September 27, 2006
I have to preface this review/interview by saying that I left with PLENTY of time to spare, BUT, unbeknownst to me, Bruce Willis was in town filming a new "Die Hard" movie & they are filming a block up from Sonar, sooooo, the traffic was horrendous & it was HELL getting there! What usually takes about 40 minutes ended up being 90 minutes! One word...Gridlock! Anyways, when I got to Sonar, I had to wait a few minutes since other interviews were scheduled, but I had to opportunity to chat with Unearth guitarist Buz pre-show & here's what he had to say:
Rock N Roll Experience: Why did you choose to use the Axe's on the front cover?
Buz: We told the artist kinda what we wanted to see...something dark & it came back & we were like, wow, we really like it...we thought it was really cool & it captured the vibe of the music contained in the record & plus pretty much all 5 of us agreed on the artwork which never happens & usually it's like we'll get the artwork submitted & it'll be the last minute with deadlines & we'll get this 1/2 assed thing, but there was some minor changes to it, but it's pretty much the same.
Rock N Roll Experience: I saw Unearth @ Ozzfest in Camden, New Jersey this year when you smashed your guitar..what happened?
Buz: Ohhh, that was just for goofs...we got these really cheap guitars...we get them through Ibanez for like $50 just so we can smash them...it was all for effect...we only had so many, so we didn't do it at every show.
Rock N Roll Experience: How was Ozzfest 2006 for Unearth?
Buz: It was awesome..it was cool to..we weren't one of the rotating bands...we did it in 2004 & we were one of the rotators where sometimes you may have to play @ like 9:30 AM & it's too early for metal, but people still came out, which I was amazed at...we played to like 1,000 people that early, but this year was great because we had a fixed spot & we were good friends with all the bands & after the show you're done with whatever you gotta do by like 6 PM or so & that's like eating dinner & all that shit, so then we get drunk & get smashed.
Rock N Roll Experience: Did you watch Ozzy on the 2nd stage?
Buz: Yeah..most of the time I checked him out...it was pretty cool that he did 2nd stage, I mean there were some things that I didn't really agree with about it...when he did 2nd stage they set up this weird barrier & they only allowed so many people in the barriers & he played to like 3,000 people, but then beyond the barrier there would be people like throwing banana's, so that kinda bummed us out playing wise...I mean I guess they did it for safety reasons..you can't have so many people in one area, but yeah, it was definitely good to see him...we really weren't up close though...none of the other bands were allowed backstage & stuff
Rock N Roll Experience: As a guitar player, how cool was it to see Zakk Wylde everyday on that tour?
Buz: We saw him like the first day & it was really cool...the first day of Ozzfest is a rehearsal day so it's just the bands & no people there so when Black Label did their soundcheck it was just like all the bands standing infront of the stage watching this little intimate party, but like, yeah, he's definitely a very colorful player...the pinch harmonics for days are definitely his trademark & so he's definitely fun to watch.
Rock N Roll Experience: As a guitar player, who are some of your favorite players?
Buz: Definitely Jason Becker is probably my favorite guitar player...I like Yngwie, James Murphy, Russ Cooly...alot of the shred guys...as far as other dudes for feeling, well Jimmy Page...I've always been in love with that style...it's not shred & it's not the tightest thing in the world, but stuff like that has character...when you get too deep into shred/guitar masturbation, you kinda get lost, so you have to find other things that are colorful & have character.
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you into the blues at all?
Buz: Not really...not as much as I should I think
Rock N Roll Experience: What's your favorite song off the new CD?
Buz: "Giles" is one of them, "March or the Mutes" I think is my favorite...I haven't listened to the record in a while, so I kinda base it off of what my favorite one to play is, so...
Rock N Roll Experience: I have to ask you about the very last song on the cd..."Big Bear..."
Buz: That was kinda just this loose idea we had, like as the main riff, I had written & we kinda messed around with it at practice one day & we never really played too much attention to it & then one night after we were done with all the serious studio business, everyone had drinks & we were having a good time partying & we just kinda went up there, plotted out let's do this part, let's do this part, & we kinda went into it real loose & we just banged it out & we listened to it & it had a really cool vibe to it & we said, let's keep it around & maybe polish it up a little bit & that's how it came out. Big Bear is...we bought a bunch of 40's, of this beer called Big Beer, so it was kinda a play on that & a spin off the Public Enemy song "Black in the Hour of Chaos"