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



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a crappy audio cellphone video of Guthrie playing the 'Regret #9' solo at the Steven Wilson show in Paris. You can still somewhat make out what Guthrie is playing and it's quite different from the studio version. Well, Guthrie never ever ceases to amaze - night after night... Guthrie really lets loose on this one. The Zeus of all guitar gods. Haha. Laughing

http://youtu.be/kV20vZJ-Q3M
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Observing Guthrie over the past half-year or so, I get the sense that he is making another transitional leap as a player. The new SW album shows one aspect while the new Aristocrats studio album material shows another. One thing is for sure: Guthrie continues to get better and better and is further distancing himself from the rest of the crowd. He is, as far as I'm concerned, in a class or league of his own.

It's not about more technique, speed, dexterity and stuff like that although there are very few players in the world who can match Guthrie in these areas. No, what it's all about now is personality, creativity, tone, voice, phrasing, feel and other intangibles that make a truly great player stand out from the rest. And he's playing in a way with his own musical identity and character that are instantly recognizable.

He's now playing things that have never been played before because what he's playing now are things only Guthrie can play. No tribute band stuff for Guthrie! Laughing What makes Guthrie's style and personality stand out is his vibrato. I find it as amazing as his over-the-top jaw-dropping "stunt guitar" pyrotechnics - maybe even more so now. His vibrato can be very wide in range but so controlled. He is just so damn good at applying wide vibrato within bends that are often step-and-a-half to even two full steps. Many players refuse to even try that (EVH admitted that a long time ago) and will often resort to grabbing the trem arm while holding bends but it's obviously quite easy for Guthrie and now an integral part of his style.

And another major thing I'm observing now is his use of single-coil pickups. As I stated on the thread regarding the new Aristocrats studio album, Guthrie has been using single-coil-equipped guitars for the majority of the guitar sounds lately and the 'Regret #9' is another great example. Is this a permanent trend? Is Guthrie on his way to becoming a "pure" Strat player like Jimi, Clapton, Gilmour, SRV, Yngwie, Jeff Beck and Mike Landau?

It's too early to say but there are reasons why so many greats went the all-single-coil route. For one, single-coils are just more "honest" sounding pickups than humbuckers. If you really, really want the character and the voice of your playing to come through, then the single-coil is simply the better choice. It's weaker in output but that just means you get less front-end gain, which means what you do with your hands comes through much more clearly than with mid-heavy, compressed and high-gain humbuckers.

Another aspect of the single-coil sound is that it just sounds bigger with more lows and highs while cutting through the mix better. It's not as easy to play because you can't hide behind gobs of gain, midrange and compression. Don't get me wrong: humbuckers are great in their own ways with characteristics that single-coils can't get but there's no doubt in my mind that more of your own character comes through clearer with single-coils.

That Charvel 'Strat' prototype was a Guthrie request to have an all-single-coil guitar to use on the road. He used a Fender Am Dlx Strat and a Custom Shop NoCaster Tele for the majority of the guitar sounds on the new Aristocrats album. That means the Charvel 'Strat' will likely get used a lot during the 'Tres Caballeros' tour. And, as a fan and listener, I'm finding that I prefer his single-coil sounds now because I can hear his musical personality, character, quirks and vision more clearly.

And when it comes to single-coil guitars, Fender is king because Fender invented them. You have all these Strat-and-Tele clone and knockoff makers (both low-end and boutique high-end) but all they're doing is trying to sound and look like a Fender Strat or Tele. I never saw the point in that. No matter how good, it's just a knockoff as far as I'm concerned.

So it's quite interesting to me that Guthrie is really getting into the single-coil sound and, thus, guitars equipped with single-coil pickups. And it's only fitting that Guthrie is now aligned with Fender/Charvel. I, for one, am very happy to see Guthrie with a truly iconic company like Fender and have access to the very best that Fender has to offer. I have no doubt in my mind that Guthrie will join the ranks of the greatest Strat players mentioned above. What I've heard and seen from Guthrie over the past six months or so only reinforces that belief.
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petros



Joined: 26 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
Observing Guthrie over the past half-year or so, I get the sense that he is making another transitional leap as a player. The new SW album shows one aspect while the new Aristocrats studio album material shows another. One thing is for sure: Guthrie continues to get better and better and is further distancing himself from the rest of the crowd. He is, as far as I'm concerned, in a class or league of his own.

It's not about more technique, speed, dexterity and stuff like that although there are very few players in the world who can match Guthrie in these areas. No, what it's all about now is personality, creativity, tone, voice, phrasing, feel and other intangibles that make a truly great player stand out from the rest. And he's playing in a way with his own musical identity and character that are instantly recognizable.

He's now playing things that have never been played before because what he's playing now are things only Guthrie can play. No tribute band stuff for Guthrie! Laughing What makes Guthrie's style and personality stand out is his vibrato. I find it as amazing as his over-the-top jaw-dropping "stunt guitar" pyrotechnics - maybe even more so now. His vibrato can be very wide in range but so controlled. He is just so damn good at applying wide vibrato within bends that are often step-and-a-half to even two full steps. Many players refuse to even try that (EVH admitted that a long time ago) and will often resort to grabbing the trem arm while holding bends but it's obviously quite easy for Guthrie and now an integral part of his style.

And another major thing I'm observing now is his use of single-coil pickups. As I stated on the thread regarding the new Aristocrats studio album, Guthrie has been using single-coil-equipped guitars for the majority of the guitar sounds lately and the 'Regret #9' is another great example. Is this a permanent trend? Is Guthrie on his way to becoming a "pure" Strat player like Jimi, Clapton, Gilmour, SRV, Yngwie, Jeff Beck and Mike Landau?

It's too early to say but there are reasons why so many greats went the all-single-coil route. For one, single-coils are just more "honest" sounding pickups than humbuckers. If you really, really want the character and the voice of your playing to come through, then the single-coil is simply the better choice. It's weaker in output but that just means you get less front-end gain, which means what you do with your hands comes through much more clearly than with mid-heavy, compressed and high-gain humbuckers.

Another aspect of the single-coil sound is that it just sounds bigger with more lows and highs while cutting through the mix better. It's not as easy to play because you can't hide behind gobs of gain, midrange and compression. Don't get me wrong: humbuckers are great in their own ways with characteristics that single-coils can't get but there's no doubt in my mind that more of your own character comes through clearer with single-coils.

That Charvel 'Strat' prototype was a Guthrie request to have an all-single-coil guitar to use on the road. He used a Fender Am Dlx Strat and a Custom Shop NoCaster Tele for the majority of the guitar sounds on the new Aristocrats album. That means the Charvel 'Strat' will likely get used a lot during the 'Tres Caballeros' tour. And, as a fan and listener, I'm finding that I prefer his single-coil sounds now because I can hear his musical personality, character, quirks and vision more clearly.

And when it comes to single-coil guitars, Fender is king because Fender invented them. You have all these Strat-and-Tele clone and knockoff makers (both low-end and boutique high-end) but all they're doing is trying to sound and look like a Fender Strat or Tele. I never saw the point in that. No matter how good, it's just a knockoff as far as I'm concerned.

So it's quite interesting to me that Guthrie is really getting into the single-coil sound and, thus, guitars equipped with single-coil pickups. And it's only fitting that Guthrie is now aligned with Fender/Charvel. I, for one, am very happy to see Guthrie with a truly iconic company like Fender and have access to the very best that Fender has to offer. I have no doubt in my mind that Guthrie will join the ranks of the greatest Strat players mentioned above. What I've heard and seen from Guthrie over the past six months or so only reinforces that belief.


I'm with you in GG's uniqueness and insurpassable musical personality. But even his dexterity, it seems to me, is still improving as he is exploring further avenues of reaching his musical goals. I think he embodies the riggt place for the technique--to express onesself musically, unlike the athletically-inclined shredders.

But who knows ehether the single coil thing is betrays a premanent trend or rather just a more conspicuous broadening of Guthrie's palette. And of course, he's used that single coil flavour before as well, by using some middle pickup configurations on his signature guitar (Culture Clash tune comes to mind). Of course, you know GG better than any of us and were in the studio whilst recording, but from the pic of an Alvas set list you posted a while ago I wouldn't have picked up that he used a single coil guitar on more than half the tunes (or slightly less). But he could have done it differently inthe studio of course.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I do agree that Guthrie is indeed improving technically all the time. The level of control and the ability to execute much more difficult lines at high speeds have certainly broadened over the past few years. His playing seems more effortless than ever. Guthrie had commented that 'Tres Caballeros' has some of the most difficult passages that he has ever played and recorded but it's hard to tell which ones he's referring to.

We'll see how big of a part single-coil sounds play in Guthrie's future. Listening to the album, I'd say it's around 70~80%. Guthrie mentioned something like that too. Some tunes have only single-coil sounds all the way through - both the Strat and the Tele.

But I don't think it's a real conscious decision where Guthrie decided that he's going to play single-coils more from now on. I believe the music dictates that. He may have started with humbuckers on certain tunes and then decided the single-coils will fit the tunes better.

And I'm talking about using the single-coils for the main parts of the songs as well as the solos, which means using the bridge and neck pickups, not the in-between sounds on the Sig guitars. With the H-S-H sig guitars, the single-coil sounds were mainly used for certain sections of songs that needed such textures but they were rarely used as the "meat-and-potatoes" sounds of entire tunes.

So this has definitely been a conspicuous shift although he has always used a decent amount of single-coil sounds in the past - including on 'Erotic Cakes'. I just find it very interesting and I'm finding that I actually prefer the single-coil sounds. I can hear more nuances of his musical personality in his phrasing - especially in the vibrato, bends, slides, and the pick attack. It sounds like he can shape the notes more in various ways once the strings have been picked.

Just my own observations here... Some of it is speculation and some just opinions based on what I hear and see...
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petros



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
Yes, I do agree that Guthrie is indeed improving technically all the time. The level of control and the ability to execute much more difficult lines at high speeds have certainly broadened over the past few years. His playing seems more effortless than ever. Guthrie had commented that 'Tres Caballeros' has some of the most difficult passages that he has ever played and recorded but it's hard to tell which ones he's referring to.

We'll see how big of a part single-coil sounds play in Guthrie's future. Listening to the album, I'd say it's around 70~80%. Guthrie mentioned something like that too. Some tunes have only single-coil sounds all the way through - both the Strat and the Tele.

But I don't think it's a real conscious decision where Guthrie decided that he's going to play single-coils more from now on. I believe the music dictates that. He may have started with humbuckers on certain tunes and then decided the single-coils will fit the tunes better.

And I'm talking about using the single-coils for the main parts of the songs as well as the solos, which means using the bridge and neck pickups, not the in-between sounds on the Sig guitars. With the H-S-H sig guitars, the single-coil sounds were mainly used for certain sections of songs that needed such textures but they were rarely used as the "meat-and-potatoes" sounds of entire tunes.

So this has definitely been a conspicuous shift although he has always used a decent amount of single-coil sounds in the past - including on 'Erotic Cakes'. I just find it very interesting and I'm finding that I actually prefer the single-coil sounds. I can hear more nuances of his musical personality in his phrasing - especially in the vibrato, bends, slides, and the pick attack. It sounds like he can shape the notes more in various ways once the strings have been picked.

Just my own observations here... Some of it is speculation and some just opinions based on what I hear and see...


I think that if there's anyone whose informed guesswork has chances of being correct, it's you, Ed. And, btw, I must say that I'm very much enjoying these conversations.

It'll surely be curious to see whether GG's superstrat will cease to be used or whether he'll just retain his present signature model as his number one due to its versatility and use a modified Strat alongside of it much more extensively than he has done hitherto.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I'm enjoying it a lot too. Thanks for keeping this place a little more lively. Smile

I still think the Charvel GG with HSH pickups will be his main workhorse for a long time to come. Most of his past material (both solo and with the Aristocrats) were performed with humbuckers for his main sounds and I believe he'll continue using the HSH guitar as his main instrument. It just seems that he's enjoying the single-coil sounds a little more at this particular point in time based on the latest recordings from SW and the Aristocrats. We'll have a better idea when he finally gets around to making his next solo album.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's too bad that the live in Paris 'Regret #9' solo video got pulled. That was so ridiculously epic. But knowing Guthrie, I'm sure he played an even better one the very next gig or the one after that. I've seen him do that time and time again. Hopefully, there'll be a live DVD culled from this tour.
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petros



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
It's too bad that the live in Paris 'Regret #9' solo video got pulled. That was so ridiculously epic. But knowing Guthrie, I'm sure he played an even better one the very next gig or the one after that. I've seen him do that time and time again. Hopefully, there'll be a live DVD culled from this tour.


Fear not; the video had been preserved for the good of humanity.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petros wrote:
alexkhan wrote:
It's too bad that the live in Paris 'Regret #9' solo video got pulled. That was so ridiculously epic. But knowing Guthrie, I'm sure he played an even better one the very next gig or the one after that. I've seen him do that time and time again. Hopefully, there'll be a live DVD culled from this tour.


Fear not; the video had been preserved for the good of humanity.


Haha. Yes, and I have a copy preserved as well. Very Happy
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petros



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
Hey, I'm enjoying it a lot too. Thanks for keeping this place a little more lively. Smile

I still think the Charvel GG with HSH pickups will be his main workhorse for a long time to come. Most of his past material (both solo and with the Aristocrats) were performed with humbuckers for his main sounds and I believe he'll continue using the HSH guitar as his main instrument. It just seems that he's enjoying the single-coil sounds a little more at this particular point in time based on the latest recordings from SW and the Aristocrats. We'll have a better idea when he finally gets around to making his next solo album.


Btw, I hope there will ve a preview of the single-coil driven Tres Caballeros available before the official release--as was the case w/ yhe himbuckered Culture Clash!
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, definitely. There'll be video footage on a DVD for the Deluxe Edition from the Alvas shows as well as from the studio during the session.
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petros



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alexkhan wrote:
Yes, definitely. There'll be video footage on a DVD for the Deluxe Edition from the Alvas shows as well as from the studio during the session.


Yeah! Can't wait. I saw a hint of this in one of the recent FB posts on the Aristocrats' official page... Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the great, great pleasure of standing right in front of Guthrie at last nights Steven Wilson show in Stockholm. It's the first time I've seen any of them live and I am simply blown away.

Beautiful solos and playing from Guthrie - I had been looking forward to hearing the solos from the cd but he didn't play any of them as recorded. Not a disappointment at all, though, as they could all have replaced the recorded solos that I have grown so fond of. They were that good. Incredible.

Seeing as I'm still waiting to get my Charvel GG (any day now, they say) I was kind of happy to hear that I felt like that sounded better than the Strat style Charvel. All three guitars sound great, of course. I'm splitting hairs. But it seemed to me the Charvel GG cut through a little better while at the same time sounding fatter.

It was such a show and almost like watching a film in the way the story of the album is presented. I never thought I'd say this about The Watchmaker and the title track from The Raven album, but I almost would have preferred them to skip those encores. It took me out of the experience it was to be really into the world of Hand. Cannot. Erase and back into the world of a normal rock show where you want the artist to play their old hits.

I said almost: hearing those songs live for the first time for me sent shivers down my spine.

Had a superb view of Marco too. What playful fireworks!!

I wonder what the show in Montreal will be like. Seeing them there at the end of June. Without Guthrie and Marco.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

I'm Alessandro, from Italy.

Following my some few "stolen" pics (it was strictly forbidden to take photos or video, Steve dixit! Very Happy ) from Sistina, Rome:

Great Guthrie! <3

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alessandrodevito/sets/72157651726616021/
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terje_t wrote:
I had the great, great pleasure of standing right in front of Guthrie at last nights Steven Wilson show in Stockholm. It's the first time I've seen any of them live and I am simply blown away.

Beautiful solos and playing from Guthrie - I had been looking forward to hearing the solos from the cd but he didn't play any of them as recorded. Not a disappointment at all, though, as they could all have replaced the recorded solos that I have grown so fond of. They were that good. Incredible.

Seeing as I'm still waiting to get my Charvel GG (any day now, they say) I was kind of happy to hear that I felt like that sounded better than the Strat style Charvel. All three guitars sound great, of course. I'm splitting hairs. But it seemed to me the Charvel GG cut through a little better while at the same time sounding fatter.

It was such a show and almost like watching a film in the way the story of the album is presented. I never thought I'd say this about The Watchmaker and the title track from The Raven album, but I almost would have preferred them to skip those encores. It took me out of the experience it was to be really into the world of Hand. Cannot. Erase and back into the world of a normal rock show where you want the artist to play their old hits.

I said almost: hearing those songs live for the first time for me sent shivers down my spine.

Had a superb view of Marco too. What playful fireworks!!

I wonder what the show in Montreal will be like. Seeing them there at the end of June. Without Guthrie and Marco.


Thanks for sharing the experience. I sure wish I could have seen one of these SW shows with Guthrie and Marco.

Guthrie is an improvisor so he never plays a recorded solo note-for-note live. In the past, I sometimes wished that Guthrie will play a solo from an album exactly as it was recorded but I've come to realize that's wishful thinking and that will not happen - not for Guthrie's solo material, not for the Aristocrats or anything else. Every live solo that Guthrie plays is of that moment - totally spontaneous and improvised.

And this is what makes Guthrie so exciting to see live. You really don't know what to expect and how he will play a particular solo that you've come to love on the recordings.

I have to say that Guthrie's solo on 'Regret #9' from 'Hands. Cannot. Erase.' is one of the best solos he has ever recorded. But will we ever hear it note-for-note live? No... But I do have this video of a live solo performed at a show in Paris recently and it's absolutely mind-blowing - completely different from the studio version. It's definitely got over-the-top factor to it with speedy runs and incredible bends. It's as though he's got a Whammy pedal built into his left arm and hand. The bends are extreme but perfectly in pitch and intonation. Just friggin' AMAZING. Shocked

Here are some stills from the video that got pulled from YT due to "copyright infringement" reasons. Rolling Eyes If anyone wants the video file just PM me with an email address and I'll send a link back to download. It's only about 36MB.








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