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QRD #74
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Featured Band Interview:
Bass Player Interviews:
Tony Zanella of  +/-
Channing Azure of Alpha Cop
Eric Baldoni of Colt Vista
Jeanne Kennedy Crosby
Rob Kohler
Derek M. Poteat
Guitarist interviews:
Campbell Kneale
Antony Milton of PseudoArcana
Nevada Hill of Bludded Head
Malcolm Brickhouse
Chvad SB
Scott Endres of Make
Label Owner Interviews:
Russian Winter Records
Moving Furniture
Basses Frequences
Saxwand Records
Comic Creator Interviews:
Richard Van Ingram
Tyler Sowles
JB Sapienza
Troy Vevasis
Victor Couwenbergh
Terry Hooper
Travis Hymel
Robert Hendricks
Dirk Manning
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Guitarist interview with Malcolm Brickhouse
July 2015
Malcolm Brickhouse
Name: Malcolm Brickhouse
Bands: Unlocking The Truth
Websites: http://unlockingthetruthband.com

QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?

Malcolm – My first guitar was a blue First Act acoustic guitar. Me & Jarad destroyed it.

QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?

Malcolm – My typical set up is a my guitar, a Line 6 wireless pack, a Boss Super Chorus pedal, an Orange Dual Dark 100 amp.

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?

Malcolm – The most important part of my rig is my amplifier because it gives me the sound I need.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Malcolm – My main amplifier is an Orange Dual Dark 100, because it gives me a natural & full guitar tone.

QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?

Malcolm – My main guitar is a LTD TE-406 because I like the EMG 60 & EMG 80 pick-ups.  & I also love how smooth the neck feels because it allows me to move my fingers more through the fret board.

QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?

Malcolm – My signature guitar would be the LTD TE-406 with a customized paint job. I love everything about that guitar.

QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?

Malcolm – If I had a signature pedal, I would have an option to take the distortion from the amplifier & make it clean.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Malcolm – I have 9 guitars & 2 bass guitars.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Malcolm – I store them on a guitar rack in my basement where I create my music.

QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?

Malcolm – I wish a guitar case came with a strap with a snap lock that would keep it locked through the checked baggage process at the airport.

QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?

Malcolm – The features I look for are the EMG pick-ups & a nice body shape.

QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?

Malcolm – I think a good guitar should cost $500 to $1,000.

QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?

Malcolm – I usually stick with what I get, but sometimes I switch the pick-ups.

QRD –How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?

Malcolm – Truthfully, if I like how it looks & it has the right EMG pick-ups, then I’ll buy it.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Malcolm – No.  I stick with my usual set up.

QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?

Malcolm – I like one particular guitar tone with the treble all the way up, the bass half way up & the mid & gain all the way up.

QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?

Malcolm – I like Orange Amps & Boss pedals.

QRD –What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?

Malcolm – The important features for me are good pick-ups, Ernie Ball strings, & a nice neck board.

QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?

Malcolm – So far it was the LTD TE-406.

QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?

Malcolm – Again, I really like ESP/LTD & Ernie Ball Music Man guitars & Orange Amps. I do not care for effect amps because they don’t sound natural.

QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?

Malcolm – Usually when I pick up a guitar, I start working on new riffs.

QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?

Malcolm – I was 6 years old when I learned how to play an acoustic guitar & 7 years old when I bought my first electric guitar.

QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?

Malcolm – Right now I am at my best & I’m 14 years old, but I am still taking lessons.

QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?

Malcolm – A guitar is a melody maker & it says things you cannot put into words.

QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?

Malcolm – I think a guitar should be a person’s first instrument because, in my opinion, it’s a fun instrument to play.

QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?

Malcolm – My guitar is definitely my ally.

QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?

Malcolm – Jeff Loomis, Dan Donegan, & Jim Root influenced my playing & sound.  But I do look up to Vernon Reid.

QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming guitars)?

Malcolm – That doesn’t matter to me because I do not name my guitars.

QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?

Malcolm – Me & Jarad destroyed my acoustic guitar.

QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?

Malcolm – I practice sweep picking a lot & tapping.

QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?

Malcolm – Lately because of my schedule I can get at least an hour a day in; sometimes more when I am creating a new song.

QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?

Malcolm – I use D’Addario picks because I just bought a bunch of them.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Malcolm – I change my strings every few months.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Malcolm – Truthfully, not often.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

Malcolm – I feel most proficient using my fret hand because my pick hand still needs work.  So instead of sweep picking as much as I can, I make more melodic solos.

QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?

Malcolm – A guitar tech sets up my guitar.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Malcolm – I use Drop B & Drop C because my favorite bands like Slipknot & Disturbed use those tunings.

QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?

Malcolm – I prefer tablature because that’s the first method I used, but I am learning how to read sheet music.

QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?

Malcolm – I hold my guitar at waist-level so I can reach the lower frets for sweep picking.

QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?

Malcolm – One bad habit I have is going straight to sweep picking when I’m playing a solo.

QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?

Malcolm – I think playing the piano will help with guitar playing when trying to create melodies.

QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?

Malcolm – I wish I was good at multi-handed tapping.

QRD –What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?

Malcolm – I want to play Born of Osiris’s “Follow the Sign” solo clean.

QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?

Malcolm – The last guitar trick I learned was incorporating tapping in my sweep picking solos.

QRD –What’s your favorite guitar gadget (Ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?

Malcolm – None.

QRD –What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?

Malcolm – Sweep picking & multi-handed tapping.

QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

Malcolm – Yes, I am still taking guitar lessons & I’m learning how to read sheet music & getting to know the scales better.

QRD –What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?

Malcolm – I would skip the basics (like scales) & teach them the fun parts like solos.

QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?

Malcolm – I think they would need to feel like a mixture of Dan Donegan, Jeff Loomis, Jim Root.

QRD – What’s your take on tremolo/vibrato systems?

Malcolm – I like those systems, but it’s hard to re-string those guitars.

QRD –How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Malcolm – I do not adjust it often.

QRD –What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?

Malcolm – A rhythm guitarist needs more control of their strumming hand & a lead guitarist needs control of both hands.

QRD –If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?

Malcolm – A band needs more than good guitar work because a band is a collaborative effort. If one musician is off, it messes up the whole band.

QRD –What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?

Malcolm – I would like to own Dan Donegan’s black & white flame Washburn guitar just for the design.

QRD –Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?

Malcolm – I think Jeff Loomis is on fire because he is well-rounded in all types of guitar playing.

QRD –Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Malcolm – When the EP comes out, but I’ve grown since then.

QRD – Anything else?

Malcolm – Thank you for this interview.