10 Questions with Full Devil Jacket Guitarist Paul Varnick

We recently caught up with Full Devil Jacket guitarist Paul Varnick and gave him the "10 questions" treatment.

It went a little something like this.

GUITAR WORLD: Full Devil Jacket just released their new album, Valley of Bones. How has the fan reaction been so far?

Outstanding! Fans old and new are really digging the new album. It's awesome to see them singing along with the new songs when we play them live.

There was 15 years between this album and the last. What was the biggest difference in the recording process this time around?

The biggest difference would be the gigantic leap in technology. Analog is cool and natural and all that, but digital is much more versatile.

What kind of gear did you use on Valley of Bones?

Justin Rimer at CrossTrax Studio had a wide variety of amps for us to use, including a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Bogner Uberschall, 3rd Power and Orange amps—plus a few others. We had multiple guest players contribute to the record, and everyone has their personal preferences. Guitars used were basically everything from my Kramer Assaults and Gibson Les Pauls to Michael Kelly baritones.

How does your gear change from the studio to the stage?

In the studio there are really no limits on which gear is available, so it’s wide open. The road setup is kept very simple. A pair of Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifiers for amplification, and my pedal board is kept simple as well—volume pedal, classic wah, delay and tuner.

What's the first song you learned on guitar?

I guess the cliché answer is "Smoke on the Water," and that is partially true. That was the first riff I learned, but the first song I learned was Black Sabbath's "Paranoid."

Is there a particular style of music or any guitarists who inspired the way you play on the record?

I draw my influence from many different guitar players and styles, including Black Sabbath, Pantera, Alice in Chains and many more.

There are plenty of heavy riffs and solos on the new record. What's your favorite song to play and why?

I love all of the songs on the record. My current favorite song to play is our single, "Valley of Bones." It's a blast to play, and the crowds enjoy singing along with us.

The band is known for its DIY work ethic. How has this influenced your guitar setup and the way you play?

I go all out on whatever it is I decide to do. Dedication, consistency and practice...practice and some more practice. That’s my approach to anything I want to find success in.

If you could have any guitarist, dead or alive, join you on stage for a shred session, who would it be and why?

Dimebag Darrell. He's a legend and one of my favorite players.

Full Devil Jacket is heading out on the road with Hinder soon. What are you looking forward to the most?

It’s great touring and hanging out with Hinder; they are all a bunch of great guys with an impressive history and following, but what I look forward to the most is sharing our music with new fans. It's a great feeling when we see the crowd taking in and enjoying our new music. Awesome!

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.