Greg Prato of GuitarSite.com recently conducted an interview with Greg Hampton, who co-produced, wrote most of, and played guitar on ALICE COOPER's new album, "Along Came A Spider" (which also includes a guest spot from Slash), and is also the singer/guitarist of the new space-age funk-rock band SCIENCE FAXTION (which includes Buckethead and Bootsy Collins). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow.
GuitarSite.com: Which guitars did you play on ALICE COOPER's "Along Came A Spider"?
Hampton: On the ALICE COOPER record, Danny Saber and I co-produced it, and played about 90% of the guitars on the record. Guitar-wise, I used a lot of Firebirds on that, a lot of Les Pauls as well. Danny used a '50s Gold Top Les Paul on a few things, I played Danny's Goldtop on a few things as well. We used some old Epiphone Casinos with P-90s in them. I used a Stratocaster on some of the heavier songs, like there's a song called "Vengeance is Mine", and Alice wanted a real Hendrix-y guitar solo on it, so I used a Stratocaster and there's a lot of feedback. It's a real chaotic solo. I've got half a dozen guitars that are tuned a full step down, and I use DR strings that are the 46's through 11's on those, and then I have another 15 guitars that are tuned to pitch. I was really going for a "Billion Dollar Babies"-meets-"Brutal Planet" thing on that record.
GuitarSite.com: How do you compare playing in SCIENCE FAXTION to the ALICE COOPER album?
Hampton: I was just finishing SCIENCE FAXTION when I started writing songs for ALICE. I went from a concept record about living in the future in 2099, to writing songs for an icon like ALICE COOPER about serial killers [laughs]. I really listened to "Billion Dollar Babies" a lot. I really stayed away from listening to any other music, except some of his older records, and also I listened to "Brutal Planet", and a really great record that didn't get enough recognition, "Last Temptation". I listened to the sounds on those records, some of the orchestration, string arrangements, and horn parts. I played those songs for other producers that are friends of mine, like Scott Humphrey, and he felt I was definitely on the right track as far as the sounds. I was using a lot of front pick-up, buttery tones on some of that stuff, and some of the heavier songs, like "Vengeance is Mine", that was one of my suped up custom made Stratocasters, and I used a Fox Tone Machine Fuzz Box, which is a real retro '70s Fuzz box. It's amazing, it just screams.
GuitarSite.com: I heard you're planning a Tommy Bolin tribute album?
Hampton: I'm going to be getting started on that. I hope to get guys like Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Slash, Joe Perry. That's on our wish list of who we would like to have on this record. It's going to be all those guys that were influenced by Tommy Bolin playing with Tommy Bolin. I've got the multitracks; they'll be jamming with Tommy. It's never been done in that capacity, where they're actually going to be interacting with a guy that passed away nearly 30 years ago. I'm anticipating it will take six to eight months to record it its release will be more like 2009.
Read the entire interview at GuitarSite.com.