The Smoothest Shred in the West

The Smoothest Shred in the West

(My Conversation with Jimmy Adcock Continues…)

By D’Monic Boris Lee

Screamin’ Salutations Monstrous Metalhead Maniacs! Welcome to the latest edition of Symptom of the Metalverse, featuring the next round of my conversation with Shred Master Smooth, Jimmy Adcock. Without delay or overbuilding what is a great chat with a great musician, let’s dive right back into the pit with Jimmy Adcok….

D’Monic: In 2018 Nytrate released an excellent album of All-Killer-No-Filler music, which if I recall correctly was the first album review I ever did under the Symptom of the Metalverse moniker. (Update… I recalled correctly. I debuted Symptom of the Metalverse as a web blog in 2018 and my first album review was for Nytrate.)

I am a fan of the new Nytrate music that has been surfacing, I’m tied up deciding if I prefer “The Siren,” or “Insidious,” the latter which I first heard as an instrumental jam in 2019. The tunes bare heavier riffs and Alli’s lyrics and performance energy are packing some severe punch.

How is the writing process coming along for the new material? Have there been any significant changes in the creation process? Where does the creation process for Nytrate begin? Is it a riff you write, lyrics from Alli, Tom or John coming up with something?

Jimmy: I am really excited about the new Nytrate material! I think this album is more of a group effort overall as far as the songwriting goes. Our first album, most of the riffs were written by the band founder, Eddie Mendiola. I basically added a few parts and then all the solos. Eddie had to retire from the band because of health reasons in early 2018 prior to us going into the studio. Both myself and Taco (Nytrate drummer) had lots of riff ideas (Taco plays guitar as well in his other band) but we already had so much material that Eddie had written that we just went forward with those songs that we had been performing live for the past year or so since the band’s inception.

Taco actually wrote the riffs and music for both “The Siren” and “Insidious,” with me adding solos and another song that will be on the new album called “Don’t Forget to Breathe.” He is multi-talented and comes up with some killer and challenging guitar parts. Almost like our own version of Anthrax drummer, Charlie Benante, who writes all of their music.

The rest of the songs that will be on the new album were written by me with Alli adding her lyrics to all the above. We pretty much give her free rein to write about whatever topic she wants on a given song. I joke with everyone saying I never know what the lyrics are until the album is finished and I see the album liner notes and lyric sheet. It’s close to the truth actually but we want her to feel and believe in what she’s singing about and this gives each of us our input and fingerprint on each song.

With the addition of my longtime friend and band-mate from Seventh Veil and RadioKing, John Cruz on bass, it has really become a solid machine in the writing department. John is a musical genius. He is one of those guys that never has to practice his instrument. He just picks it up and plays flawlessly and can take a moment to listen to a riff or idea and lay down the perfect, and sometimes the most unpredictable bass line really ties it all together.

D: When I have watched Taco on the drums, he plays them like a natural, and I can easily see him being a natural overall musician. The creative concepts he has unleashed with you and the rest of the Nytrate gang are definitely taking the band in a heavier direction, while remaining as melodic as the previously released material. I dig it!

I don’t know how many times I have told her this in the past, but here is a PSA on “The Siren,” Alli Clay. Alli is my favorite vocalist out there today, and that is no slight on anyone else I listen to, review, or know. When Alli’s voice hits my ears, her passion for what she is singing about immediately resonates with me. Alli’s energy carries through each note she belts out, and to see her loosen up and become more comfortable with each Nytrate performance puts a smile on my face. Alli is a passionate songwriter, who has the vocal range to take on anything in the metal and rock genre.

The addition of John on bass seems like another flawless natural fit to the band. John appears to have effortless playing energy, and as you stated, is a natural. The “Nytrate Naturals,” coming together manifest some Monstrous Music Magick, all of “Witch,” is a note for note spell casting worth every hypnotic listening moment. Since I jumped in here, let’s get back to the inspirational points of Nytrate’s creations.

J: Where the ideas or inspiration come from musically, sometimes I just pull up a random Metal Drum beat on YouTube and start jamming along and see what I come up with. It’s much more inspiring to play with some drums than a metronome or trying to hear everything in your head. Sometimes I may speed the track up or slow it down or even use a small piece and loop it until I find something I like on the guitar. Sometimes it’s just me trying to come up with a riff that focuses on a specific technique I’m wanting to improve on or maybe a certain chord change or key that I’m wanting to solo in or over.

As far as heavier, I definitely think you will notice the songs being heavier than the first album. The biggest reason being we have changed our tuning to Drop Bb from Drop C so it’s a whole step lower. One of my students brings in a lot of modern Metal bands to learn and most of that stuff was in Drop B or Bb or even lower. I had to set up one of my guitars specifically for that tuning because on a standard guitar with light gauge strings, they would be too loose to hold a tune or even sound good down that low.

Once I had my guitar set up for that, I wrote a riff and took it to the band to see what they thought. Alli freaked over the new tuning and loved it as it allowed her “Siren” to wail at an even higher decibel, so we ended up writing all the new stuff in that tuning! That song became one called “Back in Line.” I think my favorite new one is called “Sleeping Beauty was a Zombie.” One that Alli describes as a song about “Nightmares gone bad.” That riff idea came after overdosing on listening to classic Megadeth last fall as it dawned on the 30th anniversary of Rust In Peace. One of the greatest albums ever recorded in my opinion. I tried to channel my inner Dave Mustaine on that riff and the solo was me doing my best Chris Poland impersonation! I think that will be a favorite of many as numerous people have commented on it after our shows recently on how much they love that one!

D: A Nytrate tune carrying the rippin’ riff rhythm of Megadeth, that’s something I can get behind, into, groove with, head-bang and raise horns to! There is a bit of anticipation building in me to hear Alli singing over that style of music.

With 2021 here and in full swing, things are starting to open back up. Shows are being booked and not canceled just as fast, summer festivals are popping up, so the time to get back out into the live gig world is among us. What can we look forward to from Nytrate and your other musical ventures this summer?

J: It’s great to be back into the swing of things with shows in 2021 after the terrible year we all faced in 2020! We have some great ones already on the books! I am really excited that we will be opening for the original lineup of the BulletBoys at the end of June. They were one of my favorite bands of the era and the first “Famous” band I ever met. I was a member of their fan club (the Firing Squad) back in 1990-91 when their second album Freakshow was released, and for helping promote and spread the word about the album, I was given backstage passes for any shows I wanted to attend on the tour. So I got to meet them twice. Once on their Summer Shed tour with Poison in Dallas, and again later that year on their own in Shreveport, LA with The Scream opening (which featured soon to be Mötley Crüe frontman, John Corabi singing!) Mick Sweda is such a cool guitarist and Marq Torien was and still is one of the best vocalists in Rock. He could have totally been an all out, R&B singer had he chosen that path. It’s great that they are reunited and touring again for the first time in almost 30 years and to be opening for them is really surreal!

We are also doing a few dates with a Who’s Who of Metal. A Super Group called Of Gods and Monsters and DC4 both here in Dallas/Ft Worth in July and again in November for a big Festival in Phoenix, AZ called NomadFest. Of Gods and Monsters comprises former Dallas area vocalist Kevin Gocher (Phantom X and Omen) with Guitarist Ira Black (Lizzy Borden), Drummer Simon Wright (DIO, AC/DC, UFO and Dio Disciples) and bassist Bjorn Englen (Dio Disciples and Yngwie Malmsteen). DC4 is a killer band that has an old school Van Halen vibe with some Neo-classical shredding featuring former DIO guitarist, Rowan Robertson, and Jeff Duncan of Armored Saint and Odin, along with Jeff’s brothers Matt and Shawn on Bass and Drums.

Also on the Phoenix bill is former Badlands bassist, Greg Chaisson’s new band; Kings of Dust and former Shrapnel Recording artist, Stoney Curtis (also of famed Counting Cars TV personality and vocalist Danny Koker’s band, Count 77’s) so we are beyond stoked to have been invited to take part in that!

We also recently entered into an exciting new partnership/endorsement deal with Dog On It Strings, with some signature sets coming down the road to accommodate both the Heavy Nytrate material as well as the lighter gauges I use with the other projects!

D: That’s all great news! An endorsement deal is always a great way to reach a greater marketing audience, and shit… I have had it on my mind on and off to see about going after endorsement deals as a writer. I would not shun away editing software or other writing material endorsements by any means.

Congratulations on taking Nytrate out on the road to AZ as well. The time is at hand for Nytrate to conquer the lands!

Once upon a guitar playing time, I enjoyed picking up the Kramer, B.C. Rich, or SG, and just letting my fingers run and strum out melodies, no rhyme or reason, just music flowing from my fingers to the fretboard. I remember writing some songs (stop me if I already said this) and then down the road, after not playing for an intermittent time, I would dust off the old riffs and see what new life comes to them.

I do the same with my horror fiction, as an idea will be created, put away, then one day I pick it up again, dusting it off to give it new life. Symptom of the Metalverse is a product of this practice. I also did it with a story that appears in my book, The Shadows of Insanity (shamelessly plugged here again… it’s a Top Ten Best Thriller of 2020 Finalist you know), and since the old story had original success upon first conception, I found it fun to dig it up for another run with a new audience.

That said, if the opportunity presented itself, I would advise a much younger me to not be discouraged by your peers, and believe in your ability to create a tale that captivates the imagination of a stranger, and then one day when you see somebody holding a copy of your book on the subway, you can quietly smile and realize all it ever took was time and attention towards your craft, and the belief in your ability. Don’t give up on your passion. (Maybe I need to tell myself that exact advice now.)

So Jimmy, do you ever dust off any of the Shotgun Wedding tunes, maybe “Perpetual Burn?” Looking back on those early days of gig playing and song making, what would you say to yourself if you could shed shredding advice light onto the younger you?

J: Shotgun Wedding will always have such a special place in my heart. It is hands down, some of the best songs I’ve ever been a part of and I feel they still hold up today. As with many bands, there were some internal issues, and we were all pretty young (early 20s) and eager to “Make it”. I got the gig with them after jamming with another drummer at the same warehouse one afternoon and they heard me and came out of their room and asked me to come in and check them out. I really loved their songs instantly and the fact they were a full band, just missing a lead guitarist, it was a no brainier when a few days later, their other guitarist showed up at the Music Store where I was teaching with a cassette tape of their songs, and asked if I would like to come by and jam with them later that night.

I learned a couple of the songs between my lessons and then played with them that evening and they then told me about a big show they had coming up in three days. It was a local cable TV show taping that they had been selected to do from winning a battle of the bands several months prior. I of course said yes, but this gave me only two days to come up with my own parts to six or seven original songs. It was for sure my first high pressure musical situation. I remember staying up all night the following two days working on my parts. It was even more exciting for me as it was my first chance to really apply all the things I had been practicing the last two-three years in a real-world scenario of original songs, and doing those things my way. I had one rehearsal with them on a Sunday afternoon and the TV taping was the next day. I was nervous, as you could imagine, but I don’t think I could have been more prepared. That really taught me a lot and gave me the confidence that I could pull something like that off, which has arisen numerous times in the almost thirty-years since!

There have been some discussions between members about a reunion or maybe even recording some of those songs that never made it to tape. I would really love for that to happen. I was going thru an old box of cassettes in my attic and found a couple of rehearsal recordings as well as a live show from a Dallas club that had songs I (and the other band members) had completely forgotten about and never would have remembered had it not been for that recording. Some of the solos I played actually stumped me in trying to relearn them, which surprised me. Sometimes you don’t realize how certain things about your playing style or technique changes over the years. Trying to recapture my mindset of the time and things I was thinking about within my solos was definitely a trip!

D: To relearn a style we previously used but put to bed during the course of our creative evolution is a challenge. The first style of writing I had in the late ‘90’s is something I could never duplicate in my current writing style. I just cannot figure out where my mindset was or the ignition point for my imagination to come up with what I did back then. So I get what it’s like to stump yourself.

Believe it or not, as a little Sicilian kid living in NYC back in the ‘70’s, one of my favorite shows to watch was He-Haw. Something about Roy Clark’s talent grabbed my attention on the guitar. I was not (and am still not, nor will I ever be) a fan of country music, but Roy’s playing on the guitar was fucking amazing. About the time you and I had our first conversation, I was spending a good amount of time at a local guitar shop, and the owner played a great deal of Roy Clark and Les Paul videos. I had no idea how great Paul was as a guitarist, so to see him shredding prompted me to wonder who would win a “Shred-Off” between Les and Roy. Since your musical taste reaches the genre where Paul and Clark flourished, who do you feel was the better shredder, and why? How much, if at all, have you been influenced by either of them?

J: Man… both are just absolute legends. I think Les’ contribution both musically and on the instrument itself is well stated. I’m not sure many realize just how much of a bad ass muthaphuka Roy was! On multiple instruments! I’m not sure I could say which was better but as far as influence goes from a guitarist from that era, I’d have to go with Jerry Reed! Most people my age only knew him as Burt Reynolds sidekick in Smokey and the Bandit, but he was playing things that could tie your fingers in knots way before shredding was even a thing in Rock guitar. I remember ordering a cassette of all of his instrumentals that were the B-sides to his commercial hits like “She got the Goldmine,” “I got the Shaft,” “Down on the Corner” etc, and they were just insane. I started learning his song; “The Claw” in college and it was a huge factor in my development of using my pick and fingers on the right hand. His style is and was so unique, and he had that swampy funk in his playing that made him my favorite over his other peers at the time like Roy, Les or even Chet Atkins. All monsters. But Jerry was the king for me!

D: I know who Jerry Reed is, but never knew he was that much of a badass. (Pardon my phone as I pull up some Jerry Reed on YouTube right now to be more informed on his talents.) There are quite a few insanely fast shredders outside of the Metal music genre, and if more Metal shredder kids would look outside the mosh pit for influence, they may be shocked to see just how flowing and flawless players like Roy Clark, Jerry Reed, and Less Paul, Dick Dale, and so on. Watching players like Jerry Reed and Roy Clark play in my preparation for this article reminded me of what being mesmerized by musical talent is like. Roy is an absolute BEAST, and some of the work I watched him doing on the guitar, looking back to an episode of The Odd Couple where he did a guest spot, that man is one of my top ten greatest guitarists of all time.

Changing gears back to the heavier side of things, Black Sabbath. DIO era VS Ozzy days. Which was the better version and why would you choose the DIO fronted Sabbath? (LOL! That’s my choice, of course.)

The first ever Sabbath song I recall hearing was Black Sabbath. I have been fairly open about the importance Sabbath played in my musical taste, imagination development, and mental state in my teen years. I picked up the guitar because of Tony Iommi, so I have to give him honest credit for being my greatest musical influence. The heavy doom-like riffs of the first three Sabbath albums laid the groundwork for my creative energies almost as much as the DIO fronted era of the band did (see my article on DIO’s influence on my creativity HERE), from Game Mastering as a teenager in my garage with Sabbath tunes playing in the background, to my learning “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” on my no-name Strat-style guitar and being enthralled with Iommi’s instrumental works, the Ozzy fronted Sabbath is at the core of my Metalhead heart.

Then I heard the album Heaven and Hell, and I wondered to myself, “What Sorcery is this? Heavy riffs with mystical lyrics and operatic vocal ranges?” DIO brought a new level of creativity to Sabbath. He opened doors for the band to transition into the ‘80’s Metal scene. Tony and Geezer showed just how accomplished they are, with Iommi playing solos that went beyond his signature insanely fast, thrilling, and Geezer playing bass almost as if he were a rhythm guitarist (which he was before a bass player), they gelled with DIO’s vocals forming a totally different style of Sabbath.

J: LOL! I would agree with you on the DIO version. I wasn’t a huge Sabbath fan in the beginning, actually. By the time I came of age and was introduced to Metal Music, Ozzy was a solo guy so I knew “Crazy Train,” “Bark at the Moon” and then all the Zakk stuff (No Rest for the Wicked is my favorite). I obviously knew where Ozzy came from and some of their bigger hits, but I didn’t do a deep dive into the old Sabbath catalog until years later, really thru students occasionally asking for old Sabbath tunes and then when I met my wife, NG. She jammed to them all the time and took me to my first Sabbath concert in 2017. I have always been a fan of Ronnie though and any group he’s been a part of, from his solo stuff to Rainbow to Sabbath. If I’m jamming to Sabbath, I’d definitely choose Heaven and Hell! And I absolutely loved Ronnie’s lyrical and song topics. He brought the fantasy Dungeons and Dragons element to life and really painted the picture of what Metal Music is and would become in the 80s.

D: I could not agree more. DIO did lay some serious groundwork for what Metal Music would become in the ‘80’s, from imagery to content. You may recall mentioning that you talked with Steve Vai about astrology. How did that come about? Do you feel Astrology is a tool of divination or just science?

J: That was such a cool experience. It dawned upon me prior to the day I did the show with him, that if I had the chance to speak with him or ask him a question. It’s pretty obvious that he has heard just about every question pertaining to guitar, technique or various other things about his career and there probably isn’t much I don’t know from reading and listening to so many interviews with him over the past 30 years, so I thought it would be cool to ask him about Astrology being that he is so openly proud of being a Gemini (sign of the twins) haha! His Signature guitar model is the Jem, his signature distortion pedal is a Jem “Twin” duel channel distortion, etc. I figured he probably hasn’t gotten asked about that much and I was right. I asked him if he knew what his Moon and Rising sign was (which are the three main areas that make up a person’s Astrological persona or profile). He actually perked up when I asked and said he did not, so I had done some calculating prior and knew what they would be based on his time of birth if he knew that. He knew, and that led to me essentially giving Steve an astrology lesson beyond what he knew already. It was really great, and he is such a nice and humble guy. Since the movie Crossroads (Ralph VS Steve) was such a major influence in me wanting to learn to play, it was so surreal sitting on a couch in the middle of East Texas and chatting it up about Moon and Rising signs. I find the topic interesting, as much of it really plays out as horoscopes predict and each sign has legitimate and noteworthy traits that are specific to them exclusively. When you get into the Moon and Rising signs, that adds even more accuracy to a person’s overall personality and character traits. You can be a Cancer but have a Gemini Moon and an Aries Rising, which means you would have traits of each of the three signs in certain aspects of who you are. It can get really in depth, but I haven’t gone much further than that, and being able to read or calculate someone’s chart based on date and time of birth and location.

D: Astrological charts are interesting and not something to take lightly. Mine is pretty on point for who I am. My personality vibes with the planetary alignments of my Natal Chart, and after reading it, points hit home why I am how I am. An example is the column piece. I get to do things behind the scenes and interact with others, while not really interacting with anyone at all. My perfect work environment.

Gear talk time. When we were kids, there was not much on the market for decent inexpensive instruments. There was the Harmony brand (that you know all too well) Pro Sessions, Squire and Epiphone, with some other knock-off brands. Getting a guitar that was going to work well for under $350 was not really happening. Most guitars would have neck issues, need serious upgrades and set-ups, so they were not the best, but they all carried the Magick of a musical dream. Today, there are far more options for quality guitars in the price range. You can take $350 and purchase a Squire Strat that is just about as good as a low-end American Fender.

If you had $500 for a budget, what would you put in a guitar rig that could be used for both home practice and small gig jams? Would you go expensive guitar and cheap amp, or would you do a great amp and less than fabulous guitar? What advice would you have for a new student looking to build a rig on a beginner’s budget?

J: Man, let’s not even talk about my first Harmony! Lol! I remember the first thing my teacher, Terry Humphries, said when I came into my first lesson; “Boy… we have to get you a better guitar” haha! I recall them having to use an icepick to get the ball ends of the strings out of the bridge the first time I had the strings changed. And amps back then…. Geez! You couldn’t get a good tone to save your life for under $1000! All the little Gorilla and Peavey amps that were everywhere had near zero distortion. A pedal really didn’t help much, at least not to get you into the Van Halen, George Lynch or Randy Rhoads territory of tone. All those guys were so secretive on how they got so much gain too. I didn’t realize for years that they were using those pedals (like the Tube Screamer and Boss DS1) into the front end of an already cranked Marshall or tube amp. Just plugging a Boss DS1 into a little practice amp only magnified the horrific tone, but it’s all you could do until the digital processors came out in the early 90s. Nowadays, there are almost too many options to get a good tone, haha. I’m so jealous! $30 for a plug-in and you have a $2500 Mesa tone on your computer. It’s too easy!

My suggestion to any of my serious students wanting to take their first step beyond the initial beginner, entry level acoustic, Squier or Epiphone is to budget between $300-350 on a guitar. Lots of great options in that price range. Even some Ibanez’s and Schecter with Floyds or Strats and Teles with humbuckers to choose from. And then around $150 for a good modeling amp. My favorite is the Fender Mustang. I think they discontinued it recently (not sure why) but I can find them used often for around $75 and they are amazing. Plenty loud to jam with a band and it gives you everything from classic Fender clean amp models thru Vox style crunch all the way to Marshall and Mesa High Gain, as well as giving you a taste of all the different effects. It’s an affordable way to get acquainted with all of those various styles of amps and effects so you can then decide what you prefer when you take the next step to a much bigger amp and into the massive world of pedals! The Boss Katana is great as well. I see those for around $150 used for 50-watt version.

D: I can recall those late ‘80’s, early ‘90’s days when the Gorilla Amps were everywhere, the little Peaveys or even the Fender Champions that existed then, 5 watts of no gain, and all the knobs on the amps turn to 10, but nothing really happened when you turned them.

My first real setup with success was the Boss pedals I used I spoke of earlier, plugged into my Fender Champion 110. That amp had some crunch in channel two, and if I kept the volume around 3, the amp sounded pretty damn good. I played a 1969 SG through that rig briefly and I nailed a deep tone, but the muddy sound I got from the overuse of distortion was not the greatest. Still, I enjoyed the challenge of creating tone and never really getting the sound my heroes did, so I made my own, and it worked.

The dream tone for me was always something that sounded like Tony Iommi, with some chorus at times. I achieved that tone so many, many, many years later when I started playing through a Boss Katana Mini. The overdrive tone on the amp was insane, and the little speaker sounded like a 4×12. I upgraded to a 1981 Peavey, and that amp NAILED the sound. I played with the gain level, the volume, the reverb, and I FINALLY hit the tone. There is a video on my Facebook, no… Instagram, that has me playing a Les Paul through the rig, and I am playing “War Pigs.” Sitting here talking about gear, finding tones, has me longing to get a guitar in my life again and start playing. My Squire Strat that I am seen playing in my video covering “Halloween” by the Misfits had an even better tone to what I wanted than the Paul did, and that came from a Hot Rail knock off that was INSANELY loud, crisp and clear.

There was a point when I wanted to have my own axe built. I was thinking of an SG shape, with an Ibanez ultra-thin neck, like the one on the Prestige series, with a Strat headstock, double locking Floyd style tremolo, humbucker at the bridge with a single coil at the neck on a slant, Jake E. Lee style. My pickup design would be based on the DiMarzio Super Distortion, and the single coil Hot Rail.

If given carte blanche, what would your perfect guitar design be? From shape, to electronics, bridge, pickup configuration. Build your perfect guitar.

J: Such a difficult question! I have come to love and adapt to so many models and shapes. I absolutely love the Tele body style above all others though. Probably a Tele with either a regular humbucker or a stacked or mini humbucker. I don’t have one, but I actually love Richie Kotzen Teles, as they have the typical Strat Contours that a normal Tele doesn’t have. Aside from that, I can’t think of much else I would add. I’m a fan of so many various pickups that I could go a dozen different directions there. I’d probably keep a traditional bridge setup. I like Floyds, but don’t use them enough to want or need that on a main guitar.

D: With so many different simulator effects on the market built into amplifiers and pedal boards, is there any reason to spend more money on the authentic instrument or amplifier when you can get a similar experience from an all-in-one simulator amp or pedal board? What are your thoughts on simulation modules being everywhere now, to the point where you can just plug into your phone and find a guitar effect that makes it sound like you are playing through a Marshall stack with a Les Paul, meanwhile you are playing a Harmony through GarageBand? I think there is still more musical Magick in playing through the real thing, but if it is not realistic to get a Les Paul plugged into a Marshall stack, then maybe the simulator route is best.

J: I think it’s all subjective to the individual and the situation. I love being a Tube Amp Guy, but there are scenarios where I have to use a backline and I do not know what kind of amp I may be using, so I will use one of the little Tech 21 Fly rigs into a clean channel and I’m good to go. It sounds so close to my regular tube amp sound that it’s even hard for me to tell a real difference. I could also run that directly into a PA or recording console. For sure a lot of the Plug-ins nowadays are so accurate that it’s hard to tell a real difference as well and it makes it so easy to record and demo stuff at home. I still love and prefer going to a real studio and recording old-school with mic to amp, but it’s impossible not to take advantage of the modern technology when that scenario is inconvenient or impossible. I haven’t reached the stage of not wanting to or not being able to lug a Tube amp or half stack to a gig, but I definitely understand those that prefer the modelers and smaller scale gear. I do still think it really helps to have a good quality instrument though, no matter what you are plugging into. You need to have a comfortable guitar and some good pickups to feel inspired in order to get the best take and performance whether recording or on stage.

D: We have talked in the past about Tribute Bands VS Cover Bands, and with your involvement in the Tribute Band scene. Let’s look back to that conversation and open it up again for the new readers. Being as talented as you are with all your original projects, you still have time for taking part in tribute bands. Your Ted Nugent cover tribute band, Snakeskin Cowboys, is not your only venture into the tribute band world. What is like playing for Infestation, the RATT tribute band, compared to the Snakeskin Cowboys? Do you get the same feeling of taking on the guitarist’s personality in each band? How did you get involved with Infestation?

J: Both bands are a blast. I love both Ted Nugent and Warren DeMartini. Total opposites in style, but I spent a good amount of time studying and listening to both in my early years of playing. The fun part of a tribute for me is being able to get “Inside” a player’s style and do a deep dive into what makes them who they are. It could be technique, note selection, bending, vibrato, phrasing… I have learned a lot from both. Snakeskin is about capturing Ted’s fire and attitude in the performance. Although not as technical as Warren, it’s still some intense stuff to play and all of his songs are at full throttle from beginning to end, so it’s a workout.

Warren, in parts, is similar to George Lynch but with more of a bluesy swank and swagger. The rhythm parts of RATT songs are more intricate and interesting than just about any other band of that era, next to Van Halen. The other plus side of Tributes is the opportunity to play with other friends and respected musicians in the scene that I admire without the politics and work involved with it being an original band. Everyone does homework on their parts, you’re usually trying to perform the songs as close to the original recording as possible so it’s more about working on the endings of songs as a band. Once you have a set down, we usually don’t rehearse much except when adding some new tunes to the set. It’s an easier way to make some extra money, play fun songs you grew up loving and, you are giving the audience the same feeling of nostalgia and what it was like hearing those songs for the first time. I really enjoy both equally, but I’ll always need to have an outlet for original songs.

D: I have had the privilege of watching your Tributes and original music, and I can testify that the passion for all the music you are involved with is pure. A natural for bringing the Magick of Music to life through the guitar, and captivating audiences every time you set up your rig and strike the opening notes.

Thank you for tuning in and checking out the latest Symptom of the Metalverse with Shred Master Smooth, Jimmy Adcock. Keep your eyes open for the closing installment of The Smoothest Shred in the West, releasing mid-summer!

Until then, follow the links below for more information on Jimmy Adcock, Nytrate, and all his projects. If you are in Texas or Arizona, checkout Nytrate live this summer!

Jimmy Adcock YouTube

Jimmy Adcock Soundcloud

Jimmy’s Instagram

The Arlington School of Music

Nytrate YouTube

Nytrate Facebook

For more from D’Monic Boris Lee checkout his website, follow him on Instagram, or to purchase a copy of his book, The Shadows of Insanity here.