We ask a famous guitarist all those inane questions you really want the answers to.This month, shred maestro Rusty Cooley …
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.
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
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