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Sevenstring.org Interview: Rusty Cooley
Chris Quigley and the Sevenstring.org members interview guitarist Rusty Cooley of the progressive metal band Outworld.
Published by Chris
04-07-2005
Arrow Sevenstring.org Interview: Rusty Cooley

<div align="right"><img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/rc/rc_xlogo3.gif" alt="Rusty Cooley" />
<b>Interview: Rusty Cooley of Outworld</b>
<i><font size="1">By Chris Quigley</font></i>
</div>
<img style="padding:20px;" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/rc/rusty1.jpg" align="right" alt="Rusty Cooley" />
<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Sevenstring.org: </span>What first drew you to seven string (and other extended range) guitars?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">Rusty Cooley: </span> It was love at first sight, the same goes for my 8 string. A friend of mine told me about Conklin and as soon as I saw them I was on the phone with them having one designed. For the most part extended range says it all. You can cover more octaves with minimal fretboard movement. For example on a six string guitar to do a three octave run say in G major you have to go from the six string third fret all the way to the first string fifteenth fret. On a seven string you can do it from the seventh string eighth fret staying in one position then when you get to the first string you move your pinky a half step to hit the third octave, so basically a position and a half step verses three to fifteen.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> Any advice on how other 7 string players can better incorporate the added notes and chord forms into their music?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> Don't treat it like it's a new instrument it's just one more string! Don't let it intimidate you just crank it up and have fun. You don't have to change your scales just add one more string to the already learned patterns.

<img style="padding:20px;" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/rc/rusty4.jpg" align="left" alt="Rusty Cooley" /><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> How much does the 7 string affect your effects and amp choices, What works best for you?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> It doesn't, I use what sounds good to me. I tell you this much, EMG is the only way to go as far as pickups for the seven string that's for sure. I use 707's, and they are sending me a new one called the 81-7. It's basically an 81 for the 7 string - I can't wait to get that baby in.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> What do you look for in terms of tone and playing compatibility?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> Something that's comfortable. I like lots of gain but not fuzz, clean chunk and something that can keep the tone very focused I do lots of single note rhythms on the low end and I need and amp that can keep it together and not break up.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> You're undeniably on the short list of fastest shredders out there today - how did you develop your technique? What were some things you considered milestones in your development?"

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> In the beginning it was Doug Marks Metal Method that really got me going. Paul Gilberts first instructional video and then around 95, 96 I started studying instructional stuff that I got from Derek Taylor that really helped me out and that's around the same time that I really got into Shawn Lane who has is undoubtedly one of my biggest influences. I'm really into Holdsworth as well but more from a tonality perspective instead of chops, he is simply the best and most out there dude alive.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> You have a very 'linear' approach to scalar playing - while most guys group notes in two or three note per string patterns, you build runs out of four, five, or more notes per string. How did you get into this approach?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> I have always played like that. I guess it's just the way I hear it or it could be that I grew up listening to all of the Shrapnel stuff and lots of classical like Paganini. I love the 24 Caprices. There where times when that's all I would listen to for months.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> Walk us through your compositional process; where do you get the idea for a song, and how do you flesh it out from there, adding riffs, alternate melodic sections, and solo sections?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> Songs always start from practicing or teaching. Once I get a good solid idea I see what else I can do with it. Most of the time when I come up with a cool riff it inspires about four or five other parts that usually turn into song structure. Sometimes it's just one good riff that might take years to find a home. When I'm writing I also take a little different approach depending on if it's going to vocal or instrumental. The solo section is the last thing that I ever think about.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> What's in your CD player at the moment?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> I think the new Soilwork.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> Are there any up-and-coming players out there today (seven string and otherwise) that have impressed you recently?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> As far as instrumental no but there are a lot of great bands out there that I really dig like Soil Work, Nevermore, Meshuggah those dude totally impress me. Unearth, Killswitch Engage and ARC:h Enemy. That's more where I'm at these days I want to write the most heavy and aggressive shit but still have tons of chops and killer vocals none of the death metal growling stuff.

<img style="padding:20px;" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/rc/rusty7.jpg" align="right" alt="Rusty Cooley's Custom Ibanez 7" />
<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> Ibanez recently made you a custom shop seven string. Can you give us some details?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> Sure it's a mahogany body with a maple top. Rosewood fretboard dyed black, no inlays. 24 fret neck, last 4 scalloped. I think the fretwire is 6100 or 6000 which ever one is taller. Binding around the neck and body. EMG 707 pickups. Low pro trem, piezos and the special Cooley cut-a-way for better access to the high frets.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> If you use any alternate tunings, what are they and where can they be heard on your album?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> No special tunings just a step down.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> In addition to sevens, you use eight and nine string Conklin guitars. Do you think there's a playability sacrifice compared to the seven string, or is it just another learning curve, as it is with going from a six to a seven?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> Just a learning curve you have to make mental adjustments.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> Your band, Outworld, is in the studio right now shooting for a September release. How's working with a whole band differ from putting out solo albums, and which (if either) do you like better?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> I love being in a band much more. I like the interaction of playing with great musicians and the end result. The bad side is dealing with some of the personal crap. Music is my life and I sacrifice everything for it and it's hard to find other people as dedicated as I am. I come to practice no matter what, I have to be practically dead to miss a rehearsal. But I have to say that the line up in Outworld now is the best ever and I really don't have to worry about anyone any more.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> Some people argue that technique kills emotional/feel in playing, while others that more technique opens up more avenues to express yourself. What do you think?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> I think people spend to much thinking about this stuff instead of enjoying music. Emotion is in the eye of the beholder. What is emotional to one is not to another. Holding or bending one note is not the only emotion that exists which I think most people forget. There are many emotions, you have to understand which ones the musicians you listen to are trying to express fear, anger, nervous, uneasy, love, passion, hatred, religion, sex etc.. I think you get the idea. Some musicians have one they prefer and go with it and some are all over the place. I listen to guitarist/bands that are more focused. That's why I like Yngwie better than the other two big name guys who I won't mention any names. Every time I get an Yngwie CD I know I can count on Yngwie to deliver the goods instead of deciding he wants to take over lead vocals or play the frigging banjo or go off into some weird trip.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> What's your basic practice regimen?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC:</span> I don't have enough time to even consider creating one. I'm lucky to get an hour in.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Chris:</span> Lastly, what's on the horizon for you, and what can we expect to hear in the upcoming year?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">RC: </span>Lots more of Outworld and some new instructional material. I also have something else in the works but it's too early to mention.

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.RustyCooley.com"><span class="ivred">Rusty Cooley - Official Website</span></a>
</div>
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  #1  
By Prophecy420 on 04-07-2005, 11:22 AM
-> Rusty

Great interview man, Rusty's one AWESOME player. That custom 'nez is frickin' SICK!

Quote:
Every time I get an Yngwie CD I know I can count on Yngwie to deliver the goods instead of deciding he wants to take over lead vocals or play the frigging banjo or go off into some weird trip.
Good point.
  #2  
By Jerich on 04-07-2005, 01:14 PM
wow..Just what I exspected... elusive...COME ON' whats in the works...OUTWORLD touring with Dream Theater? or His own Signature Bogner? man seems like everyone dig's NEVERMORE... Thanks Rusty...
  #3  
By Chris on 04-07-2005, 11:07 PM
I'd like to thank Rusty for being such a cool cat about the interview - it's not every day that one of your Guitar Heros sends you an email.
  #4  
By Ancestor on 04-08-2005, 01:58 AM
What a sick player he is. And, man, that Ibanez. A sick guitar for a sick player. He's a bad man. Great interview.
  #5  
By Drew on 04-08-2005, 07:49 AM
haha, nice chris.

Yeah, Rusty's absolutely scary - I can't even begin to keep up, but he's a huge influence.

-D
  #6  
By WayneCustom7 on 04-08-2005, 09:22 AM
I liked the interview, the guy is down to earth...I really liked what he said about the EMG 707's
  #7  
By Jerich on 04-08-2005, 10:37 AM
Chris we are all human...well except Rusty ((hint Hint))
  #8  
By SevenatoR on 04-08-2005, 11:29 AM
Man, that custom Ibby of his is uber-sexy.
  #9  
By StevieHimself on 04-09-2005, 08:42 AM
Hey Rusty, come to Jersey so you can show this lame scene what guitar playing is all about! (My trio would dig opening for you as well!!)
  #10  
By Jerich on 04-11-2005, 09:14 AM
Nice to see you posting Steve... That would be a good show... the Jaw dropping action would be everywhere.
  #11  
By Goliath on 04-11-2005, 12:33 PM
Quote:
What is emotional to one is not to another. Holding or bending one note is not the only emotion that exists which I think most people forget. There are many emotions, you have to understand which ones the musicians you listen to are trying to express fear, anger, nervous, uneasy, love, passion, hatred, religion, sex etc.. I think you get the idea.
How cool is that, really. Rusty rules.
  #12  
By Kane on 10-20-2005, 08:28 PM
At first I was all stoked to see a Rusty Cooley interview, and it's cool for the most part, but why did he have to make a point of DQ'ing death metal vocals? None of those bands he mentioned are doing close to what the top death metal bands are doing... Bah, humbug!
  #13  
By Mark. A on 01-30-2006, 03:06 AM
Rusty, you are king

:bows:
  #14  
By Michael on 03-13-2006, 08:09 PM
Rusty's a god!!!

Your band rocks too.
  #15  
By RAP on 06-07-2006, 05:23 AM
IMO I agree with Rusty, death growls are pathetic!

Great interview. Rusty rocks.
  #16  
By leatherface2 on 12-27-2006, 09:45 PM
wow
  #17  
By Crucified on 02-04-2007, 06:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAP View Post
IMO I agree with Rusty, death growls are pathetic!

Great interview. Rusty rocks.
Death metal/grind/screaming vocals are actually rediculously hard to pull off well. Sure you've got lots of people doing them, but it doesn't make them all good, just like with singing theres a quality to look for. Just because I don't care for clean vocals in my music doesn't mean clean vocals are pathetic. In other words, get your head out of your ass and realise that even though something isn't your cup of tea, it doesn't deserve less respect.
  #18  
By AngelVivaldi on 03-23-2007, 04:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crucified View Post
Death metal/grind/screaming vocals are actually rediculously hard to pull off well. Sure you've got lots of people doing them, but it doesn't make them all good, just like with singing theres a quality to look for. Just because I don't care for clean vocals in my music doesn't mean clean vocals are pathetic. In other words, get your head out of your ass and realise that even though something isn't your cup of tea, it doesn't deserve less respect.
I agree with the aspect that it's definitely difficult to pull that growling stuff night after night. A lot of these bands tour constantly and it's amazing how they pull it off. I tried it once when I was pretty drunk, I sounded like an wanna- be emo with a dildo lodged in his throat. So mad props to them.

Anyway- Rusty's an incredible inspiration to a lot of young players and it really warms me to see him finally getting his due, (especially with Dean guitars). He sure in hell deserves it and hope he goes even futher with Outworld.
  #19  
By guitarplayerone on 07-09-2007, 03:01 PM
Quote:
Hey Rusty, come to Jersey so you can show this lame scene what guitar playing is all about! (My trio would dig opening for you as well!!)
id come see you.. i live in New York...

Quote:
That's more where I'm at these days I want to write the most heavy and aggressive shit but still have tons of chops and killer vocals none of the death metal growling stuff.
and how ironic that in the new outworld vid carlos does growls at the very end...
  #20  
By Curt-Platt on 11-27-2008, 05:52 PM
thats a fair point about Yngwie, an i love him as much as the next guy BUT notice hes backed up his point by saying that he prefers him more than rather obviously Vai an Satch due to the fact because they may take over vocals or play a banjo or anything else along the lines of that then i think that is a fair opinion, but this is an example of a preferred approach to portraying emotion.
  #21  
By xHONDOx on 09-11-2009, 10:28 PM
I want a custom Ibby like that! I'm not cool enough though....
  #22  
By jason69 on 09-15-2009, 05:37 AM
rusty

i have seen some of his shit on youtube and this man is a big influence
i mean look at him, long hair and seven strings...
sweeping the bit out and shredding is a big thing
much love
  #23  
By Josh Geohagan on 09-25-2009, 09:23 PM
I have to have that guitar. That's amazing.

I would kill for a guitar like that. It has like...my exact specifications and everything. That finish is perfect.
Last edited by Josh Geohagan; 09-26-2009 at 06:17 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #24  
By vhmetalx on 11-18-2009, 12:43 PM
He is really interesting and since he uses the 707's i might give em a try.
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