In this feature from the October 2015 issue of Guitar World, the guitarists of Five Finger Death Punch, Bullet For My Valentine, We Came As Romans and other metal acts tell how they'll beat the heat and tame the crowds on the season's biggest tours.
TODAY: Whitechapel guitarist Zach Householder
Tips for playing in extreme heat
The most obvious answer is hydration, but that’s not the only trick to it. People seem to totally ignore it but you can’t party nonstop on these tours and play in extreme heat every day. Personally, two beers is a wild night for me anymore. Also, for the really hot shows I mix a up a bottle with half water and half Pedialyte, which is like Gatorade on steroids without all the nonsense and sugar. It works wonders.
Must-have on-the-road item
I don’t go anywhere without wet wipes. It is a must for hot summer tours and not to mention, just regular touring. It’ll change your life.
Best live show I’ve ever seen
I have a top four: Slipknot, Meshuggah, Gojira, and Cannibal Corpse. In a nutshell, they all capture a part of me when they play and give me something to latch on to. A lot of bands seem to miss that.
Tips for winning over a tough crowd
Honestly, everyone has played for a tough crowd. The easiest way to get through it is to simply play and realize that they’re probably only hating on you because you’re different and something they don’t usually listen to in their every day lives. Your band is different, it’s not routine to them. In the back of their minds, they’re secretly digging it for the most part. Unless they just straight up hate you and then all you can do is think to yourself that they still paid for a ticket.
Most difficult song to play live
Probably “Hate Creation” because it’s extremely fast at 250 bpm. There’s a whole lot going on at once, and there are different time signatures so it has to be tight and right. Not to mention, there’s a lot of back and fourth with effects and different guitar patches so you’re working the floorboard a lot.
Gear I couldn’t live without
[GHS] Fast Fret [string cleaner and lubricant]. I can’t live without it. There’s nothing I hate more than feeling resistance on my fingertips when sliding up and down the fretboard of my guitar. It literally ruins a show for me because I’m so used to having it feel a certain way.
Craziest performance injury
Luckily, nothing seriously bad has happened while being with Whitechapel on the road outside of muscle problems and getting older. Before I joined Whitechapel, I was in a band back home and we played where our bass player got really drunk and slammed me in the head with his headstock. At first I thought, Wow, that really hurt. With the adrenaline going I kept playing and as I was bobbing my head to the music, I saw blood splattering everywhere on my floorboard. I took my right hand, felt my head, and looked at it to see it was covered in blood. I finished the song and went straight to the hospital. The tuning peg of that bass made friends with my head and left it needing six staples.
Here's the video for "Hate Creation":