Lzzy: You caught us in a very confusing time [laughs].
Joe: The EP has "Dissident Aggressor" from Judas Priest, and ... We might be forgetting something, but I think that’s it. I had to just go hands-off the guitar and sit and think about it, hum it out and see what I really wanted to do, especially for the solos. Were you satisfied with the amount of guitar on the album, or do you think you'd attempt to be more guitar-oriented in the future? I ended up starting guitar because I didn’t want to just be the lead singer.
Joe: Marilyn Manson’s "1996," "Gold Dust Woman" from Fleetwood Mac, a rock cover of Daft Punk’s "Get Lucky," Pat Benatar’s "Hell Is for Children" ... But one of the things I learned before starting to write this record was to take my fingers out of it while writing guitar parts, because you always fall back into the same thing every time, especially when you’re not thinking and just trying to play along. So it happens occasionally, but definitely hands-off is the way to be. But I don’t know, there’s always been a marriage between what I sing and what I play.
Instead of worrying a lot about playing it by the rules and writing ourselves in a box or writing for radio, we just wrote a shit ton of riffs just because we thought they were fun to play. Joe: A lot of times Lzzy would come in with a song and I would force-feed a riff into the song, re-adjust it a little. It was not about how the guitars on this record were going to sound, but rather more about how they were going to sound on each particular song and what we were going for in that song, whether it be something aggressive, some crazy shredding all the way through, or laid back. The first one of two will come right out with all kinds of licks I’ve just been working on for warm-up and stuff.
Did you approach the guitar playing or songwriting any differently between albums? Lzzy: For lack of a better term, on this record we kind of said, "Fuck it" [laughs]. Just using your head makes it so much easier, better and more exciting. For you, the hands-off method is working better, I take it. But if it’s been a while since I’ve written a solo or something, the hands-on approach still works.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of taking my hands out of it before.
But it definitely seems like a simple thing, and I wish I had thought of it earlier.
He's totally underrated; nobody ever really talks about it, but he’s incredible. In terms of tone, is there anyone you’ve tried to emulate? I can’t remember the name of the song but it’s got this nasty, just the coolest fuzz.
Two days before the show, he asked me to perform "Nobody’s Fool." In the song there’s this dueling guitar harmony and I was like, "Shit! First I got frustrated and thought I would never get it right, in two days but it ended up working out great. I asked the dude how he gets that sound and all he told me was that he used some weird fuzz pedal through a tiny little Fender Princeton amp and he just tweaked it until it sounded cool. I love hearing really unique tones that give the song a voice instead of just your basic rock sound over and over. Instead of focusing on a unique tone we’ve been writing for the basic rock sound. We’re in writing mode right now for the next album.