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"There’s a lot of technique within metal that comes from classical traditions. So when I teach metal (especially modern metal, because it takes a lot from jazz), I’m using metal as the context and the repertoire but you’re still learning the foundations of the theory of jazz and Stravinsky within metal—and techniques that we’ve learned from violin players and composers, like Paganini and Bach. So it’s kind of making those connections and then bringing my students to check out the modern music and seeing where the tradition is coming from. A lot of modern metal now is like Dexter Gordon avant-garde jazz but with distorted guitars and loud drums."
"I’m really into trying to find a voice within your instrument or style. I feel a lot of people are really into imitation as teaching, which I think is great because when you imitate certain things you take certain ideas from it, but if you’re constantly always imitating, you’re never working on your own voice."
"I imitated a lot but I imitated from a variety of sources and it kind of blended in to my personal taste. That was one of my strong suits coming into the metal scene, because I imitated. I played upright (bass) as well, so I learned to play Beethoven symphony parts on the upright and then playing jazz and things like that—it helped steer my taste. In playing rock, there’s certain styles and intensity of playing in the rock genres, so when I play jazz I can throw those elements in, too. And that helps give me a distinguished voice or shows my individuality within my playing."