Dead Lakes

Busting out in dynamic fashion, Ernie Ball is happy to welcome Dead Lakes to the family! Creating emotional conviction in every line, behind grooving guitar hooks, Dead Lakes is a band to watch for. Teaming up with producer Erik Ron (Godsmack, Dance Gavin Dance and Set It Off), the band finds a balance between classic alt radio, R&B, and catchy pop to appeal to a variety of fans from all walks of life.

Hailing from Washington State, Dead Lakes released their first EP with SharpTone Records, and is highly recommended for fans of groups like fellow Ernie Ball family members, The Neighbourhood, PVRIS, and Bring Me The Horizon. The band sat with Alt Press and talked about their EP, New Language;

Discovering what makes you happy and redefining what a positive impact looks like. I feel like our society broadcasts a certain lifestyle as being the right way to live. The typical “go to church, go to college, start a family, get a career, purchase that house that’s the envy of everyone else” in this rat-race vibe. It just seems like the message is misguided. Life isn’t a “one size fits all” thing. I encourage everyone to find their individual happiness and their own “new language”.

Sumner Peterson to Alt Press

Make sure to keep up with Dead Lakes on their website and listen to their music below.

Dead Lakes creates their mood with Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom electric guitar strings, Super Slinky Bass 5, and standard Prodigy Picks.

Milan Polak

Spanning two decades of ripping guitar work, Milan Polak is more than just a fast fretting shredder, showcasing an ability as a songwriter, singer, and producer. Milan has played with members of Guns N’ Roses, Billy Sheenan (Mr. Big, Steve Vai) Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) Marty Friedman (Ex- Megadeth) to name a few. Channeling that energy into solo works as he was named one of the world’s 50 fastest guitarists by Guitar World Magazine. Milan’s latest record titled, Can’t Please Everyone features blaring guitars resulting in an honest, dark, hard rock record, working with Benjamin Schäfer (Rammstein, Celtic Frost, Crimson ProjeKCt) on the mix and mastering. Milan stated,

I needed to challenge myself and change my approach to songwriting completely. It is my most advanced, profound and personal album to date.

Milan Polak to Rock Report

Head to Milan Polak‘s website to keep up to date on his latest work and make sure to listen to his tracks below.

Milan Polak rips with Ernie Ball Hybrid Skinky electric guitar strings on his Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette Special.


Caspian could be described with a lot of genre names; post-rock, metal, shoe gaze, instrumental, ambient noise. One thing Caspian does is create endless layers of impactful music that draws you in emotionally without saying one word. Through entangled crescendos leading to massive climactic moments of thick heavy guitars, crashing drums and delicate key and lead melodies, Caspian is the type of band you experience more than you passively listen to. 

Originally from Massachusetts, the band has been going at it since 2004 with five full-length albums and multiple EPs and singles. With full intentions of originally adding a vocalist, the band has always been an instrumental ensemble including their latest effort released in 2020 titled, On Circles which they recorded with Will Yip (Code Orange, Quicksand, Turnstile). Although it seems like their raw energy has certainly come in full-force with their latest effort, the band argues it’s always been there. Guitarist/keyboardist Philip Jamieson says,

I’ve grown weary of reading about bands discuss the renewing, rehabilitative properties their most recent [album] has had on them. They incur corrosion, come close to running out of gas, descend into the dark abyss, and finally emerge on the other side with a record that has given them crystal clear perspective and a confident path forward. On Circles is not that record.

Philip Jamieson to Brooklyn Vegan

Learn more about what Caspian is up to by checking out their official site, and listen to their dynamic music below.

Caspian transports you courtesy of Ernie Ball Regular Slinky and Beefy Slinky electric guitar strings + Regular Slinky bass strings. 

Jacob Deraps

It’s something special when you’re only 17-years old and your Van Halen cover videos get picked up by Van Halen fan sites. Not to mention you’re playing alongside Dweezil Zappa, Steve Lukather and Toto. Then you watch and hear some of his playing, and it all makes sense. Jacob Deraps‘ playing is straight out of the ripping 70s and 80s. 

Ernie Ball was introduced to Jacob via Robert Knight’s Brotherhood of the Guitar program. After being sent a video cover of Jacob performing Van Halen’s “I’m The One” at age 16, we knew the kid had chops. Now with well over 3 million views on his YouTube videos, it seems others around the world are just as impressed. Fast-forward a few years, and now Jacob is cranking out his own tunes with the rest of his band, Deraps. Still honoring the guitar work, speed and intensity of the music they love, Deraps pushes their brand of rock into 2020 with a hard-nose forward to find their own way. When asked what he thought draws people to his playing, Jacob said;

 I think it’s the fact that my playing and sound are close to Eddie’s in his early days and there’s very few people that are able to play and sound like that, so I guess they find it interesting and think there is somewhere to go with it.

Jacob Deraps to Guitar International

For now, the Canadian band waits to tour again after releasing their new single, “Sex, Drugs & Rock N’ Roll” but they plan on hitting the road as soon as possible. Keep up with the band on their website here and make sure to check out their ripping new track below.

Jacob Deraps plays Super Slinky electric guitar strings and an Ernie Ball Music Man Axis guitar.

Jeff Rosenstock

Long Island born songwriter/resident punk dude Jeff Rosenstock is no stranger to cranking out music every chance he would get. He began as the lead singer of the ska punk band, The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, followed by the band, Bomb the Music Industry! and eventually the indie band, Kudrow. As of 2012, Jeff decided to to give his solo career a shot. 

Jeff’s solo career brought a much more songwriter-style to his music while still pulling from his punk and indie sensibilities to create a blend of power-pop, songwriter-punk, meets Tom Waits, The Beach Boys, and Mikey Erg (The Ergs), which makes sense considering Mikey Erg is a past producer of his.

To this day, Jeff hasn’t quite done things the typical way, from giving away his music for free with his old bands, assembling his current bandmates from across the country, to surprise album releases, Jeff is on his own path that seems to only earn him more accolades and fandom. His latest effort, NO DREAM, arrived with very little warning but somehow perfectly framed the current status of the country; anxiety, boredom and frustration. Rosenstock’s was stemming from a recent move he made from New York to Los Angeles, but somehow it became instantly relatable to all who listened.

It was feeling like a very personal record for me. A lot of it was stemming from the anxiety I was feeling from the last two years and this existential crisis of wondering who I am. I didn’t expect to be doing well in my life, ever.

Jeff Rosenstock to Brooklyn Vegan

While Jeff waits for the world to re-open, he also spends his talents composing music for the Cartoon Network series, Craig of the Creek while most likely also writing another “secret” record. NO DREAM is now available via Polyvinyl and it kicks off hard with the track, “NO TIME,” check it out here along with his other tunes below.

Jeff Rosenstock plays Ernie Ball Power Slinky, Skinny Top Heavy Bottom and Baritone electric guitar strings.

**Header image credit: The Tyler Price Photography

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