Andy Powers - Master Builder at Taylor Guitars

In this interview, meet Taylor Guitars master builder Andy Powers. Meeting and getting to talk with the luthier involved in the development of all the guitars at Taylor was very interesting to understand more how a huge player in the industry like Taylor operates. In fact Taylor builds around 600 guitars per day with an unsurpassed level of quality in the industry.

Taylor Guitars website: www.taylorguitars.com

Taylor master builder - Adam Powers interview
Here's the full interview with Adam Powers.

The Hofner Zane Carney signature model was presented to Zane for the very first time during the NAMM 2016. Zane was super excited about the instrument during the interview. We took the opportunity to talk about his latest projects, his views on this NAMM, the upcoming album he is preparing and, of course, this brand new guitar. No doubt we will hear a lot about Zane during this year as he seems to be always working on several projects.

NAMM 2016 Day 2 – The big day of the show

NAMM 2016 Day 2: the big day! This is the key date for the show as it's the best time to do business before the Tsunami of people and decibels during the upcoming week-end.

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NAMM 2016 Day 1 - The Guitar Channel report
NAMM 2016 Day 1 – The Guitar Channel report

NAMM 2016 Day 1: go! The great annual show of the industry of music instruments and peripheral industries (sound system, wiring, interface, etc.) opened for its winter edition at the Anaheim Convention Center. Indeed the US NAMM comes in two flavors: the Winter NAMM who is held in Los Angeles and the Summer NAMM held in Nashville.

The NAMM is as big as last year, no big change on that part. Some booths are bigger from one year to the other and the opposite for others.

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2016 Winter NAMM - The Guitar Channel
Winter NAMM: the game plan for 2016

For the second consecutive year, The Guitar Channel will be covering the Winter NAMM, held in Los Angeles in Anaheim next to Disney.

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Interview done of the luthier Doug Kauer from Kauer Guitars during the 2015 winter NAMM show.

Doug Kauer's guitars

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I had the opportunity to interview twice before Paul Reed Smith but doing another interview at NAMM was too good an opportunity to pass as it's always fascinating to talk guitar with him.

Themes discussed in the interview with Paul Reed Smith

His best and worse memories of the past NAMM shows
Favorite NAMM survival tip
The differences between the Musikmesse and the NAMM
What’s new for PRS this year
A look back on the past of PRS
The process to develop a new idea for his guitars

The others interview of Paul are available here.

 

 

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Interview with luthier Dennis Fano from the Premier Builders Guild during the 2015 Winter NAMM show.

Subjects discussed in the interview

His best and worse memories of the past NAMM show editions
His favorite NAMM show survival tips
His first guitar
How he became a guitar builder
On which style of music the Fano guitars are usually used
Is there competition among the different Premier Builders Guild?
Why guitar players should consider more the boutique brands than the big name?

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During the 2015 winter NAMM show I had the pleasure to meet and interview the legendary Saul Koll who was then producing his instruments within the Premier Builders Guild.

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Mark Bartel interview , tone guru for Tone King amps
Mark Bartel interview , tone guru for Tone King Amps

I had several times in the past the opportunity to play on Tone King amps (www.toneking.com): they sound great.

In 2014 I did a first interview with Nik Huber from Huber Guitars at the Musikmesse, as he is also an exhibitor at the winter NAMM show we recorded the video interview you can see below.

You enjoyed this interview and are looking for more from the NAMM?

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I use a Plextortion pedal on my pedalboard for the heavy guitar sounds so while at the NAMM I jumped on the opportunity to interview Brian Wampler the founder of Wampler Pedals.

While visiting the Ernie Ball Music Man booth at the 2015 winter NAMM I stumbled on Country guitar legend Albert Lee. We did a quick Instagram selfie then I asked him he was willing to do a quick interview on the spot, he accepted graciously. We found a place to sit and here we went!  

Zane Carney interview about the 2015 NAMM show and more
Zane Carney interview about the 2015 NAMM show and more

Zane Carney interview full 35min video interview

Get your Backstage Pass to watch the interview!

Subjects covered in the interview

Latest update from Zane
All the discoveries Zane did during the 2015 NAMM show
All the info about his collaboration with Hofner for a signature model
Demo of the Jazzica prototype guitar
What to be expected during his european tour
Upcoming news of news music to expect in 2015

Zane demoing his Hofner Jazzica

Can't wait to see Zane live in Paris, hopefully something will happen.

Gene Baker is a very famous guitar builder with a huge experience in the field. He now leads B3 Guitars his own brand within the Premier Builders Guild. He has a very rich career in the guitar building business. He worked for many guitar greats such as Robben Ford.

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Bill Krinard interview, Two Rock amps tone guru
Bill Krinard interview, Two Rock Amps tone guru at the 2015 NAMM show

During the 2015 NAMM show I had the pleasure to meet and interview tone guru Bill Krinard who his the mastermind behind the Two-Rock amps (www.two-rock.com).

While I was in Los Angeles for the 2015 NAMM show, I met completely by chance Grover Jackson one morning in the alleys of the show even though he did not have a booth with GJ2 Guitars. He proposed me right away to come and visit their workshop in Orange County, no need to say I jumped on the opportunity.

I am a big fan of the work of Tom Anderson as I think he builds with his team amongst the best superstrat of the market.

Here's the interview done with Ola Englund from Sweden at the 2015 NAMM show.

2015 NAMM – Photo album day 4 #Backstage

Photo albums

Day 1 
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (this post)

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2015 NAMM – Photo album day 3 #Backstage

Photo albums

Day 1 
Day 2
Day 3 (this post)
Day 4

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2015 NAMM – Photo album day 2 #Backstage

Photo albums

Day 1 
Day 2 (this post)
Day 3
Day 4

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2015 NAMM – Photo album day 1 #Backstage

Photo albums

Day 1 (this post)
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

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Here's the video interview done for the Zakk Wylde interview during the 2015 NAMM show. Zakk had just announced a couple of days before the opening of the NAMM that he was launching a line of musical products starting with electric guitars and amps under the brand Wylde Audio.

Here is the summary of the first Winter NAMM show covered for The Guitar Channel. I went several times the Musikmesse, so going to the NAMM was a logical step in the development of The Guitar Channel. I have not been disappointed with this trip to Anaheim: plenty of cool meetings, 20 interviews (see below), photos by the hundred (to be found on the private community), and a good dose of decibels every day!

Full list of interviews

Here's the list of the 20 interviews done during this 2015 Winter NAMM. Most of them are in English.

Summary of Day 1

Perhaps the quietest day proportionately at NAMM since all exhibitors are fresh and that the volume is not yet entirely delusional. I focused for the first day on the hall E which includes the "small" manufacturers (such as the luthier Doug Kauer) and level 2 of the convention center where there were for example the guys from the Premier Builders Guild. Interviews of the day The selection of pictures of the day [caption id="attachment_4677" align="aligncenter" width="500"]ESPangel A 75k$ angel guitar by ESP[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4678" align="aligncenter" width="500"]PRS30 A gorgeous dragon 30th anniversary guitar from PRS[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4679" align="aligncenter" width="500"]GodinP90 A cool douple P90 single cut design guitar from Godin[/caption] Backstage Pass bonus: a 205 photo album for the full story of that first day back on the private community.

Day 2

I'm beginning to get the measure of the immensity of the NAMM. I knew this show was huge but it's true that it takes a lot of walking to get from one end to the other of the different halls. Some interviews were planned weeks ahead while others were completly improvised on the spot such as the ones with the Country guitar living Albert Lee Country and with Pascal Mulot, a leading French bass players. The selection of pictures of the day [caption id="attachment_4686" align="aligncenter" width="500"]SelfieLeePJ A selfie with Albert Lee[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4675" align="aligncenter" width="500"]TeleGib A Telegib replica by Seymour Duncan[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4674" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Luke A gorgeous Luke guitar from Ernie Ball Music Man[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4676" align="aligncenter" width="500"]WashburnSwedish One of the Ola Englund signature model with Washburn[/caption] Backstage Pass bonus: an album of 40 photographs for the full report of the second day found on the private community. Interviews of the day

Day 3

Here we start to get into the core part of the show because it is Saturday with a huge number of people in the aisles. NAMM is normally a trade only show but the weekend is a like a big party for all of Los Angeles. So we have an incredible crowd which sometimes makes it difficult to move around. A beautiful harvest of interviews for that day, however with no less than six interviews conducted. The selection of pictures of the day [caption id="attachment_4680" align="aligncenter" width="500"]TripleNeck You get to see all kind of guitars during the NAMM![/caption] [caption id="attachment_4673" align="aligncenter" width="500"]BcRich A cool pair of BC Rich guitars[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4672" align="aligncenter" width="500"]ZakkWylde Zakk Wylde in front of the line of gear he was introducing with Wyldeaudio[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4685" align="aligncenter" width="500"]JamesTrussartselfie Selfie with James Trussart[/caption] Backstage Pass bonus: an album of 110 photos for the full report of the third day to recover the private community. Interviews of the day

Day 4

Always a great weather to start this last day of show. I must admit that it's nice to enjoy the winter sun. 5 interviews that day with a special mention for the visit of Grover Jackson workshop in Orange County thanks to Eric Labire from Music & Sons. I had already made an audio interview with Grover but to meet him and to visit his shop to make a new video interview over 20min and try some guitars is one of my best memories of this trip. The selection of pictures of the day [caption id="attachment_4681" align="aligncenter" width="500"]DevinTwoNotes Nice group photo from left to right: Simon Depys (Two-Notes), Guillaume Pille (Two Notes), Devin Townsend, Renaud Louis-Servais and yours truly[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4682" align="aligncenter" width="500"]SelfieGroverPJ Selfie with Grover Jackson[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4683" align="aligncenter" width="500"]SelfieGuillaumePJ Selfie with Guillaume Pille, CEO for Two Notes[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4684" align="aligncenter" width="500"]TomAndersonRenaud Tom Anderson with Renaud Louis-Servais[/caption] Backstage Pass bonus: a photo album 45 for the full story of that day up on the private community. Interviews of the day

Thanks

Before concluding I would like to especially thank Guillaume Pille from Two-Notes who gave me lots of good information to prepare my first Californian expedition. His information were invaluable throughout the show. He also introduced me to some stars of the guitar such as Devin Townsend or Tom Quayle. A big thank you to Julien Bitoun which also gave me a lot of good tips to make the most of this NAMM making me enjoy the experience of seasoned journalist used to cover this kind of event.

Conclusion

Difficult to summarize in a few lines such a rich experience. I went to NAMM in observation mode for the first time, the results have far exceeded my expectations, 20 interviews top quality (yes, I said this out loud!) : I really did not expect to be able to do that many. The proliferation of stars in all corners of the aisle is really striking. As said Julien Bitoun nicely when you think you recognize a star at NAMM, it is probably that very star. And always very accessible. I was able to do totally improvised interviews with Albert Lee, Tom Anderson or Grover Jackson. I had a blast to bathe in this whirlwind of decibels and guitar for 4 days! NAMM is a beautiful well-oiled marketing machine. The organization is top notch. From the excellent mobile app, to areas well equipped for the Press or even the free WiFi available on much of the convention center, it is high class stuff and it allows to work in very good conditions. So will I go back next year? Most likely. Pierre. SelfieNAMM_PJ [s2If !current_user_can(access_s2member_level0)]
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Summary of my the 2015 Winter NAMM

Well, here we are, the American adventure of The Guitar Channel starts in a few hours! The NAMM show means a lot for musicians in general and especially for guitarists as it is a major event that has strong impact, especially on our respective gear fantasies! Indeed it is often during this event dedicated to the music industry in Los Angeles, California in January that are launched instruments, amps, effects, accessories, etc. that will make us dream throughout the year.

Logistics and planing

For me beeing present at the NAMM is the opportunity to meet musicians, luthiers and manufacturers impossible to interview otherwise because they do not come to France. As for the Musikmesse where I go every year, I tried to optimize my time on setting up of a maximum of appointments while keeping some availability for what is difficult to predict: an impromptu interview with star, a cool demo to shoot, the discussions with the countless pros of the music business that will be on site, etc. The airfare and hotel are booked long time. Wanting absolutely to limit the budget, I opted to avoid to rent a car, so I took a relatively hotel near the Convention Center allowing me to go on foot. MapNAMM

The interviews planned

I will not list here the appointments already set because I know how that can change at the last moment. Suffice it to say that there will be big names of the six (and four!) strings, great guitar manufacturers and effects and instrument makers. I also intend to shoot some video chronicle with my "special envoys" on the spot: they are musicians I've interviewed in the past and who are on site. This is an opportunity to have multiple views of the same event. As this is my first NAMM, I'm also going there in observation mode. Indeed although my past experience during several Musikmesse allow me to anticipate in part how it will happen, everyone agrees that the Winter NAMM (as opposed to Summer NAMM being held in Nashville summer) is a whole other planet. We'll see.

How to have the latest news from The Guitar Channel

Depending on the data connection I will have on my iPhone, I'll do a live coverage on Twitter on @theguitarchnnl and on my Instagram account theguitarchnnl. InstagramTheguitarchnnl Every day I will also upload my harvest of images on a photo albums reserved for the Backstage Pass owners on the Google+ private community. I will be your eyes on site! Here's an example with pictures taken in Berlin during the Holy Grail Guitar Show: ExemplesPhotosHGGS

Get the Backstage Pass

A 6-day stay in Los Angeles is a budget of about US$ 2,300. This is a big financial gamble that I took so if you are on the verge of taking a Backstage Pass or supporting the show on the Patreon page, now would be a great time! :-) Don't forget that The Guitar Channel is completely independent, 100% passion and 0% ads with the only revenues coming from the Backstage Pass owners and backers on Patreon. Until I see you among the backstagers, I go back to the final preparations for this week which promises to be exciting. Pierre. PS: if you are onsite ping me on Twitter @theguitarchnnl or on the Facebook page!

Support the show on the Patreon page for the price of a coffee per month.

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NAMM show: D-day minus 1