Last week I had chance to catch up with the legendary Rusty Cooley and he most definitely lived up to the legend by being an absolute gentleman and ever the true professional.
Rusty is a very busy man but still managed to take the time out to speak to us, here at Phoenix Music. So lets not waste anymore time as we delve in…
Are you going to NAMM this year?
I´m not going to NAMM this year as I´ve got a pretty good gig that I didn’t want to miss.
How would you describe Day of Reckoning´s sound?
Its modern Metal with a mixture of clean singing. It’s very progressive and heavy but still very Metal. It’s not a departure from things I’ve done in the past because it’s still definitely me and I haven’t changed the way I play guitar. A lot of people find it to be incredibly different because there are no keyboards or clean Metal operatic singing.
Have you got any plans to put out a Day of Reckoning album this year?
A matter of fact, The DOR CD is just about done and due for release in the Spring and we´re releasing a new single from the CD called Left To Follow. It will hopefully be available on Itunes and other online mediums in February.
Any plans for any upcoming shows or a tour?
We would love to tour, but that’s all down to financial issues. Obviously if we pick up a record deal, It would be easier to tour than if we try to do it on our own. We´ll see how that pans out but I definitely want to tour.
Any plans for a solo record or is DOR your sole focus for now?
To be honest…. DOR is my solo record in a way, as there isn’t anything different that I would do if I wasn’t playing with these guys. I´d still be writing the same stuff. I think that’s what Eddie Van Halen said once, when asked `Why don’t you do a solo record?` His response was. `I´m doing what I want to do in Van Halen, So why do I need to do a solo record.`
Whats your take on super extreme music, such as Cannibal Corpse and other Death Metal bands?
I like it all, man. Cannibal Corpse….Those guys are pretty freaking awesome, I dare say. I don’t know if you know this but I used to host a TV show called Guitar Asylum and I actually got to interview the two guitar players. which was awesome as they very rarely grant interviews let alone video stuff.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I´ll give you a some of the bands that I really dig right now. I’m totally loving the new Alter Bridge CD. I love that! I love Soilwork too and I love all those kind of heavy aggressive bands.
Who influences you?
It’s hard to say, At this point as long as I’ve been playing guitar. I don’t know if I have new influences as much as i´m inspired by listening to music that kind of drives me. I need something new that hits me in a certain way and then i´m into it. My influences are probably the same as they have always been, The shred guys growing up and a lot of bands like the few I just mentioned, anything that´s good really.
Are you proud of what you’ve accomplished?
I can look back and you know, I’m pretty hard on myself when I record things. It takes me a long time to go back and actually like it and then I´ll finally come to terms with it and go, Wow! That was actually pretty damn good. You know, I’ve been on over 25 CDs and got a couple that still haven’t been released yet, 8 or 9 instructional DVDs, I’ve got signature guitars with Dean. So I’ve not done too bad haha.
What do you think your occupation would be if you weren’t doing this?
Well, Before I started playing guitar, I used to race Motocross. So if I hadn’t of started playing guitar, I would probably have been a professional Motocross racer because I started racing when I was big enough to get on a bike. So, I was doing that and was really good at it, then I got into guitar and the rest is history. It would’ve been cool tho, I loved racing. But, honestly I don’t know. I’m the kind of guy that when I decide to do something, that’s what I do and there’s no back up plan. I’m gonna do this and do it all the way. So, never really had a back up plan. At this point, If I had to do something, maybe I could get a job making coffee in Starbucks! haha!
What advice would you give to any aspiring guitarists?
First and foremost, Make sure that you´re making music that you want to make. You got to be true to yourself and just realize, it’s not an easy road and its tough. one of the things is that if I had known what I know now, then I might have made other decisions. I’m not really sure….The music industry is really really hard and if I didn’t love playing guitar so much, then I´d probably be doing something else, you know. Play guitar for fun and find a real job for money.
Check out all things Rusty on
Credits to owners for use of images