Orbweaver's Randy Piro: Guitar Heroes of South Florida
South Florida gets a bad rap as a barren wasteland when it comes to guitar music and guitar culture. However, lurking in the shadows strewn by the area's neon festooned dance clubs thrives a community of inspiring guitarists, all with their own unique philosophies and approaches to the instrument and the passion of true artists. After all, isolation breeds innovation.
In our time covering music in South Florida, we've been fortunate enough to bask in the crushing chords, fleet fingered riffs, and swirling atmospheres of so many interesting and varied players that we here at County Grind have decided to give some of the area's unsung heroes their due -- complete with uncensored gear pornography, discussions about history and influences, and all of the minutia that proper guitar dorks (such as your author) get all hot and bothered about.
To kick off the series, we've profiled experimental metal troupe, Orbweaver. The band has been most accurately characterized as "mind-erasers" and features former members of Florida death-metal greats Hate Eternal and Gigan. Boasting a trio of esteemed string-stranglers, Orbweaver has massaged the intensity of black-metal into an altogether horrifying blend of extreme metal and adventurous psychedelia. A bad trip by any other name, harsh noise, dissonance, and a Zappa-esque thirst for outlandish anti-harmony come together to make the band's entirely singular sound.
Read on for the first part of our series in which we cover the gear and influences of Orbweaver guitarist, vocalist, and sound manipulator Randy Piro.
Sovtek Mig 100, Late '80s Marshall JCM 800 2210 half stack (modified by George Scholz)
New Times: How did you get into playing music?
Randy Piro: My parents and grandparents on my father's side played music, and I was always surrounded with it. And I loved music a lot, but I turned down the opportunity to learn an instrument when I was really, really young. And then, one day I got into metal. I got into Metallica. I was like, "That's it, man," and I wanted to play guitar, so I had my dad start teaching me to play guitar.
Could you name your top 5 influences as a guitarist?
James Hetfield, Brian May, and Toni Iommi collectively made me want to play guitar. So, that was the impetus, that was the origin. I would say from there, it comes down to Trey Azagthoth from Morbid Angel and Frank Zappa. Zappa both as a guitar player and a composer and human being, but, guitar-playing specifically, I was like, "This is some killer shit!"
Moog Sub Phatty Analog Synthesizer