with Malcolm Brickhouse
Name: Malcolm Brickhouse
Bands: Unlocking The Truth
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.