You once said that you hate the guitar but were warming up to it. How’s that relationship going?
Nonetheless, there is a lot of subtler guitar playing on Octahedron.
Octahedron also features a lot of acoustic guitar.
You have released many solo albums in addition to albums by the Mars Volta. How do you decide which songs go where?
Do you take that same approach once you have the songs recorded, or do you try to record them pretty much the way you want them from the beginning?
When crafting guitar sounds using effects, do you start with a sound in your head and try to find the right pedals to achieve that sound, or just experiment until you find sounds that are useful?
Do you swap out the pedals on your pedalboard depending on what you’re doing?
What are a few of your other essentials?
Speaking of delays, would it be fair to say that you have a particular fondness for tape delays?
Wah is an effect that you also use a lot, and you mentioned the Ernie Ball. Is that your favorite?
Are you mostly playing your Ibanez ORM-1 signature guitar?
What amps do you use?
Do you track with effects?
What did you use to get that ’60s-style distortion sound on “Since We’ve Been Wrong”?
On that song there is a cycling chord progression with a long pause between each cycle, and it is difficult toidentify the time signature. What is the count?
There’s also a very synth-like sound. Is that an Electro-Harmonix HOG or POG?
How did you get that pixilated modulation sound on “Teflon”?
There are also some intense echo effects on that song that sound like you are just soloing the echo returns. Is that a tape echo?
There are lots of interesting textural things going on at the beginning of “Halo of Nembutals.” Can you recall how that section came about?
Are you using a volume pedal to get the swells?
On “With Twilight as My Guide” there are what sound like modulated, swelling, reversed, slide, and half-speed guitar parts. Do any of those ring any bells?
To get those reversed-reverb sounds are you just playing into a reverse reverb with a long predelay so that it is repeating afterward, or are you actually flipping the recording around?
The half-speed parts sound like the same lines that are being played alongside them at full speed, creating halftime, octave-down harmony parts.
How are you getting the super-heavy guitar tone on “Cotopaxi”?
You get some gorgeous modulated clean sounds at the beginning and end of “Desperate Graves.”
There’s another nice clean sound on “Copernicus.”
There’s a little slide playing on Octahedron.
Have you experimented with non-standard tunings?
You play with a pick and your fingers. Do you do those things individually or using a hybrid approach?
What picks and strings do you use?
Wow, is that why you don’t use a lot of vibrato?
Speaking of Frusciante, what were his contributions to Octahedron?
In what ways has he influenced your playing?
You’re a pretty good guitar player.
How do you get into the right headspace when working?
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