Ilan Rubin

We’re starting this week off with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and all-around impressive musician, Ilan Rubin (The New Regime). Ilan is best known as the drummer for bands like Nine Inch Nails, Angels and Airwaves, Lostprophets and Paramore, but Ilan is also a very accomplished and impressive guitar player and songwriter in his own project, The New Regime.

The New Regime has Rubin on guitar and main vocals, showcasing his love for classic rock riffs reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and Queen, while pulling in melodic hooks inspired by The Beatles and topped off with modern electronic moments that fit right in with artists like Muse and Radiohead. Ilan manages to find time for The New Regime performances between touring with his multiple projects, as well as pulling double duty, opening for his joint ventures like 2019’s Angels and Airwaves US tour. When asked what sets The New Regime apart from his previous works in other bands, Rubin replied,

Well, I think setting apart from other bands was natural because the music that I wrote/write I knew wasn’t going to be like anything that I was involved with. I just have fairly different tastes to all of my friends and people who I perform with, but what I wanted to do from the very beginning of The New Regime was to make sure that the music could not be pigeonholed.

Ilan Rubin to Meaww

Ilan Rubin/The New Regime’s latest release, ‘Heart Mind Body & Soul’, was spaced out over three EPs (Hart, Mind, and Body), with the final installation being the full album of work. Check out his tracks below!

Ilan Rubin uses Paradigm Power Slinky electric guitar, Paradigm Phosphor Bronze Medium acoustic guitar and Regular Slinky Short-Scale bass strings.

Manchester Orchestra

Since 2004, Atlanta rockers Manchester Orchestra have been delivering their unique brand of indie/post-hardcore rock to listeners and they just keep getting better every year. Principal songwriter, guitarist and lead singer Andy Hull formed the band and wrote the first full-length album during his senior year of high school. Although the band’s direction altered slightly after that first effort, the band has continuously cultivated a sound of massive guitars, cinematic story-telling lyrics, and dynamics that go from the quietest and most intimate moment, to the loudest, chest hitting climax in the span of only a few seconds. 

With five official full-length records, acoustic records, seven EPs and even a soundtrack for 2016’s ‘Swiss Army Man’ film, Manchester Orchestra have truly built a resume of musical adventures that continues to evolve. When speaking about writing the band’s latest album, ‘A Black Mile to the Surface’, Andy Hull says,

With ‘Swiss Army Man’, we realized you could make an emotional, powerful song that’s twenty-five seconds long. With this record, we thought: let’s make every little second interesting – where there’s space, there’s something to do with it, and something brilliant to fill it with.

Andy Hull to DIY Mag

The band’s live show only brings their dynamics even further into the light, so be sure to check them out and add them to your next playlist soon.

Manchester Orchestra uses Power Slinky guitar and Regular Slinky bass strings.

Pete Thorn

Pete Thorn may not be a household name to some, but the acts he has toured with certainly ring a few bells. The Canadian-born but Los Angeles dwelling riff slinger came to California to attend Musician’s Institute but his career began directly after school when he joined the band, Surreal McCoys. The band did not last too long, but Pete’s dynamic guitar playing stuck with singer Frank Simes who introduced Thorn to a lot of music industry folks, creating a network of opportunities. Soon, Thorn saw himself touring with artists like Don Henley, Melissa Etheridge, Robi Draco Rosa, and Jewel, and lending his guitar skills and producing chops to artists like Courtney Love, Linda Perry, James Blunt, Alicia Keys, Pink, Chris Cornell and more.

Now Pete has been releasing his own music showcasing his impressive speed and shred skills alongside his blues/rock soul. In recent years, Thorn has created quite the name for himself as a gear demonstrator via his YouTube channel which has over 184,000 subscribers and 35 million views. When reflecting on his online career, Pete says,

It was totally by accident. I put together a little recording rig and just occasionally would film videos and put them up on YouTube, this is in, like, 2006. It was still new. It was just kind of fun, hobbyist, messing around stuff, even though I was playing professionally for around 10 years by that point.

Pete Thorn to Music Players Magazine

Not only is Pete deeply respected by fans, but he even has his own signature series Suhr guitar. Make sure to check out his tracks below.

Pete Thorn plays Regular Slinky and Primo Slinky electric and Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Medium Light acoustic guitar strings.

Dead Sara

Next up we have Los Angeles natives, Dead Sara. Founding members Emily Armstrong and Siouxsie Medley began writing together in 2003 and cut their first studio recording in 2004 under the name Epiphany. They soon changed the name to Dead Sara (in reference to the Fleetwood Mac tune, Sara), and in 2007, did their first tour opening for the band, Endless Hallway. In 2011, an unofficial version of their track “Weatherman” got into the hands of a few radio stations which really caught the attention of the public, ultimately scoring them an opening tour slot for the band Bush, followed by their debut album arriving in 2012. The band quickly solidified their place as the real deal on both charts and in live performances with Chevelle, The Used, The Offspring, Muse and garnered them a spot hitting the road with the Vans Warped Tour. After a few label changes, the band signed with Atlantic Records in 2017 and released a new EP in 2018 titled, ‘Temporary Things Taking Up Space’. 

We’ve done it on our own for a long time. We were always scared of major labels, but Atlantic has been really very supportive of what we’re doing and very easy to work with. They push us, and that’s what we needed more than anything. We couldn’t be more blessed.

Emily Armstrong to Billboard

Get a taste for Dead Sara’s riffs below and catch them on the road in support of their latest EP this year.

Dead Sara plays Light Nickel Wound Custom Gauge guitar and Regular Slinky Flatwound bass strings


Rounding out this week’s list we have the mighty Danish rock band, Volbeat. Formed in Copenhagen in 2001, Volbeat is a band that blends heavy metal, classic rock, punk, glam rock and even a tinge of rockabilly, to form a sound that has grown and endured, amassing a monster following, multiple musical awards and seven full-length records. Singer Michael Poulsen built the band in 2001 after wanting a change from his current death metal scene. Volbeat’s first album, ‘The Strength/The Sound/The Songs’, landed at #18 on the Denmark charts and received raving reviews by the critics. 

For certain bands, it can take a lifetime to find their sound or style, but for us, we found our style from the very beginning but also managed to, on each album, come up with something we haven’t done before. We have always kept the signature sound for Volbeat. I think that’s part of the reason we’re doing well, because no matter what direction we go, when it comes to style, we still have that signature sound.

Michael Poulsen to Consequence of Sound

Since then, the band has grown and established themselves as not only heavy hitters when it comes to recorded albums, but impressive live performers, earning spots opening for Metallica in 2007 and Megadeth in 2008. Now, Volbeat headlines massive music festivals like the Pinkpop Festival, Przystanek Woodstock, Download Festival. They continue to frequently tour with the likes of Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, Gojira and more. 

Volbeat released their seventh album, ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’, in August 2019. Make sure to catch up on their latest music below.

Volbeat plays custom gauge sets of Paradigm Beefy and Not Even Slinky guitar strings and custom gauge Power Slinky bass and Super Slinky 5 String bass strings.

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