June 22, 2024

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ROCKET Interviews Ex-FLATLINE Guitarist Randy Weitzel


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Thirty-nine year old American guitarist Randy Weitzel recently departed extreme metal act FLATLINE only to begin self-producing his own THREE THIRTEEN project’s debut studio effort entitled Full Tilt, which is essentially a tribute of sorts to a musical era that helped shape him into one of underground metal’s most respected guitar players. Make no mistake: Weitzel is a child of the 70’s who – like so many from that era – was deeply affected by the rocking institutions of legendary bands like KISS, JUDAS PRIEST, and AC/DC. Despite his leaving FLATLINE, a highly touted underground metal act, Weitzel – not one to rest on his past laurels – is prepared to keep on rocking… no matter what the cost.

The Metal Den’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted an exclusive interview with Randy Weitzel for his loyal worldwide Den Headz.

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Rocket: Where were you born and raised?

Randy: I grew up in a small town about an hour from Pittsburgh. When I was a teenager our family moved to a really small town called Home, PA. If you want to know what that was like check out my favorite episode of The X-Files called Home. It’s an eerie, dark episode about genetic mutants. I met Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson last year and told them that I lived in Home. They said they’d never met anyone actually from there, but I seemed relatively normal compared to the characters. It was pretty cool.

Rocket: Do you come from a big family?

Randy: Nah, just me and my little sister Carmen.

Rocket: What bands first drew you to heavy metal music?

Randy: What some people might not realize is that when you are 8 years old and you’re staring at this demon guy with chains and wings, who breaths fire and spits blood and your uncle is crankin’ God of Thunder out of an 8 track player, it’s pretty fucking heavy! That’s how I was introduced to KISS. My uncle then told me that Gene Simmons had a cow’s tongue sewed to his face and that KISS stands for Knights in Satan’s Service! It scared the hell out of me, and I loved it! I STILL love it!

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Rocket: Do you recall your first heavy metal concert?

Randy: Fast forward a few years and picture this… my best friend’s dad drops us off at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh and leaves. KISS is in town and it’s supposed to be the greatest night of my life. As we
approach the arena rumors start floating around that KISS blew out the power during sound check and that concert is cancelled! So we are 15 years old and stuck in the city for the next 6 hours. We ended up
hanging out with Carmine Appice from the opening band King Kobra! So despite the show being cancelled, it was pretty awesome. I got to see the rescheduled show, but it happened to be on the same night that
Ozzy and Metallica with Cliff (Burton) were in town. I got to see Eric Carr before he passed but never did get to see Cliff.

Rocket: That is intense. So who are some of your biggest guitar playing influences?

Randy: Definitely Space Ace. I also I got into Angus Young big time, and I loved James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett a lot too.

Rocket: When exactly did you first start playing the guitar?

Randy: In the mid-eighties. Maiden and Priest were at their peak and it was a great time for Metal. They all had amazing guitar players and that’s when I picked up the guitar and got serious.

Rocket: Did you ever take any formal lessons?

Randy: No. I jammed with friends who taught me what power chords were and how to pull-off and hammer-on. I would get some tabulature from Guitar Magazine, put on a cassette and just play along. It was cool when I started to put it all together because I could jam out to AC/DC tunes instead of playing fucking John Denver in some class.

Flatline

Rocket: How many hours do you practice a day right now, brother?

Randy: The biggest complaint from my wife is that my guitar is always sitting on the couch or the chair, or the floor, or the bed, or in the bathroom! I don’t always have it plugged in but I’m constantly noodling on it. I don’t really practice scales for hours a day.

Rocket: Everyone knows you departed FLATLINE. What can you tell us about the musical projects you’re working on now?

Randy Weitzel's 313!

Randy: The main album I’m working on right now is called 3/13 (Three Thirteen) FULL TILT!, and it’s a homage to 70’s-80’s rock bands that influenced me like KISS and AC/DC. All of the web promo and album art is also a nod to things that I loved as a kid like the STAR WARS, Topps Trading cards, Hot Rods and Pinball. I have 9 songs written and demoed and we’re about to go into the studio to record the drums.
Jimmy Shultz (Cerebellion) is doing all the drums and I’ll be doing all the lead vocals and guitars. We are recording 3/13 drums soon atClear Lake Audio in North Hollywood with engineer G Preston Boebel
(Whitesnake, Quiet Riot). I’ll have some special guest appearances too, like guitarist Chris Howorth (In This Moment) who’s helping me produce, Josh Newell (Yeti, Ketaset, ITM, Flatline) will lay some bass and members of Flatline including Travis Johnson and Hector Gonzalez. It’s basically a straight up rock album. 3/13 is packed full of lead fucking guitar playing and good vibes. If you are a bitter, hateful bastard then this album is not for you! I’m also doing an album with Travis (Johnson-Flatline) called American Massacre. The goal was to just put out a really cool thrasher record and jam with our friends. We don’t really have any expectations of where we want it to lead. We just want it to be a fun, healthy experience. We have about six songs demoed right now but are taking our time. The drummer Lonny Pallisas is doing stuff with his band Eminent, Josh Newell the bassist will be busy engineering the next Internaught record and I’ll be recording 3/13 album all summer. Travis is taking off to tour with In This Moment so we’ll pick it up later this year.

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Rocket: Very cool. What kind of guitars are you currently using in the studio?

Randy: I’ve been jamming my Gibson Explorer for the 3/13 stuff. I think because there is no whammy bar on it like my Jackson Rhoads I tend to write more rock-type riffage with it. I also have a secret list of
fellow guitar players that I’m going to hit up for their Les Paul’s and SG’s!

Rocket: What kind of amp rigs?

Randy: Simple. I’m running a Marshall 800 and a Boss distortion petal.

Rocket: I like to have fun with this next one. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while performing live on stage?

Randy: When I was 19 I was playing live with a thrash band called Phantom Crew at IUP College in Indiana PA. We had a song called Roadkill, and when we played it someone threw a garbage bag onstage with a dead opossum in it. Everyone instantly went nuts, jumping up on stage and moshing. Campus security freaked out, turned the house lights on, killed the pa system and the cops came. We avoided jail (that time) and were banned from campus for life, but our cool factor went way up!

Rocket: With all the great metal albums released in 2010 so far, what are some of your favorites?

Randy: Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2 rules. Exodus’ Exhibit B:The Human Condition is awesome, and I heard the new In This Moment album and it slays! It’s called Star Crossed Wasteland and comes out July 13th!

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Rocket: So who are some of the other upcoming metal acts that you’ve seen on
the scene lately that impress you?

Randy: On the last tour Flatine did, we played with a band called Thy Will Be Done. Go see them!! They will rip your balls off.

Rocket: When can fans expect to see you out playing live shows again?

Randy: As soon as I get some of these projects done and ready. I’m busy too putting together Phantom Republic Music and Design, my recording and graphics company. I’ve been doing it on and off for years and right now I’m working out some bugs with some new gear recording 3/13 and American Massacre. Definitely soon.

Rocket: Thanks very much for rocking out this interview. Best of luck with it your music. Go ahead and give a shout-out to your biggest supporters.

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Randy: Yeah, thanks everyone for the Facebook and Myspace support. Thanks Rocket, you rule, looks like you are taking over the metal world, bro! LONG LIVE DIO, LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!

http://www.myspace.com/randyweitzel