Yesterday night I got the opportunity to sit down with In Flames guitarist Niclas Engelin during their current tour alongside UK thrash metal band Sylosis, Hellyeah, and Lamb Of God. We discussed the idea of which region has the best crowds, what the Randy Blythe arrest means for touring bands, his first guitar, his favorite horror movie, and his favorite albums of the year! You can check this exclusive video interview below!
Almost exactly a year ago, Gibson Guitars facilities in Nashville and Memphis were raided by FBI agents who stated that many of the woods that were being used in the manufacturing of Gibson guitars were illegally obtained. There was a big concern that Gibson HQ would have to shut down facilities and that many guitars already out and about in the world (and in the hands of musicians) would be deemed contraband.
Originally, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz stated that legal recourse would be taken against the Federal Government for these raids and charges. Now the company has decided to pay fines that amount to $350,000 as well as withdrawing claims of $262,000 worth of exotic woods being seized. This is being done to avoid criminal charges. READ MORE
Japanese band B’z has just released their first English album, a self-titled EP (iTunes) consisting of five tracks including “Into Free-Dangan-”, which is featured in the video game Dragon’s Dogma. The rock duo, comprised of guitarist Tak Matsumoto and vocalist Koshi Inaba, formed in 1988 and have since gone on to sell over 80 million CDs and chart 46 consecutive #1 singles.
The band will be embarking on a brief N. American tour. Matsumoto explains, “This will be our fourth U.S. tour. We love playing for American audiences, and are excited to share our first English-language release with our fans.” Tour dates are below.
Tak Matsumoto also just became the fifth guitarist in the world to get a Gibson signature guitar. While I’m not usually one for signature guitars, I have to admit that his is pretty damn sexy. If anyone wants to buy me one for my birthday, I wouldn’t object. READ MORE
Recently, on August 24th, armed officials from the Federal Government raided the Nashville and Memphis Gibson guitar facilities to seize what was deemed as “illegal” materials. Turns out that Gibson has been importing Rosewood from India for use in their fretboards. Now, this would be perfectly okay if it weren’t for a weird little clause that all wood from India must be finished by Indian workers. This is not a US law but is the Department of Justice’s interpretation of a law in India itself. According to Gibson.com, this action taken by the DoJ was done without the knowledge and/or consent of the Indian Government.