Samick Motherlode

December 2014
more... GuitaristsMarc Rizzo

Interview: Marc Rizzo


What’s an average day for you like?

I wake up and usually work out and go to the gym or go for a jog, depending on whatever part of the world I’m in. Then I spend the rest of the day just practicing. I really put a lot of time and effort into practicing and working on new music and memorizing new pieces. Most of my day is just spent playing guitar.

Are you practicing songs on the set list, doing exercises, or working on your own songs?

Usually I work on things that are in the set list with Soulfly or Cavalera Conspiracy and tighten up on things. Either that or I work on learning some of my favorite guitar player’s music. I’m always studying Yngwie Malmsteen, Paco De Lucia or Al DiMeola’s music.

Do you have songwriting sessions where you sit around and try to incorporate that into your music?

Yeah. It’s pretty funny. I like to try to learn their songs, memorize them and then try to incorporate it into what I do. I have a little hand held tape recorder and I like to record my ideas on that. Nothing too high-tech. There are all these gadgets and things for recording at home. I just like the old fashioned way. You just hit record on the tape recorder and you get the idea down. When I get to a studio I’ll record it.

When you practice, do you jam to backing tracks or do you have picking exercises with a metronome?

I spend a lot of time with a metronome. When I first pick up the guitar early in the day I usually start my practice routine with the acoustic guitar. I set the metronome to a certain tempo and work on my picking technique and scales. I play with my fingers in the classical and flamenco style too. I usually do that for a half hour trying to speed it up to get it as fast and tight as I can. Then I work on flamenco pieces. When I’m done with that, which takes about two or three hours, I switch to electric guitar and do the same thing.

After practicing like that you’re probably off to band rehearsal.

I’m usually in a bus or in a dressing room. We try to sound check every day and work on new stuff, but usually I’m on tour. Whatever time we have we try to fit in a jam.

We play the same guitar.

What? A Peavey HP Special?

Yep.

I love that guitar! I’m obsessed with that guitar! I did have the stock pickups in it, which I really like but I just got an endorsement deal with EMG, so I’ve been throwing some EMG pickups in there. It makes it sound even better. I’m using the 81 and the 85.

That thing has an awesome neck.

I love it. Soon as I picked up that guitar I think it made me a better player. I don’t think I’ve ever played a guitar before where I pick it up and I feel so comfortable. Things just come out so much easier when I play that guitar.

Are you still playing through the JSX?

Yes. I’m still using the Peavey JSX head.

Which cab are you using with it?


I use the Peavey JSX 4x12 cab with that. I use a full stack. On my solo tours I use a half stack.

What does your pedalboard look like?

My pedalboard is basically a mish-mash of pedals. I have the Morley Wah pedal, a Boss Digital Delay, a Boss Tuner, a Boss Noise Suppressor and a Digitech Whammy pedal. I usually just go straight into the amp.

You don’t use the effects loop?

Nah, I really don’t. I kinda like the sound of everything going right into the front of the amp.