INTERVIEW: Unearth’s Buz McGrath

Unearth

Unearth have been slogging it out on the metal scene for 15 years now and have proven themselves to be real stayers, helping to remind folks that seven-string guitars can be used for more than just open-string chugging and showing that you can combine the punishing groove of Pantera with the melodic sense of Sweden’s Gothenberg sound and the power of traditional metal, all filtered through an aggressive metalcore lens. New album Watchers of Rule (3Wise) is a consistently brutal chunk of metal by anyone’s standards. But this far into Unearth’s career, it’s almost exhilarating to hear them continuing to release vital albums full of songs that are destined to live on in the setlist. I caught up with guitarist Buz McGrath right after the album’s release.

Want to win a copy of the album? Email iheartguitarblog@gmail.com with ‘Unearth’ in the subject line and I’ll draw five winners! Australia only.

Let’s start with the guitar stuff. What did you use on this album?

We used a Rhodes amp. I don’t know what it is. And I think we used one of Ken’s old custom Ibanez RGs that won the shoot-out. Usually what happens is we go through a stack of about 15 guitars and we record the same piece of music, the same riff, with each guitar, and you go through and listen to which guitar is sounding the best with what you’ve got, and that one won. It was between that one and, Ken had a custom three-pickup Ibanez Iceman with EMGs in it. That thing weighed a fucking tonne but it sounded sick. But the other one just beat it out by a little bit. We recorded with a Kemper via DI, and then [producer] Mark Lewis took it back to his studio and re-amped it through various amps, which I wasn’t a part of the process for. He would send me mixes with different amps and I’d say ‘this one sounds good.’ So I never even saw the amp. It’s a real weird way of doing it but it worked out good. Read More …

ESP Previews New Models, New USA Factory!

espthumbIt’s no secret that ESP has been planning to hugely revamp their line in 2014, with the roll-out of the new E-II brand, new signature models and other fun stuff. They’ve just dropped a whole bunch of new models onto their website for us to drool over ahead of NAMM, and many of them sport some pretty damn tasty Seymour Duncan pickups, like the Mystique FR with a Custom 5 in the bridge position and ’59 at the neck. But some of the biggest news is that ESP is opening its own USA factory this year! It’s in North Hollywood, and here’s what ESP President Matt Masciandaro has to say about it: “This is a significant milestone for ESP. For years there has been a demand for a domestic factory, allowing us to create guitars that are 100% made in the USA. Weʼre very excited about the new opportunities for ESP dealers, and new choices for our customers.” Read More …