Peavey JSX head, Peavey 5150
4x12 cab, Mesa/Boogie 4x12 cab
Boss DD- 20 Giga Delay
STRINGS, PICKS, AND
Dean Markley Blue Steel .011–
.052 sets, 1.14mm Snarling Dogs
Brain Picks, Mogami cables, Line
6 Relay G50 wireless, DiMarzio
Russell Klein breaks it down at Boston’s Royale NIghtclub during the Summer Partery Tour on August 4, 2011. Photo by Christian Napolitano
But there are several moments
on Chapters, like in “More
Than You Know” and “1984,”
where the piano is the fea-
Stump: Piano’s great over
breakdowns for certain parts.
That’s kind of where we give
Mikey his moment to shine,
and I’ll keep a solid rhythm and
harmonize certain lines in these
spots. None of us are overly
zealous to be in the spotlight all
the time. It’s nice that we can
kind of balance it between us.
On songs like “1984” and
“Compromised,” the guitar
parts under the vocals are
almost like a shred etude, with
nonstop 16th- or 32nd-notes.
Did you do that to differenti-
ate the parts?
Stump: Yeah, we definitely try
to keep ourselves busy. It’s nice
to have your part in a song and
just kind of hand the torch
over—keep it rotating around.
Klein: It’s just our style, I guess.
We don’t really plan that much
ahead between the vocals and the
guitar. We kind of write the guitar
parts, write the music, and then
patch the vocals on top. It’s kind
of trial and error. There’s no real
specific reason for any of that.
So it’s not because, if Brian’s
playing chords and Mikey’s
adding stuff on the keyboards,
then playing fast, perpetual
motion lines is one of the only
other textures left?
Klein: Yeah, that’s pretty much
the reason behind it. We just
want to make sure that the parts
are interesting even without the
vocals and other stuff. We want
to make sure that there’s always
something going on.
In the breakdown in
“Compromised,” you play a
series of arpeggios that are
executed with some tricky
rhythms. Where does that
rhythmic chicanery come from?
Klein: That idea came from our
producer Nick Sampson, who
plays a lot of styles like that. He
likes those “off” timings. We
shot some ideas back and forth.
We wanted to do a breakdown,
but we also wanted to have a
lead over it. It was something
we’d never done before, and it
turned out pretty sweet. When
you get another mind in there
helping you write stuff, you get
stuff you wouldn’t necessarily
come up with on your own.
Nick’s band, I Am Abomination,
was a huge influence on us.
What other bands or players
have influenced your music?
Klein: A major influence when
we first started playing was As
I Lay Dying—you can hear it
in our music, for sure. August
Burns Red and the Devil Wears
Prada are other huge influences.
We try to do a mix of the heavi-
ness and style of Devil Wears
Prada, but get a little more
technical and add guitar riffs
and little things like that.
Stump: Yeah, we’ve been com-
pared to the Devil Wears Prada
before. I guess the melodic
breakdowns are where people
make the connection. I also like
jamming on my acoustic guitar
and really like Andy McKee. He’s
pretty mellow. If I’m lying down
and I want to relax, I listen to that.
Would you ever try to incor-
porate some of Andy McKee’s
influence into your writing?
If taken from the right angle,
it could probably work with
Stump: Definitely, with a lot of
the tapping. It would be awesome
to somehow incorporate that in.
Did you do anything delib-
erate during the Chapters
songwriting process to dif-
ferentiate yourselves from
Klein: Yes—we didn’t want to
do the usual heavy-metal riffs
nonstop, and then breakdown,
and then break down the break-
down. We wanted to add a lot
more musicianship to it, so it’s
not necessarily just heavy break-
downs. We’ll have a part where
we have a lot of guitar work,
and then a lot of drums—a lot
of cymbal hits between a lot of
fills—and then we’d have a part