When done right, the death metal power trio can be quite special; Krisiun, Hate Eternal, and Incantation have all found magic in threes. On its newest album, Insanity of the Obsessed, San Diego's Warface joins these ranks of evil triads. If blastbeats and death growls are the backs and receivers, Laura Christine is the band's quarterback, firing serrated riffs and fluid leads out of shotgun formation. The guitarist took some time to answer Metal Injection's questions.
Let's geek out for a bit. What guitar and equipment setup do you use?
LOL… Okay, great. Let’s “geek out” on gear! I use the Triple Mesa Boogie head (run it clean) with Marshall 1960 cabs with the Zoom 505 pedal for distortion, with the white Boss noise suppressor pedal, Monster cables, KxK Warface V Guitars with GHS Strings (.010-.052), EMG Pickups (81 & 85), and Dunlop Picks (1.0 mm).
You have your own custom line of guitars by KxK. What features make these guitars unique?
Every KxK Guitar is handmade here in the USA. Their craftsmanship are superb as well, as they deliver incredible tone. They are able to deliver heavy, deep, chunky, killer distortion while still maintaining an excellent clarity of the notes. In addition to these guitars having amazing tone and craftsmanship, they feel absolutely amazing to play! They are the most comfortable and easiest guitars I’ve ever played. And to top it all off, they look metal!
You've played guitar for 17 years. What are you working on right now in your practice regimen?
A little bit of this and that. I’m always working on learning and developing new techniques. Right now, I’m working on some new lead techniques which I’ll be incorporating into our next album.
Who are your primary guitar influences?
My biggest influence of all would be Dimebag Darrell (RIP). Other primary influences would include Marty Friedman, Trey Azagthoth, King and Hanneman, Andreas Kisser, and Jack Owen. Back in the day it used to be James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Dave Mustaine.
Conversely, what aspects of your playing are unique to you?
Probably the number one thing that is most unique is my timing and that I like to put endless amounts of “hooks” into my playing and writing. Also, I like to maintain some traditional metal feel while also incorporating my own personal feel.
You produced Insanity of the Obsessed. Technically, what did that involve? Knob twiddling, coaxing better performances, etc.?
For me, it was literally being completely involved in pretty much every detail and aspect of the recording process of this album, from “knob twiddling” and “coaxing better performances” to making last-minute changes to the music itself to make the songs stronger and more powerful.
Warface has had two killer drummers, Tyson Jupin and Scott Ellis – compare and contrast.
They definitely are very different in their drumming styles and approaches. I love both of their styles for different reasons. Scott is more laidback in his approach to drumming and extremely creative when it comes to adding interesting and unique drum beats and highlights to the music that I find quite amazing. Tyson is very aggressive and balls-out in his approach. His drumming style is more traditional, yet he still manages to add his own unique flavor to everything. He really knows how to bulk up a song, making it ten times more powerful and moving.
In a three-piece, do you ever worry about the density when you stop playing rhythm to play a lead?
No. Dave and Tyson always step up and have my back. We are always able to keep the sound very full in a live setting.
Your tattoo artist, Bill Kieffer, did the album artwork. How did he make the transition from needle to CD cover, and what was the cover concept?
I must say, Bill is one hell of an artist! The CD art that he did for us is actually a 3 foot by 3 foot painting. He’s actually been painting on canvas longer than he’s been tattooing, so the transition was an easy one. The album cover concept is that of an obsessive, unbalanced being who is summoning war and death, literally depicting a face of war coming at you.
San Diego is a military town, and Warface has some anti-war sentiments lyrically. Does this ever create friction?
Not at all. Even though we have anti-war sentiments, we are extremely supportive and appreciative to the military. We greatly appreciate their service and what they do. We just don’t think they should be put into harm's way unless it’s an absolute last resort.
What's the metal scene in San Diego like?
The San Diego metal scene continues to grow and get stronger. There are constantly more and more metal bands coming out of the woodwork here, which is great.
Do you get tired of the "being a woman in metal" question?
Not at all. I understand that people are curious and have a lot of questions.
What advice would you offer to up-and-coming female metal guitarists?
Just get out there and start doing it! Join a band as soon as possible. That is the best way to learn. And when it comes to the music, get up there with a “take no prisoners” approach and attitude. Have one goal in mind, and that is to absolutely destroy and annihilate when it comes to performing on your instrument. Nothing less will do. Practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more!
Any last words?
Thank you very much for your interest. All of us in Warface greatly appreciate it. We hope to meet you on the road! You can get your copy of our new album, Insanity of the Obsessed, right now at AMAZON.com, VH1.com, BESTBUY.com, iTunes, WARFACE.net, etc.