Magnatone Giveawya

August Issue
more... GuitaristsMarc Rizzo

Interview: Marc Rizzo


Do you use a distortion pedal?

No, I don’t use one. With the JSX I get plenty of gain going straight through it. I just go right through the head.

Do you have problems with the delay going straight into the amp when you switch channels?

Nah, I just use a little delay. I don’t use much. I just use it on some of the solos here and there and it seems to be working. I’ve been told it works better going through the effects loop so I’ll have to try that.

No reverb?

No reverb. Our sound guy hooks up a lot of delays and plays with my sound. I like to keep it pretty dry.

Any new guitar players you’re listening to?

I just saw Al DiMeola the other night in New York City. He’s really not a new guy -- I’ve been listening to him for a long time. He’s amazing. I’m actually going to see him again tomorrow. I’m really excited about that. As far as new guys, I love all the new bands out there. They’re all great. Trivium, Shadows Fall, Lamb of God… I’m really impressed with all of them.

Whose CDs do you have in your car?

Right now a lot of Yngwie Malmsteen ]Laughing].

[Laughing] Which CDs?

The new record [Perpetual Flame], which I like a lot. I think his last couple of records have been really amazing. He keeps getting better and better with every record.

Which Yngwie tunes do you whip out to practice with?

After my metronome practice I like to jam along note for note with “Black Star” and “Far Beyond the Sun.” I read an article and he said, “If you learn those two songs, then you’ll have my style down.” I took him up on that and started learning those two songs. I’m going to work on more too.

How do you feel about the last Soulfly record, Conquer?

I liked it. I thought it was definitely a progression for us. Every record seems like we keep going more into a thrash direction and Conquer represents that. I hope we keep going into that direction because we’re all really big fans of old eighties thrash metal bands.

What’s the hardest song to play on your various set lists?

The biggest problem is writing these songs for my solo records and then going back and re-learning all the solos note-for-note. A lot of the stuff is improvised and then a lot of it I write in the studio so I have to go back and re-learn everything. I really try my hardest to get everything note-for-note.

I would probably say right now we’re really working on getting “The Riddle of Steel” [from The Ultimate Devotion] perfect, note-for-note live and it’s just been pretty difficult. It’s such a long song. It’s close to ten minutes long and I really want to play the whole song live. Right now we’re only playing half of it. I recorded it two years ago and then I left for a Soulfly tour, then the Cavalera Conspiracy tour. Then I made the Soulfly record, the Cavalera Conspiracy record and I had to learn all those solos. I’ve been incorporating “The Riddle of Steel” into my solo band recently with a couple of shows I’ve done in the last month. We were only able to get about halfway through it.

That’s one of my favorite tunes off The Ultimate Devotion. Do you compose based on jamming at all?

It’s half and half. A lot of rhythm guitar and chord progressions are written at home. When I come into the studio, some of the solos are improvised. I’ll keep it if I think it’s a good take and I nailed it. I’d say like 50 percent is improvised and the other 50 percent is where I will take the time to work them out while I’m recording them to get them tight.

Are you using any other guitars besides the Peavey HP Special?

On this record I pulled out a 1990 Gibson Les Paul Custom.

A Black Beauty?

Yeah, the Black Beauty. I forgot how much I love that guitar. I haven’t used it in ten years. I pulled it out because I was looking to get some real jazzy clean tones. I’m using it on the record and I’m loving it. It really adds a whole other sound to this record. This record is starting to come off very organic.

Have you bought any new pedals lately?

I’m really not into the whole pedal thing. I just spend a lot of time just practicing and trying to go straight through an amp.

Is there anything on your pedal board that’s indispensable?

The tuner [laughs]. I like to be in tune. I love my Boss Chromatic Tuner. I love it because between songs I can throw it in front of me and right between songs I can tune up right there on the spot. I like the Boss Noise Suppressor too. I like having that because it really cleans up my sound a lot.

Were you happy with the last Cavalera Conspiracy record Inflikted?

That record is probably one of my favorite records of my career. To get to play with Max and his brother Igor for me was just unbelievable. I was a really big Sepultura fan when I was a kid. They were one of my favorite bands ever. For them to reunite after twelve years of not being together and to ask me to be part of that record and the band, was a dream come true. I went into the studio to record that record with that in mind and I knew I really had to step it up. I really do think that record has some of my best guitar solos on it.

For more on Marc, check out myspace.com/marcrizzo.