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Six Feet Under... And Rising.

Six Feet Under... And Rising.
   
 

Originally printed in Guitar World Magazine, July 2005

What's that distant rumble? It's the fast-approaching sound of the biggest, baddest, most-aggressive guitarists in underground metal. Lamb of God, Trivium, Mastadon and many more offer the dirt.

 

ARCH ENEMY

What do you want to achieve as a guitarist, and how do you go about getting your sound?

MICHAEL AMOTT My ambition is to write and play good songs. I get my sound by playing from the soul. Great guitars and amps can help creativity and expression, but if you don’t have anything to say, no equipment in the world is going to make you sound more interesting.
CHRIS AMOTT I strive to be musical, tasteful, creative and original, although it’s difficult to be original on the electric guitar without sounding contrived. I want my playing to be acute, tight and clean. I also work a great deal on shaping and practicing my tone and vibrato.

What recorded performance represents your personal best?

CHRIS It has yet to be recorded, though I’m pretty happy with my solo on “Instinct” and the acoustic piece on “Marching on a Dead End Road” [both from Anthems of Rebellion].

What song best represents your band?

MICHAEL I feel that “Dead Eyes See No Future” off Anthems of Rebellion captured quite a lot of what Arch Enemy are capable of. It has an aggressive verse, a strong melodic chorus and lots of guitar solos. If you like that one, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the rest of our songs.

Which guitarists on the tour or among your peers do you most admire, and why?

MICHAEL Obviously Tony Iommi. I love his riffs as well as his lead guitar work, especially on the Heaven and Hell album. He has a distinct, personal sound that no one can imitate.

What is the future of metal?

CHRIS Arch Enemy!

 

CHIMAIRA

What do you want to achieve as a guitarist, and how do you go about getting your sound?

MATT DEVRIES As a guitarist I’m just playing to have a good time and take it as far as I can. My goal has always been to have our music heard by as many people as possible. As for my sound, I’ve finally achieved the tone I’ve always wanted with the combination of ESP guitars, EMG 81 pickups and Engl Amplifiers through Mesa cabinets.
ROB ARNOLD I just want to be a part of what makes the band what it is. I get my sound through the band’s chemistry, the way we each complement each other’s sound.

What recorded performance represents your personal best?

DEVRIES The record we are currently recording.

What song best represents your band?

DEVRIES “Pure Hatred” [from The Impossibility of Reason], not only because it is one of my favorite songs on our last record but also because it is straight-up in-yourface, fast and aggressive metal.

Which guitarists on the tour or among your peers do you most admire, and why?

ARNOLD Lately I’ve really been digging Willie [Adler] and Mark [Morton] from Lamb of God. Those guys pulled off some amazing shit on their last record.

What is the future of metal?

ARNOLD It’s hard to say. There aren’t any popular guitar heroes blowing it up at the moment, and players aren’t feeling like they have to live up to a certain standard. Where is today’s Randy Rhoads or Eddie Van Halen? Metal was huge in the Eighties because most of the heavy bands had great players who didn’t step into the spotlight until they had completed their homework. The future of metal will be only as big as we prepare for it to be.

 

LAMB OF GOD

What do you want to achieve as a guitarist, and how do you go about getting your sound?

MARK MORTON My goal as a player is to continue to improve and diversify. It’s pretty much a lifetime goal. After touring with Zakk Wylde, Tony Iommi and so many other amazing players, I’ve realized there will always be somebody who’s better. I constantly strive to incorporate elements into my playing that make my sound and style unique. And while it ain’t always a speed contest, it helps to have some shred in your bag of tricks.

What recorded performance represents your personal best?

MORTON I think my playing on Ashes of the Wake is my best to date. My lead playing had improved significantly since the previous release, and as a whole, the songs were better arranged and more mature. We also used a wide variety of tones on that album, which made for a much more dynamic and mature record.

What song best represents your band?

MORTON I think we try to cover a lot of ground and try to stretch the boundaries of what a “metal” band can do. To narrow what we do down to one song is pretty impossible. However, the song “The Faded Line” from Ashes of the Wake seems to combine a lot of different styles into one piece, so that could serve as a good cross section of what we do.

Which guitarists on the tour or among your peers do you most admire, and why?

MORTON I’ve been fans of Johnny [Donais] and Matt [Bachand] from Shadows Fall for years now. They’re a lot like Willie [Adler, Lamb of God guitarist] and I in that they’re two unique players whose complementary styles make each other better. I’ve said it before, but I think Jeff Loomis from Nevermore is one of the best players out there right now. That dude can do anything. His riffs are heavy as hell, his leads are untouchable, his tone is heavy and the song arrangements are great. He’s definitely one of my favorite contemporary metal players right now.

 

What is the future of metal?

MORTON It will just get heavier. As people get exposed to heavier sounds, they get desensitized and develop a tolerance to it, so you gotta scream harder and play scarier-sounding stuff to maintain the impact. I also think the future will be defined by the amazing technological advancements in recording techniques and procedures. Teenagers are engineering pro-quality audio on laptops in their bedrooms. In that way, metal will continue to evolve and redefine itself.

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