In 2015, guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe posted her first cover to YouTube soulfully playing John Mayall & the Bluebreakers “Hideaway.” Fast forward four years, the now 18-year-old boasts a following of over 400k on Instagram, plays to sold-out crowds, and stands as one of the most promising young guitar players on the rise. In this episode, we speak to the Calgary native about how the video game Rock Band inspired her to learn to play the guitar, her thoughts on releasing singles versus albums in the age of streaming, her experience playing in the band Calpurnia and her current project, Ludic, and much more.
While best known for his work on the drums for bands Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves, and Paramore, multi-instrumentalist Ilan Rubin can do just about anything musically. Despite being only 31 years old, Rubin has been involved in the music industry for over 20 years. He’s been touring and recording music since he was 9, and by the age of 11, he landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest musician to ever play Woodstock. In this episode, we speak to the California native about fronting his band, The New Regime, why Trent Reznor paid him to learn to play the cello, his thoughts on the current music industry, and much more.
With her literate, emotionally intricate songwriting and inventive guitar playing, Annie Clark of St. Vincent has become an unapologetic force in rock and pop. She introduced her genre-blending abilities on 2007’s ‘Marry Me,’ and has gone on to achieve a rare balance of critical and commercial success throughout the years. She became the first female artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album in 20 years and cracked the Billboard Top 10 with 2017’s Grammy-winning MASSEDUCTION. In this episode, we speak to Clark about her experience tour-managing as a teenager, her intense focus on making good art, her songwriting process, and much more.
Joe Bonamassa began playing guitar when he was just four years old and hasn’t looked back since. He was featured across local news as the next “guitar prodigy,” and by the age of 12, he was opening for B.B. King. Today, Bonamassa has accumulated 22 number one albums on the Billboard Blues chart and has been featured on the cover of every guitar magazine imaginable. In this episode, we speak to Bonamassa about his childhood, his world-class guitar collection, and much more.
Rapidly gaining praise in the world of instrumental rock and beyond, Gretchen Menn isn’t your average guitar hero on the rise. She once flew regional jets to support her six-string habit and has studied the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Jimmy Page, and more. Menn has been featured on Guitar Player Magazine’s list of ‘50 Sensational Female Guitarists‘ and was nominated by readers of Vintage Guitar Magazine as ‘Artist of the Year’ alongside Steve Vai, Dan Auerbach, Rik Emmet, and Alan Holdsworth. In this episode, we speak to Gretchen about her work with the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, Zepparella, hear her perform a couple songs live, and much more.
Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, guitarist James Valentine spent most of his early career teaching guitar lessons in his hometown. It wasn’t until a coworker entered him and his band, Square, into the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands that his talent started to gain recognition. After winning the competition in 1999, James made the move to Los Angeles where he would eventually join the LA-based band Kara's Flowers, which would soon become Maroon 5. After a successful debut record and three Grammys later, Maroon 5 has gone on to become one of the most successful names in music today. In this episode, we speak to James about his early years with Maroon 5, how the hit show The Voice impacted his career, and much more.
After stepping away from her childhood acting career, vocalist Bethany Cosentino began writing and experimenting with music in her teens. She joined forces with multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno in early 2009, and by the end of the year, the two were preparing for their official debut as Best Coast. The Los Angeles based duo has since released four full-length records and has garnered a dedicated following within the indie and surf rock scene. In this episode, we speak to Cosentino and Bruno about their unique partnership and collaborative process, Best Coast’s forthcoming record, and much more.
Matt McJunkins picked up his first bass at 13 years old and hasn’t looked back since. After attending Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, McJunkins has gone on to contribute to a diverse set of projects across the rock scene, including current supergroup A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Eagles of Death Metal, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Puscifer. In this episode, we speak to McJunkins about going to school for music, the backstory of his most recent band The Beta Machine, and much more.
Forming in their senior year of high school, Avenged Sevenfold went from teenage garage band to one of the most successful American heavy metal outfits at the turn of the century. Selling an estimated eight million copies across their seven studio albums, the Huntington Beach natives have challenged the traditional genre, fusing aggressive metal, hard rock, and pop punk. In this episode, we speak to guitarist Synyster Gates about the importance of being musically adventurous, which albums were crucial in Avenged Sevenfold’s trajectory, and much more.
Known for his intricate compositions, innovative techniques, and versatility across musical genres, Steve Morse is widely known as the "guitarists' guitarist." Morse has provided his technical prowess to groups including Dixie Dregs and Deep Purple, while also appearing on over 200 albums to date. In this episode, Morse discusses blazing his own music trail, some of his worst experiences on stage, and the development of his signature guitar with Ernie Ball Music Man.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Jason Richardson is known for his near-supersonic, highly technical playing style. Richardson established his reputation with his tenure in bands All Shall Perish, Born of Osiris, and Chelsea Grin. He released his first album “I” in 2016 and is currently touring with All That Remains. After collaborating with Ernie Ball Music Man on a 7-string guitar, his dedicated online following can now play to his exact technical specifications. In this episode, Richardson discusses the first time he picked up the guitar, musical inspirations, life as a solo-artist, and much more.
Justin Chancellor, bass player of Tool, joins us for the release of their brand new and long-awaited album, Fear Inoculum. Justin discusses the Tool songwriting process, band dynamics, the best and worst parts of his job, the story behind his joining the band some 25 years ago, releasing all their music on streaming platforms, and much more!