ROB CAVESTANY (Death Angel) – It’s all in the fingers

ROB CAVESTANY (Death Angel) – It’s all in the fingers

En hver som fikk sin dose med thrash metal via MTV Headbangers Ball på 80-tallet husker DEATH ANGEL og "Voracious Souls". Den heftige riffingen på den videoen er noe man aldri glemmer og siden bandet fortsatt er aktivt og bandets grunnleggende gitarist ROB CAVESTANY fortsatt er med, huket vi tak i ham via Nuclear Blasts presseansvarlig. Rob forteller at han begynte å spille gitar allerede som 9-åring. Først var det farens kassegitar som fikk unngjelde, men rundt 4 år senere oppdaget han Randy Rhodes, og siden den gang har det kun vært gitar som har vært Robs instrument. Her er hans bidrag til The G-String Series.


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?

I picked up my dad's acoustic guitar and messed around with it since I was 9 and around 12 years old started taking drum lessons but switched to guitar lessons a year later after discovering Randy Rhoads.

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!

Both! Every player develops their style and good players are unique. You can tell it's them playing when you hear it. It's the feeling you put into your technique.

What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?

My first guitar was a C-Series sort of Strat shape from a local music shop. I wish I still had it! My second guitar I do still have and use to record till this day… an early 80's Gibson Flying V.

Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?

It's all in the fingers! The equipment is very important for sure, good tone is pleasing sonically but it's no magic for someone that can't play!


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?

I use a lot of different guitars. I love the variation in feel and tone from them and feel blessed to have a nice selection. My main live axes are my signature series custom Jacksons. They have been my live arsenal for over 2 decades along with my custom Jackson Starbody's. I love playing my Gibsons too. Les Paul, Flying V, Explorer, SG…  I love em. Then there is my trusty Martin acoustic.

I use EMG 80, 85 and 60's in all my Jacksons. I keep em stock in my Gibsons.

My main amp these days is my Marshall TSL 100. Live I slave it through another TSL 100 or my Randall V2 head. Sometimes through my Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier.

Recording is a different monster altogether! I use all kinds of gear in the recording studio including most of the live gear I just spoke of plus anything I can get my hands on that sounds good on tape…  that's right I said tape! Obviously you have more options in the studio compared to the limitations of being on the road travelling every day.


Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!

I already have…  that's why it's my signature series model custom made by Jackson Guitars! I would love to have a Gibson Flying V custom made with a Floyd Rose on it.

Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?

James Hetfield on rhythm guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, Dave Grohl on drums, Layne Staley on lead vocals and me on geetar!

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?

I'm the main songwriter in my band and I love it. I love writing. I just don't do it enough! I don't mind doing projects where I play the part that another artist wrote as long as I like the part!

Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?

So far (knock on wood) I actually have not run out of ideas…  just time!  If only I had more time to devote to writing I would write more. When I sit down to work on music something always comes of it. There is an endless flow of music floating in the air…  one just has to tap into it.

Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?

Yes, and yes they are important… especially when you are a starving artist! Oddly the way it works usually is that people that can afford the gear get the endorsements but I'm thankful that I have them because I can't afford the gear! Plus with all the touring we do we go through lots of equipment.


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!

There have been a million things! The question is what didn't go wrong? Ha ha. Falling and injuring oneself on stage is always fun. The entire power cutting out midsong is always nice. Cops coming onstage and stopping our show with us at gunpoint and the crowd erupting into riots and trashing the entire venue makes for a fine evening. Getting spit on and hit by cups of beer then fighting with fans on and off stage paints a picture of a good ol family night.

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 him answering these same questions?

Thanks again and good luck with your project(s).

Well most of em are dead unfortunately (Randy Rhoads, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix) but I wouldn't mind hearing Jimmy Page's thoughts on all this.