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: Nothingmore guitarist Mark Vollelunga
Tips for playing in extreme heat
Drink plenty of water and zero booze. Also keep in mind that guitars are sensitive to extreme temperatures so playing a little lighter than normal will work wonders for tuning.
Must-have on-the-road item
My wedding ring and my necklace will be with me at all times. These items constantly remind me of the love and support I have back home from my wife and my son.
Best live show I’ve ever seen
I can’t name just one, but I can name two: Fair To Midland and Karnivool.
Tips for winning over a tough crowd
Every night before we take the stage we all scream a chant to Bill Brasky the SNL character to remind us to fuck all those motherfuckers! Whether we’re playing a sold-out show in front of supporters, or to a handful of industry execs, or to a crowd that has ever heard of us, we’re there to kill it. We’re there to do our art justice. We’re there to do what we were born to do and leave no regret behind. The best thing you can do in performing is to be badass. Because if you’re badass it doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re playing. You’re just badass period.
Most fun song to play live
We recently started covering Thrice’s “Firebreather.” I love this band. They could take a dump on a platter and I’d still think it’s amazing. Needless to say, I love losing myself to this song on stage and feel honored to spread the goodness of Thrice.
Most difficult song to play live
There’s a song called “Fell in Love with a Ghost” on our album The Few Not Fleeting, and it can be annoyingly difficult to play. I enjoy exploring my surroundings on stage, but when it’s time to play this one I’m pretty much a statue on stage.
Gear I couldn’t live without
I love my Aristides 060 Guitar. Aristides Instruments is a small company based in the Netherlands that specializes in the art of badass guitar making. They’re doing some unique innovative things. I’m proud to say there’s not an ounce of wood in my 060, and it plays and stays in tune like a champ. Plus, it has our band logo inlay on the 7th fret and that’s so awesome. I’m totally shamelessly plugging them, but you totally need to check them out of you haven’t heard of them!
Here's the video for "This Is The Time (Ballast)":
Photo by Richard Romero