Rusty Cooley: Well, it all started in 8th grade when me and a couple of buddies started strapping on tennis rackets and jamming to Ted Nugent records. Originally I was supposed to be the singer. Before that, I had no real interest in music at all. I had been racing Motocross since I was about six.
Rusty Cooley: I knew right away after I started playing guitar that this was going to be it. My parents really freaked out because I became reclusive. I locked myself in my room and started practicing. I lost most of the friends I had at the time because practicing consumed all of my time. So yeah, I practiced a lot, 4 to 8 hours a day sometimes.
Rusty Cooley: For the CD I used my custom Jackson 7 string equipped with EMG 707 pickups. The preamp is an old Fender M-80. On the floor a Rocktron Austin Gold overdrive, and a Vox Wah-Wah. The power amp is the VHT Two/Ninety/Two. Also, one Marshall 4x12 cabinet and that's it.
Rusty Cooley: I sent them a CD and they emailed me saying they were interested in signing me. I'm really happy to be with Lion. Some of the guitarists I grew up listening to are on that label, and that's cool for me because it kind of lets me know that I'm finally on their level. The other advantage is the promotion, the distribution and the ability to put out a professional product.
Rusty Cooley: When I'm writing, I approach it as if there are going to be vocals on it. The most important thing to me in the beginning is having a good song and interesting rhythm guitar work. I think that's why some times "shred" is a bad word. A lot players will write songs around solos and it shows. I want my songs to stand on their own if you take all of the leads off. The "Butcher", "Dominion", and "E.B.E." tracks off "Rusty Cooley" were vocal songs to begin with.
Rusty Cooley: At one point years ago I wanted my rhythm guitar playing to sound like you took Dimebag, Ty Tabor, Jake E Lee, Nuno, and Zakk and put them into a blender. I also like some newer bands like Symphony X, Nevermore, and Arch Enemy.
Rusty Cooley: Yes I did, before I moved to Atlanta. I use to play this stuff with my band Outworld all the time. I'm putting a band together here in Atlanta to support the CD. I'm still with Outworld too. We're working on a vocal CD. I also perform the material during clinics.
Rusty Cooley: Well it doesn't look very good. Every now and then you see a little snippet of cool stuff. I'll tell you who is really cool -- the guitar mags from the UK. I think there are guys at the mags in the US that really want to cover good guitar music, but the powers at be won't let them because it's not trendy. I thought guitar mags were supposed to be about guitarists? Not guys that just strum power chords because they're too lazy, or not dedicated enough to do more.
Rusty Cooley: I'm planning on releasing more instructional CD-ROMs, performing, and
hopefully relesing a new CD from Outworld. I'm also working on pushing my playing to the next level. I just got an 8 string Conklin guitar that is going to be a big part of that.
Rusty Cooley: Wow that's a hard one, Yngwie would be impossible to work with, so I would
probably have to say Jason Becker or Shawn Lane.