1.Tell us your name and the band you play for
– I currently play for the all-female tribute to Iron Maiden known as “ The Iron Maidens”. Alongside the tribute band, I’m a solo artist working on my first cd in between my gruelling tour schedule. Previously I have played short tours with Adrian Belew, Jon Anderson, Femme Fatale and The Starbreakers.
2.Who made you want to pick up the guitar
– Kirk Hammett
3.Are you self taught or did you take lessons?
– Self-taught. I tried taking lessons from time to time, but I didn’t have the focus to get the most out of them and was more into playing my own way, whether it was the proper way or not.
– I was first chair clarinet in my grade school band so yes I can read music. Reading notation for guitar ( especially classical) is a lot more intense for me compared to the notation I used to read for woodwind and piano, but I can get through it… just a bit slower lol. The reading tab is easy. When learning songs, I prefer to use my ear.
5.Do you feel like you have your own sound / tone ?
– I feel that I do and I have heard from fans and fellow musicians that they know it is me playing the minute they walk into a room, hopefully, that is a good thing haha. I’m frequently asked about my tone or people always take snapshots of my setup before a show. I don’t really know how to explain my tone to other people as I never wanted to sound exactly like one other player. I grew up shaping my tone from watching players who inspired me and would ask myself what did I like about their playing or sound, what didn’t I like? I then just ended up with my own sound and approach to the instrument, which has not changed since I started playing at the age of thirteen. I’ve had the same pedals on the floor in front of me to this day. Boss recently replaced my DD3 delay and CH1 Chorus pedal once they saw how destroyed mine were because as I told them, “ I’ve had these since I was thirteen!’’ They got a laugh out of that. After being on the road for fifteen plus years, it was time to replace them. They had a good run.
A new addition to my board that keeps my sound going on the road is the Friedman BE-OD. I don’t have the ability to fly with my Friedman Butterslax half stack, which I have been using for the last three years, so this pedal is on board to run through the clean channel of any amp I’m blessed or cursed with at each venue and it’s backline provided.
6.Tell us about your guitar (brand,model, year, color)
– I use two 2017-2018 Caparison Horus-M3 CC models, which are my signature models with Caparison guitars. Both are the same model in two colours which are: Pink Sapphire and ‘Greenie’. I first joined the Caparison roster in 2015 playing the 2015 Caparison TAT Special Custom Line in ‘Trans. Black Cherry’ followed by a 2016 Caparison Horus-M3 MF in ‘Aqua blue’. In 2017, the head designer for the company attended my performance during the Namm show for the annual Dimebash, which is a charity event for the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott. After the show, he approached me about a signature model and after going back and forth on slight Courtney changes to the Horus-M3 I was already playing and loved, the Horus-M3 CC model was born.
7.What about pickups? Passive or active? Tell us about them
– I use passive Caparison pickups. In the bridge I have the Caparison PH-bc, which has a hot but very accurate tone. In the neck I have the Caparison SH-27F, which is a very smooth sounding pickup. I use the bridge pickup for most of my playing as I’m not into going back and forth between the two during solos and such. I use the bridge pickup for most rhythm and all of my leads as I don’t like to hide behind the warmth in a neck pickup for that ‘woosh” sound. It really makes you be more accurate with your playing because you hear every single note and I like the challenge. I use the neck pickup strictly for warm tones on a clean channel when needed.
8.Let’s get into amplification, Same drill brand, model, speakers, etc.
– I use a hybrid Friedman ‘Butterslax head’ which is modded with the clean section from a Be100, which they made for me. It is hands down the best amp I have ever heard or played. Paired with the Butterslax is a Friedman speaker cabinet which contains two vintage 30’s and two Greenbacks. It is a mean half stack.
9.Do you have a pedal board? Tell us about that badboy
– I’m definitely an old school tube amp and pedal guitarist. I’ve had the same pedalboard setup since I started playing, which consists of a DD3 Boss delay and a Ch1 Boss chorus. The only thing that has recently changed is my boost pedal. I used to run a BBE Boosta Grande but now use a custom secret clean boost that my partner has made for me. The three pedals I just listed run through the effects loop. The only pedals I have direct is a TC Electronic Polytune and a Friedman BE-OD overdrive, but only if I’m on the road without my half stack. My wireless is a Boss WL-60.
10. Now tell us your Dream Rig in detail…..
– I already have it.
11.What guitarist can you not stand?
I prefer not to answer as there is enough criticism and hate in the world these days. I definitely have them, but you have to remind yourself that whichever guitarist /musician you don’t approve of or prefer not to listen to, brings someone else happiness. I’ve learned that you are not going to like every player in the world and there are going to be people that don’t like you and that is just life. What matters the most is keeping the fire of music ignited. If you don’t like a musician or band, it is your choice to listen or not listen to them, but it does not give you the right to tear someone else down. Keep that crap to yourself and get over it.
I12. Is tone more important or is technique?
– They go hand in hand. At the end of the day it is all in the fingers.
13. Name your top 5 guitarist
– Tough one to only choose five but I’ll do my best:
14.Who is the most overrated guitarist
– Not going to answer this but I will gladly list an UNDERRATED guitarist in my opinion and that is the monster guitarist Rob Marcello. Probably one of the handful of guitarists that leaves me speechless every time I watch him play.
15.Who would you like a one hour private sit down lessons with anyone dead or alive?
– Not for a lesson, but I would jam with Dimebag all day, all night.
Social Media and Website :
Instagramm : @CCSHRED
Axemen is a guitar series created by Wes J.
Wes is the owner of Metal Moose , Metal Coffee , The Metal Times and The Pitchfork Syndicate, and he has 20 years of the biz under his belt, focused on the indie heavy music scene from the unlikely location of Oklahoma City.Wes is bringing his Guitar Series Axemen and Underground Spotlight to MHF.