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New Steven Wilson Album - 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.'
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:17 pm    Post subject: New Steven Wilson Album - 'Hand. Cannot. Erase.' Reply with quote

Just started listening to the new upcoming album from Steven Wilson featuring Guthrie on lead guitar and it's also growing on me like the new Aristocrats album that's in post-production now. The musical world of SW is such a different one from the world of the Aristocrats but Guthrie somehow manages to shine in both worlds with his unique and identifiable style and sound.

It really is a testament to Guthrie's unmatched versatility. It isn't a matter of just being able to play different styles and jumping from genre to genre. Guthrie truly absorbs the music into his bones and then everything flows out of him in such an organic and inspired manner. Even for Guthrie, it can't be easy going from the Aristocrats (or his solo material) to Steven Wilson on a short notice, which is kind of what he's doing now as the SW Europe tour will start very soon.

Although I suppose it can be said that both the Aristocrats and SW have some "prog" elements, the two are worlds apart in their musical influences, moods, sounds, and atmosphere. I had been listening to the new Aristocrats material almost non-stop for about three weeks now and then I hear this and it's like I took a trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic flight and arrived in a completely different world. And, yet, there's Guthrie - still fitting perfectly within each setting with his distinctive sonic stamp and style.

So far I do really like what I'm hearing on the new SW album although it does sound quite similar to the previous 'Raven' album in many ways. I'm really not an old-school prog fan like I used to be when I was a teenager collecting Yes, ELP, Genesis and King Crimson albums but I like SW's approach to mixing such influences with more modern sounds and styles. The album does sound like one long soundtrack with a dominant theme and mood pervading all the way through but that's just what SW does and most dedicated prog guys tend to do that as well.

Guthrie's playing just gets better and better and this album has his best playing with SW yet. Ditto for the new Aristocrats stuff so you guys are in for a real treat with these two new studio works coming within a space of 4 months. We are indeed in 'The Era of Guthrie' now. Very Happy
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Last edited by alexkhan on Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:51 am    Post subject: Far Beyond The Shred... Reply with quote

What I've noticed and observed with Guthrie's playing over the past year or so - well, especially with these new studio recordings for the Aristocrats and Steven Wilson - is that he is so far beyond "shred" now. I've never considered Guthrie a "shredder" and I hate that term but his otherworldly technique always seemed to cause him to be lumped in with those kinds of guys.

Well, those cliche "shreddy" elements seem to be outright disappearing from Guthrie's style now and it's really a great thing to hear and observe. Guthrie seems to be entering a zone where it's purely about getting the music and the lines he hears in his head and feels inside out through the speakers. The guitar and the amp are just an in-between-medium through which his musical ideas flow.

In my mind, he's really starting to enter that rarefied zone that few players ever attain. It's way beyond shred or even playing the guitar extremely well. It's about great inspired musical ideas being created and executed to fit the context of the compositions and the performances of the entire band whether that's the Aristocrats or with SW.

Listening to Guthrie's playing on these two albums, the ideas and the lines are always fresh and virtually devoid of predictable fast runs that really don't add anything to the compositions/songs. He always veers off to interesting and unexpected places and plays lines that I haven't heard him do before. It's always an adventure listening to Guthrie play. He just continues taking the listeners to new musical destinations and it's getting more and more fun every year. Very Happy
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terje_t



Joined: 16 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woah.

I just had my first listen through this album. I've been excited about it for a while and have tickets to see the live show in April.

I think you've said it well, Ed. I don't have much to add yet aside from saying that I was happy to hear that this album has its "Drive Home" solo too, an incredible Guthrie tour de force on the tune Home Invasion / Regret #9. I knew it was coming a few bars before from a YouTube teaser I had seen, and still it brought a huge silly grin to my face and goosebumps on my arms. Gorgeous!

Looking forward to getting better acquainted with this album.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terje_t wrote:
Woah.

I just had my first listen through this album. I've been excited about it for a while and have tickets to see the live show in April.

I think you've said it well, Ed. I don't have much to add yet aside from saying that I was happy to hear that this album has its "Drive Home" solo too, an incredible Guthrie tour de force on the tune Home Invasion / Regret #9. I knew it was coming a few bars before from a YouTube teaser I had seen, and still it brought a huge silly grin to my face and goosebumps on my arms. Gorgeous!

Looking forward to getting better acquainted with this album.


Yeah, this is a great album that keeps growing on you with repeated listenings. 'Regret #9' is definitely a highlight with Guthrie's searing and gut-wrenching solo. Yes, it really does send shivers down your spine, doesn't it? He can play slow and tastefully and you still know it's him with his phrasing and tone.

In my mind, he's now in that zone where his unique musical personality, style, and tone are inimitable - wholly his own that no one can really copy or mimic. He has found his own voice as a player and I honestly believe that's the most difficult thing to achieve - not being able to alternate pick 15 notes per second or play over difficult chord changes and stuff like that. That kind of stuff is sooooooo superficial and meaningless.

To me, Guthrie is now as unique with a totally identifiable personal style as players like Jeff Beck and Pat Metheny. That style may or may not be a listener's personal cup of tea - just as there are people who can't get into JB or PM - but, in my mind, no one phrases quite like Guthrie does. Having observed Guthrie closely for over 10 years now, I feel that Guthrie really started coming into his own with a unique voice over the past 3~4 years.

Before then, I heard continuous improvements in the way his various influences came slowly together in a cohesive manner but I really believe that it's been through playing with the Aristocrats that Guthrie was able to dig in deep and bring out his personal musical voice. As mentioned here on various threads many times before, I always heard him improve every six months or so that I'd see and hear him play, but it now seems that rate of growth is actually accelerating. Just amazing...

It's really an honor, privilege and a pure pleasure for me to witness such growth as a huge fan and a good friend. And I'm absolutely certain that this is just the beginning of his very best peak years and that we'll see and hear even more amazing music and guitar playing from Guthrie for a long, long time to come. Smile
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petros



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with all the above, except that, perhaps, to me he never really came across as a shredder playing lines devoid of musical shrewdness and thought. He sure could play darn fast runs—and he still can and does (cf. more recent YT videos)—but his musical blueprint has always been there. It seems that his own musical self can be expressed more clearly on its own terms now that he's got freedom and partners to do so with.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
I agree with all the above, except that, perhaps, to me he never really came across as a shredder playing lines devoid of musical shrewdness and thought. He sure could play darn fast runs—and he still can and does (cf. more recent YT videos)—but his musical blueprint has always been there. It seems that his own musical self can be expressed more clearly on its own terms now that he's got freedom and partners to do so with.


I never saw him as a "shredder" either - even when I first saw him back in '03. But the sad fact of the matter is that when someone is as technically as accomplished as Guthrie is, some people will automatically label him as part of the "shred" crowd. I think some of you guys remember that Guitar Player cover story back in '11 with the subtitle "The Savior of Shred?". It's really too bad that there are so many people who just hear some fast runs and lump that with all that is bad about "shred".

Virtuoso piano and keyboard players, saxophonists and violinists can often play more notes within a short space of time than is even possible on a guitar and many people have no problem with that but dismiss fast playing with a distorted guitar as "shred" devoid of feeling, soul, creativity, tone, etc. It's such a funny thing to observe. I've always thought of Guthrie as simply a great musician who happens to play the guitar to express his musical ideas.

What I was getting at was that his individual voice is more identifiable than ever through his phrasing, choice of notes, vibrato, bends and overall musicality. You just hear a few notes from him now and you know it's Guthrie. His style and sound has become virtually inimitable because they've become so uniquely his. Well, he had been telling me for a long time that that's what he really wanted to attain as a player - to sound like himself and no one else. I believe he's reached that goal but I'm sure he will continue getting better because he always feels that he could play better today than he did yesterday and that he will play better tomorrow than he did today. Cool
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petros



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
petros wrote:
I agree with all the above, except that, perhaps, to me he never really came across as a shredder playing lines devoid of musical shrewdness and thought. He sure could play darn fast runs—and he still can and does (cf. more recent YT videos)—but his musical blueprint has always been there. It seems that his own musical self can be expressed more clearly on its own terms now that he's got freedom and partners to do so with.


I never saw him as a "shredder" either - even when I first saw him back in '03. But the sad fact of the matter is that when someone is as technically as accomplished as Guthrie is, some people will automatically label him as part of the "shred" crowd. I think some of you guys remember that Guitar Player cover story back in '11 with the subtitle "The Savior of Shred?". It's really too bad that there are so many people who just hear some fast runs and lump that with all that is bad about "shred".

Virtuoso piano and keyboard players, saxophonists and violinists can often play more notes within a short space of time than is even possible on a guitar and many people have no problem with that but dismiss fast playing with a distorted guitar as "shred" devoid of feeling, soul, creativity, tone, etc. It's such a funny thing to observe. I've always thought of Guthrie as simply a great musician who happens to play the guitar to express his musical ideas.

What I was getting at was that his individual voice is more identifiable than ever through his phrasing, choice of notes, vibrato, bends and overall musicality. You just hear a few notes from him now and you know it's Guthrie. His style and sound has become virtually inimitable because they've become so uniquely his. Well, he had been telling me for a long time that that's what he really wanted to attain as a player - to sound like himself and no one else. I believe he's reached that goal but I'm sure he will continue getting better because he always feels that he could play better today than he did yesterday and that he will play better tomorrow than he did today. Cool


I agree with you on all accounts. By the way, I'm very much enjoying this forum. So quiet and congenial!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Petros. Glad you're enjoying this sleepy forum which has kind of eveolved into a blog spot for me to share some thoughts and perspectives about what I do with Guthrie/Aristocrats and in the industry in general.

I'm not much of a social media guy so this quiet and congenial forum is like a fun little sanctuary for me as I enjoy writing and interacting with a small number of like-minded people. Smile
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petros



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
Thanks, Petros. Glad you're enjoying this sleepy forum which has kind of eveolved into a blog spot for me to share some thoughts and perspectives about what I do with Guthrie/Aristocrats and in the industry in general.

I'm not much of a social media guy so this quiet and congenial forum is like a fun little sanctuary for me as I enjoy writing and interacting with a small number of like-minded people. Smile


I'm with you in this regard. Compared to the Gear Page (or w/e it's called), this is like a little oasis. I'm greatly enjoying the insider's info and insights you provide us with; it's also very refreshing compared to the conspiracies/fantasies the people are having on the gear forums (e.g., Guthrie's departure from Suhr and the unnecessary fuss caused by the "people of the internet"). We get the real deal here Smile

Speaking of the insider's info: I'd be really curious if you could find out more about the Charvel's next plans with the GG model, as there must be something in the works (cf. Ellis's remarks in the recent NAMM interview with Guthrie)!
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
Thanks, Petros. Glad you're enjoying this sleepy forum which has kind of eveolved into a blog spot for me to share some thoughts and perspectives about what I do with Guthrie/Aristocrats and in the industry in general.

I'm not much of a social media guy so this quiet and congenial forum is like a fun little sanctuary for me as I enjoy writing and interacting with a small number of like-minded people. Smile


I'm with you in this regard. Compared to the Gear Page (or w/e it's called), this is like a little oasis. I'm greatly enjoying the insider's info and insights you provide us with; it's also very refreshing compared to the conspiracies/fantasies the people are having on the gear forums (e.g., Guthrie's departure from Suhr and the unnecessary fuss caused by the "people of the internet"). We get the real deal here Smile

Speaking of the insider's info: I'd be really curious if you could find out more about the Charvel's next plans with the GG model, as there must be something in the works (cf. Ellis's remarks in the recent NAMM interview with Guthrie)!


Haha. The Gear Page... Rolling Eyes There are some good helpful people in there but the whole forum is marred by a fairly large number (albeit a small percentage) of rather unpleasant people with just way too much time on their hands - all that time that could be better spent on playing their instruments and gear instead of talking about them...

I guess a good percentage of the population really do like to gossip and speculate about the private lives of celebrities, public figures, etc. or what's going on behind-the-scenes in the government, large companies, etc. Personally, I just couldn't care less.

I have many heroes throughout history and in our current era in various fields of discipline ranging from the military to science and from music to business but I've never cared about their personal lives or things that are superfluous and that had no bearing in what they achieved. For instance, I'd read biographies of figures like Beethoven, Einstein, Steve Jobs, etc. and I'd just skip anything that has to do with their love lives and stuff like that. I just don't give a shit.

I don't understand why some people are so interested in knowing why Guthrie departed from Suhr. A good case in point was at the recent clinic Guthrie did at Wild West Guitars in Riverside, CA. Guthrie was fielding various questions about music-making and things like that and some guy asked, "So why did you leave Suhr?" Rolling Eyes

Guthrie's response was classic: "So you want to know the details of a divorce?" It's like, when you hear a couple got divorced, do you ask them why they got divorced and try to find out who's at fault or whatever? It's strictly between the two parties. They're all mature adults who know what they're doing. That's all that needs to be said.

Conspiracy? Laughing We're all just guitar players and guitar makers/sellers here. What happens in our tiny puny industry is so trivial in the big scheme of things that I find it pretty funny that some people get so obsessed with such meaningless little incidences that just happen and get forgotten all the time...

As for what's going on with Guthrie and Charvel in the future, I hear tidbits every now and then when I hang out with Guthrie but, honestly, I'm just not that interested. I had no idea about that brown-stained sample until I saw it on stage at the Alvas residency shows a little over a month ago. I saw it, shrugged and thought, "Oh, they're experimenting with some color stains to cover up the natural defects in the wood." That's all I got out of it.

Even if I did hear of some new plans, I wouldn't be at liberty to share that info since that's strictly between Guthrie and Charvel. For one, I don't ask Guthrie because it's not even on my radar. If Guthrie does tell me something, then all I say is: "Oh, cool. Looking forward to seeing that whenever it comes out." And then I forget.

As mentioned earlier in a few other threads, he's been playing several different kinds of single-coil-only guitars lately to complement his sig model guitar: a version of the sig with 22 frets and 3 single-coils, a Charvel SoCal model with 3 single-coils and a stock American Deluxe Strat. I don't think Guthrie ever asks for guitars like these for the sake of owning them or to develop more sig models. He's thinking of the music and simply decides he needs some authentic single-coil sounds for some songs. From what I can see, that's all he's ever thinking about when it comes to gear - the right sounds and the right tools for the music he's creating or performing. Everything else is just noise. Wink
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journeyman



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually found out about Guthrie by way of Steven Wilson and the raven that refused to sing. I happened to catch a video of them in the studio playing and the dude with the long hair caught my attention. Bought the album and from there I discovered Guthrie. I've since been simply amazed by his playing, so much so, I ended up here. Hand Cannot Erase is fantastic. The one thing I am so impressed with is Guthrie's ability to play and shine without stealing the vibe, yet his contribution is surly felt. He seems to have a very deep understanding of music and an ability to realize that innate knowledge.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

journeyman wrote:
I actually found out about Guthrie by way of Steven Wilson and the raven that refused to sing. I happened to catch a video of them in the studio playing and the dude with the long hair caught my attention. Bought the album and from there I discovered Guthrie. I've since been simply amazed by his playing, so much so, I ended up here. Hand Cannot Erase is fantastic. The one thing I am so impressed with is Guthrie's ability to play and shine without stealing the vibe, yet his contribution is surly felt. He seems to have a very deep understanding of music and an ability to realize that innate knowledge.


That's really cool. I got to become a fan of Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree through Guthrie. Very Happy Of course I had heard of SW and PT from a long time ago but the little tidbits I had heard in the past didn't make me really want to dig in deeper. Now I'm a big fan - including some of the old PT albums.

Yes, Guthrie absorbs the music on hand into his bones, it seems and then just let his subconscious take over when he plays. I've always loved his intuitive approach to music. As technical as he may seem at times, to me, he's as much of "feel" player as any dedicated blues guy.
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journeyman



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
Thanks, Petros. Glad you're enjoying this sleepy forum which has kind of eveolved into a blog spot for me to share some thoughts and perspectives about what I do with Guthrie/Aristocrats and in the industry in general.

I'm not much of a social media guy so this quiet and congenial forum is like a fun little sanctuary for me as I enjoy writing and interacting with a small number of like-minded people. Smile


I'm with you in this regard. Compared to the Gear Page (or w/e it's called), this is like a little oasis. I'm greatly enjoying the insider's info and insights you provide us with; it's also very refreshing compared to the conspiracies/fantasies the people are having on the gear forums (e.g., Guthrie's departure from Suhr and the unnecessary fuss caused by the "people of the internet"). We get the real deal here Smile

Speaking of the insider's info: I'd be really curious if you could find out more about the Charvel's next plans with the GG model, as there must be something in the works (cf. Ellis's remarks in the recent NAMM interview with Guthrie)!


Haha. The Gear Page... Rolling Eyes There are some good helpful people in there but the whole forum is marred by a fairly large number (albeit a small percentage) of rather unpleasant people with just way too much time on their hands - all that time that could be better spent on playing their instruments and gear instead of talking about them...

I guess a good percentage of the population really do like to gossip and speculate about the private lives of celebrities, public figures, etc. or what's going on behind-the-scenes in the government, large companies, etc. Personally, I just couldn't care less.

I have many heroes throughout history and in our current era in various fields of discipline ranging from the military to science and from music to business but I've never cared about their personal lives or things that are superfluous and that had no bearing in what they achieved. For instance, I'd read biographies of figures like Beethoven, Einstein, Steve Jobs, etc. and I'd just skip anything that has to do with their love lives and stuff like that. I just don't give a shit.

I don't understand why some people are so interested in knowing why Guthrie departed from Suhr. A good case in point was at the recent clinic Guthrie did at Wild West Guitars in Riverside, CA. Guthrie was fielding various questions about music-making and things like that and some guy asked, "So why did you leave Suhr?" Rolling Eyes

Guthrie's response was classic: "So you want to know the details of a divorce?" It's like, when you hear a couple got divorced, do you ask them why they got divorced and try to find out who's at fault or whatever? It's strictly between the two parties. They're all mature adults who know what they're doing. That's all that needs to be said.

Conspiracy? Laughing We're all just guitar players and guitar makers/sellers here. What happens in our tiny puny industry is so trivial in the big scheme of things that I find it pretty funny that some people get so obsessed with such meaningless little incidences that just happen and get forgotten all the time...

As for what's going on with Guthrie and Charvel in the future, I hear tidbits every now and then when I hang out with Guthrie but, honestly, I'm just not that interested. I had no idea about that brown-stained sample until I saw it on stage at the Alvas residency shows a little over a month ago. I saw it, shrugged and thought, "Oh, they're experimenting with some color stains to cover up the natural defects in the wood." That's all I got out of it.

Even if I did hear of some new plans, I wouldn't be at liberty to share that info since that's strictly between Guthrie and Charvel. For one, I don't ask Guthrie because it's not even on my radar. If Guthrie does tell me something, then all I say is: "Oh, cool. Looking forward to seeing that whenever it comes out." And then I forget.

As mentioned earlier in a few other threads, he's been playing several different kinds of single-coil-only guitars lately to complement his sig model guitar: a version of the sig with 22 frets and 3 single-coils, a Charvel SoCal model with 3 single-coils and a stock American Deluxe Strat. I don't think Guthrie ever asks for guitars like these for the sake of owning them or to develop more sig models. He's thinking of the music and simply decides he needs some authentic single-coil sounds for some songs. From what I can see, that's all he's ever thinking about when it comes to gear - the right sounds and the right tools for the music he's creating or performing. Everything else is just noise. Wink


When passion rules the game.... Hey they are gear heads!!!!

I for one am going to get the GG Charvel. It is exactly what I would have spec'd out for a custom build. I haven't played the thing yet and probably won't have the chance until its mine. I plan on getting it early next year, since I've promised myself that I'd pay cash. Goals, we all need 'em. I'm actually glad Guthrie is with Charvel now. Recently spending some time on the gear page, its pretty evident that folks are very curious as to why the move from Suhr to Charvel. I for one am perfectly satisfied with Guthrie's answer, but I get the distinct impression that folks champion their guitar brand, and in doing so, feel the need to figure out why "their" company isn't the "choice". I hope that the relationship between GG and Charvel continues for a long time and bears much fruit. His current model had better be available for at least another year Very Happy
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petros



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

journeyman wrote:
I for one am going to get the GG Charvel. It is exactly what I would have spec'd out for a custom build. I haven't played the thing yet and probably won't have the chance until its mine. I plan on getting it early next year, since I've promised myself that I'd pay cash. Goals, we all need 'em. I'm actually glad Guthrie is with Charvel now. Recently spending some time on the gear page, its pretty evident that folks are very curious as to why the move from Suhr to Charvel. I for one am perfectly satisfied with Guthrie's answer, but I get the distinct impression that folks champion their guitar brand, and in doing so, feel the need to figure out why "their" company isn't the "choice". I hope that the relationship between GG and Charvel continues for a long time and bears much fruit. His current model had better be available for at least another year Very Happy


I'd surely be getting it too if I weren't a young Slovak (a third-world country, in my books anyway) doctoral student with a family to feed! Smile

On a more serious note: I think—and this is purely my speculation, as it's all between GG and the company—that Guthrie's relationship with Fender/Charvel has very good chances to be very much a long term thing. I mean, look at the fantastic care and attention the production of his signature model was getting. Amazing how attentive they were to all the changes even after the model was officially announced at the last year's NAMM.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

journeyman wrote:


When passion rules the game.... Hey they are gear heads!!!!

I for one am going to get the GG Charvel. It is exactly what I would have spec'd out for a custom build. I haven't played the thing yet and probably won't have the chance until its mine. I plan on getting it early next year, since I've promised myself that I'd pay cash. Goals, we all need 'em. I'm actually glad Guthrie is with Charvel now. Recently spending some time on the gear page, its pretty evident that folks are very curious as to why the move from Suhr to Charvel. I for one am perfectly satisfied with Guthrie's answer, but I get the distinct impression that folks champion their guitar brand, and in doing so, feel the need to figure out why "their" company isn't the "choice". I hope that the relationship between GG and Charvel continues for a long time and bears much fruit. His current model had better be available for at least another year Very Happy


Hey, it's all good. I guess, in a way, it's like rooting for your favorite sports team or something like that. Some people are just as passionate about their favorite teams or golf clubs or smartphones or hi-fi gear or whatever as we are about our guitars. The flame wars you see on forums regarding other gear can get pretty intense. Laughing The Gear Page is pretty mild compared to something like the Apple fanboys fighting the Android fanboys. Wink

I'm quite certain that the relationship between Guthrie and Charvel/Fender will last a long, long time. I've been observing it from the side for a while now and I've been amazed by the amount of attention that Charvel has been giving to Guthrie and how far they will go to make things just as Guthrie would like.

I've been working with some people at Fender to arrange clinic tours for Guthrie and things like that and they've been a great pleasure to work with. They've been very responsive and professional and it's obvious to me that they really care. They're all huge fans of Guthrie and understand the value that Guthrie brings to the Charvel/Fender brand.

I can also say that Guthrie is very happy with the relationship as well. He himself has been amazed by how responsive and caring the Charvel/Fender staff have been. And when Guthrie is happy, I'm happy. Very Happy
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
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