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Sevenstring.org Interview: Buz McGrath of Unearth
Unearth guitarist Buz McGrath answers questions from the sevenstring.org members.
Published by Chris
12-21-2005
Arrow Sevenstring.org Interview: Buz McGrath of Unearth

<div align="right"><img src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/unearth/unearth_xlogo2.gif" alt="Unearth" />
<b>Interview: Buz McGrath of Unearth</b>
<font size="1"><i>Questions from the Sevenstring.org members.</i></font>
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"Hailing from Massachusetts, the virtual metal and hard core capital of North America, Unearth bring a new sense of talent with charismatic riffs, thought provoking lyrics and pummeling breakdowns. Unearth masterfully combine an intoxicating mix of American and European metal with hard core ethic and punch. This unique approach makes Unearth one of the most abrasive, commanding and emotionally charged groups in the underground scene today." - <a href="http://www.unearth.tv" target="_TOP"><font color="orange">Unearth official website</font></a>
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<img style="padding:20px;" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/unearth/buz1.jpg" align="right" alt="Buz McGrath" /><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Sevenstring.org</span>: On your signal path, what are you using amp-wise? I know you've been doing the Framus thing, but I also spotted a Recto of some sort in a couple of your vids.

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">Buz McGrath</span>: Right now we're using VHT Deliverance 120's with a Maxon OD808 in front. Previously, we were using Framus, and still are from time to time. In the past we've tried everything - Recto's, 5150's, Marshall 800's, Randall RM100's... I have a Voodoo VP100 at the house which slays.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: I'd like to know who your main inspirations are for playing guitar Also, what are the specs for that bodacious Ibanez S-style 7!

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: Well, when I wanna hear riffs, I listen to bands like Entombed, old Bolt Thrower, old In Flames, Arch Enemy, King Diamond, Crowbar, Children of Bodom. The new Opeth is rad as well. When I want some guitar masturbation nothing beats Jason Becker. I also am a huge Yngwie fan. Rusty Cooley shreds (and is a super nice dude), as does James Murphy (who's also really nice).

As far as my custom S7, it's a mahogany body with one EMG 707. No tone knob, a bound neck, no fret markers other than offset dots on the 12th, and a blocked Edge trem.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: What sort of "reactions to your 7-string" have you gotten? I'd imagine you probably have some interesting stories from the road.

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: A lot of people see it and looked very confused. I always get the same dumb comment: "Seven? I can barely figure out 6!" "They're just notes, dude" is usually my reply.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: Which environment do you prefer playing in, live or in the studio? And how, if at all, does your approach to playing/gear/tone/etc change between the two?

<img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/unearth/buz3.jpg" alt="Buz McGrath" /><span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: I prefer live, I get wicked perfomance anxiety in the studio. When the record button is pushed I panic and forget how to play guitar. As far as gear goes, it's what ever sounds best - a heavy right hand also makes a world of difference in tone, as well.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: What sort of other musical interests or hobbies do you have?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: Hah! Nah I'm pretty boring. I like some old school hip hop, Morrisey, and maybe some Cat Stevens. I used to skate a lot, but now mostly I use my skateboard as transpotation to the liquor store. It's still fun.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: What drew you to seven strings in general and the Ibanez S-series line in particular, and how has this impacted Unearth's music?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: Back in like '97, our guitarist Ken had the flourescent green Universe with the maple fretboard. I definitely made fun of him, because I thought the guitar was hideous (I'd kill for that axe now...), but I thought it was cool because it was a 7. A year or so later when the first RG7's came out, I saw one in Guitar Center. I just thought it looked cool, aside from it being a 7. So, I brought it home and fell in love. The S-series 7 was a dream come true for me - I've always loved that body style, so when the S7 was released I had to have one.

<img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="http://www.sevenstring.org/newsimages/unearth/unearth_tos.jpg" alt="Buz McGrath" />We started using seven strings when we started Unearth, so it just kinda developed into our sound. It felt good to just to hear the heaviness that came from it.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: How do you feel about the metalcore wave, and do you guys still have jobs?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: It's an exciting time for heavy metal, and none of us has worked a job in almost 2 years.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: I saw you guys live in Edmonton a couple weeks back, and it looked like you were using the Cobras along with Rectos. Killer tone, whatever it was... Ken was playin an S-7420 with a 707 in the bridge with a stocker neck and Buzz was using his custom black S with only a 707 in the bridge.

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: Yeah, that show was rad, we were using Cobras back then, and you are correct about the guitars.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: I'd like to know, what made you pick up and play guitar? Also when you used 6's, what did you play?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: It seemed like as long as I can remember I've wanted to play the guitar. I remember in second grade, my friends and I would play "heavy metal band". We used a dumpster out back of a deli as a stage and wiffle ball bats as guitars. I didn't actually pick up a real guitar until 15 when my older thrash metal stoner brother and all his crazy long-haired friends came over the house with their axes. I would stay home sick from school just so I could sneak into his room to play his sweet Kramer.

For 6 strings, I've had some Gibson SG's, a few S-series, some ESP's, and probably a ton more that I'm forgetting. Right now in addition to my seven strings, I own a couple of Fender strats, a Framus, and a crusty RG450.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: What drew you to Ibanez? I know they have lots of 7-string experience, but plenty of other manufacturers make 7-string customs and such.

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: We've always loved Ibanez guitars. Holding an S series in my hands for the first time just seemed right. To be a part of their endorsement roster was a dream come true for us.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">SS</span>: As you have a couple of custom Ibanez 7 strings, has Ibanez taken note of how great they look and made plans to introduce anything similar to yours?

<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">BM</span>: Actually, Ibanez is going to display my most recent custom (RGA7) at the NAMM show to see if there is any interest. Hopefully this will turn into some sort of new 7 string model - for which Ibanez is long overdue.

<div align="center">
<a href="http://www.unearth.tv" target="_BLANK"><span class="ivred">Unearth Official Website</span></a> - <a href="http://www.metalblade.com/bands/unearth/index2005.html" target="_BLANK"><span class="ivred">Unearth at Metal Blade</span></a>
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  #1  
By Michael on 03-28-2006, 12:53 AM
Unearth are a great band, Oncoming Storm has alot of great tones, and some killer playing.
  #2  
By Rick on 04-25-2006, 04:08 PM
Awesome interview! Those guys are cool as shit and amazing live!
  #3  
By Michael on 04-25-2006, 09:12 PM
Yeah, I got their DVD recently and they destroy!!
  #4  
By Loomer on 06-11-2006, 09:33 AM
That man has taste in guitars
  #5  
By paradigmdream on 06-20-2006, 01:07 PM
I saw buzz at a best buy last black friday. he was trying to buy a computer and got pissed off because he was in the wrong line for like 2 hours lol

amazing band, i love unearth
  #6  
By D-EJ915 on 06-20-2006, 01:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradigmdream
I saw buzz at a best buy last black friday. he was trying to buy a computer and got pissed off because he was in the wrong line for like 2 hours lol

amazing band, i love unearth
hahahaha, wow that sucks.


...and why were you stalking him for 2 hours?
  #7  
By paradigmdream on 06-20-2006, 01:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-EJ915
hahahaha, wow that sucks.
it was pretty funny

clerk "you can't buy that computer here"
buzz "what do you mean?"
clerk "the line for the computer starts over there. you are in the wrong line"
buzz "are you serious? i just want to buy the computer"

something like that


oh, i was waiting in line to buy a gamecube. he was a couple people in front of me
Last edited by paradigmdream; 06-20-2006 at 01:25 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #8  
By Mykie on 07-13-2006, 05:12 PM
Hell yeah, rocking the S
  #9  
By Kornagle on 12-03-2007, 10:45 AM
Unearth is the best
  #10  
By Despised_0515 on 12-05-2007, 12:12 AM
Ibanez seriously needs to make more gorgeous
S and RG series seven string guitars available

it really disappointed me when they discontinued the black RG1527
hopefully theyll come out with some interesting new sevens for '08
  #11  
By Kissa3 on 06-28-2008, 03:51 PM
hahah @ the store story, would've been awesome to see that happenin' hahah "what do you mean?"-classic line mixed with confusion and a desperate anger kindofa face
  #12  
By Red on 12-05-2008, 10:50 PM
Loved the interview, I bought the latest album and love it! I am definitely interested in you S7 being put into production \m/,
  #13  
By Shortguy109 on 06-12-2009, 04:50 PM
Definitely one of my favourite bands
  #14  
By liamh on 07-12-2009, 03:36 PM
Buz seems like a really sweet guy..
And Unearth ....ing rule
  #15  
By EvisceralVision on 12-02-2010, 09:56 PM
awesome

killer interview with Buz...i hope to see many killer signatures coming soon
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buz mcgrath, ibanez, unearth

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