Blog Archive

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reverends' driving forces chat with MGS

INTERVIEW WITH Ken Haas and Joe Naylor

MGS - Welcome Ken Haas from Reverend Guitars ! 

MGS - Ken can you start by telling us how you got involved with Reverend Guitars and 
how long you have been there , daily duties etc.

  I happened to come across a Reverend guitar in a pawn shop in 1999, and I 
really liked it. I found out that it was a Detroit company, so I knocked on the 
door and introduced myself. I went to NAMM for the first time as Joe's guest and 
I sold a guitar to Will Ray at that show - who went on to post some Reverend 
reviews on Harmony Central. Joe decided to take me to every NAMM show from that 
day forward. I eventually became head of sales for Reverend, and now I am 
General Manager.  I still handle all of the sales, but I also handle all of the 
day-to-day operations of the company, so Joe can be designing.

MGS - How has the guitar business changed for you in the last 5 years?

All of my responsibilities increased, so I now have a better perspective of all 
sides of the MI business.

MGS - I know at one point you were direct sales only . How and when did that 
focus shift ?
Only a dealer network can give us the exposure that we needed.

MGS - What is your best selling model these days ? What is new and hot? 

The Rick Vito Signature is our best seller. Basses have made a triumphant return to the 
Reverend brand, and they are getting a lot of buzz.

 We just sent a Thundergun to 
Eddie Spaghetti from the Supersuckers!  That model seems to be growing in 

MGS - Anything new coming NAMM 2012 ?

We have two new models. The Eastsider is an homage to vintage guitars that pairs 
traditional features with Reverend innovation. A classic Korina body, satin 
finish, and a compound radius fretboard are paired with custom alnico pickups, 
stainless steel saddles, and a graphite nut for the perfect old-meets-new 
guitar. It is the latest guitar from the Pete Anderson signature series, and he 
will be performing with it throughout the weekend.
We also have a new model in celebration of our fifteenth anniversary: a 
commemorative Flatroc guitar with a Flame Maple top, a Bigsby, and a 15th 
Anniversary LE logo on the back of the headstock. It comes in Transparent 
Turquoise with a maple fretboard or Transparent Tobacco with a rosewood 
Lastly, we have freshened up the rest of the line by adding some new colors, 
including the 2012 color for the Rick Vito signature: Ocean Turquoise.

MGS - What have been some of your favorite artists to work with and why? 

Mark Knopfler is my personal guitar hero, and it is a great honor to me that he 
regularly uses a Reverend Buckshot in his arsenal. 

 I was also fortunate to work 
with Ron Asheton in the last few years of his life. Not only was he a huge 
inspiration to me and many other guitar players, he was also a really great guy 
who I was lucky to know.

MGS - Tell us about your own musical endeavors. 

I play guitar in a band called the Polka Floyd Show -- a Pink Floyd tribute band done Polka-style.  We do have 
an accordion, and play the songs very fast! I also play guitar in a punk band 
called Intentional Object, and I play a '65 Double 8 Console-steel in an 
alt-country band called The Zimmerman Twins.

MGS- What is your main live guitar ? 

I play the Reverend Jetstream HB. I think it's the most versatile Humbucker-equipped solid body electric guitar on the 

Ok Joe it is your turn ...

MGS - Joe it has been awhile what has kept you busy these days ?

Plenty of things happening. Besides designing a bunch of new Reverend stuff for 2012, I'm launching a new replacement pickup company in December called Railhammer. It's a radical new design aimed at the rock market, and you're gonna see it on some new Reverend models too.

15th Anniversary Flatroc

MGS - Joe how do you see the future of guitars moving forward ?
Retro is still king. Lots of reliced looks on the market, as well as hybrid designs based on vintage classics. The real innovations will continue to take place in hardware and parts design.

MGS - What have been the most rewarding part of Reverend in the last few years ?
Seeing it grow. Seeing the acceptance by serious players of our philosophy of high level design at real world prices. Our endorser list is a good reflection of that.

Joes personal guitar with new Railhammer pickup

MGS - What is your take on the current Michigan economy ?
It's a grim reflection of the national economy. Unfortunately, we're not as diversified as some other states, so we get hit harder.

Ok Joe hit us with a 2 word reaction to these current topics  GO !

Occupy Michigan - Octopus Garden.

Reeves Gabrels - Space Anderson.

Illegal imported fingerboard wood - Maybe guilty.

Guitar Hero - Party's over.

Hardcore Pawn - Stop reality.