Death Squad: The Deathcore Round-Up
What non-metal guitarist most influenced your style?
CHRIS GARZA Jimi Hendrix is a big influence on me. Every aspect of his playing has always amazed me.
HEYLMUN Allan Holdsworth is one of those dudes who can really express his emotions with his music. He would make one hell of a metal player.
What distinguishes deathcore from metalcore and death metal?
GARZA Metalcore is missing the speed; death metal is missing the groove. Deathcore is the best of both worlds, so everyone is happy!
What technical skills are needed to play this music?
GARZA Speed picking is a big factor, and timing is important as well. Going from super-fast picking into a super-slow groove can really fuck your head up.
HEYLMUN Extremely solid right-hand technique is crucial, which means learning all picking styles. Pinch harmonics are a must, because sometimes you have to scream like a bat outta hell. Also, master the use of drop-fifth chords. Last but not least, throw that scale book out the window and just write what sounds good.
What guitar technique makes you stand out from the pack?
HEYLMUN My vibrato is what I like most about my playing. Most people just don’t get what string bending is all about. I like to hear it sing.
What about deathcore is catching the kids’ attention?
GARZA This is a good time for all genres of extreme metal. Everyone seems to be looking for the heaviest form of music out there, and this seems to be it.
What piece of gear is crucial to making deathcore?
GARZA Krank amps really bring out our sound. Mark and I are both running the Krankenstein heads and cabs. Their bottom end is unreal.
What guitar are you playing, and why is it right for your sound?
GARZA I currently use ESP SC-607 guitars. No other guitar can even come close to creating the sound and sustain of those ESP seven-strings.
HEYLMUN I play an LTD SC 607. It’s like the Les Paul of seven-strings: fat neck, heavy mahogany body and EMGs. It’s absolutely right for my sound because I like it to be fat and loud, yet smooth and articulate.
How much time do you spend on MySpace, Facebook, etc. to promote your band?
HEYLMUN Zero. It is a good tool for promotion, however it’s not the only way to promote your band. We promote ourselves by staying on the road all the time. Last year we played 255 shows. No amount of internet promoting can top that kind of exposure.
What’s the future of deathcore?
HEYLMUN I think bands will slowly dwindle away, leaving only a few select bands that will be considered true deathcore. The future of Suicide Silence is looking pretty promising, and I will see it to the end and enjoy every second of it.
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