Craig Locicero and his band Spiral Arms play “heavy melodic rock” that will
remind you of the difference between hard
rock and metal, as well as the difference
between burning and shredding. Locicero,
along with co-guitarists Tim Narducci
and Anthony Traslavina, laid down
so many cool guitar parts on Spiral Arms’
latest, Freedom [Steamhammer], that it’s
not easy to pick just five, but he did his
best. “One of the main reasons making
this record was so enjoyable is because
I didn’t have to write everything,” says
Locicero. “I’ve always been in the driver’s
seat when it comes to songwriting,
but I was on tour with Forbidden when
Tim started writing the record. Tim had
the structures pretty well laid out and I
played off of them, which was a new experience
but made things fresher for me.”
1. The verses of “Drugs & Alcohol”
were fun to create. When Tim originally
came up with the part, he had
harmonics on the one. That was cool,
but not very unique. One thing I’ve been
doing a lot of since ’97 is bending strings
behind the nut. I did that on this song
and the notes drone into a slow moan,
like an undead drawl. It creates a really
cool tension and makes it ever so slightly
2. The solo I did in “Dropping Like
Flies” is a very short break following
a beautiful piano passage and the
screamed line, “Rock and Roll is dead!” I
felt like that meaning was best conveyed
with a colorful yet screaming solo. The
song is about our idols killing themselves
and in turn choking the spirit of rock, and
the blue-note bends seemed apropos in
that little amount of space.
3. In “Hold Me to the Sky,” Tim and I
have a back-and-forth talk box conversation.
Tim and I both set up in the
studio as we performed the parts. It was as
real as it gets and we worked off each other’s
energy—a true rock and roll moment! Obviously
the first thing most people think of
when they hear a talk box is Peter Frampton
or Joe Walsh. I’m good with that, because
they are both timeless and iconic.
4. “Exit 63” has a lot of stuff I love, but
the solo after the first chorus was
special. When we recorded the drums
and the band was playing live, I knew I had
nailed something very odd. It was improvised,
and I had a backwards delay on it.
The song is about the Altamont Rolling
Stones concert when the hippie movement
was stopped in its tracks by senseless violence.
My solo is not necessarily in any
real key, except the key of life and death.
5. Some of my favorite guitar parts on
Freedom come from a song I didn’t
even play on. “Lovers Leap” was
written and played by Tim while I was on
tour with Forbidden. Tim laid down some
of the most beautiful stuff I’ve heard him
play, and my favorite parts are the EBow
harmonies he played throughout the song.
They’re very haunting and gorgeous and
they fit the song perfectly.
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