Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 28

knew it was over. Then suddenly, I found the first
Ramones record and I was like, "Oooh. What's
going on here?" Even though I loved the whole
prog thing and hard rock of the early '70s, suddenly, this whole new energy came in. I heard
Never Mind the Bollocks, and I was like, "Okay,
I'm in." Suddenly, it had that impact, that snarl,
and the teeth that rock and roll started lacking
in the late '70s. But I never stopped listening to
Rush and UFO. Then, I came across a band in
Seattle called the Lewd. I saw them open for
the Ramones and was blown away. I told the
singer, Satz, "If you ever need a guitar player,
let me know." He called me, I got in, I quit high
school, moved to Seattle, joined a punk-rock
band, and made a record. Then we relocated to
San Francisco, and I sensed a dead-end for the
punk thing; I started hearing about Motörhead
and Iron Maiden. It had the punk attitude, aggression, power, and the volume I loved as a kid,
but yet had more musical skill involved. That's
when I went, "Okay... There we go."
What do you recall about writing "Watch
the Children Pray," and the solo?

These Go to Xi

w

hen it comes to thrash metal, the "Big
4" - Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and
Anthrax - get credit for popularizing the style.
But there were other trailblazing bands at the
dawn of thrash, including Metal Church. The
band recently issued its 11th album, XI, which
included a reunion with singer Mike Howe.
We recently spoke with founder/guitarist/
songwriter Kurdt Vanderhoof.
How is XI similar or different to previous
Metal Church albums?

It's different in the fact that the obvious
thing is having Mike come back to the band,
which has been a wonderful thing. And the
thing about it, for me, from a songwriting and
musical standpoint, is having him back meant

that instead of chasing the thrashy beginnings
of the band - the first couple of albums during
"the Mike Howe era" - it was heavy, but more
melodic. The fact we could be more musical
on the record was a really nice thing and a very
inspiring aspect.
Which track is the most reminiscent of
vintage Metal Church?

"Sky Falls In" was very heavy and dissonant
and slow, and very reminiscent of "Beyond the
Black" and the early stuff.

Not many know that you have a punk-rock
background.

The punk movement hit me at the perfect
time - the late '70s - because all my favorite
bands from the early '70s were selling out. When
Emerson, Lake & Palmer put out Love Beach, I

Vintage guitar

28

July 2016

Metallica's first live performance after Cliff
Burton's death was opening for Metal Church.

Metallica opened for us - two shows. We
played the Country Club, and word got out that
it was Metallica opening for us. Metallica was
skyrocketing at that point, and after the whole
Cliff thing, they opened for us. I remember going,
"Boy, we better play for everything it's worth
now." And we did, and it worked out just great.
But that was a tough one to follow.
You've been a long-time Les Paul player.

My main one is a '68 black Custom, and I've
had it a long time. My rig is pretty simple - a
Marshall JCM900 and a 4x12 cab, straight in. I
don't use effects. - Greg Prato

Kurdt Vanderhoof: Mike Savoia.

kurDT VaNDerHoof

I don't know if it was anything special, it
was almost the obligatory heavy-metal ballad.
But we didn't know at the time it was that. We
wanted to be more musical at that point. The
original version had a different arrangement,
but our producer [Mark Dodson] did it as a
traditional arrangement. And the guitar solo...
I'm not much of a lead guitar player. I can, but
I never tend to do the shred thing. I always like
to play very melodically and musically. Some of
my favorite guitar players were David Gilmour
and Leslie West, where it's not about how many
notes you can play, it's about if you can play the
right ones, and play a melodic part. And that's
why we have another guitar player, because he's
really good for the ripping/shredding stuff. For
me, if I have one signature at all in lead guitar, it's
to play it very tastefully and melodically, rather
than worrying about playing a whole bunch of
notes. I'm a rhythm guitar player, and that's
what I like doing.


https://youtu.be/ary17dRnC3o?list=PL1293D4CB8DBFF1B9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover1
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover2
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 2
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Contents
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover3
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