Legendary 14-string guitarist Felix Martin has created a brand new behemoth with which to play his jazz/metal/new world fusion, a sound that is revolutionizing music on his new album The Scenic Album set to be released September 17th.
“The Jazz Metal Machine” is what Felix Martin is calling his revolutionary self-designed 14-string creation. The “machine”, which instead of his usual two seven string guitars, is one eight string guitar and one six string. Additionally, the guitar includes a never-before-seen 8 string jazz pickup designed by Seymour Duncan.
What makes this instrument even more intriguing, aside from the fact that it is the only one of it’s kind, the musical possibilities are nearly infinite. Martin has not only developed a new instrument, but a new method of playing it as well. The sound Martin produces is unprecedented in that it allows for massive amounts of distortion from his instrument. The double-necked instrument is nothing less than fascinating. By utilizing both necks, he is able to play percussive rhythms and melody simultaneously. Additionally, the ability for him to play two separate, harmonizing, scales creates a dynamic quality rarely seen from a single musician on one instrument. Felix Martin himself, in his description of the concept of his masterpiece adds this,
– This is the most important aspect. Since you have two fretboards (or two guitars), you can repeat the same strings on both fretboards in the same OR different positions, without muting any notes. This is huge! … [There is] one independent output for each guitar. Meaning you can use two different effect chains on each guitar. One of the guitars (The one below, in my case) is a 100% a standard guitar, in which you can use all regular techniques (picking, finger-style, etc). This is something totally new and fresh for guitar players to explore and innovate, so get to work!
The resultant sound is as technically impressive as it is sonically inspiring. Take a look and listen for yourself as Martin plays through “Tango” off of his new album:
The album features fellow Berklee School of Music graduate Nathan Navarro on bass and highly acclaimed drummer Marco Minnemann. The trio creates music with what Martin dubs “bizarre concepts.” These concepts, he says on his website, are “slap-tapping, drum rudiments applied to guitar, drum blast beats, percussive techniques, lap piano style, [and] stereo effects”. Be sure to check out the album when it is released September 17th on Prosthetic Records.