The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for March 2010

Custom Guitar Picks

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So back around 2001 I was at Alpha Music in Virginia Beach and saw that they had custom guitar picks.  I thought it would be cool to have some for myself even though I wasn’t in a working band at the time.  I had only been playing bass since 2000 after having been a drummer from 1984 to 2000.  The owner of Alpha gave me the business card for In Tune Guitar Picks.

When I saw the address I thought to myself, Onancock, VA?  Really?”  Onancock is a tiny little town, almost a village, on the eastern shore of Virginia.  I had done several projects in that area while working for the DOT.  I knew I had to make another trip up there (2 hours each way) for work and called a day ahead to ask about his picks and to check out his operation.  He said, “It’s not much but you can come by.”

So I went to the address and and it was to his house.  He had his pick machine in the garage.  I thought it was a pretty cool process and Bert was an incredibly nice dude.  He gave me some samples and a little while later I was on my way to do some actual work.  I placed an order shortly thereafter.

My first picks from him were thin celluloids with a sketch of Phil Lynott on them as he was a huge inspiration on my playing.  I always liked getting picks at shows and not long after getting my own picks I landed in this silly band called The Renegades of Sluts.  Yes, that was our name and no I didn’t pick it.  These were all old friends of mine and we were doing sort of a biker metal thing.  As we were playing shows, it was pretty cool to see people scramble when I threw a pick out or if someone would ask me for one after a show.

Through the following years I upsized and switched to the delrin 1.14mm picks.  Perfect!  I’ve had several different styles made as far as to what is printed on them.  Bert has always given me first rate service.  He has obviously given a lot of people great service as he has expanded his business quite a bit.  He’s got his own shop now and last time I was there (2006) he was running 2 machines and was increasing his staff.  His client list is pretty impressive…Motley Crue, Slayer, Gibson Guitars, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, most of the 80s metal bands, lots of country bands…It’s pretty crazy.

Check ’em out.  You will not be disappointed.  His prices are comparable to buying regular picks from Fender and Dunlop without your custom artwork on them.




Written by The Metal Files

March 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm

A little self-indulgence about one of my bands

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So my main band is really getting things fired up again and I am pretty excited about it all.  I just moved (again) and am now all settled in and can devote more time to playing music again…original music.  Sure I love doing my Motorhead tribute band but there’s nothing better for me than to be a part of an original band.

The main project that I have been a part of for almost 3 years now (*gasp* has it really been 3 years?) is with a phenomenal guitarist named Doug Morrison.  Doug was one of those LA guys his whole life until moving to Austin, Texas right around the same time I did a little over 3 years ago.   I think we both arrived here within a few weeks of each other.  Doug’s background includes playing in Neil Turbin’s post-Anthrax band in the mid 80s which also included Dave McClain from SA Slayer and Machinehead.  There are a few good big hair shots of him on Neil’s page.  Doug was a graduate of GIT in LA and graduated with Paul Gilbert and taught there with him around the same time.

We’re an instrumental 3-piece and I would say the best comparisons to the music are to Eric Johnson, Steve Vai with flashes of Allan Holdsworth and Akira Takasaki (in our heavier moments).

So if you’re into instrumental guitar rock, shred etc, check out the stuff @ our Myspace page.

We finally secured a great drummer and will be playing out again hopefully by the end of this month.  Our last gig was over a year ago and it’s about time again.  Auditioning drummers was a bitch.  What a bunch of monkeys.  I was a drummer for most of my musical life and damn if I would have ever shown up to an audition as unprepared (or untalented) as many of these guys did.  What was great was the lashbacks we would get when Doug would let them know they wouldn’t get a 2nd audition or accepted into the band.  Hilarious stuff.

We’re finally getting the album done as well.  Drum tracks have been completed for over a year and Doug is finally laying down guitar tracks.  My bass stuff should follow soon for the tracks that I am to appear on.