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Post Info TOPIC: Words of Wisdom from 'God'!

Total Addicted GearSlutz!

Status: Offline
Posts: 99
Date: Jun 21, 2008
Words of Wisdom from 'God'!

Interview Conducted by Mark Menghi
Recorded on the Zoom H2
April 30th, 2008 at 1:00pm EST

How does it feel to be considered the godfather of heavy metal?

Old! (laughs) No, its fantastic. It has taken a lot of years, but its great. Its a nice thing to accept.

What got you interested in music and does music run in your family?

I started playing music when I was younger. My father played an accordion, and I used to have an accordion as well so I started to play that. But I always wanted a set of drums. My parents wouldnt let me have any, so I sort of went to guitar and I really enjoyed it. But what got me interested was watching and listening to the old Rock and Roll and also a band called The Shadows, which were an instrumental band in England. They were great and the only instrumental guitar band in England.

Who are your early influences and who inspires you now to play?

Again, The Shadows were a very early influence and Django Reinhardt who I really admired. I really loved his playing along with a lot of the old Blues players really, which I always listened to. Everything stems from that old Blues. I saw a band to be honest, called Nightwish, and I really liked them. I liked their sound and arrangements and stuff. Thats one of the newer bands. I thought they were outstanding and very entertaining.

Whos your all-time favorite guitarist and why?

As a kid growing up, it was Hank Marvin from The Shadows and from that it went on to Django Reinhardt and then onto Joe Pass. I liked him a lot. His playing was great. The more rock guitar players Jeff Beck of course.

What brought you to Gibson guitars?

Many years ago when we (Black Sabbath) were doing the first album, because it was difficult for me being left-handed and I could never find any left-handed guitars in England. I didnt have the money anyway when we first formed this lineup. But the guitar I always wanted was a Fender Strat at that time. I managed to save up, find and buy a left-handed Strat. It was great and I had it for a long time. I also managed to buy a second guitar, which was a Gibson SG, but it was a right-handed one and I managed to find the guy, and I dont know how, who was right-handed and used a left-handed SG. I found out where he lived and we just swapped so then I had a left-handed SG. It was brilliant! But what made me start using it was when we went to record the first album, the Black Sabbath album and I played Wicked World on the Strat and the pick-ups failed in the session, so I had this Gibson SG sitting there as my spare guitar, so I had to do the album with that. Once I recorded the album with it well, that was it I just stuck with the SG. That was the sound and it went on from there really.

What tuning do you prefer?

I like a semi-tune down (1/2 step) which is good for me, but over the years and in the early days, I tried several different tunings, 3 semi-tunes (C tuning), you know, just to get a different sound and different feel. But I prefer the semi-tune down.

What settings do you dial in on your amp? Do you scoop the mids? More preamp or post gain?

My signature Laney amps are very basic; I didnt want hundreds of controls on them. The preamp is on a half or so, and the master at full volume, no mids and very simple. Just a bunch of amps and cabinets running at one time, and of course, very loud.

Do you use earplugs or in-ear monitor systems live?

Not at all, its a bit of a fault really, a shame when we first started, all that didnt come into play, you didnt think of earplugs or any of that. We sort of regret it now, well I do, and it affected my hearing over the years. I have some plugs now, but to be honest I never wear them. However, when we did Ozzfest with Ozzy, I had to put one in one ear because Ozzy is always right by the monitors and it was pretty loud. Certainly when Ozzy screams, it sort of goes right through you (laughs).

What current gear from Zoom have you been really digging on lately?

I love the Zoom H2. It has been really REALLY useful, and the H4 as well to be honest. I love the size of them both to carry around. They are brilliant to get ideas. And both are great song-writing tools.

Have you been using the H2 or the H4 to write new songs for the upcoming Heaven and Hell record? If so, how has it helped the writing process as a guitarist and as a songwriter?

Absolutely! Its running all the time! Its actually sitting in there while were playing. I certainly dont want to miss anything I play. And I dont want to miss anything the guys are playing. Mike Clement, my guitar tech, usually leaves it running while were writing and coming up with ideas. It captures everything youre doing. It is so good at picking up from a distance. It has been extremely useful!

Are you using any other Zoom gear?

At home in England, I have the HD16CD and the G2 guitar effects pedal. I use them to write in my studio and to get ideas. Theyre great to plug in direct and just record and play.

Does your live rig differ from what you use in the studio?

It is quite different. For the stage rig, I use a Pete Cornish pedal board and, of course, a lot of amps, which goes through a rack of various stuff like a delay and chorus. But I dont really use much in the studio. At the moment, I just go in straight. But I do use a chorus and octivider. I dont carry the Pete Cornish board around as I am currently in L.A. writing. It is too much to bring over here. I do use pedals and I will use them on the album. At the moment, were just in the writing mode so its just putting the ideas down. When it comes to recording, I will be using a variety of stuff.

Whats your writing process like? Does it differ depending on your collaborators?

Yah, I generally come up with the riff first and we build it from there if thats suitable for Ronnie make a chorus and just build the song up. We change it around and try different things to experiment.

Was it the same way writing with Ozzy or in the past with Ronnie?

In a way, I suppose. Back then we just jammed and played loud (laughs). Now, its in a control room either at my house in England or Ronnies house. At the moment were at Ronnies house in L.A., sitting in the control room (Geezer, myself and Ronnie) coming up with the ideas. Its a bit different. Its better like this, you can hone in more on what youre doing. We seem to get more done this way.

On the last Heaven and Hell tour what was your favorite song to play?

Well, I love them all. Heaven and Hell was great. I actually like playing Lonely is the Word. We dont do that one much, but I really enjoy playing that as well.

I notice theres a lot more lead work and improvising with Heaven and Hell than there was with Ozzy. What is your take on that?

Absolutely. Its been great. To me, thats what were all about. And we always used to do that with the original Sabbath in the old days. We would just jam. But unfortunately, it got too regimental towards the last tours, doing the Ozzfests and everything. You couldnt improvise that much. It more or less became straight, one song after another because of the time factor and everything else. With Heaven and Hell, it allows more looseness. You can jam around and try different ideas, make something up on any given night, which is great and I like that. It keeps you more stimulated.

Whats your all-time favorite song to play?

Ohhh wow (laughs) I got a lot I really enjoy playing all of them. Its not the fact of I dont like playing this. I really do like playing all the songs. Into the Void, Iron man, up to the Heaven and Hell stuff and Mob Rules. I really couldnt say a real favorite. I just enjoy doing them.

Speaking of Iron Man, how do you feel about the song being


Calcitra Clunis

--SMC Productions, LLC. - SMC Studios
"Pushing Beyond The Limits"!


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