By Martina Fasano
Yngwie Malmsteen. Steve Vai. Zakk Wylde. Nuno Bettencourt. Tosin Abasi. Any one of those names mentioned individually is enough to have shredders of any generation sit up and take notice. Imagine all five of the aforementioned individuals going on tour together? That’s exactly what the Generation Axe tour is doing starting April 5, 2016. Hitting a total of 27 cities in North America, the guitar-driven firepower of some of the best guitarists ever to lay hands on the instrument is sure to delight guitar fans of all ages.
I remember lying on the floor in my room as a teenager and creating “dream line ups” for bands that I would create if I ever became a famous rock. Who would I recruit? Then my friends would take turns and we’d pass what seemed like hours proposing these never-gonna-happen lineups made up of the guitar heroes we looked up to.
The Generation Axe tour is precisely that dream line up that so many of us would have come up with, except it’s real. The guitarists on the tour have their own solo work to be admired, but they have also played with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, David Lee Roth, Frank Zappa, Animals as Leaders, Black Label Society and Extreme, just to name a very few. Some of these individuals have been so prolific in their careers that they have single-handedly innovated or pioneered various gear – signature guitars, signature pickups, amplifiers, and even their own instrument lines.
We’re proud to be a part of the “gear solution” for several of the guitar heroes embarking on this historic tour.
Yngwie Malmsteen has been a long-time user of his own signature Seymour Duncan YJM Fury set of pickups in all of his now-famous scalloped fretboard Fender Stratocasters, and if you think you’ve got the chops to try and keep up with Yngwie (we dare you!) then you can grab yourself a set o or Yngwie Loaded Pickguard to start your journey off in the right direction. Check out Chris Brooks demoing these pickups here:
Tosin Abasi is currently playing his 8-string, signature model Ibanez with a set of prototype pickups from Seymour Duncan, and in the past has been using the Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentient combination in his guitars to get the note separation, clarity, and crunch needed for his virtuosic playing with Animals as Leaders. Here’s Tosin playing “The Woven Web” using the Pegasus and Sentient at our NAMM booth this year.
Nuno Bettencourt likes to use a ‘59 pickup in the neck position, and pairs that with a Duncan Distortion pickup in his 7-string guitars. We had a chat with Nuno about his Washburn N7 7-string a while back, which you can read here.
Perhaps you wish that you could tell the axe-wielding gods of guitar in your own words how they would have made your teenage “dream lineup” band. Good news. The Generation Axe tour is also offering some VIP Meet & Greet packages. Some include a first row ticket, meet and greet photo with all of the artists, tour of the guitars and stage, VIP-only merch items and laminate (those lanyards make you instantly cool if you wear them right, you know!), and a limited edition signed (and numbered) Generation Axe poster.
Check out the tour dates for the Generation Axe tour here and for all you tone seekers, be sure to check out the Seymour Duncan gear being used on the tour!