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02/16/2007 @ 02:16 PM: Some updates...

Recording: AT/DT & X-Ray Delta
AT/DT is taking a couple of months off from playing gigs to work on our new album. So far nine songs are recorded and nearing completion; we'll do two or three more and then mix and master. Personally, I'm quite pleased with how the music sounds so far. The album shows all the characteristics of a classic four-piece rock band, but the quality and character of the songs are what will define it, I believe. We'll do a pre-release of one or two songs via MySpace sometime soon. (The in-concert crowd favorite "Bar Fight" is the first planned pre-release!)

Also in the works is a new project that's been bubbling in my head for more than a year now. I've attached the title X-Ray Delta to it (the term comes from my all-time favorite movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey). At this point the project is just me making and recording weird sounds in my living room studio. I'm creating "percussion" and/or "drum" loops using my guitar, household appliances, and anything that can make a sound, then I'm recording actual musical bits on top of those loops. The material is not supposed to follow any kind of a format, but rather be very linear in its style. I've got three pieces partially recorded thus far; I will post them to the X-Ray Delta MySpace page upon their completion. The eventual idea is to bring in some of my other favorite players from around town to add a few parts and then create a live version of the band to interpret and perform the songs live.

Custom Guitars & Guitar Profiles
In the last two years I've assembled five custom guitars from parts. Four of those guitars were re-built Peavey Wolfgangs (two with numerous modifications), and the fifth was my custom Telecaster completed last October. Currently I'm working on another Wolfgang. On this one, however, I've opted to attempt--for the first time--to paint the body myself. The process has taught me that stripping poly-based clear coat and paint is a major pain in the ass and that it's very easy to give yourself blisters when aggressively sanding a guitar body! The pay-off will hopefully be a good one; this new Wolfgang will likely be a custom green finish with a Fernandes Sustainer pickup system installed. It'll be a unique super-fun noise-making musical machine!

If you haven't yet checked out The Guitar Profile Series, pay a visit to the News Archive section of the website here and check out each of the guitar profiles I've posted. I'm profiling each of my Peavey Wolfgang guitars, one at a time, with detailed info and pictures. I'll continue the series next week with Wolfgang #7.

The Police & Van Halen
There have been a few summer "reunion" tour announcements made recently, among them The Police and Van Halen--both very favorite bands of mine. The Police appearances so far have made me feel like a kid again; I'm quite excited to see them live, and I'll even travel to do so. Van Halen, who are also being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month, are falling a little short in the excitement category. Eddie Van Halen has brought David Lee Roth back to sing lead--despite years of saying how there would be no way he could ever work with the guy again--and formally dismissed bassist Michael Anthony in favor of his teenage son, Wolfgang. Though always my favorite band above and beyond all others, their lack of activity and half-way efforts when they were active in the past nine-or-so years has taken a toll with regard to fan capital. From having visited fan sites and simply conducting non-scientific casual polling of folks in the know, most are not terribly excited about seeing an aging VH with Roth and a 16 year old kid on bass. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until I actually see what they have to offer live, but I remain skeptical. My lone existing request/wish of my longtime favorite band is that all five members being inducted, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, and Sammy Hagar, perform together at their Hall induction ceremony--at least one song with each singer. What they do and how they do it after that would be fine with me, just so long as I (and other fans) have that resolution. We shall see.

thumbnail 001thumbnail 002thumbnail 003thumbnail 004Photo Chronology: 1996 to Today
thumbnail 005thumbnail 006thumbnail 007thumbnail 008Please feel free to peruse these memories from the AT photo archives.

Andrew Thomas