The Stranglers started life in September 1974 and will celebrate their 40th anniversary next month. Known back then as the Guildford Stranglers they have survived many a line up change and 17 studio albums later they are still going strong. They recently played V Festival and with hits such as Peaches and Golden Brown in their repertoire they went down a storm. As Baz Warne on vocals and guitar, using a Blackstar Series 50 rig, said to me after show they "soon had the young crowd eating out of the palm of their hand". They will be playing at the Electric Picnic festival in Ireland on the 30th August along with fellow Blackstar artists The Horrors and The 1975.
From what started as a small indoor festival in 2001 Bloodstock has expanded into the UK's largest independent metal festival. With some 15000 revellers congregating in the picturesque surroundings of Walton on Trent in Derbyshire, this was not to be missed by any self respected metal head. Blackstar were there in full force and had a presence on every stage from the Ronnie James Dio to the Jagermeister stage. Two of our acts, Dimmu Borgir and Saturdays headliners Emperor were the highlights of the weekend. Bloodstock will be back next year even bigger and better than before and Blackstar will, as always, be there too.
V fest takes place this weekend simultaneously between Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in South Staffordshire. This years line up has a 90's throwback feel to it with bands including M People, Allsaints, Embrace and Starsailor. Remember them? Blackstar have many artists featuring this year including The Stranglers, Kodaline, Manic Street Preachers, James Arthur and Sam Smith to name but a few. We will be there in support and getting our 90's on. Watch this space for a full report on the weekend.
Converge are currently on their European tour so we headed down to the Scala in London to meet up with their guitarist and Blackstar endorsee Kurt Ballou. Kurt uses the Artisan 30 combo as part of his usual live set up and also in his studio Godcity back in his home state of Massachusetts. We chatted about all things equipment related and believe me this man knows a thing or two about guitar amps! The show, it goes without saying, was awesome. Check out the forthcoming artist spotlight with Kurt coming soon.
New York City punk band Cerebral Ballzy are the latest recruits to the Blackstar family. We caught up with them on tour when they played at the Crauford Arms in Milton Keynes. Guitarist Jason Bannon has been running a Series One 100 full stack and it sounded awesome!
This weekend see’s the Blackstar team going on our annual trip to the Bloodstock festival in Derbyshire. The artist team have been working hard to ensure Emperor and Dimmu Borgir have had their brutal metal tone throughout the festival season and we can’t wait to see them crush the crowd with their Series One stacks this weekend! Right… now to load the van!
Japanese guitarist Yuji Hayashi is currently on tour with the famous singer song writer Shinji Tanimura. Yuji is currently touring around Japan with his Artisan 30 head and Artisan 2x12 speaker cabinet.
Nita Strauss is the latest guitarist to join the Blackstar family. Nita takes over from Orianthi in the Alice Cooper band and is using a Series One EL34 full stack. She also uses an ID:Core 10 for warming up in the dressing room and tour bus.
Possessed join Blackstar
Possessed are the latest additions to the Blackstar family. The Bay Area quintet are one of the most recognised and influential names in the Death Metal scene. Guitarists Daniel Gonzalez and Mike Pardi will both be using HT METAL 100 full stacks which are perfect for those bone crushing Metal tones!
We sponsored the first ever Alternative Press Music Awards’ Icon award which was presented by Laura Jane Grace and won by Joan Jett! We also sponsored the backstage artist lounge which was attended by loads of rock royalty including Slash, Fall Out Boy, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus and Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins to name just a mere few.