Dear Guitar Hero: Trey Azagthoth
Not only is your music fascinating but you also have a really awesome name. What is the origin of Azagthoth? —Hunter Albertson
I first learned of that name with that spelling in the book called The Necronomicon, quite a while ago. [Trey Azagthoth was born George Emmanuel III.] It was one of the first occult type books I experienced, and it inspired me and sent me on an adventure to discover more about such things. Azagthoth is described as the blind idiot god of chaos, which sounds a little dumb, I know. But when you consider the process of observation, what makes sense only does so when it connects with our own reference points—our personal “learned stuff.” So every person’s way of interpreting something depends on where he’s coming from. For a society that finds it more attractive to be led around, the idea of thinking differently and outside the group would be a bad thing, right? But one’s chaos is another’s normality.
It’s the same as with the whole foundation of The Necronomicon itself. It’s from the observations of this one person, and to him the Ancient Ones were so bad. They “moved” in those silent spaces betweens one’s thoughts, during those times when the judges were asleep and not deciding, separating, weighing nor defining.
Back in the early days of Morbid Angel, you and the guys would cut yourselves before going onstage. Is this still a general practice? Also, are there any other rituals you partake in before a show? —Brandon Dent
We did do that, and it was a personal thing—a means of opening up. I don’t advise it, and it’s not really so cool, to be honest. I have no need for it anymore.
As for a current ritual, I just relax and let it all go—clear the clutter and realize that connection-and-flow state. It’s the same for anyone warming up to do something, only the details differ. This is where Creative Visualization plays a big part again.
How are you setting your Eventide processor to get such nice harmony effect? —Michal Jankuliak
Actually, I stopped using my Eventide quite a few years ago when it finally died in battle. For me it was a brilliant piece of gear but not the best thing to take as check-in baggage on airlines. When I used it, I had a few cool programs in it. I used the reverse shift, which was nice for some of those crazy spaz tremolo wah-wah leads. Also, I had one program that had a three-part harmonizing effect, which I used for a couple solos, such as in “Nothing Is Not” and “Secured Limitations.” Mostly I used it for different echo effect programs and mixed that with various stomp boxes, such as the Univibe and MXR Phase 90. I really didn’t use it much as a harmonizer.
What is the best guitar you’ve ever played or owned and why? —William Owings
I would have to say it’s my red B.C. Rich “InstaGIB” Ironbird. That guitar shape fits my body so well, and I totally love the look. It was one of my first guitars, and it has gone through many different configurations.
What is your favorite video game at the moment? —Carl Muttan
I don’t much play video games these days. I don’t own any of the newer consoles. I still like stuff such as Grand Theft Auto Vice City on the PC. What’s most fun with that game is to seriously tweak up the handling of the motorcycle and take it out on the town for some crazy jumps and stunts. That game makes me laugh. I made the vice cop car so fast, and when it comes for you it’s flying, tumbling, screeching and flipping because the game’s AI [Artificial Intelligence] can’t drive it properly.