PHIL FASCIANA (Malevolent Creation) – I don’t mind stage divers
- by Rune
- Posted on 27-07-2007
Mens undertegnede ventet på “Doomsday X”, den nye skiva til det amerikanske death metal bandet Malevolent Creation, ble en G-String forespørsel sendt over dammen til bandets kaptein, Phil Fasciana. Phil var kjapp som faan selv og svarene hans var redaksjonen i hende bare 2 dager senere.
ET – When did you start playing the guitar? In what age and which band was actually the one that made you wanting to grab a guitar and start playing?
PHIL – I started to seriously play guitar when I was about 11 yrs old. KISS was the first band that got me into music but when my cousin Mike gave me Black Sabbath's 1st album, "Paranoid", "Masters of Reality" and "Volume 4" when I was 12 yrs. old I really became obsessed with playing guitar and the heaviness of Tony Iommi's guitar sound.
ET – What actually makes a guitarist unique? Feeling or technique? Many people for example cannot stand Satriani…who is absolutely a master when it comes to technique!
PHIL – I think both are important!!! I can only handle listening to shred guitar for so long myself because it start's to bore me hearing someone sweeping for 5 minutes straight. I really prefer good song writing and a killer guitar solo or 2 within the song. Like old Ozzy songs with Randy Rhoads on guitar!!! Those are killer songs with feeling and technique!!!
ET – What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?
PHIL – My 1st electric guitar was a Gibson Les Pauls Standard copy guitar called a Memphis. It wasn't too bad actually!! It had a thru neck and it was black so it looked and sounded pretty good. My real good guitar was when I bought a Ibanez Destroyer back in 1982 because Dave Murray and Adrian Smith were using them at the time and I was a huge Iron Maiden freak at the time. I don't have either of those guitars anymore but I recently bought an 1982 Ibanez Destroyer 2 with a thru neck and cherry flame top on e-bay about a year ago and plan on putting emg pickups in it and having it refretted and possibly using it on tour later this year!!!
ET – Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?
PHIL – Good equipment is definitely important but it's the guitarist that produces the magic in my opinion. I mean you could give someone like Eddie Van Halen any kind of guitar set up and he'll still sound like Eddie Van Halen if you know what I mean. Studio equipment like pro tools can create magic for lazy musicians but that shit is not for me. If you can't play your own songs all the way through then what's the sense?
ET – What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars…pick ups…amps…? Do you use different equipment in the studio and different while playing live? If yes then what is the reason?
PHIL – I am currently playing Jackson custom guitars right now. I have been playing and recording with a custom shop Warrior guitar with custom Tony Iommi Cross inlays which I like a lot. It has emg 81's in it and is made out of mahogany with a see thru black flame top maple finish and a floyd rose tremelo. As for amp's, I have been using Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifiers since 1995 live and in the studio. I also play a Gibson Les Paul Standard live and in the studio as well. I basically use the same set up live as I do in the studio!!!
ET – Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!
PHIL – I have been lately with Jackson's custom shop Warrior guitars. I am having 2 more made for me soon with a see thru black cherry finish and one in a gun metal grey finish with Iommi crosses on both of them as well. I have been trying to make them my main guitars these days!!!
ET – Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?
PHIL – I would like to have Ripper Owens on vocals, that's for sure!! I think he is amazing metal vocalist. Richard Christy on drums because he simply kills and is a good friend of mine. And probably Steve Harris from Iron Maiden on bass!! He's amazing as well!!! This would be a totally different band then Malevolent Creation of course because I love playing with the guys in M.C. the best actually!!! We have all played for so many years together that it just feels right when we all get together to jam or record or play live!!!
ET – Are you participating in the composing of your bands material or you're just a performer? How important is it for an artist to be able to express himself? I mean, if for example you were in a band only for performing someone else's musical themes…would you handle it not participating…not being able to express yourself?
PHIL – Over Malevolent Creation's 20 years together I have wrote a good majority of the music but the other guys have written some great songs as well. On our new album "DOOMSDAY X" I wrote 5 song's, Jon Rubin our other guitarist wrote 5 song's and our bassist Jason Blachowicz wrote 2 song's and I feel that this is the best M.C. album to date. A band effort to me usually works better then one person writing everything and telling the other members what to do!!! That isn't really a band in my opinion. Our drummer Dave Culross also contributes to the music as well and our vocalist Bret Hoffmann writes the lyrics so it is truly a band effort for us!!!
ET – Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?
PHIL – I did have writer's block for a while after our 5th album "In Cold Blood"!! I had recently quit smoking weed and I was having a hard time writing material for our 6th album "The Fine Art Of Murder". I started smoking weed again and the problem was fixed!!! I haven't smoked weed for the last 3 month's recently because I am on probation at this time. But after my probation ends in another 3 month's I will be smoking again for sure!!! Ha Ha!!!
ET – Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?
PHIL – I am endorsed by Jackson Guitars right now and am happy to be playing them. Endorsements are definitely cool because you can work out some cool deals and idea's with the companies and they can help you out if something like your gear got stolen or something!!! The guys at Jackson have been really cool with us because everyone in M.C. is using Jackson's right now because they make some great sounding guitars!!!
ET – In all the years that you've been playing did something go totally wrong during a concert of yours? If yes, what was it? Please go ahead!
PHIL – Many times I have had stage divers knock out my cords running from my amp and into my pedals (noise gate, wah wah and tuner) and totally fucked me up. I have also had stage divers land on top of me and knocked me down which resulted in them being beaten by myself or our vocalist Bret or bassist Jason. I don't mind stage divers but please stay away from me and my equipment!!!
ET – Ok then…thank you for answering these questions. One last thing now! Who is the guitarist that you admire or that you would like to "punish" by have this person answering these same questions?
Thanks again and good luck with your project(s).
PHIL – Well, my good friend Rob Barrett from Cannibal Corpse would be a good choice. Rob played with Malevolent Creation for quite some time and I’m sure he would be able to tell you some hilarious stories about being a member of M.C. We have quite an insane history! If you know anyone from this band or works for this band they will have many good stories for you to hear!!! Thanx for the interview and look out for our new album "DOOMSDAY X" which will be out in Europe August 24th and July 17t in North America. It's loaded with all kinds of crazy guitar solos and riffs!!!