Music News

Orbweaver's Randy Piro: Guitar Heroes of South Florida

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What sets you apart as a guitarist?

The only thing that I could objectively say that I try to go for is that I try to utilize -- especially in the constraints of extreme metal -- I try to utilize as much of th guitar's tonal abilities as I can. Everything from different pickups to using the volume and tone knobs to the crazy array of pedals I have, I think I try to hear a little bit more than a lot of death metal guitar players.

What's the most inspiring piece of gear in your rig?

Honestly, at the end of the day -- and I'd hate to sound stupid and cliche -- but it's my hands, because it's not like I sit at home and play through all my fuckin' pedals. When I come up with riffs specifically for Orbweaver, it always starts like on the couch or something like that.

Even with all that sound manipulation...

...But, I hear the effects in my head as it's happening. I come up with and I know what going to be called for.

What gear do you still get excited to plug in?

Dude, everything! I love my 800 to death, I love my Explorer, I love my Sovtek, I love each and every single one of my pedals! If I had to narrow it down to one stupid little piece of gear that no matter what, always surprises me, it would be my Electro Harmonix Frequency Analyzer. We were talking about ring modulators earlier, and the fact that it doesn't have a constant oscillation like the Moog does, or the Ringworm does, works better for what I want to do. I want ring mods to totally change the sound of the guitar. In a controlled, but chaotic way. Every day I find something new that I love.

Could you tell me a bit about your Marshall because I know it's been tweaked a bit.

That was my first real amp ever. It's a JCM 800, I always forget the numbers, I think it's a 2210. It's a hundred watt with two channels and reverb. It was a full stack when I got it. I've literally had that head and that cab since I was 14 years old, so, I've had that head for... Oh, my God... 20 fuckin' years! So, that's what I grew up with. That's my sound, I've tried other amps, but that's it. It's been Scholzified (IE: Modified by local amp guru George Scholz), but, I wanted it exactly like it was. When I brought it to him, it was in its original state, it had just been played hard.

So George restored it, essentially?

I think in the capacitors he put in a higher rating. He definitely sprinkled some pixie dust on it. The thing with George is that he always puts top grade components in, and he realizes that you're going to play this piece of equipment under the worst circumstances possible. George is so good at what he does that he can literally say "No, I don't want to work on that because I don't like it," he's great at what he does.

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David Von Bader