Blog »


Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - June 16, 2019

Metallica. Photo Credit: Harald Oimoen, from the book Murder in the Front Row: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter.

Earlier this week, one of the most famous Rock’n’Roll Fathers Ray Burton, Father of the late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, sat down with Gibson’s Mark Agnesi  to reminisce about Cliff Burton’s musical history and what it means to be the Dad of a child who shows interest in pursuing a career in music.

Credits to photographers Brian Lew and Harald Oimoen, Mark Weiss, Kevin Kitt and Vidz-R-Us for sharing photos of Cliff and to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for providing video.

read more >


Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - June 14, 2019

GH Music is excited to announce new ownership of the business. As of July 1, 2019, owners of Macron Music will take control of the GH Music store and website, to further grow Macron Music as an Australian leader in musical instrument sales.

Located just outside Melbourne’s CBD, GH Music is an iconic Australian Music Shop that has a history starting all the way back in 1962 – when Billy Hyde created the beginning of his Music Store empire throughout Australia.

After selling the Billy Hyde name and business to investors in 2007, Garry Hyde couldn’t resist the opportunity to re-open this iconic music shop location in Flemington under his own name and continue the legacy his father left on the very same site.

Anthony Ursino of Macron Music has a systematic and cut-throat paced presence and his success with the online market here in Australia left Garry knowing his business was in good hands and ready to tackle the new generation of retail methodology.

This expansion gives customers around Australia more of what they love, organised in a way that saves time and frustration. Highly organised logistics are being setup so customers around Australia can have their experience streamlined, with more buying choice and more expertise across the massive range of instruments for every style and sized player.

Both Macron and GH will continue to trade as usual from their locations in NSW and VIC. We are vastly expanding our range over the coming weeks and months, so we would love to see you and show you how we can be a part of your musical journey.

read more >


Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 14, 2019

Jess Spahr isn’t your run of the mill musician. Jess picked up the violin at the age of 6, going on  to train as a classical pianist. Young Jess started winning eisteddfods all around Sydney, receiving countless awards and high fives along the way. Fast forward to 2018 and Jess…

read more >


Posted in Blog, Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - June 13, 2019

Fender Music Australia
have announced the launch of the latest in their Rarities Series, the Koa Flame Ash Top Stratocaster. 

It features a two-piece ash body with a flame koa top and a one-piece, quartersawn European maple neck. The custom Tim Shaw overwound 59 gold-foil single-coil pickups are warm and clear, while the Shaw custom Filter’Tron™-style humbucking pickup delivers a powerful, articulate voice. The “Modern C”-shaped quartersawn neck delivers classic Strat tone while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard and narrow-tall frets make it comfortable to play.

Future Rarities Series models will include a Chambered Flame Top Tele in July and an American Original ‘60s Quilt Top Tele in August as part of the series, with further releases due throughout the year.

read more >


Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - June 13, 2019

Tim Rogers, Davey Lane and Ashley Naylor have put together an all-star band to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Who’s break through album of 1969, “Tommy”, which they will perform in June as “Captain Walker’s Unborn Children”. Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips sat down at Memo Music Hall with self-confessed…

read more >


Posted in Articles, Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - June 12, 2019

Stars pic by Richard Hogan

The Melbourne Guitar Show will once again celebrate the Melbourne and Australian guitar community on August 3 & 4, 2019 at Caulfield Racecourse. Proudly presented by Triple M, Australian Musician, and 3PBS the lineup boasts an impressive haul of both local and international artists. In addition to world class performances from the artists on this massive lineup, #MGS2019 will also present a massive gear expo that will feature a huge variety of electric and acoustic guitars, effects pedals, amps and more state-of-the-art guitar technology, both home-grown and from around the world. See, Try and Buy! It will continue to be Australia’s biggest guitar pop-up shop, and that’s not all. The Melbourne Guitar Show will host information seminars, demonstrations, and live performances from Australia’s most talented guitarists and you can now buy tickets HERE

The full program for the 2019 Melbourne Guitar Show is still in development, with some more artists yet to be named and times yet to be locked in. Hopefully it will be available next week.

HOWEVER, to assist you with your ticket booking decisions, here’s a list of artists and the days they will be appearing at the show, either in performance or demo/session.

This list is subject to change but it’s where we are at right now!


SIMON HOSFORD’S FAIR WARNING (Playing Van Halen’s debut album)
HAMMOND TRIO: Rob Papp, Jon Wade, Rob Mercer.
Nick Charles, Shannon Bourne, Minnie Marks, Ash Grunwald, Phil Manning, Charlie Bedford, Corey Legge, Anna Scionti, Liz Frenchman

SUNDAY AUGUST 4. 10am-4pm

Nick Charles, Lloyd Spiegel, Van Larkins, Chris Finnen, Sergio Ercole, Adam Miller
Mal Eastick, Charlie Bedford, Dennis Jones (USA), Simon Hosford, Rod Bustos (Bass), (Marcus Ryan (drums)


NotePre-purchased ticket prices apply for tickets purchased up until 11.59pm on Friday 2 August. After this time, Door prices apply.

Adult Day Pass: Door Price $25 (Pre-purchased $20) (Day pass, valid for either Saturday or Sunday)

Family Day Pass: Door Price $50 (Pre-purchased $40) Family ticket for Saturday OR Sunday for 2 adults and 2 children under 15

Concession Day Pass: Door Price $15 (Pre-purchased $10) with Valid Student, Senior, Concession card (Valid for Saturday OR Sunday)

Adult Weekend Pass: Door Price $35 (Pre-purchased $30) (Valid for Saturday and Sunday)

Concession Weekend Pass: Door Price $20 (Pre-purchased $15) with Valid Student, Senior, Concession card (Valid for both Saturday AND Sunday)

Note: Children under 12yo are free when accompanied by a paying adult 


read more >


Posted in Blog, Melbourne guitar Show News    //    Post Date - June 12, 2019

Australian Musician has covered the She Rocks Awards (honouring women in the American music industry) since its inception 9 years go. It was with great delight that we heard about the arrival of an Australian version making its debut last year. Following a wildly successful inaugural year in 2018, the Australian Women in Music Awards will return on 
8 and 9 October, shining a light once more on the incredible accomplishments of women across the Australian music industry. This year’s AWMAs are better and stronger, with three new award categories – classical music, music journalism and image making.

Last year’s event saw industry leaders and emerging Australian icons descend on the Brisbane Powerhouse and come away triumphant, with artists including Amy Shark, Jen Cloher and NGAIIRE all taking home awards, while performances by the likes of Kate Ceberano, Emily Wurramara, Katie Noonan, Adalita and Do Re Mi ensured that the inaugural Australian Women in Music Awards was one to remember.

This year’s categories include three new awards for Excellence in Classical Music, Music Journalist Award and Excellence in Image Making. Producers, Engineers, Film Makers, Photographers, Songwriters, Industry Leaders, Artist Managers and more are set to be acknowledged and celebrated in their own right at this year’s ceremony – recognition that has gone untapped in an industry built on creativity and strength. Nominations are open now, with winners decided by a curated panel of expert jurors.

Tickets to the 2019 AWMAs, to be held in Queensland at the Brisbane Powerhouse, are on sale now. Tickets for individual events, including music industry forums and keynote speaker, as well as the Awards Ceremony & Concert, are available separately or as part of discount packages. Concessions are also available. Tickets Here

Bringing a long overdue spotlight to the vast number of women and female identities working tirelessly behind the scenes has been at the centre of the AWMAs core ethos. Ensuring that all communities across Australia’s music industry are seen, celebrated and given the space to thrive and relish in the opportunity to have their work acknowledged so publicly, remains a priority for 2019’s event.

“Inclusivity is a major priority for AWMA. We are working closely with diverse groups of women across all areas of the industry, including First Nations and culturally diverse women, LGBTQI and many others” said Vicki Gordon AWMA Founding Executive Director


As well as the wards component, this year’s event also includes the AWMA Forum Series. Three forums featuring industry leaders from across the sector and diverse opinion makers will be held at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Forum topics include:

• Visibility in Hip Hop – Women on the Front Line
• The Art of Rebellion -The Intersection of Music and Politics
• Image Making – The Changing Face of Music

Further details on the forums is available at


The following categories have been developed in consultation with music industry professionals, First Nations Elders, and specialist researchers:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to a female artist or musician who has made an outstanding artistic contribution to the field of recording and/or live performance during her lifetime.

Humanitarian Award
Recognises an individual (female, male and GNC) who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education, and/or assisting female artists working in remote and/or regional communities.

Diversity in Music Award
Recognises individual artists or female-driven musical collaborations for their contribution to advancing a culturally diverse and inclusive music industry.

Studio Production Award
Recognises a female sound engineer or producer who has made contributions of outstanding significance in the studio recording environment.

Live Production Award
Recognises a female working in a live production or touring environment making significant impact in her field: Includes Tour Management, Live Sound, Lighting, Backstage and Roadcrew.

Music Leadership Award
Recognises a female Industry Leader, Managing Director, Label Manager, A&R Director, Artist Manager or Publisher making significant impact in music industry leadership.

Songwriter Award
Recognises an outstanding female songwriter or composer.

Emerging Artist Award
Acknowledges an outstanding emerging female artist.

Music Photographer Award
Recognises a female music photographer currently working in the field and to acknowledge her body of work.

Film-maker Award
Recognises a female music videographer, clip-maker, film-maker, or music animator currently working in the field and to acknowledge her body of work.

Artistic Excellence Award
Recognises exceptional creative achievement from a female artist/musician across any genre.

Excellence in Classical Music Award*
Recognises a mid-to-late career female classical music artist who has demonstrated musical excellence throughout her career.
*Includes conductors and artists working in the field of Opera.

Music Journalist Award
Recognises a female music journalist, blogger or editor who has made a creative contribution and courageous impact in truth telling and innovative reporting in the Australian Music Industry.

Excellence in Image Making Award
Recognises a female hair and/or makeup artist and/or stylist* working to change the face of music visually to break down gender, race and social cultural stereo types.
*Stylist to include those working within costume and/or wardrobe activity

Creative Leadership Award
A curatorial award recognising excellence in creative programming from women working in broadcast media, a music festival or live performance/venue to champion female artists.

The Australian Women in Music Awards are made possible with the proud support of the Queensland Government and Canon.| #AWMA2019

read more >


Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - June 12, 2019

Fresh off a triumphant seven-city North America tour, which included a stop at the famous Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Vampires have unveiled the brand new song “The Boogieman Surprise.” At the aforementioned L.A. performance, Steven Tyler, the Aerosmith frontman and long-time musical partner of Joe Perry, turned up for a guest appearance, as did Marilyn Manson. Johnny Depp took lead vocals on Bowie’s “Heroes” and the “world’s most expensive bar band,” as proclaimed by Alice Cooper, delivered a live master class of rock ‘n’ roll, which included their newest track “The Boogieman Surprise.”

The song has been part of the band’s live set since the 2018 world tour and is a highlight of every Hollywood Vampires live show. Written by the band, it features the undeniable chemistry between rock and roll royalty Perry, Hollywood superstar Depp and shock rock icon Cooper. A laid back groove, grinding guitars, and smooth strings create an epic, ominous, outsider anthem with Cooper’s vocal sounding as fierce as ever. Their stage telepathy is showcased in the accompanying live video, filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival 2018.

“Rise”, the band’s 2nd album, is some of the purest, unapologetic and most enjoyable rock and roll of the year, made by masters of the craft and true fans of the form.

Unlike their 2015 debut record, the new album “Rise” consists mainly of original material, written by the band. There are however, in the spirit of the Vampires’ original mission, three covers of songs originally written and recorded by some fellow rockers who died far too young: an intimate and intense version of David Bowie’s “Heroes”, again beautifully performed on record by Johnny Depp; the late Jim Carroll Band’s “People Who Died,” and Johnny Thunder’s “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory,” sung by Joe Perry.

The Hollywood Vampires recorded their own version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ at legendary Hansa Studios last year – the same place where Bowie wrote the original back in 1977.

Watch the band run through it here

Produced by Tommy Henriksen and the Hollywood Vampires, “Rise” will be released on June 21 via earMUSIC as CD Digipak, 2LP+Download and Digital.


1. I Want My Now
2. Good People Are Hard To Find
3. Who’s Laughing Now
4. How The Glass Fell
5. The Boogieman Surprise
6. Welcome To Bushwackers (feat. Jeff Beck & John Waters)
7. The Wrong Bandage
8. You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
9. Git From Round Me
10. Heroes
11. A Pitiful Beauty
12. New Threat
13. Mr. Spider
14. We Gotta Rise
15. People Who Died
16. Congratulations

read more >


Posted in Accessories, Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - June 11, 2019

Peter Kinson is a Hervey Bay-based guitarist/singer/songwriter/guitar tutor and designer. It was through both personal experience and observation and discussion with other guitarists that he realised that spending a lot of time on the guitar in the tropical climate where he resides, you need to have some kind of insulation between your arm and the guitar.

“When playing guitar in warm weather, sweat between the arm and the body of the guitar “sticks” your arm in place – impeding free strumming movements,” Peter says. “Even in cooler weather, when sweat may be less of a problem and long sleeves may be worn, the fabric of the sleeves and the buttons attached, can cause scratches to the face of the guitar. Handling the guitar or even placing it on a stand can inevitably result in little accidental bumps and scratches. These are mostly on the lower bout (the big end) of the guitar. Seeing a necessity, I set about creating a simple solution to these problems. Utilising my limited machine sewing skills, I experimented with numerous prototypes made from fabrics cut from my old polo shirts! And so, the Guitar Bra was born!”

Guitar Bra provides protection from those annoying little bumps and scratches, and insulates the guitar from contact with your arm. Any sweat/oil from your arm is absorbed in the fabric, and the Guitar Bra can be easily removed and machine washed to remove the accumulated grunge.

Unlike a guitar case/bag, which only provides protection when the guitar is stored, the Guitar Bra remains in place at all times, gently hugging the guitar’s lower bout, without impacting the sound quality. It provides constant protection for the most vulnerable area of your guitar and greatly enhanced comfort when playing it.

Peter went through many different test materials before arriving at the finished product. “I had a few prototypes,” he tells us. “I was trying different shapes and using my rudimentary sewing skills. I picked together some trial units. Some of my guitars students saw that I was using them and wanted me to make some for them too. Initially it was a stretch knit fabric and we determined that the best fabric was spandex or lycra, that they use for material in the swimwear and sportswear industries. There are some amazing colours and prints that you can get. We’ve got suede, velour … it’s very adaptable. The stretch in it allows for fitting different sizes and shapes of guitars. We have two different shapes at this point, which tends to fit almost everything in the market, dreadnought, concert, 3/4 size … we find that it fits most guitar shapes.”

Guitar Bras are now beautifully made by a professional team of skilled machinists, in a small factory in Brisbane. Peter has been attracting quite a bit of positive feedback to his innovative idea and some musical instrument stores have begun providing display space for the Guitar Bra. One working musician who toils by day in a music store told Peter that Guitar Bra was a product he “didn’t know he needed until now”.

Your guitar is a significant investment. Provide inexpensive protection at all times, from bodily grunge and accidental minor scratches, with a Guitar Bra on each of your much-loved guitars. Get fitted for your own Guitar Bra online at

read more >


Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - June 10, 2019

Words: Joshua Batten Photos: Jason Rosewarne

To tour Australia even once is a dream for most international bands, regardless of style. For UK Prog metal icons Haken, who are touring the country for the third time in two years, it’s a rare feat indeed. They toured twice in 2017, first as headliners promoting their then-current album Affinity, then again two months later as members of Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress, a one-off world tour celebrating Portnoy’s music with Dream Theater. As their previous headline tour failed to sell out, this was always going to be a test of loyalty for Australian fans of Prog Rock, many of whom still aren’t even aware of Haken’s existence. Fortunately, the die-hard fans have come from far and wide to Melbourne’s Max Watts tonight for an evening of strong musicianship, melodic vocals, and occasional mosh-pit inducing beats. 

Rohan Stevenson and his technical instrumental project I Built The Sky are this evening’s warm-up act. Stevenson is a fine composer and an accomplished player, utilising open chord arpeggios, wave-like fretboard slides and flickering tapping. Ro and his hired guns (bassist Sam Tan and drummer Rob Brens) are energetic performers and their onstage antics pique the audience’s interest. Although IBTS is Stevenson’s project, Tan handles most of the inter-song crowd banter, while Stevenson lets his guitar do the talking as he uses the whole stage as his performance space, and running through the crowd halfway through one of the songs. While IBTS might lack a little in musical variety, they more than make up for it in technicality and stagecraft, setting the mood for the rest of the night.

The main theme for the music and lyrics of Haken’s latest album, Vector, is psychoanalysis, set against the backdrop of a 1950’s mental institution. The pre-show music sets this scene, with Rock & Roll classics such as “That’ll Be The Day”, “Johnny Be Goode” and “Rock Around The Clock” taking the audience back in time, juxtaposing the music that is about to come. When the house lights finally go down and the band hit the stage, the small but passionate crowd goes wild for Vector’s opening tracks, “The Good Doctor” and “Puzzle Box”. The former is an example of Haken’s ability to write catchy choruses without compromising heaviness or technical skill, while the latter is a seven minute wormhole of musical twists and turns. The first of the ‘back catalogue’ songs comes next, with 2013’s “Falling Back To Earth”, a ten-minute retelling of Icarus’s Flight that slowly takes shape in the first half, with each new section adding something to the previous one, and an atmospheric second half, representing Icarus’s fall. 

For some progressive metal frontmen, like Dream Theater’s James LaBrie, their role can sometimes be overshadowed by the virtuosity of the other instrumentalists. Ross Jennings, however, seems to have no problem being the centre of attention whenever he’s onstage. His unique voice gives him the ability to go from a straight croon to a high, soaring wail without missing a note, and his stagecraft is well-developed, keeping the audience in the palm of his hand. The other stand-out of the night is keyboard player Diego Tejeida, who can not only shred on piano, seaboard and keytar, but has an array of samples at his disposal enabling him to take on a dual role of rock instrumentalist and techno DJ. Ray Hearne’s drumming is a powerful blend of acoustic & electronic polyrhythms, bassist Connor Green combines jazz chops with metal riffage, and lead guitarists Charlie Griffiths and Richard Henshall lock into each other despite standing on opposite sides of the stage. Combine this with the fact that all the members sing backing vocals, and it’s easy to see that with Haken, apart from a few pre-recorded intros, everything is being played live, on the fly, and perfectly replicating their studio counterparts.

Although Haken now have five and a half studio albums to draw from in their main set, the focus was very much on Vector, with five of the album’s six songs getting performed. Despite the album itself only having a 45 minute runtime, each of the songs have their own unique identity. “A Cell Divides” is a response to their previous heavy anthem “The Endless Knot”, The instrumental “Nil By Mouth” induced heavy moshing in the middle of the dancefloor, and the 13-minute “Veil” is another epic journey through different musical moods. Somewhat disappointingly, the focus on Vector meant the inclusion of back catalogue songs was limited to just two songs each from their previous two albums, “Affinity” and “The Mountain”, but these songs were well-chosen. Aside from the aforementioned “Falling Back To Earth”, the band’s most popular anthems, “1985” and “Cockroach King” each got a run, before the main set closed with 2016 “The Architect”, an 15 minute commentary on current technology, starting out ominously, and culminating in Jennings letting out a fearsome Death Metal Growl before the climax. 

After leaving the stage for a couple of minutes to bask in the glow of the “spontaneous encore”, Haken returned for one more massive 20-minute epic – the classic prog inspired “Crystalised”, which first appeared as “Snow” on Haken’s original demo in 2007, and was re-worked and fixed up for inclusion on 2014’s “Restoration” EP. It’s very rare that Haken would write a song in E major, so it comes as a total emotional 180 from the dark themes of the main set and instead closes the night on an incredibly uplifting and euphoric moment. 

The final lyric of the night, “Escaping the past, by embracing the future” is a fitting commentary on why Haken are a force to be reckoned with. The fact that tonight’s show wasn’t a full house is an insult to their immense talent, which largely goes unnoticed due to their ties with the prog rock community. Still, if artists such as Dream Theater, Opeth, Nightwish and Steven Wilson can tour here consistently, surely there’s room for Haken. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for their next album, and I highly encourage fans of Prog, Metal or both to check out their back catalogue.

PS: A massive thanks to Richard Henshall for taking time out of Soundcheck to give me a 1-hour guitar lesson that was more informative and educational than any Meet & Greet!

Reviewer Joshua Batten with Haken’s Richard Henshall

read more >