Exclusive Interview : Sid Griffin

1) Tell us about your musical background?

I was the ringleader of 1980s indie heroes The Long Ryders. We were second only to the Replacements in the USA as Hip Indie Band of the time and second only to the Smiths in Europe for the same time, same thing. We were part of a movement in the USA called the Paisley Underground which was a major deal in L.A. thirty years ago. It was quite a scene, equal to Liverpool in 1963 or NYC in 1977.

2) What are you working on now?

I play bluegrass with a British band here in London called the Coal Porters and I play solo singer-songwriter gigs. The Coal Porters have five albums out and all of my music, solo or band, is on Spotify and iTunes should someone want to check me out. The Coal Porters play mainly in the UK and North America but we play a few festivals in Europe every summer.

I also do solo gigs all around the world. I have played everywhere from Hollywood to Hong Kong, San Francisco to Syracuse to Sydney to Stoke-On-Trent as a solo act and am doing that most of this month.

3) What is the role of education in music?

Without music there would not be enough Art to separate us from the beasts! I am heartsick our schools, both in my native USA and in my adopted English hometown of London, do not have nearly enough emphasis (or budget!) to give music a greater role in the classroom and in the upbringing of our children, who are after all not only the next generation of musicians but the next generation of leaders.

Listening to music is part of daily life for almost everyone on Earth but I feel playing music, any music at all, classical or folk or whatever, is crucial to learning how to work and adapt to others. And how to work with and adapt to your own strengths and weaknesses. It is not only how a person learns who they are and what they can do it is how a person learns who others are and how important they are to him or her through the music they make together as part of an ensemble.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?

Right now the music industry is coming to grips with the digital age. We are still seeing the transition from a generation, like previous generations, who expected a hard copy such as an LP or a CD and a generation which will hardly own any hard copies at all. My daughter is fifteen and plays guitar, piano and violin. She has about fifteen CDs, no vinyl and tons of things on her MP3 player. My son is five and he will own no hard copies of music unless I leave him my hefty collection of vinyl and CDs in my will!

And yes, I think musicians deserve to be paid for their music! It breaks my heart people think because something is digitally available it is free. My bands and I deserve to be paid for our labours and so does your band!

5) Why do use Pickboy guitar picks?

I used the Pickboy 1.00 hard pick. It never leaves your hand due to perspiration, it is balanced perfectly and the THWACK it makes against the string itself never dominates the sound. The pick is part of the sound and the music and helping you control it by the way you hold the pick, by the tightness of your grip and so forth, and the Pickboys I use stay in my hand every time. Like a loyal St. Bernard these picks do exactly as they are told! They are the best by far in my mind’s eye and I can hear this.

Learn more about Sid Giffin on Sid’s artist page.

Meet the Builder of the MxD : Joe Bochar

What was your initial inspiration the led to the MxD?

Pedals began with the need to get crunchy tones thru a tube amp at low
volumes. I was playing with some guys and the local venues were very
small… anything over 30 watts was going to be over the top as far as
volume goes. I was using an old Princeton Reverb and even that was pushing
it… sometimes it ended up being a Vox AC4 thru a 1×12 cab. I wanted to
get a crunchy, plexi-ish sound at a low volume, but I also wanted to switch
some sort of “boost” to add some extra gain/grind for solos.

Do you play an instrument?

I do play… 30 years now! I don’t have a dedicated “pedalboard”, as
much as bring things to gigs depending on who I play with. Most of the time
it’s a modded wah, and MxD for classic rock guys. For more modern stuff (or
in situations I can really go off the deep end) I will add a Whammy 2, and
an FM-4 filter pedal.

What’s the strangest request you ever received (besides this questionnaire)?

Can’t think of anything “strange”.

Who are some of the more famous users and endorsees?’

We have Larry Mitchell using the pedal.

What’s coming up in 2015?

2015 looks to be an expansion year: larger shop/working area, more
designs/expand the pedal line, some limited run pedals. Moving forward one
step at a time.

Check out some of Joe’s super nice, hand-crafted guitars on his site.

www.jbguitars.com

MxD Guitar Overdrive Distortion Pedal Part 2 – Modern Hi Gain by Neal Walter

Part 2 of Neal’s  video review of the MxD overdrive/distortion pedal.  Part 2 covers a couple heavier, modern tonal possibilities. Most players comment on how playing through the MxD “feels” like playing through an amp. The MxD is one of the most flexible overdrive/distortion pedals on the market. Built in the USA, the MxD offers 3 modes with channel switching: clean boost, overdrive or distortion in classic or modern mode. The drive and saturation knob combined with diode clipping switch makes this pedal one of the richest sounding and most flexible overdrive pedals on the market.

More info: http://www.osiamo.com/MxD

Exclusive Interview from Brazil : Samp!

1) Tell us about your musical background

Since early childhood, I started digging music from my parents CD’s, where I found my first influences: Eric Clapton, The Police & Pink Floyd.  From age of 3 to 10 that was it. I started to play guitar when I was 12 years old, a year afterwards I personally met one of my major influences on guitar: Jimmy Page. And since that day, I never put down the guitar. As s teenager I was listening to lots of different genres. I was hooked up on Joe Satriani, but I was also listening to Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B.King and Sinatra because my mother was constantly listening to them at home. While my father was passionate about Steely Dan, U2, Boston, The Rolling Stones and of course, Tom Jobim. I was definitely very influenced by Eddie Van Halen in my early twenties, and have always considered myself very hard-rock oriented. From AC/DC to Guns N’Roses, Kiss, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin.. Well the list goes on and on.. But if I had to pick just one, which is a VERY hard thing to do with so many amazing players, I would definitely pick Jimmy Page. Not only because of his music, but since I had the opportunity to personally met him, not once but several times during my teens, I can securely say he influenced me the most. Jimmy gave me so many great insights and advice. I will be forever grateful for that.

2) What are you working on now?

I am currently recording my new solo album, which will feature lots of guests from all over the globe. Some from New York, others from Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, and also a great singer from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Then, I am moving to London, UK.

3) What is the role of education in music?

Music represents so much of the culture of one nation, of a generation, of individuals. Try to put music in words.. It’s impossible. I mean, I am sure you can, but do you really think words do justice to this divine thing music is? Music has completely changed my life – has shaped me into who I am today, have kept me out of trouble and focused on what was really important for me. I have been a private guitar instructor for a bit over than 6 years now, so I have seen the impact music has caused in people’s lives. It simply changes it, for the better. The more educated and cultured people get, more positive, intelligent and respectful the society becomes and therefore, more value the profession gets, stimulating new aspiring musicians and artists. Education is everything. It would be great to see in the future, a world where schools around the globe would offer music classes.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?

As far as my understanding goes, I feel like we are in the middle of a shift, a transition, reflections from the technology revolution. The modern music industry as we know nowadays is a little older than a century, right? And music exists ever since humanity started. So what is happening right now, is a shift, a period of adaptation, which measured in time – it’s nothing if compared to all the years of existence of the music industry. Illegal downloads are being prohibited world-wide, and eventually we will get to a point where no one will ever be able to illegally download a song anymore. The world has changed a lot, and in record time actually. For example: Facebook is the largest media company in the world, but doesn’t produce any content. Air B’n’B is the biggest accommodation company in the world, but they actually don’t own any property. Same with Uber – the biggest taxi company ever, they do not own a single car in their fleet. My point being is, everything has changed. And now we are all adapting to these new circumstances, creating new rules, laws, roles, jobs and basically, doing tests so that eventually we gonna have better answers, and therefore a more solid, fair and remunerated system – or market if you will – to our music industry. I would say, I am definitely optimistic about it.

5) Why do use Pickboy picks?

Well, firstly I simply love them. I really love heavy picks, but I also like the feel of a slim pick, with a nice grip on it. It seems quite impossible to get that combination, but Pickboy just nailed it. So many great picks, the Pos-a-grip series, or the Classic one – either the Vintage or the Luminous.

Secondly, I strong believe that in an era with thousands of great players everywhere, with boosted exposure granted by the Internet era, it becomes quite hard to be highlighted as an unique player among so many great ones. Considering that, in the beginning of my career I chose build for myself a killer setup which would give me the most unique tone ever, in some sort of way. And the most important part of your tone is definitely your hands and your approach towards the guitar. Having a pick in your hands that feels so great, almost like if it was glued to your fingers, becoming part of them, it’s absolutely priceless.

samp-Pickboy-Rio

6) What gave you the idea to take Pickboy on location?

That’s a good one! Where to start..? I am very passionate about photography and I think the world we live in has lots of stunning places, and incredible landscapes. When advertising gear, usually artists take shots from the stage or inside a studio – which is cool too – but I felt like there was something missing.

I was thinking to myself, what kinda shot would be really inspiring? How can I, somehow, enrich people’s cultural lives unintentionally but at the same time, directly? Because that’s what it is. When sharing those shots, which through a common interest (in this case the Pickboy picks), connects with many others, we end up sharing the world with them. Famous sights, breath-taking landscapes from places that maybe none of them have ever been, wouldn’t dream of going, or maybe can relate to, because they have been there before or they live there – especially knowing that Pickboy is such an international brand!

So it all started when I was back in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, visiting my family, doing a few sessions, and suddenly I found myself in the middle of such an exotic city, with breath taking sightseeing places, a camera in my hands and my famous Blue Pick from Pickboy in my pocket.. You can imagine the result. After a very positive feedback from fans, I knew I had hit something and now I am constantly exploring new and exquisite places, always looking for the next shot.

Learn more about Samp here.

MxD Guitar Overdrive Distortion Pedal Demo Part 1 by Neal Walter

Watch this video review of the MxD pedal by Neal Walter to  learn about the many tonal possibilities. Most players comment on how playing through the MxD “feels” like playing through an amp. The MxD is one of the most flexible overdrive/distortion pedals on the market. Built in the USA, the MxD offers 3 modes with channel switching: clean boost, overdrive or distortion in classic or modern mode. The drive and saturation knob combined with diode clipping switch makes this pedal one of the richest sounding and most flexible overdrive pedals on the market.

More info: http://www.osiamo.com/MxD

Exclusive Interview : Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell_Credit_Andy A

1) Tell us about your musical background?
I am self taught on guitar. Although I sometimes say community taught. I used to hang out with some great guitar players and all around musicians. I understand music theory well. Reading charts , not so well. :0).  I grew up in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway Queens. Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band grew up in the Rockaways as well. He was the local rock hero and left a lasting impression on me. So was Jeff Thall from Bryan Ferry.  In high school years I got in to Prince, Nile Rogers, and a few other great guitar players.  I didn’t start thinking about tones until I played in a rock trio cover band called Currier. We did Rush and The Police songs. I had two big pedalboards to cover the wide variety of tones and special effects. Magic times for me when look back on it.

2) What are you working on now?
I produce other artists. Earlier this year I produced country gospel artist Jeanette Clarke new singles and singer songwriter Cynthia Becker’s 6 song soon to be release. But just now I’m wrapping up 5 songs I did for singer songwriter Randi Driscoll. I’ve done 3 other records and a few singles with Randi before. She’s great and I love working with her. Also I’m tracking Guitars for a new band project I’m in that I’m really excited about. It has Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy and Stewart Copeland from The Police in it. We tracked some stuff back in March and I’m adding to that now. Other than that I’m enjoying my time off the road but also gearing up to get back on the road with my trio And head across the USA ;0)

3) What is the role of education in music?
Education is extremely Important. There’s so many things involved. It’s good to learn not only how to play but finances, business, web design and marketing are almost as important as scales and chord clusters. But learn the scales and cord clusters first. Keeping music on any level in schools is a big thing with me. I sometimes work with a org called “Guitars in the Classroom” please google them and see if you can help join or contribute in any way.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
It’s a great time and a hard time to be in music right now. Technology is moving so fast. It’s amazing. The possibilities are staggering. Figuring out how to make a living and stand out in this time period can be intimidating. But it’s great that you can write a song and multitrack record it on your tablet and video that on your smart phone. Master it on your laptop and up load it to the iTunes Store and YouTube, all in a day. But then how do you get people to listen and view it. And then to …… Pay for it (buy it)?

5) Why do you use or what do you like about the MxD pedal?
I love pedals I have quite a few still. It’s great to have a pedal that I can plug right into a small Fender-ish type amp and at the click of a button go from that Fender clean to a full on Plexi style tone. It excels at getting that narly British crunch out if a small clean amp. Works pretty great with a plexi as well.

Rockready debuts at Bass Day London 2015

Jason Ed Rockready

Jason How and Ed Matthiack at Bass Day London 2015

It was an exciting weekend in London topped with the debut of Rockready. Jason How of Rotosound introduced the Rockready Volo gig bag, Snap Strap, and Ultrastrap to a receptive crowd at Bass Day. More on Rockready in a minute.

The highlight of the show were 3 crowd stopping appearances at the Rotosound booth by Doug Wimbish, Mark King, and Billy Sheehan. Each signed autographs for long queues of waiting fans. The attendees were also treated to master classes by Doug, Mark, and Billy.

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Mixed in with all the artist excitement was Rockready’s debut. Rotosound will distribute exclusive the Rockready line for the UK.

The Rockready line — designed by musicians for musicians — looks to innovate some everyday tools that musicians use. First up the Volo gig bag which addresses many issues with some simple and elegant solutions. Dedicated phone pocket that’s easy to reach, place to keep your keys, backpack style straps for comfort with a chest clip for long treks, reflective piping for nighttime safety, locking zipper for security, neck holder, body protector, and the list goes on. There is also an optional Tote bag with dedicated iPad or tablet pocket perfect for breaking out of session or one it’s own.

Osiamo Shipping Guide

Or What’s the Best Way to Ship that $10,000 Guitar?

Shipping Options:

The proliferation of used or vintage instruments and gear being sold online through the various outlets like ebay, reverb and criagslist has the average musician becoming a mini-shipping center. I’ve become intimately familiar with how the different carriers work. I’ve used USPS, FedEx, and UPS to ship packages and I’ve learned a few things about how to maximize your buck.

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Step 1 – Where to start – THE BOX

This may be the most important step. The right box is the difference between a boring delivery (like a boring plane ride!) or a nightmare. The average guitar box dimension is 40x16x8. The average bass box dimension is 50x20x8. That size box will accommodate a gig bag or hard shell case with copious amounts space for bubble wrap and/or stryo-peanuts. The rule of thumb is: ‘if you think you have used enough packing material….keep going’.

photo 2

This is a Taurus Amp I shipped in the wrong box. Believe it or not it still worked!

Because of that, you must package your items well. The last thing you want to do is file a shipping claim. The communications with the buyer and the courier can take many hours out of your life. If your claimed is denied you may have to refund the buyer and now you own a damaged  instrument. Who needs that?

packing peanuts on top of inside box

You may ask,  ‘where do I find the right box?  The best place is your local guitar shop. They receive and  discard boxes every day. Also if you every receive a guitar or bass bass box you should save it for a rainy day. Recycling is also the most responsible thing we can do for our planet!

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19″ rack mountable pro audio needs the appropriate box as well. In fact, you’ll add point$ to your sale if you advertise, “in original box with all box candies”. Rack ears have a tendency to get bent during shipping without the proper box and packing. I save all of the packing peanuts and bubble wrap that I receive for future packaging. The rule of thumb here is, ‘can the unit survive a shoulder height drop?’

Step 2- Which courier should  use – UPS, FEDEX or USPS?

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That depends on so many factors.

Damage Control: Each situation is going to be judged by your dynamics in your area. For some people their local USPS mail carrier may the worse choice because of mishandling of over worked employees. For others, the same holds true for UPS or FEDEX. So by trial and error you’ll figure out which service works best for you in your area. Many times the buyer will request you don’t use a particular service. Usually that’s because of their personal experiences.

Price: When it comes down to price it’s pretty hard to beat USPS. They are pretty much always going to be less expensive than UPS or FEDEX. I personally find that USPS-Priority Mail is my “go to” choice. Cross country shipping is killer. I do a lot of shipping to the Left Coast and USPS is by far cheaper.

ground Air-Freight-Need-Not-Be-Expensive

How do I ship? – ground or air: This depends on how large/heavy the package, what’s the value  is and how far it’s going. If its really large or heavy (like a 410 bass cabinet) USPS-Parcel Post may be the best way. Warning: It’s a really SLOW service. I have seen an instrument take 10 business days to be delivered intra-state. Don’t expect accurate tracking until the package arrives at the buyers post office for local delivery. If it’s really expensive then it’s definitely going in the air. Likewise if it is a small package going cross country then it’s in better off in the air.

International-Shipping

International Shipping: Again this is a case by case scenario. Some countries like China or Japan have very strong mail options. While the mail doesn’t work very well in some countries like Italy. Other countries in Europe still have a strong DHL presence. It’s always best to give your buyer a shipping quote.

Courier Relationships – If you are going to be ‘faithful’ to a particular courier then it’s best to setup an account. This will allow you to get better discounts and print labels on line.

Step 3 – Do I insure?

Always, every time. In most cases the buyer is paying for shipping. Just work the insurance price into the freight cost. If you are paying for shipping just bite the bullet. USPS insures automatically up to certain $ amount. I implore you to insure no matter what.

The Bottom Line:

Shipping like a pro is not that difficult. My mission statement is that I ship in manner that reflects how I would like to receive a package. It’s about details and communication. I always forward tracking # ASAP to my buyers. This is just a professional courtesy I extend.

Keep in mind that you can do every thing right and a package can still be damaged or lost. So don’t forget, Sleep Well……. INSURE EVERYTHING!!!!!!

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To Recap:

  • Use recycled packing materials, pack items extremely well so that there’s no rattling
  • Use the best carrier and service for your particular dynamic
  • Consider : Cost vs. Time vs. Damage Possibility
  • Share tracking #’s with customer ASAP
  • Always insure!

The Taurus StompHead Revolution Starts Now

We’re are always looking for the next BIG thing, the new trend, THE hot product. Whatever you like to call it, it’s out there waiting to be discovered. After putting together our shared notes from the NAMM show we realized that we might already have that product!

The StompHead from Taurus, the originator’s of the new “floor amps” category, breaks the “where to put your amp rule” and has started what we believe will become an industry leading revolution. The advantages of having your amp where you can see it and control it are obvious and coupled with our stomp design completely upends conventional thinking. Never before have guitar players had this much control of their sound in such a small, light and portable package.

The Revolution starts now!

Osiamo, the company that has forwarded the micro pedal revolution into the collective musical consciousness, is now championing the StompHead.

Randall Amps and BluGuitars have already responded and introduced their own take on the genre. And there is a rumor that TC Electronics (always late to the party) is about to jump on the band wagon as well.

The SIMPLE Reasons why you need a StompHead from Taurus.

  • Small. Easy to fit next to your pedal board on stage.
  • Ingenious. Proprietary design includes tube and tube modeled power section.
  • Mobile. Easy to pack for Fly dates or gigs around town!
  • Powerful. And Loud. Up to 70 Watts of power!
  • Light. Won’t break your back.
  • Ergonomic. Your tone at your feet, always.

Oh, and we saved possibly the best reason reason for last : The StompHead won’t break  your bank account. Starting at only $399 for our 1.BL on up to our Flagship 4.SL and 4.HG that both crank out an amazing 70 watts of tube power while boasting tons of professional and studio class features like line out with speaker sim, voltage selector  (115V / 230V), channel switching, effects loops, power brake to 40 watts, cabinet impedance selector, and the list goes on…

Click here to take a closer look now at the range of Taurus Stompheads.

We think you’ll find in the Taurus StompHead just what you’re looking for.

The future is here, set a course to join us.

2015 NAMM Recap from Osiamo

NAMM 2015 Anaheim CA

Did you attend the 2015 Winter NAMMM show? If not let us wrap up what’s new and improved with the Osiamo Music Gear family of brands.

 

Rockready Takes NAMM 2015 By Storm!

ComRockready Stormtroops NAMM 2015ing soon from Rockready a full range of gig tested guitar accessories for the performing musician. First up, the Rockready Aereo gig bag, available in guitar and bass versions. Neal Walter received some great feedback about the bag from NAMM attendees.

  • Dealers ask us about exclusive territories
  • Available March 2015!

 

The Compdriver : New from Dr J!

ThDr J CompDrivere “COMPDRIVER” is a signature pedal of Dr J endorsee, Jose de Castro. This new Dr J pedal combines an overdrive and a compressor effect. With the two 2-way switches you can control the position of the compressor (before or after the overdrive), or you can turn it off. The tone of the overdrive was sculpted with Jose’s input. The overdrive is very clear and rises above your band when you kick it in!

 

 

The Dr J Pedal Lover Amp

“Pedal LoveDr J Pedal Lover Ampr”, a new Tube Amplifier, by compact pedal master Dr. J, specially designed for pedal users for use in small space occasions. With excellent tone reducibility and compatibility the Pedal Lover Amp can embody the tone of pedals and electric guitar at a very high level. Elegant white appearance makes it easy to co-ordinate with home decor perfectly.

The amp uses a CLASSIC A circuit design and the cabinet a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker giving excellent performance, and clear tone and distortion. There is no need to worry about neighbors knocking on your door. By using a switchable output power between 3.5W and 1W you can get outstanding tone at any volume. Best choice for compact pedal users!

 

Mooer Micro LooperMooer Introduces the Micro Looper

The Mooer Micro Looper pedal packs 30 minutes of recording and unlimited overdubbing into a micro pedal size! The foot switch can be used to select record, play, stop, layer recordings, and delete recordings.The Mooer micro looper pedal is constructed with a full metal shell and is powered by a DC 9V adapter power supply (not included).

Stay tuned for the first look video from Neal next week!

Click here for more details on the Mooer Micro Looper.

 

 

 

Osiamo Artists hanging at NAMM 2015

Some of our artists were out at NAMM. So far we’ve these pictures. If you where there and we didn’t meet up, send us an image of you “hanging @ NAMM” and we’ll post it. 🙂

Stew Cutler NAMM 2015

Guitarist Stew Cutler at Mooer booth NAMM 2015

Guitarist Tommy Bolan at Mooer booth NAMM 2015

Guitarist Tommy Bolan at Mooer booth NAMM 2015