think that was a concern of his when considering pursuing this book. if anything, what i took from his story is the intense level of engagement he has with his instrument and how that singular focus provide him a unique vessel to communicate with an ever growing cadre of musicians and artists. through everything, that core relationship was intact.
you really get the feeling he'd be drumming somewhere in a small club with a no name band happily even if BLINK-182 never took off. its that love of his art that i resonated with. the stories of sex addiction and pursuing of celebrity relationships and material bullshit less so.
this book was easily digestible and straight to the point, much like a good 90s skate punk song. worth it if you are a fan of the POP PUNK genre.
art by nicholas crowe
watch HERE our recent dive into the world of anthemic choruses and versus that almost exclusively deal with those most eternal of themes: relationships, school and parents! yep, this recent episode is all about POP PUNK. love or loathe it, we played it. enjoy it, we know secretly deep down you will!
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO as well as other MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC shows like MAKE HER SPACE, NOWHERE FAST, and THE SYNTHESIZER SHOW are available here at the DEER GOD website.