I used to skip school and paint my face with Ace Frehley Kiss make-up.
My heroes were Eddie Van Halen - especially after Van Halen I, II, III, and IV - Randy Rhoads, Ace Frehley and dudes like that. My brother played drums and we jammed in the garage and started writing our own stuff.
I respect the Pantera fans with all my heart.
My first killer amp was a Sunn Beta Lead. It was solid-state, but that Sunn was incredibly loud. I used to say to my friends, 'Hey, check it out. It's only on two.'
I'm not going for a soft sound. I ain't lookin' for a warm sound. My sound is warm, but I don't need tubes to do it. The Randall RG-100 is the best amp for what I do.
To me, a sure-fire way to get in a rut is by sitting around playing by yourself for too long. You've gotta get out there and jam, man! You don't have to necessarily be in a band, all you've gotta have are a couple of buds who play too. They don't have to be guitarists either; jamming with a bassist or a drummer is cool.
Using string bends instead of just playing regular, unbent notes can definitely help give certain riffs a cooler, heavier edge.
I was mostly influenced by bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest - Metallica's 'Kill 'Em All' was also a hell of an inspiration.
Who doesn't like to play Black Sabbath tunes!
To me, blues is more of a feel and a vibe, rather than sitting there and saying, 'Well, I'm gonna play bluesy now.'
I do some three-part harmonies on 'Throes of Rejection' and 'Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks,' but I didn't go overboard with it.
My hair's a pain in live performance. I'm always inhaling it: I almost choked to death a couple of times.
Whenever I feel my chops are slacking, I'll play some wide-stretch trilling exercises and take them up and down the neck as well as across it.
Even though I'll do finger warm-ups that go up and down the neck to build up my chops and dexterity, I never, ever sit around and practice the actual licks I'm gonna play live. If you do, then you'll be all worried about the complexity of getting the fingering right and everything else about it, as opposed to the feel.
As far as I'm concerned, it's no good being able to wail out smokin' leads if your rhythm chops hugg!
Whenever I record more than two or three layers, it starts to get cluttered up, and you can't hear the cut of the guitars as good. It's hard to get four guitars to hit at exactly the same time and keep the attack tight.
With the right outlook, you can learn to entertain yourself and entertain each other so you can enjoy doing what you're doing. There's obviously gonna be highs and lows, and the trick to it is to be able to maintain composure and stay high even when you're in the lows. That way, when you hit the highs ,it'll be twice as killer.
I really respect Zakk Wylde's guitar playing and his compulsive work ethic.
The first time I heard 'Crazy Train,' I was crashed out in bed, definitely not wanting to get up and go to school, when my brother Vinnie came in and cranked it up.
Make your heart bleed! Put your soul into that damn thing. And try new things.