Spotlight: Matt Stevens and Paul Musolino of The Gloom In The Corner

The Gloom In The Corner
(Image credit: Ophelia Symons)

HAILS FROM: Melbourne, VIC
PLAYS IN: The Gloom In The Corner
SOUNDS LIKE: Mind-melting mathcore chaos
LATEST DROP: Ultima Pluvia (EP out now independently)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
I love my Fender Player Stratocaster HSS. I remember wanting a Stratocaster for a couple years, so one day I just walked into East Gate Music and played as many as I could. I also really liked a Japanese Stratocaster I played, but was astonished to find that the Player Series Stratocaster was a quarter of the price! It was a no-brainer for me to purchase that guitar – I love how the neck feels, along with the versatility or the humbucker and single-coil pickups.

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
I just remember watching the music video for Metallica’s “One” – as soon as the solo started, I thought, “I want to do that one day,” and it went from there. My first ever guitar was a cheap SX Les Paul copy in Tobacco Burst, which came in a pack. It wasn’t great, but that guitar travelled with me from rock to metal, and even deathcore. It’s since been destroyed and sent to the dump though, unfortunately. 

What inspires you as a player?
I personally draw so much influence from so many different styles of guitar playing. At the moment, pretty much anything that The Acacia Strain and Meshuggah do tends to stay on repeat. That constant inspiration definitely bleeds into my songwriting as I push to write more heavy and chaotic music.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
Paul definitely is – I’d say he’s double the guitar nerd I’ll ever be so I usually run anything gear-related by him before I think for myself [laughs]. I like to keep things simple with my live setup – my favourite part of it is my Kemper. It’s such a versatile piece of equipment, and I’m constantly finding new sounds that inspire me to write in an entirely different way.

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
A seven-string Ernie Ball Music Man baritone, so that I can comfortably use an Ernie Ball guitar when I play live with Gloom. We love our guitars in low tunings – our main tuning is drop F on a seven-string. I own a John Pettruci BFR seven-string which I love absolutely everything about, so I’d be all about anything similar to that with a baritone scale.

What would your signature model look like?
I would love an all-black Gibson Explorer shape with a massive baritone scale; seven strings, ebony fretboard, and some passive pickups. I’ve always idolised the Explorer, but unfortunately none have matched the specs I require. I basically want something James Hetfield would love and hate at the same time. 

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
AJ Rebollo. I’d just love to improvise or write a track with him. I really enjoy his ability to make riffs bounce along with section that relies heavily on playing chords with melody in-between. I took a lot of influence from AJ when I played in my previous band, as I was the only guitarist and we didn’t sample any guitar parts. In this way I was constricted by writing guitar parts that offered melodic and chordal elements.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…