I began playing guitar when I was 11 and started a band as fast as I could. After moving to Austin, I played in various metal bands until The Sword formed 2003. Fourteen years later, that band has taken me around the world more times than I can count. From the dirtiest rock clubs, to the dirtiest arenas, I've played 'em all.
In 1993 I discovered MTV, and when I saw Green Day's video for "Basket Case" I knew that I needed to start a band and get on that channel. When Kurt Loder narrated our MTV's You Hear It First piece in 2006, it was a bucket list moment for sure.
I had a 70's Silvetone with at least a dozen switches and buttons all over it. It was a tobacco burst Strat looking body with a metal pickguard. I ended up taking it apart to see how an electric guitar worked, but I couldn't put it back together.
KISS - Hotter Than Hell
Electric Six - Señor Smoke
Queen - II
Prince - Sign O' The Times
Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True
The first tour with Metallica that we did was a crazy stretch where every show was the biggest show we'd ever played. It started in Bergen, Norway where we played to 20,000 and ended in Istanbul, Turkey where we played for 65,000. The crowd looked like something from an 80's Monsters of Rock poster.
Chris Funk (Decemberists) invited me to play a benefit for the Children's Cancer Association where I was to have a guitar battle with a kid wearing a Bluetooth air guitar wristband. When the kid "won", I wanted to give her the guitar I was playing and Reverend was kind enough to provide me with a Flatroc. I loved how it played and after being introduced to Ken Haas over email, we ended up becoming friends and creating my signature guitar.
My own! Muahahahahahaha!! I also have a Tricky Gomez since he was one of my favorite guitar players. I often wonder what would've happened if Santana hadn't stolen all of his licks...
Getting to design my signature model with Joe and Ken was awesome because I took an awesome guitar, the Manta Ray, and tweaked it little by little until it was perfect for me. It plays better than guitars that cost twice as much.
I have two Big Crunch amps that are my main jams, a one-knob and a two channel three-knob. My pedal board consists of a combination of whatever Earthquaker Devices is kind enough to let me play and custom pedals built for my needs by The Sword's bassist, Bryan Richie.
I love disappearing into the Caribbean to go scuba diving. If I ever drop off the face of the earth, it means I'm probably swimming through volcanic caves 100ft below the surface. Or just smoking weed, playing video games, and grilling chicken wings.
Just take whatever you have and make it sound as good as you can. There is no magic gear, you have to be the magic.
The Sword is gearing up to support our latest release, a live album recorded on our Oct 2016 tour, before we head to Portland, OR to make a new studio album this fall. I'm also producing a heavy metal celebration of Pink Floyd called "Doom Side of the Moon" that will be accompanied by a spectacular visual experience. Reverend is sponsoring the show and built me a special guitar for the project that I'll be doing a full rundown of when I visit Chicago Music Exchange in May.