Category Archives: Interview

“Get an inside look into the lives of successful band musicians and guitarists with our interview series. Hear from industry professionals about their experiences, tips, and advice for aspiring musicians.

Dimebag Darrell Interview

An Old Interview Of Dimebag Darrell – The Rough Rider

This Great Interview With Dimebag Darrel, first published on 4th April 1994 in Guitar World Magazine.

Dimebag  Darrell abbott. High priest of six-string destruction is feeling ornery. His eyes narrow as he slowly picks up his metallic blue deam guitar. Cradling it like a sawed off shotgun. The self proclaimed “cowboy from hell” begins to frown. It’s obvious that he has something urgent on his mind.

I grew up a heavy metal kid and we were a heavy metal band.  He growls in a rapid fire Texas twang. I know it’s not fashionable. But I’m proud to say that’s what we are and that’s what we do. It kills me when I see some metal brand trying to pass themselves off as an ‘alternative brand, well. Dude, they can join the pack. But well remain true to our roots while shit keeps twisting around us.”

And twist it does.

While the rest of the rock world continues to be preoccupied with the next big Lollapaloser. Pantera has been steadily reinventing and reinvigorating heavy metal for the nineties. By combining the rawest elements of thrash. Texas blues and hardcore, the band has created a new from of metal-one that is rhythmically aggressive. Sophisticated in construction and yes even hip. At the epicenter of pantera’s musical mosh pit in the band’s larger than life guitarist, Dimebag Darrel. His trademark crimson goatee. Custom guitar and colorful command of good ol’ boy slang has made him a hero among hard rock fans. But his bone-rating rhythm work. Inventive soloing and distinctive razor-sharp “Darrell tone” is what has made him a legend among a whole generation of guitarist searching for a new Adword Van Helen. And like Van Helen. The key to the texam’s large talent is his healthy disregard for rules and regulations.

My old man and asked if I could trade my bike back for the guitar. {laugh } actually, I didn’t ask him that, but if I was slick, that’s what I would’ve done! [ didn’t get my first guitar until my next birthday. I was about 11, and he gave me a les Paul copy and a pignose amp.

Initially, [ just used the guitar as a prop I’d pose with it in front of a mirror in my kiss makeup when I was skipping school. Then I figured out how to play the main riff to deep purple’s “smoke on the water” on just the string started getting really heavy. But I think the turning point came when discovered an electro-Harmonix Big muff fuzz. Feedback! Distortion! Dude, that was all she wrote.

Question: Did you ever get to work in our father’s studio?

DARRELL: Yeah he’d pay me 20 bucks here and there to do piano overdubs or punch-ins while he was trying to do his vocals. So learned quite a bit at an early age about how a studio works.

However, my brothers Vinnie {Paul, Pantera drummer} is really the guy the followed in my old’s man’s footstep’s. He’s a complete gadget hound and really knows his way around a studio. Vinnie infact Is partly responsible for my sound.

On our early demos. I was really fuss treated with my record sound. I’d tell my dad, “Dude I want more ‘cut’ on my guitar I want more treble. And he’d say “Now, son you don’t want that. It’ll hurt your ears. But my dad just didn’t understand. Then Vinnie started getting behind the boards. That’s when things started to sound the way I wanted them to sound.

Question: Could you use the studio any time you wanted you?

DARRELL: Nope! No fuckin way. And we never abuse the privilege. The local motherfuckers who knew that my dad owned a studio would say, Ahh” dude Is spoiled and this and that. But we didn’t abuse it at all. I’d always ask if we could use the studio first, and if our dad didn’t want us there he would tell us. And that was that. But I definitely tried to get down there as often as I could {laugh}

Question: Did your dad have any good advice regarding the music business?

DARRELL: Yeah: written your own music.”

Question: What’s the worst advice the gave you?

DARRELL: To play by the rules. To turns down the treble knob because It will hurt someone’s cars. My old man used to flip out whenever I would try to branch out and do something different. Although he didn’t do it on purpose. He really held me back in the beginning. If something was a little too hot an top or was distorted, he’d say, “don’t do that Darrell-do it by the book.”

The worst advice I ever received from my dad was to play by the book. “explains Darrell. My old man used to flip out whenever I would try to branch out and so something different. Although he didn’t do it on purpose. He really held me back.    

Question: You mentioned that your father taught you your first barre chords. Did he show you anything else?

DARRELL: I would go over too his house on weekends, bring a record of a tune that, I wanted to learn, and he would show me how to play it. I think I took “cocaine” over there the first time; not the drug, of course – eric Clapton tune. First, he showed me other ways to approach it with different chord inversions. So, I would get little bits of information from him like that.

       I also learned how to pick things off of records from him. That was back when people still listened to records. [laughs] I’d watch how he tunned to records, and he’d say something like, “son, these guys tune way down, and I’d ask him, you mean there’s a standard tunning?” I was completely clueless. He’d just help me put together the pieces. I watched how he did it and started doing it on my own at home.

Question: So, you never had any formal lessons?

DARRELL: Naw. I tried one time. I was in a rut and wasn’t getting anywhere, so I thought I’d go just up the street and get a guitar lesson off this cat. He wrote down some weird scale and tried to explain how it worked. After we finished, he said, “Now go an home, practice that scale, and show me how well you can play we next week. “So I took it home, played around with it for a few minute and said, Fuck this, I just want to jam.”

         I respect people that can read tablature and that all shit, but I just don’t even have the patience to read the newspaper. I’ll read three or four lines and that’s it. I’m a spazzer, you know?

Dimebag Darrell is ticked Off – and it’s all your fault!

In the November 1993 issue of guitar world Dimebag Darrell made and unique offer to readers of “Riffer Madness,” his monthly column: anyone who mastered his lesson in harmonic would be treated to a six pack of bear or the bevarge their choice.

I told guitar world readers if they did their homework, the deserved to celebrate, “says the guitarist bitterly. “I’ve even offered to treat them to six pack of beer they sent me the receipt. I said I’d pay for the first 50. Straight out of my account. And not one person took me up on the offer. I’m pissed!

“Listen you gays: if you don’t drink it’s all well and good; go out and buy some Kool-Aid and I’ll give you a quarter for a pack. Damn! I’m putting my cake on the line. I’m willing go the down couple hundred bucks to tighten you up, ‘cause I know your bustin’ your chops. Traying to get those licks as cranked as you can. If more then 50 of send of me a receipt, don’t worry. Brad Tolinski will cover the rest. So, what are you waiting for? Those have the talent-and the guts-to take Darrell up on his offer can write: Darrell’s feedback sack 301 W. 53rd  st.. suite 11d. New Work Ny 10019.  -BRAD TOLINSKI    


Question: When did you brother Vinnie start playing drums?

DARRELL: That’s good story. One day Vennie came home from school with a fucking, tuba. My old man said, “son you won’t to be able to make a penny playing that thing. Take it right now and tell them that you’re going to play drums!”

A year letter, I tried to hop on Vinnie’s kit and hang with him, but Vinnie blew me away. Our story is almost identical to the Van Halen story. Both Eddie and Alex played drums, but Alex killed, so Eddie decided to pick up the guitar. It was the same in our case. “Rigs” [ Vennie’s nick – name ] definitely dominated me on the kit so I started playing guitar.

QUESTION: How did Vinnie influence you?

DARRELL: Vinnie taught me a lot about timing. For example, I can remember one day we decided that we were going to try to learn, “More than a felling, “By Boston. We started jamming on it right before we had to leave for school. We were already late then Vinnie pointed out that I had left out one chord-that I was coming out of one section before the beat had a chance to turn around, I’m like, “what are you taking about? So he counted everything out for me and showed me where I was missing a chord. We went back and listened to the record and, sure enough, he was right. It’s always been like that. Vinnie is very knowledgeable. He was the one that paid attention in school! He learned all his drum rudiments.

QUESTION: That you and your brother worked closely together is easy to see. Your rhythm guitar playing, in particular, is very tight and percussive sounded-young gays almost sound like you’re playing a from of heavy metal marching drum rudiments in unison at times. What’s it like playing in a band with your bother?

DARRELL: Great. You’re more like best friends. I think we have a better relationship than most brothers because we are working for the same goal. I’m most families, one brother will be a doctor and the other will be a layer, or street bum, however it works out. I don’t even know how to put this without sounding wacky. But we don’t have a “push/pull” relationship at all. It’s very just very natural; we don’t fight and shit,

QUESTION: Was there ever any rivalry between you?

DARRELL: A little bit, but not much. He always the had the business sense and I had the street level sense. We both respect our deference and, luckily, we are able to just kind of put the two together. But now that I think about it, he did kick my ass few times when we are growing up. { laughs} All I can say is that I’m fortunate to have a brother that can rip on the drums like Vinnie Paul. I mean, it’s hard enough to find some-one that can just beat on the skins.

QUESTION: What do you contribute to pantera’s songwriting process?

DARRELL: Every song is different. There are no plans, no formulas. We know it’s got to jam, and that’s about it. When we started this album, I didn’t have as many riffs written as I’ve had in the past, but I had a vision of what I wanted. I knew it was going to be one bad motherfucker – refreshing, new, and that’s what it was.

QUESTION: How do you write your riffs?

DARRELL: A couple of songs were actual – ly written in concert. If you improvise a riff and the crowd immediately reacts to it, you know you’re on to something.

QUESTION: You rarely hear of a band that will take a chance on improvising new riffs on stage these days. Everyone seems so well – rehearsed and conservative.

DARRELL: Ah shit, you know us – the most dangerous band in heavy metal! Let me tell you a story. We wrote practically all of “25 years, “of the new album, in con – cert. One night, in front of a packed house, we just started jamming and camp up with the main riff in the song. Phil so really getting into it he started making Sug – gestions while we are playing. At one point he told us to stop. So we stopped. And he said, “dudes, go into a straight chug right there, “This is in front of hundreds of people! We just put the crowd on hold for a few minutes while we put the song together. I don’t think anybody minded, they just sat there and checked us out while we worked things through.

QUESTION: How is this album different for you?

DARRELL: We – ve been getting into the band thing. I ‘ve been trying to look more at the big picture-trying to figure out what’s appropriate for the tune. For example, we were working on this very aggressive song called “slaughtered, “and at first we decided that we are going to insert a slow, melodic lead guitar part into the middle of the tune. But while we are working on the slow section, everyone was just sipping on their beers and staying kind or quiet. Then I realized that the tune had lost of Momen- tum and its power, so I said, “Fuck the lead. “The big picture, man, that’s where it’s at.

QUESTION: “Five minutes alone is another of the album’s songs that features a pretty minimalist lead.

DARRELL: In my guitar world column [“Riffer madness”], I’m always talking about getting on one note and holding, felling it. So one day I was out in my garage, just dicking around on my eight-track, trying to figure out what “Five Minutes alone” needed. Since I was only going to take a short solo, I started asking myself, “Do I need to burn something real quick for the sake a burning?” “never was the answer. Then I thought, “why don’t you take your own advice?” so I hit that one note and it really felt good. At first I was going to hop of it, but then I thought, “no the one note, dude. “And I hung, and hung, and hung. Then I started bending the string up and down until it sounded like a siren, and that is all that song needed.

QUESTION: I noticed and experimental edge on the new album: “good friends And a bottle of pills “has an almost industrial feel. “hard lines, sunken cheeks” is epic in length and mood. And your cover of black sabbath’s “planet caravan” even features bongos and acoustic guitars. Did you intentionally set out to broaden the band’s vision?

DARRELL: we never plan anything: we just let nature take its course. But if you ask me, we did you broaden our on vision on this album. Actually, when I presented a demo of “Hard lines, sunken cheeks” to the brand, I thought I’d get mixed reactions, at best. But everybody dug it And fell saw the possibilities right away.

Musicians tend to get bored playing the same thing over and over, so I think Its natural experiments. On “good friends, “for example, I instead of a playing tradition-al solo, I just open my guitar up all the way and let it feedback for effect.

QUESTION: That’s so cool section, but it sounds like the feedback is being the effected somehow.

DARRELL: Good ears, dude. I discovered the pure feedback wasn’t quite enough, so I added a Digitech Whammy Pedal to the equation, which helped produce a sound that was completely fucked up!

QUESTION: I hear the Digitech Whammy pedal on several other tracks. You used the pedal ‘s harmonizer feature on the solo for “strength beyond strength. “How did you have it set?

DARRELL: I don’t really know! Like I said before, I don’t really have any training in theory, so just kept turning knobs until I found the most wicked sound. Actually, there are two guitar playing that lead, one is the playing lead without effect, another guitar is doubling it with the whammy ped-al, and both are going through one of those little 10-watt Marshall heads to produce what I call my “free sound. “it’s the sound that I get one my eight-track demos.

QUESTION: Is that the whammy again on “Becoming”?

DARRELL: yes, sir I’m using it on the rhythm part. I depress it on the third beat of every other measure to produce what Phil calls the “step on the cat” effect.  It’s to bad that you noticed it was a whammy pedal, because we were going to tell people that we are abusing an animal to produce that sound- you know, “we were jumping on a cat, then we simply plugged a cord up its as and threw a little eq on it. “That was one of the songs that started with Vinnie’s incredible drum grove. Because I used the whammy pedal on the rhythm part, I decided to use it on the lead as well. The only thing I had between my guitar and my amp was my Dunlop Wah and the whammy, so like an idiot I decided try and play my solo using both effect simultaneously. I figured it was going to sound horrible, but everyone started saying, that’s cool. ”so I kept it, and then I doubled it and it was done!

    I know some of yours readers are going to rag at me and say, “Aw” dude, anybody could’ve done that. But I let me tell you, I’m the kind of dude that would do that. And the record, not at, “show and tell. “

QUESTION: when I first heard, “Becoming’ “I thought, “someone is actually come up with some new sounds.”

DARRELL: Noises, dude! Tones and noises!

QUESTION: while we’re on the subject of rude noises, what’s going on at the beginning of “Good Frends And A Bottle Of Pills’?

DARRELL: I was standing next to Vinnie, who plays drums really hard, and I was slowly moving my volume knob to see how far I could go before the guitar started feed-in back. I had my guitar running through and old MXR flanger, and my intention was to just make a little bit of racket in the beginning of the song. Just by chance, the pickup started picking up Vinnie’s snare drum and it popped the gate open. So the drum is actually triggering the guitar, and that’s what your hear.

QUESTION: Are you playing an chords?

DARRELL: Naw I’m just standing there drunk, fucking around with my volume knob, { laughs }

QUESTION: Since we’re interested in details, what were you drinking?

DARRELL: Corrs lite, dude.

QUESTION: let’s talk about a solo where you do let your fingers fly. The double tracked-tracked lead on “I’m Broken” sounds like an homage to Randy Rhoads.

DARRELL: All right! You heard that? That’s right on the money. People always ask me about my influences. I learned about double-tracking leads from Randy-Especially the way he played them. He played them tight but loose, so they would flange just I little and that’s what I tried to do on ‘’I’m Broken. “

QUESTION: Was Randy important to you?

DARRELL: Fuck, yes. If he was still around, there’d be on telling what that cat would be Bustin, off. To me, Eddie Van Halen was heavy rock and roll, but Randy was heavy metal.

QUESTION: Do you fuss much over your parts?

DARRELL: I try to do things in one take, but doubling rhythm parts is always difficult, especially if you want things to cut the way I want them to cut. Each track has to be precise, and that is a problem on a rhythmically complex track like “Slaughtered, “The first run through is always cool, but the second is always the bitch. In fact, I think “Slaughtered” was the most difficult track on the album. It was a nightmare to double. It’s the shit once you’re done with it, but getting there is hell. We actually went with more loose doubles then on hour previous records, but something it has to be right on the money and that’s where the fussing comes in, I mean goddamn, I wish sometimes I could just do an Edward Van Halen-rhythm track on one side, river on the other, and live it alone. But that’s not my style.

QUESTION: what was your workhorse amp add guitar.

DARRELL: I stuck to what I’ve always used-Randall amps, and my main guitar is still my blue ’81 dean with the kiss stickers. [ see this month’s collector’s choice centerfold ] The guitar just can’t be topped. I use that on all the songs that are in standard tuning. When we tune down to D, I use my brown tobacco Brust dean.

        The only thing that was really different on this album is that the signal from my guitar was routed through three Rendall amps which were recorded simultaneously on each track-three amps mixed down to one track One stack was effected with my MXR flanger, for a kind of hollow sound another stuck was just straight up and dry, and the third was set similar to the dry stack except that it had a little more gain. Separately. One sounded horrible, one sounded great and the other sounded incredible.

QUESTION: I know you’re a fan of vintage effect pedals, like the MXR flanger. where do you get them?

DARRELL: pawn shops, man.

QUESTION: where are the best pawn shops?

DARRELL: The best ones are anywhere where the owner doesn’t know the value of his merchandise. { laughs } Part of the fun is just talking trash with the dudes that run the shops, It’s like, “dude, what’s up with this fuckin thing?”

         One time I was checking out some gui-tars amps and effects at a pawn shop and the store owner unintentionally gave me a defective cord. So plugged it into an effect that I wanted and started kicking the box around so the cord would crackle. As soon as I got the store owner’s attention, I started pretending it was the effects box that was broken. I started cursing and calling the effect a “no good piece of shit,” He said “it was working fine three weeks ago. We gave up 30 bucks for that thing. So I said “well it can sit here and not then. Nobody’s gonna pay for this thing.” So I said, “well, it can sit here and not then. Nobody’s gonna pay for this thing” in the end the dude sold it to me for five bucks!

QUESTION: Since this interview will appear in our special “Survival Guide” issue I wanted to ask you a few question about life on the road. What was your biggest disaster while touring, and how did you fix it?

DARRELL: I’ve weathered broken head stock, fried pickup stagedivers breaking my pedals, guitar cutting out and stack going down. I’ve been knocked out, banged up and I’ve run out of seagram’s. all that stuff is coll-I cendeal with it. But the top things that’s tooled me, the worst thing? Food poisoning. I got food poisoning in Venezuela, and it sucked! I couldn’t do anything for two weeks but shit and sweat. And how to cure It? Stay in bed.

QUESTION: what are five things needed to survive on the road?

DARRELL: Bear taco bell joints Whisky a Walkman, and a little acid for long bus for trips.

QUESTION: Places to avoid?

DARRELL: Venezuela got there and found out that we are supposed to play this baseball field that was crawling with bats, snake and huge blue carbs. We were going to cancel, but we were told that if we did that the government might try to plant drugs on us and arrests us, so we decided to play the show. That day  11 kids were treated for snake bites and that night and got the food poisoning that almost killed me. It was pretty crazy.

QUESTION: What is the Pantera philshopy?

DARRELL: go for it, go with it, but just don’t fuck with us.

QUESTION: Finally, once and for all, is it Dimebag or Dimond?

DARRELL: it’s whatever you want it to be.

QUESTION: How about “Five And Dime” Darrell?

DARRELL: “Five And Dime” is beautiful – it may be the new one.  

  Also check:

Interview with Killswitch Engage

Carvin Legacy 3 Amp

Steve Vai Interview & Inside Story of Development Of Carvin Legacy 3

Steve Vai gives us the inside story of the development of his new Carvin Legacy 3 amp, plus his views on the whole signature concept… by Simon Bradley

Originally published In guitarist magazine August 2012

Steve Vai is having a big year. Not only is his latest solo album The Story Of Light in the can and ready for release in August, but there’s also the third version of his signature Carvin Legacy 3 amp poised to hit the shelves . The ever-affable guitar genius calls us from his rehearsal space to talk tone, gear, and Eddie Van Halen.

How did your relationship with Carvin begin all those years ago?

“When I moved out to California in around 1980 to start working with Frank [Zappa], Carvin gave me my first stack. It was an X1O0B head with two 4 x 12 cabinets and it was amazing for me to have this giant stack. I used it for many years until I eventually rambled off into various other kinds of amplifiers, and I got back together with Carvin in the late nineties.”

What did you want from a signature amp?

“I’ve always tried to find the sound or feel of the music that really resonated with me, which is one of the freedoms an artist has, that anybody has, really. I was looking for a smooth and friendly, yet powerful sound, and for years I used conventional Marshalls or whatnot that had that historic sound. But, when you’re playing instrumental guitar, where it’s either a melody or a solo all night, you don’t want to beat people over the head with a grinding, piercing tone.”

And so the first Legacy amplifier began to take shape…..

“Well, I got very forensic about it. We tried different tubes and I’d research how they worked. I discovered that when you build a motherboard that’s hand-wired, all the soldering and joints have a lot more integrity. It’s expensive to do that, but Carvin was able to make this hybrid that’s much more robust than most other amps. “One of the great things about Carvin is that the firm can pack a lot into an amplifier without a great expense because it’s a home-grown corporation, so to speak. The amp packed quite a wallop and had a tone that was very friendly to me, so that became the Legacy 1”

How did that original amp transform into the Legacy II?

“I was very happy with the Legacy I but, because we’re always trying to reinvent the wheel, we decided to come up with another version. With the Legacy II, I turned to a different engineer and basically rebuilt the engine of the amp by adding another gain structure. It worked for a couple of years, but my ear was gravitating back towards the comfort I’d had from the Legacy I.”

Steve Vai Interview and Carvin Legacy 3 Amp Overview
Steve Vai Interview and Carvin Legacy 3 Amp Overview

And from there, the Carvin Legacy 3?

“Sometimes you don’t know what you need until you go to war: the stage is the battlefield. Gear may have a particular feel when you’re in the rehearsal room, but when you go from gig to gig there’s never really any consistency. So one of the big chores was to get the Legacy 3 to be [tonally] consistent.”

How about the 3’s small size?

“The new trend is ‘powerful but small’, so we constructed the amp within a framework that’s much smaller than what you can usually pack a 100-watt amplifier into. It’s easy to carry but it still retains all of the integrity. So, you know me and my bizarre colours,I wanted to do something a little more exotic, so we put lights inside ofit. You know, they’re only aesthetics but it’s part of what attracts me.”

Do you still use the Fractal Axe-Fx?

“The way my sound is, I try to avoid digital gear but if you want delay, you have to go with digital. I use a fair amount of stereo delay and I needed to find a unit that gave me that delay yet also had a clear and clean cross-trhough, as if you are in bypass mode The Axe-Fx was the closest I could find that not only gave me the effects but also retained the sound quality of the original tone. It’s really a beast; you can discover the universe with that thing [laughs].”

What do you think the appeal of the signature amp is for people?

“One obvious reason is that they like the artist and the tone, and that they maybe want to have a starting point. But then there are others who will go out of their way not to buy [a signature product] because a particular artist has designed it; some people will steer clear of anything Vail And that’s okay, as they’ll find something else.”

Do you think people will assume they will need an Ibanez JEM too?

“Well, that’s a very interesting point, and I think the same thing applies. People buy guitars for various reasons, and the JEM’s a classic now; it’s 25 years old. It was a collectible, in a sense, as it hasn’t changed; I know people who have 40 JEMs! Maybe they’re Steve Vai fans, but they’re devoted to the guitar.”

What do you feel is the heart of tone?

“I’ve discovered very clearly that the tone is in your imagination, in your head; it’s not necessarily based on the gear of another person. I was sitting in my studio recording and I was using my amp, my guitar, all my effects, and Edward Van Halen came by. At the time we were friends, we were hanging out, and he picked up my guitar to show me something he was working on. It was remarkable; he sounded exactly like Edward Van Halen! It was very obvious to me that the tone was in totally in his fingers and in his head.”

Let’s hope that secret doesn’t get out …

“If it does, hopefully more people will start thinking about their tone! [laughs]”

Check Carvin Legacy 3 Amp details in Reverb Website

Check Ear Training Lesson With Steve Vai

An Interview With Protest The Hero

“WE WANTED to be the band that never played the same riff twice;’ admits Protest The Hero guitarist Luke Hoskin.
“In fact, we made a point of having 20 or 25 different sections all crammed into a four- or five-minute song, but now we appreciate the idea of quality openings and good transitions as well!”

Crowd-funded Canadian prog-punk metallers the Neil Peart seal of approval.

Hailing from Toronto, these progressive metallers may be young but they’ve been making music together for more than a decade. Self-proclaimed fans of Rush, TesseracT and Dream Theater, Protest The Hero found their way to progressive metal via punk, successfully merging it with power, black and symphonic metal. Their technical sounds have even made it onto Guitar Hero, where the nimble-fingered can have a go at Hoskin’s solos.
Now they’re ready to release their ambitious fourth album, Volition, whicl1, according to the guitarist, was also their most stress-free as they played by their own rules. It was paid for by a crowd-funding campaign and recorded at Toronto’s Revolution Recording, following a glowing online testimonial from Rush’s Neil Peart.

An Interview With Protest The Hero
Smiling heroes: Protest The Hero, with guitarist Luke Hoskin (second left) and vocalist/lyricist Rody Walker (far left).

“We set the bar really high. Even though you can get very similar sounds in your bedroom, we wanted to be traditional and do it in a studio, which is pretty expensive;’ Hoskin explains, adding that he especially liked the idea of recording so close to home. “We reached our $125,000 crowd-funding target in something like a day, which was terrifying when you consider we hadn’t even recorded the album yet. I know people will just assume that we spent the extra cash on going out and getting a bunch of lap dancers but we used it to buy back some of our masters, which was really cool. We found the perfect spot for all that money to benefit us in the long run!’

But it’s not all serious. Among the CD album and T-shirt bundles, they also offered fans the opportunity for a pizza party with the band and to appear on the album. In the end, a total of fot1r fans made guest appearances on the release, with additional contributions from WatchTower’s Ron Jarzombek, Lamb Of God and Jarzombek session drUlllffier Chris Adler, and Canadian folk musicianJadea Kelly.

People will assume we spent the extra cash raised on lap dancers. but we bought back some of our masters!••

With all those pledged pre-sales ready for despatch and a distribution deal with Spinefarm Records, Protest The Hero are concentrating on rehearsing for their forthcoming tour, which includes UK dates with TesseracT next year.

“We haven’t played as a band for about eight months, so it’s a scary time but it’s all coming together;’ says Hoskin. “Some of ot1r older songs have 25 parts and they all come in very quick succession so I’m really having to sit down carefully with them!’
Bt1t there’s another reason he’s playing such close attention to tl1e material, and that’s because he’s got some seriot1s competition from openers Intervals. “They’re quite young but awesome. Their guitarist is five years younger than me but he runs circles around my playing! Seriously, get there early and check those guys out!’ NRS

This interview first released in 2013.

More interview

Randy Rhoads Moments

Guitar Heroes – Picked their favorite Randy Rhoads Moments

In this post we compiled list of great Randy Rhoads moments picked by some of the great musicians. Randy Rhoads was inpiration for lot of them.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera / Damageplan) – Diary of a madman

Randy Rhoads Moments

“This song shows a bit of most everything Randy could do. He wrote in a similar dark, heavy-sounding vein as Tony lommi, but he was more versatile. Randy could mix classical play­ing with the demonic stuff. The guitar solo on this song sounds like it fell from the heavens’ I love how he multitracked his guitar to get a really wide sound. Rhoads was just a little dude who exuded classiness, from the way he played to the way he dressed. There’s no telling where guitar playing would be today ifhe were still with us.” (Originally printed in Guitar World, February 2005) !I

Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne / Black label Society) – Over The Mountain

“Man, I remember hearing this at the time with my friends, and we were all totally psyched. Eddie Van Halen was the only guy in· those days, and suddenly here was this Ozzy record with Randy Rhoads, and now we had two top guys. And their styles were mind­blowing, but different. Eddie
was just more fuckin’ insane and off-the-cuff-an incredible impro­viser-whereas with Randy it was about the songwriting and how he would write out and structure his solos.”

Mark Morton (Lamb of god) – Diary of madman

“Of all the killer Randy tracks, this is among the smartest. ln fact, it’s one of the more abstract, dissonant songs from that era. The chords and notes he chose to play literally sound deranged. lt’s actually uncom­fortable to listen to because the chords are so atonal. I think that working and touring with Ozzy, Randy found himself in the middle of insanity, and it bled out of his instrument. Its magical!

Nick Hippa (As i lay dying) – Dee

”Randy will always be my favorite guitar player. When I was young­er, this song made an impact on
how I thought about music and approached the guitar. Here, Randy was embracing a style of music that was so far removed from what he was usually playing. It gave the sense that he was open to all forms and styles of music. I’ve always tried to pursue that goal. rather than be just a metal guitar player.”

Mick Thompson (Slipknot) – Goodbye To Romance

Randy Rhoads Moments

“I only like the ozzy albums with Randy on guitar. I really respect solos that are technically accomplished and say some­ thing, and the solo on ‘Goodbye to Romance’ is a great example of a lyrical guitar solo. It’s one of those leads that makes me cry-a composition within a composition.”

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in chains) – Tonight

“I’d pick this one for Randy’s guitar solo alone, which, in terms of emotive power, is in the same class as David Gilmour’s on’Comfortably Numb.’ This isn’t one of the harder rocking things he did, it’s almost a ballad in a way, though it definitely picks up in the choruses, which have some great chords. That solo is so sad yet beautiful, but it’s not completely down. In fact, it’s really uplifting.”

Jack Black (Tenacious D & Actor) – REVELATION (MOTHER EARTH)

“It starts off like a slow epic with songs and lyrics about ‘The Mother of all Creation I think we’re all going wrong.’ But then at the end it turns into this hard-rocking explosion, as Randy goes into this face-melt­ing classical solo. Delicious.”

Jon Donais (Shadows Fall) – Mr Crowely

“It’s like the national anthem of guitar solos.”

I will add more randy rhoads moments later in this post..

Read More : The 25 best albums of all time – You Must Own! (Based on guitar works)

Check: String Skipping Exercises

Killswitch Engage Interview

Interview with Killswitch Engage


We Were this close to pulling a fast one on killswitch engage’s hirsute axe duo Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel. The premise was, instead of sticking to the usual formula of asking them a bunch of questions sent in by your good selves, we would film the look on their faces when we turned up and initiated a hard-hitting debate on health issues, prison reform, and local government taxation. But then we realized it’d probably be a shit load funnier to ask them about swimming in crap, cursing fellow musicians, and tour-bus masturbation. Don’t say we never spoil you …

Oi, Dutkiewizzle or whatever your name is, why won’t you call my mother back? Do you often give your number out to fans? Questioned by Big Franz, Brighton

Adam Dutkiewicz: “your or wasn’t worth the two dollars spent on the super value menu at McDonald’s! And I never give out my number … Fans, or KSE haters for that matter, calling at 3 am sounds like as much fun as sticking your dong in a hot toaster oven. “

I went on the Internet to find out what a kill switch was and couldn’t because your band occupies all the search options. Do you actually know what a kill switch is, and how to engage one? Questioned by Billy Bromley, by email

A: “yes, I do … It’s something I’d like to use on you for asking that bunk-ass question! Ha! Boom! It’s about shutting something down, like your life. “

Interview with Killswitch Engage
Interview with Killswitch Engage Axemen

Joel Stoetzel: “a kill switch is something that shuts down a motor engine. Our bass player mike[d’antonio] thought of the name- he heard the word and started playing around with it. His band at the time was coming to an end, as was mine and adam’s, and we wanted to stan something new so we shut everything else down by activating the kill switch!”

A: “I’ll get the next question will be equal or greater in retardedness … “

I want to throw a killswitch engagement party for my fiancee. Can you recommend an appropriate theme? Questioned by Craig Milebam, London

A: “yup, greater in retardedness. well, a true KSE theme for a party would be a lot of beer, fried chicken, maybe a water slide, 80smetal, all-you-can-eat beef jerky, and a fountain that spews chocolate pudding. Oh, there would probably be a mosh pit with shirtless dudes wearing helmets, too.”

J: “haha! That’s awesome. That phrase has come up in our camp, too, as some of the guys have gotten married in the past year. I got married in march and mike D got married in October. Recommend aHeme theme? We kept ours pretty quiet. We went out for steaks and got drunk afterward. That’s a good enough theme for me! “

Is it true you only got Howard to ‘sing’ in killswitch because Sebastian bach said be would rather get his head cut off? Questioned by Pete, London

A: “what the christ are you talking about? I’ll bet your morn huffed paint fumes while pregnant with you. Howard can sing, and he likes to sing, therefore he sings. How about that! Boom! “

J: “we didn’t approach Sebastian to my knowledge. That would have been pretty awesome though! I love skid row and I love bach’s voice. “

Who do you think is better, slash or kirk Hammett? Questioned by Jo Hillmount, Gateshead

A: “yikes! That’s like getting asked, ‘do you want to get stabbed with a dagger or an ice pick? “

J: “that’s a tough one. I might have go with Slash. I was a huge fan of kirk while growing up, but I would have to base it on style. Slash had that really laid-back bluesy style whereas kirk was more of the classic thrash shred scuff, which is equally as awesome, but it’s just personal preference.”

A: “although his tone is atrocious, I prefer slash’s playing way over Hammett’s. That curly-haired, monkey-looking Metallica bitch sold his right to play metal years ago, and all of his solos on the good records suck anyways. On the other hand, slash is a little shot but really shone on the appetite for destruction. “

What bands would be ill your ideal festival line-up? Questioned by Soph, by email

A: “well, first of all, it would be hosted by Cadbury, bass ale, and a lot of Indian people, so there would be all the chocolate, beer, and curry you could eat. Second of all, there would be a tent full of hot girls appropriately named ‘the hot girl tent’. And as far as the band lineup goes, who gives a shit? ! “

J: “always iron maiden, dude, we’re all huge fans. Metallica back in the late 80s. Maybe some old testament, too. That’d be a good start for me to see some old metal. I haven’t been listening to a lot of new metal stuff recently, more classic rock.”

If you had to sleep with another guitarist who would it be? Questioned by Chris Mountford, Redditch

J: “haha! Female or male? Oh, Jesus … These are some wacky questions, brother! I have no idea. Probably

adam! We have to share beds in hotels all the time on the road so we’re past the weirdness s. We’re pretty comfortable with each other’s bodies! “

A: “I’d probably choose jewel. She’s the hottest guitar player I can think of. Oh, wait … Does she still have that wicked snaggle tooth? It looks like someone used her teeth for a can opener! “

When you were younger what was the one riff that you could never get right? Questioned by Lucas Clarkey, by email

A: “I always had some trouble Eruption by Eddie Van Halen. His style and nuances are weird to me, but I frigging love that dude’s playing. No one sounds like him. “

J: “I would say probably the second riff in the master of puppets. At the time I couldn’t get my hand down-pick it that fast and I wasn’t coordinated enough to do the alternative picking so that one killed me when I started playing. You’ve gotta use all four fingers on your left hand. It’s the spider riff it’s a little weird. “

Your latest single my curse is awesome. If you could curse someone with anything, what would it be? Questioned by Lionel Rytchye, LA

A: “I would curse everyone in my band with uncontrollable gas. Nothing’s funnier than farts. “

J: “if I had to curse someone would make chem always stay up as late as I chose and drink as much as me. You might say that’s not a curse at first, but believe me, in the end … The next day it would definitely be a curse. I would inflict that on Adam for making us miss him so much on this tour … “

Have either of you ever been caught wanking on the tour bus? Questioned by Willy Wanker, Never Land

A: “thank god, no. I’ve never even shit on a bus. Howard jones has had several ‘bagged poo’ moments though, aka the bag of shame! “

Why did you do an endorsement with caparison and not a bigger company like Ibanez or esp? Questioned by Uli Kanka, Bonn, Germany:

A: “Caparison was one of the first companies that believed killswitch engage. I feel that models are far superior to most of the Ibanez and esp production line models as well. There is more attention to detail and craftsmanship. Caparison has also been much more generous to us than the other companies have been known to be. “

J: “‘we were approached by Ibanez’s cos at the time j was playing a JEM and adam was playing a Satriani model, and part of their thing was they didn’t wanna give out any kind of guitars that were already signature models, so we held off for a while. Then we toured with the guys from Soilwork and they both played caparison. They put us in contact with them. They’re a really nice small company and just make great guitars. “

What’s the worst show that you guys have ever played? Questioned by Henry Denn, Liverpool:

A: “ha! All of them! Actually, there was a show in Philadelphia where l forgot my guitar. Donetsk. Anyways, I had to borrow one of Joel’s back-ups, which didna have any fret markers. Needless to say, I was drunk, I

Interview with Adam Dutkiewicz & Joel Stroetzel (Killswitch Engage)
Killswitch Engage

couldn’t see what l was playing … It was quite A cacophonous event. “

J: “actually the worst show ever was when we didn’t even get to play. It was in Florida years ago and we started loading the gear while there was a hurricane blowing. A bunch of the pipes burst in the venue and there was literally shit floating all over the floor. Eventually, after waiting for them all day to clean up all this shit, we waded out and left. “

Is it true that when darkness falls was actually inspired from when Howard slipped on a bar of soap in the shower? Questioned by Dave T, Surrey

A: “No It was inspired about the time Howard went hot air ballooning, and the basket became untied to the balloon when it was about 20 feet up. He landed safely. “

Joel, what’s the most ridiculous thing adam D’s said on stage? Questioned by Graham Jones, Cardiff.

J: “The other night he said, ‘i just wanna let you guys know that last night I fucked all your mothers, but what you don’t know is that six months before last night I also fucked all your mothers, and last night I let the baby do the work’. That’s probably the shittiest thing he ever said. I don’t know how he comes up with it. It’s always completely random. On, Ozzfest he said, ‘hey, you guys should probably have a Tampax tent for all you pussies out there. “‘

Would either of you ever be up for a ‘squeal-off’ with Zakk Wylde? Questioned by Gaz, Wrexham

J: “I would try but l would be afraid, very afraid. He’s the master. He’s been one of my heroes for many years. I would be honored to even try but he would kick my ass!

A: “Zakk is king. “

For the sideburns, you play it down and pretend like you’re just having a laugh, but really you are the shit when it comes to recording band, right? Questioned by The hairy Ju of frome

A: “nope. I know everything about everything that is beer. It is my life, it is my one and only desire. Barley, yeast, and hops equal passion. The recording is just ok, I guess. “

Adam, if you could produce any band on the planet, who would it be and why? Questioned by Niles Crane, Seattle

A: “limp Bizkit just so I could punch Fred Durst in the ball wicked hard. “

Also check:

An Old Interview Of Dimebag Darrell – The Rough Rider

Rusty Cooley Interview

What Strings Do You Use? Rusty Cooley

Famous guitarist Shred maestro Rusty Cooley answered all those inane questions you really want related with guitar string.

Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without?

I use Jim Dunlop Extra Heavy Gel Picks. This is what works best for me. I have tried all of the others but always come back to this one.

If you had to give up all your pedals but three, what would they be?

Well I have a brand new signature overdrive just released by Pro tone Pedals simply called the Rusty Cooley Overdrive. I can’t live without that one of course, for obvious reasons -LOU And to be honest I really don’t need anything beyond that.

Rusty Cooley Interview
Rusty Cooley With His 7 string Signature Dean Guitars

Do you play another instrument well enough to be in a band?

Yeah I could fake it on bass. Never done it but it could be done-it would be fun to bust out some shredding bass!

If a music chart was put in front of you, could you read it?

Yes! I don’t have to do it often but I have in the past. I used to have to read every day-I was never a good sight-reader but I could do it.

Do guitar cables really make a difference? What make are yours?

Yes, they do, but I’m glad my ears are not that sensitive. I hate hearing everybody whine about crap like that-it’s good enough for me to plug in and go.

Is there anyone’s playing (past or present) that you’re slightly jealous of?

No, I don’t get jealous when I hear other players kicking my ass. I get motivated to get in there and practice more inspiration, and a good butt-kicking every once in a while makes you better.

Your house/studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?

It would be my very first Rusty Cooley signature model seven-string by Dean Guitars. Why? Because it was the very first one made and Dean Guitars was the first company that believed in me enough to build a guitar 100% to my specs. This guitar is amazing!

What’s your favorite amp and how do you set it?

The Peavey 3120. Here’s my studio volume settings: Master 1 ½ (the rest of the settings will be listed as if you were looking at the face of a clock); Volume 3, Treb 1:30, Mid 11:30, Bass 1:15, Gain 3:00.

What kind of action do you have on your guitars?

I like it very low, to the point of buzzing.

I have learned to play the guitar so you can’t hear the buzz -I can play around it, if you know what I mean.

What strings do you use?

I use GHS Boomers .009 -.042 for strings one to six and a .060 for the low seventh string. I also use an
.008 for the high A on my eight-string. The .060 for the low B gives me some extra tension that I lose
from tuning down a half-step.

This Interview Taken In August 2009

Check 5 Killer Alternate Picking Exercise for Intermediate / advance guitar players.

Shawn Lane Interview

Shawn Lane Interview From 1994

Shawn Lane still remains a mystery to music fans in the UK. even though he voted best new talent in Guitar player magazine’s 1992 poll and has drawn praise from the likes of Vernon Reid, Eric Johnson, Kirk Hammett and George Lynch …. By Cliff Douse

Shawn lane interview taken in October1994:

Lanes Tapes have been passed around guitar circles for years, but his debut Warner Brothers album “Powers Of Ten” has been difficult to obtain outside the States. His original tunes show a wide range of influences, ranging from Heavy Metal and Blues to modern Classical music. His soloing displays an incredible technique (he’s been described as the fastest guitarist alive). while remaining melodic and lyrical.

Also a fine bassist, pianist and drummer. Shawn is currently working on a new album and has recently

An interview with shawn lane published on October, 1994
Shawn Lane

been involved in projects with Mark Varney and Dweezil Zappa.

“Dweezil did this song that’s over an hour long, with Eric Johnson, Briand May, Albert Lee, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Its probably the song with the most guest guitar players ever, and its coming out on the Barking Pumpkin Label”

Lane also played piano at Paul Gilbert’s wedding.

“I did the Wedding March and a piano arrangement of a Mr Big song. I tell you, I’ve played a lot of gigs. But doing the Wedding March was one of the most nervous moments I’ve ever had.”

Does Shawn see himself as a multi-instrumentalist or a guitarist who plays a load of other instruments?
“I see myself as a composer and multi-instrumentalist. I’ve been playing the guitar for a little over 20 years. Which is longer than I’ve played any other instrument, so it’s probably the one I’m most proficient on. The piano would be next and then the drums. I have a whole lot of influences on the different instruments and they cross-pollinate each other. For Instance, I may be inspired to play something on the guitar by listening to a drummer like Vinnie Collaiuta or Trilok Gurtu. Or I may be inspired to play something on the drums by listening to a guitar player such as John Mclaughlin.”

How does Lane find time to keep up his proficiency on all these instruments?
“Most of my guitar practicing would come from playing a tot of live gigs. Over the last 15 years, I’ve probably played a thousand gigs with various Top 40 bands and then with my own band. So I don’t really practice much guitar at home. At home, I tend to practice on the piano a lot and when I’m recording I tend to play a lot of drums. It takes me about a month to really get my drum chops up. In the past, I’ve mostly composed on keyboards. But on the new album I’m doing most of my writing on the guitar because they’re guitar-orientated tunes.”

Lane joined the Rock band Black Oak Arkansas at the incredible age of 14. How did that come about?
“I was playing in an original Heavy Metal band. We opened for another group that was managed by the same guy who did Black Oak Arkansas. And I heard that they were doing auditions for a guitar player. So I Just went along and somehow got the gig. That was back in ’78. One of the first shows I did was on the same bill as REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent. There were probably about 50,000 people there, which was a real big thing for a 14-year­old kid! We also played at the inauguration of Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas.”

Some would say Shawn is rare among flashy players in that he actually sounds melodic and musical.
“That’s because I don’t look at the guitar in terms of licks; I try to think more about melody. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but when it does I’m very happy with the results. I suppose a lot of the flashy Rock guitarists are Influenced by Classical music. But only up to the era of the likes of Paganini. They gel a lot of lines from that, but then they never go on to be influenced by the music of Chopin, Liszt, or even later people like Ravel or Debussy. So there are influences that can be drawn from later classical music which can really open your phrasing up.”

Major record labels are notorious for pulling their artists into the mainstream, yet there are a lot of exploratory ideas on ‘Powers Of Ten’.
“Warner Brothers have been really great about that. Their Progressive division are really great people and have other original artists signed like Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. And they’ve been really good about giving their musicians the artistic freedom to do whatever they’re best at.”

Lane also joined forces with fellow six-stringer Frank Gambale on Mark Varney’s ‘Centrifugal Funk’ project, although he wasn’t really happy with the results.
“It was kind of prefabricated. The tracks had already been laid down and then people were got in to solo without really having much contact with each other. On a couple of the songs, the solos that I played were the first take and I’d never even heard the song first.”

Is Shawn planning to maintain his present recording direction?

“Well, I’m trying to do something that would appeal to a wider audience, but without alienating as much spontaneity as possible. It’s pretty hard work, but it’s a lot of fun. I usually only spend two or three days on any given song.
“I’m getting a much better guitar tone on this album. I’m using Ibanez guitars at the moment. A guitar they call the Ghostrider, although there may soon be a Shawn Lane model. There’s also another guitar I’ve been using lately called the Talman. a guitar with three lipstick tube pickups. It’s really similar to the old Danelectro guitars and it’s great for Bluesy stuff. I tend towards rosewood necks and I like guitars with a little bit of an arch on the top. For 20 years

I used Holmes Mississippi Bluesmaster amps, but recently I met an amp engineer called James Brown. Who helped design the 5150 amps for Eddie Van Halen. He analyzed what it was about the Holmes amps that I liked and managed to come up with a program. Peavey has a unit called the Pro-Fex II preamp and I run that with a Peavey PVCS400 amplifier. And with some of the custom programs they put together down at the Peavey plant 1n Meridian, it really is the closest thing I’ve heard to those old Holmes amps. In some ways, It’s better because it’s more dependable. Then I also use a Bob Gjika amp. He’s from Austin, Texas and he makes really awesome tube amps. I’ve never heard anything like the sound his amplifiers get! It’s a pretty large amp, so I use that for a full-fledged tour or in the studio.”

What are Shawn’s current listening preferences?
“Generally I’m a big fan of music, films and the arts in general. On the guitar side of things, one of the most amazing players I’ve ever heard is Ted Green. He’s probably best known for his book, ‘Chord Chemistry’, but he does this amazing chord solo Jazz-style guitar. I also heard him do a 10 minute improvisation on a Telecaster through a Fender amp, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. He cut a record some time ago, which Is very rare and difficult to find now. There’s also Derek Bailey, who is incredible. But I’ve been listening to a lot of other stuff, like Tori Amos and Michael Nyman.”

Are there any musicians who Shawn would particularly like to work with?
“Yeah, there are loads of musicians I really admire. I’d really love lo work with someone like Joe Zawinul. But the problem with me is that I feel uncomfortable playing with people I admire because I just want to listen to them rather than play myself.”

And a message for those who might aspire to Shawn’s position?
“When I started playing, there weren’t any instructional magazines and videos like there are today, so I just had to jump in and make music at a simple level and take it from there. So I believe it’s important for people to start making music at whatever level they are at. The fact that we have all of this information at our fingertips now is good, but I feel that sometimes players get so into building up their chops that they don’t find their own identity by just making music. There is valid music to be made at any technical level; I’ve heard people at the most primitive technical level make brilliant music.”

Check Interview with Candian Band Protest The Hero

Paul Gilbert Lesson – 12 Lesson From Terrifying Guitar Trip With Tabs


Ron Thal Bumblefoot Interview

An Interview With Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal

Bumble in The Jungle (2009)

An instrumentalist and rock player of the highest order, Ron
‘Bumblefoot’ Thal is perhaps the greatest guitarist nobody’s really heard of. But now he’s Guns N’ Roses’ main man – and with the release of Chinese Democracy the spotlight has finally found him Words Charlie Griffiths Pictures Jesse Wild


We know you know this already, but Bumblefoot is of course an infection found


Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal With Guns N Roses onstage


on the feet of birds of prey and some other animals. It’s also the pseudonym of Brooklyn, New York guitar player Ron Thal, who has recently played on the slightly delayed comeback album of one of the most revered rock bands ever, stepping into the snakeskin boots of the most iconic guitarist of the last three decades in the process.




“When I was about six, I put a band together with some of the neighbourhood kids and we even wrote songs. You don’t have a lot of life experience at six, so all we wrote about was the Solar System. I had a song called Jupiter Is Nice”


Not just anyone could step up to this kind of challenge. Yet the most cursory listen to any of his nine solo outings will prove conclusively that Ron Thal has the credentials and the talent for the job. His astounding guitar skills – an explosive mix of all the shred licks in the devil’s trick bag, and then some – have earned him an army of loyal fans, staring wide-eyed as two ­handed tapping, sinuous fretless soloing, robotic picking techniques, and super­ fluent scalar rock licks are tossed off with almost cavalier ease. Thankfully, though, there’s also a slightly unhinged, comedic edge to his fret board fireworks that elevate his technical pyrotechnics beyond the earnest rutting’s of the tiresome music­ shop fret ticklers: you know who you are.
His journey into the big-time limelight began in 2006 when, during the protracted 14-year, IO-plus-guitarist birth of Guns N’ Roses’ opus Chinese Democracy, he received the call to come and ‘jam with the band’, leading to his live unveiling. We catch up with him to discuss how it feels to get in the ring with GN’R…


So, Ron, how does one go about joining one of the biggest bands of all time?


Bumblefoot Tone WIth GNR


“It all began in the summer of 2004 when I got an e-mail from Joe Satriani, who coming from New York I’d known for years. He said that the guys in Guns N’ Roses were looking for a new guitar player and that he had recommended me. Pretty quick after that one of the guys in the band sent me an e-mail saying hello, then we started talking with management and the producers of the album and we started making plans way back then. It all went quiet for a while, then in early 2006 they had a tour ready to go and we got together in New York and started jamming. We would get together and play like three songs and say, Cool, let’s do three more tomorrow! And just kept doing that for two weeks, then we hit the road and played 27 countries in front of a million people. It was pretty damn good.”


Was it quite a contrast with your previous touring experiences?


“Oh sure! The previous tour I did, there seven of us crammed into a van with the flu, driving all around France, coughing, sneezing, barely eating and playing to a couple of hundred people. Six months later, you have a crew of 60, you’re flying all over the place and. Playing gigs for 150,000, so definitely a contrast, at least on the exterior! The thing that surprised me the most was that when you’re on the stage, it barely feels that different to any other show. I guess everything you do kin9a comes from within; my feet are still on the ground, I’m playing guitar, I’m still doing what I do.”


Did you feel comfortable right away, or did you have to adapt to fit the classic Guns N’ Roses sound?


“When I was around 18, I was in a cover band called Leonard Nimoy. We’d jam AC/DC, Aerosmith and KISS and we also did a couple of songs off of Appetite For Destruction, which had just come out: we did My Michelle, Mr Brownstone and Welcome To The Jungle. So I grew up knowing those songs and have total respect for them. As for adapting myself, for the most part I stay with what Slash played, especially for the big melodies because that’s what people really want to hear. But for the faster passages I do my own thing.”

Bumblefoot Ron Thal With His Signature Guitar


How did you begin work on Chinese Democracy?

“In between the legs of the tour, we would hop in the studio and start laying tracks. The songs were already written a while back and a lot of the stuff had a very industrial foundation and for me personally, the one thing I felt I could really add to the music was the sleaze factor, and to make it sound like a guitar­ driven rock ‘n’ roll song, which is kind a funny because most people think of me as some kind of shredder guy and they focus on the solos, where to me the most important thing I feel I added to Guns N’ Roses was in the rhythms and overall vibe of the album. For example, I used fretless guitar for some of the rhythms – like on the title track – and I feel it really adds something to the verses with that whole growling sound.”

Did you feel a responsibility to respect the already existing guitar tracks, now those guys are no longer in the band?


“I would just try to keep the existing parts in mind and play something that’s not going to step on something else and at the same time find the balance between not stepping on toes, but giving as many options and possibilities as you can. Plus, I didn’t really know how things would be balanced in the end, what’s going to be loud, what will be low, what’s going to be there, what won’t be. That’s why I was like, you know what, let me just try absolutely everything and present to you everything, and that way you can mix and match and later on everyone will sit around and say let’s go with this, or this bit sucks, or this bit is good … “


Bumblefoot Signature Guitar – Vigier Guitar




We now know that Brian May’s tracks weren’t used on the final version, which he has expressed disappointment about. What happened to his takes?


“Brian May had done a whole lot of tracking for the album that unfortunately wasn’t used. Brian had recorded a solo for the Catcher In The Rye years ago, and I had done some takes later on. And I guess they chose to go with the stuff I put down, which actually I feel a little guilty about: you know Brian May is definitely someone who is of we are not worthy!’ status. Brian, if you read this, you’re welcome to play anything you want on one of my records. In fact, I won’t play any guitar at all and you can play all the guitars – that would be fine with me.”


Speaking of your own work, since joining GN’R, you’ve found time to produce and release two solo albums, titled Normal and Abnormal. What’s the story with those albums?


“Normal was about everything going on in my crazy life back in 2004 when there was some crazy GN’R shit going on. Some of the songs on there were inspired by GN’R’s old manager, who I got in a fight with, so I wrote a bunch of songs about the guy. Then there was also the whole battle going on between my being on brain meds to keep me sane, but not being able to write music anymore and having to make that choice: do I want to be normal, or do I want to be a musician but have that war going on inside my head all the time? So that’s basically the underlying concept of that album. “When the GN’R tour came along, it was like someone had taken the Life Intensity knob and turned it up a couple of notches. All the things that come along with that new experience inspired a new batch of things with the songs. It’s autobiographical, like, okay, what’s going on now? Different issues that I didn’t have before started to occur, like the objectification that happens when you get more recognition, and you’re on people’s radar more. Then there are the issues of being on tour. On tour, life is very regimented and planned out and military and you just have one purpose, which is to play the next show. You come home and you don’t know what the hell to do with yourself. Every time I came home I would find myself being very reckless, driving a lot faster and being a lot crazier, and doing electrical work on the house with no training. It takes a couple of weeks to calm down, so when I got off the last tour, as soon as I got home, to keep myself out of trouble I just locked myself in the studio and busted out Abnormal.”


Your playing is very unique and immediately recognizable, both technically and harmonically. How did your sound evolve?


“It really shouldn’t be the way it is, because all I listened to growing up was


Ace Freshly and Jimi Hendrix. And then the noodly thing I got from Eddie Van Halen. I don’t know where it comes from; you just express yourself and whatever comes out, comes out. I guess there’s some kind of mix between an obnoxious rock ‘n’ roll-type player and somehow thinking too much.
“I was always a brainiac kid, just into studying and learning and just being a sponge for knowledge, especially when I started learning guitar. I started taking guitar lessons when I was six or seven years old and had lessons for about eight years. I was studying jazz, reading, and theory before learning solos and all that – for the first four years it was a very academic structured study. At the same time, the whole reason I started playing was hearing the KISS album KISS Alive, which was pretty over-the-top for a five­ year-old. When I was about six, I put a band together with some of the neighborhood kids and we even wrote songs. You don’t have a lot of life experience at six, so all we wrote about was the Solar System. I had a song called Jupiter Is Nice. We figured out how to overdub using two boom boxes and we made some demos. I still have those recordings, and I recently transferred them all on to CD.”


So that was also the beginning of your production career?


“Yeah, I suppose so. Through the years the equipment just got better. We eventually got a mixing board, from that we got a little eight-track quarter-inch reel to reel, then we moved on to ADATS, then a Tascam DA-88 synched up to a computer with Logic on it, and then going to just a PC using Cu base, then going 24-bit, then 32-bit and so on. The toys are better, but I’m still a six-year-old kid!”


You’ve had a long relationship with Vigier guitars and your flying foot guitar almost became your trademark. Why did you retire it?


“Out of necessity! I think it was in Istanbul, in front ofl0,000 people or so,
I went to hit the [whammy] bar and suddenly these little strips of black and yellow wood hit my feet and the bottom wing came off. I was looking down like, Ah shit! Then I look up and see 10,000 faces waiting for me to continue, so I figured it was time to put that baby to rest. I’d used that guitar for so many tours and it was my main guitar since ’98, so I got eight solid years of bashing the hell out of it.
“I put a little contest out there through my website to design a new Bumble foot guitar, and the winner was a guy called Jason Miskimins from Ohio. We ended up with a Jimmy Page-vibe double-neck with an almost SG-shaped body, with a fretless neck and a fretted neck – it’s a real nice design. Vigier is only building two of’em, one for me and Jason gets the other one.




“Most people think of me as some kind of shredder guy and they focus on the solos, where to me the most important thing I feel I added to Guns N’ Roses was in the rhythms and overall vibe of the album” Bumblefoot


I can’t wait to see it. Then there’s my signature guitar, which is my everyday guitar: it’s pretty much a straight-up Vigier Excalibur, which we tweaked in all different ways. It has a little hole in the front where I keep my thimble, and the pickup configuration is a DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge and a Chopper in the neck position, with a cool five-way switching system where the bridge pickup can be single-coil or straight humbucker or the two out-of-phase, which has a real nice quacky tone to it. The Floyd Rose bridge is resting on the body, so you can bend without tuning difficulties; plus there’s nothing worse than breaking a string at a gig and your whole guitar goes out of tune. The coolest thing about Vigier is the neck, which has that sheet of graphite through it so you never have to adjust it; it’s always perfect, no matter what climate. I’ve tortured the hell out of my Vigier guitars and I’ve never had a problem with the necks.”


So what’s next in the adventures of Bumblefoot? A tour to support Abnormal?


“Right after doing Abnormal I knew Chinese Democracy was on the way and I wasn’t sure if we were going to do any promo shows or anything like that, so
I didn’t want to plan a tour and have to cancel it like I had to once before. Instead, I just went back into the studio and did an acoustic EP called Barefoot, where I took five songs from previous albums and did really stripped-down versions of them, with acoustic rhythm guitar, acoustic lead guitar, bass, and vocals. It was a real blast going back and re-interpreting my own songs. I actually had another website contest on that one where people would choose what the fifth song would be. I totally left it up to the forum to choose any song they wanted. The song that got the most requests was a song called She Knows, which was a song from about 10 years ago that never made it onto the Uncool CD and was a part of the anthology of stuff that never made it onto the other CDs. To fill up the space on the CD, I also included instrumental versions of the tracks with no vocals – karaoke versions.”


Are there any future plans for Guns N’ Roses? A world tour, or another album perhaps?


“There are no plans as of this moment.
I would be surprised if we didn’t tour, but there are no plans just yet. I feel an affinity for Guns N’ Roses because GN’R makes its own rules, it does its own thing how it wants when it wants. And if you tell it needs to do something, it will do the opposite just to give you the finger, and I’m the same way. A lot of people might not have it in them to go on that ride of not knowing what’s going to happen, that feeling of waiting to go on stage to the point that people are about to riot and destroy the fucking place, then you go on right before they explode. To me it’s the equivalent of going on a rollercoaster; you put your hands up and go, Wheeeee!”

See More Interview

Tom Morello, Reveals His Guitar Inspirations And Heroes

Rage Against The Machine’s and Audioslave’s Guitarist Tom Morello is possibly the most innovative guitarist of the 90s – maybe it has something to do with his multi-cultural roots. His uncle was Jomo Kenyatta, the George Washington of Africa. Tom explains, “My dad was a Mau-Mau from Nairobi, and my mom was Italian. She ran guns – and made cookies!”

Here, Morello reveals to TC the songs that inspired him musically and politically. As he says, “When it comes to the guitar, I’m not influenced by other guitarists”.

Fuck The Police by NWA (1988)

“This tune really cut to the heart of the matter in three words. Somebody really should fuck the police! I like the way the lyrical structure is set up. It’s about a cop being put on trial by the community. It’s almost prophetic – this is a couple of years before Rodney King and the LA riots. In this case, the community is Ice Cube, Dr Dre and Easy E, and they put on a very flavourful prosecution!”

Out on the tiles by Led Zeppelin (1970)

“A lesser known Zep song, but it’s my favourite. I still don’t understand why this song isn’t a mainstay on classic rock radio that I’ve always loved. It contains the mother of all fucking riffs – an awesome Jimmy Page heavy funk groove that I’ve always loved.

There’s also a great moment where You can tell they’ve included part of an outtake – it’s not one of Robert Plant’s best vocal performances, and you hear him saying to stop the tape. It gives the tune this great loose vibe.”

Biko by Peter Garbriel (1980)

“The most moving three minutes of music I’ve ever heard. It tells the death of anti­apartheid activist Steven Biko at the hands of the South African security police 20 years ago. it contains a lyric that really fired me up as a teenager. That gave me hope in having a revolutionary outlook. I realised just as the oppressed South African people still had hope, so did the downtrodden community in the southside of Chicago.
“It’s also really amazing how on that particular track Gabriel incorporates some elements of world music, specifically South African heats, without it coming across in a country, Paul Simon kind of way. It’s a deep and powerful song, yet, at the same time, it’s also very uplifting.”

Loud Love by Soundgarden (1990)

“Soundgarden and Jane’s Addiction were the two bands that dragged hard rock into intellectual and artistic respectability. Loud Love features an absolutely awesome riff, which is enhanced by a hair-raising arrangement. It was one of the first songs to legitimise die use of serious Sabbath­and Zeppelin-type rifts within the context of music that wasn’t lyrically fluffy.”

King of Rock by Run-DMC (1985)

“This tune was my first introduction to the idea of mixing hip-hop with hard rock guitar which, on this track, I think was played by Eddie Martinez. For your average, white, suburban teenager, this concept was out there, although cool at same time. There’s a no admittance attitude to this culture thats very appealing, which is why you find it influencing bands from Fun Lovin’ Criminals all the way to Korn”

Had a dad by Jane’s Addiction (1988)

“I always loved Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and those big riff rockers. But I also loved bands that had something to say, had an artiste vision beyond groupies and limos, Like the Clash and Public Enemy. Jane’s Addiction had it all. The one element of my triangulation of great rock that Jane’s was missing was hip-hop, but in place of that, they had a folk element that complemented their sound.

“Not only is this an awesome, heavy track that’s syncopated with Steven Perkin’s amazing drumming, it also contains my favourite Jane’s lyric. After lamenting this shafting his father gave him, Perry Barks, “Let’s rock!’ – that’s my life.”


Poison By The Prodigy (1995)

“‘When it comes to the sounds that l make on the guitar, I’m not really influenced by other guitarists. However, whenever I listen to Terminator X or Liam Howlett of the Prodigy, I’m inspired and I’ll try to recreate that vibe when I play. I had the pleasure of performing wilh The Prodigy on One Man Army, a tune featured on the spawn Soundtrack and I think Liam Howlett is a simply amazing composer as well as a great musician. He has an excellent touch with arrangements. Some of the best rave songs ebb and flow, coming way down, the exploding in a release of tension. The Prodigy is the only techno band that approximates this.”

What We All Want by Gang of Four (1981)

“Andy Gill is one of my favourite guitar players of all time. But when I first heard this band l bated his guitar playing, because nack then I was really into dying whole Randy Rhoads, Van Halen, Al Di Meola thing. To me, Andy Gill sounded like he was playing with a different band during this song. I later grew to appreciate the brilliance of his deconstructed guitar parts. He plays the unexpected. Its kind of out playing without having any of the slightest jazz pretensions. Its jagged, yet contrasts sublimely with the stiff funk that’s going on underneath.”

Youngstown by Bruce Sptringsteen (1995)

“This tune comes from The Ghost of Tom Joad album [the title song of which Rage covered]. However, Youngstown is an intensely moving track about how good, ordinary people can become ground up in the cogs of capitalism, and then discarded. And in a similar way to Biko, I think there’s a thinly veiled threat involved in this tune as well. It’s an awesome minor-key ballad. This is a song I wish I’d written”

The Mob Rules by Black Sabbath (1981)

“It’s just this huge riff, this terrifying leap – and Ronnie James Dio’s vocals are almost demonic in promising an Imminent apocalypse. The first time I heard it was in the cartoon movie, Heavy Metal, where it accompanies a scene where the unwashed rabble are storming the barricades, and it was just the perfect soundtrack to it.
“Whenever we tour Europe, we, always have a night where the crew smokes loads of hash in the darkened den of the tour bus as we crank up The Mob Rules and revel in that teenage bliss.”

Clampdown by The Clash (1979)

“This was the first cover song Rage ever did. When I heard the lyrics, ‘You grow old and you calm down’, I thought, Man, That’s never going to be me’. So when I hear this song, it reminds me of how angry I am. Musically, the thing I find arresting is the first big chord, which is the closest The Clash ever got to heavy metal.”

By the time i get to Arizona by Public Enemy (1991)

“By the time i get to Arizona is a huge groove. This track isn’t a Bomb Squad production, which tended to be more crazy and hectic, which perfectly complemented Chuck D’s lyrics. Instead, this tune employs a deep, huge bass line and featureds great lyrics that threaten the state of Arizona, because it’s the last place in the union to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a public holiday.”

Public Enemy in full effect: “they can be crazy and hectic”
Interview Of Edge (guitarist of U2)

The Edge – Guitarist of U2

The Edge (Dave Evans) Guitarist of Band U2

WHO? Guitarist with U2, known as Dave Evans to his mates.
Born: August 8th, 1961, East London – so no, he’s not Irish

Background: Began playing the guitar at nine, and formed
‘The Hype’ al school with Adam Clayton on bass and his mate Paul
Hewson on vocals. The early setlist included Moody Blues covers and
Peter Frampton songs.

The Way To The Top: The band’s name changed to
U2 in 1979 but they were often billed as ‘The U2’s’. At this time
Paul became Bono and Dave became The Edge. Adam, after a
brief but intense renaming session, remained simply ‘Adam·.
The band signed to lsland Records in 1980.

Guitar Style: The Edge has never been one for Aash
lead pyrotechnics. He once slagged off fast lead guitar playing as
“more a form of athletics than anything else.” From The early days,
he’s played strange chiming drone chords (often without 3rds and
using octaves and 5ths) through a mystical quantity of old delay
units, vintage distortion pedals, and his ubiquitous Vox AC30 amps.

Personality: Once offered a journo “a good kicking in
the bollocks” for slagging off the vast U2 Rattle & Hum media fest.
Now refuses all but the most pressing of journalistic engagements.

Reputation: Everyone respects Edge. Even blues
veteran BB King once remarked that he was the finest rhythm
guitarist alive. The fact that BB was enjoying a considerable career
revival playing with U2 was entirely unconnected to his statement.

Influences: Influences? Pah! The Edge is one of the
true guitar pioneers. His work with Eno on The Unforgettable Fire,
Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and Zooropa may have helped to hone
his sound, but his use of effects (particularly delays) in and out of
the studio has always been revolutionary. Rather tawdry blues
playing on Rattle & Hum diminished his image somewhat.

Guitar Tricks: Most U2 songs are born from improvisation or just chance. Edge often sets a delay (possibly one of his favourites, a Memory Man Deluxe) for a
crotchet echo, tapes down the strings with gaffer’s tape to mute them and plays simple two-note chord lines. In this way, he has created such gems as Pride (In The Name Of Love) and Where The Streets Have No Name.

Most Likely To Say: Get in time Adam; that’s a dotted note!

Least Likely To Say: Nice Van Halen Solo, that.