An Interview With The Texas Tornado: Rusty Cooley

Barbara Fara
MusicIncider Magazine

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to the amazing Rusty Cooley. Rusty has a DVD available at
Rusty gives lessons. Rusty gives daily guitar playing tips on his website. Rusty has appeared on at least ten cd’s. Rusty has a vocal band called Outworld-and he treated us to a sample of that band-it fucking rocks. Rusty is number seven on the list of Guitar One’s fastest shredders of all time. Rusty has a load of talent, and we like him here at MusicIncider. Here is what The Texas Tornado had to say:

MI-When is your birth date?

MI-When did you first become interested in music?
Rusty-It was in eighth grade-me and some buddies had been jamMIng with some tennis rackets to Ted Nugent records-and I finally decided it was time to get the real deal.

MI-Tell me about your most memorable live show.
Rusty-I don’t have a most memorable show-I think they are all fun.

MI-What else do you play besides guitar?
Rusty-I think that’s pretty much it. I can fake bass if I need to for home recording purposes for home recording purposes and stuff like that-and I do a lot of programMIng where I have to write drum parts.

MI-Tell me about your latest project.
Rusty-My latest project is my instrumental CD, which was just released in January on Lion Music-which is a small guitar label from Finland. –and that’s it-it is all instrumental stuff.

MI-Who are your musical influences?
Rusty-In the beginning, it was Randy Rhoades and Yngwie Malmsteen-Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert-things like that…

MI-Have you ever inhaled?
Rusty-Oh yeah (laughing), quite a few times.

MI-What do you think about the war with Iraq?
Rusty-I think it was a long time coMIng. I try not to get too political, but I definitely support it.

MI-What do you think about the actions of the Dixie Chicks and Eddie Vedder concerning the war and the president?
Rusty-I think they should keep their mouths shut. It is fine to have your own beliefs, but to be up there doing it the way they did it-I think that is really uncool. The whole Hollywood thing really pissed me off too.

MI-What is your favorite song that you have done?
Rusty-Hillbilly MIlitia is a lot of fun.

MI-What is the worst job you ever had and why?
Rusty-Captain Crabs-a fast food restaurant-while I was still in high school. The name says it all-Captain Crabs, need you ask more?

MI-What do you think it would take for metal to make a comeback into mainstream music?
Rusty-I think a lot of it has to do with politics on radio stations and MTV. It is really up to those people to make the change. They have to make the music more available to the mainstream.

MI-If a movie was made about your life, what would the theme song be?
Rusty- (laughing) Ship Arriving too Late to Save a Drowning Witch by Frank Zappa.

MI-If you were God for a day, what would you do?
Rusty-Turn off MTV.

MI-If you had a chance to bring back one person from the dead, who would it be?
Rusty-Niccolo Paganini –great violinist.

MI-How did you know you wanted to be a musician?
Rusty-It was pretty much instantaneous. I don’t know if it was so much wanting to be a musician, as it was wanting to be a guitar player. When I started playing, that was it. There was nothing else. No back up plan.

MI-Do you believe in psychics?
Rusty-Yeah. I believe my wife and me are psychic to each other and that sort of stuff.

MI-If you were on a desert island, and could bring one book, one person, and one cd-what would that book, person, and cd be?
Rusty-The person would be my wife. The cd would be Pantera (laughing), and the book would be something to keep me motivated form going insane.

MI-What does success mean to you?
Rusty-Success means being able to continue to make music and play and support my faMIly. You don’t have to be a rock star to be successful.

MI-Tell me about the average day in the life of Rusty Cooley.
Rusty-The average day starts at about six thirty-when I have to get Sebastian up, dressed, ready-hair combed, fed, ready for the bus. After I get him off, I spend about thirty MInutes checking emails and then JazzMIne gets up. Then it is on to kid number two-breakfast and so on. Then I usually try to get on the treadMIll and work out a little bit. Do a little work, practice-maintain that sort of stuff. Two thirty, Sebastian gets off the bus. About three, three thirty –we go pick up his older brother. I teach from four to nine. I come home from that, get on the computer…try to do a little bit of practicing before I go to bed and do it all over again…

MI-Where were you when 9-11 happened, and how did it affect you?
Rusty-Well, when it happened I was right here in the house. It was already a depressing day-it was kind of gloomy and dark outside, and my wife called me and told me about it and I just kind of sat around in shock. I watched TV like everybody else.

MI-What is your favorite place to play live?
Rusty-I think that they are all about the same now since I am still in the club stage of my career.

MI-Where would you like to play?
Rusty-Madison Square Garden. Carnegie Hall.

MI-Tell me what you think about what happened with Great White in Rhode Island.
Rusty-Well, it was definitely a tragedy but I don’t believe the band was to blame. The band members just show up and play. Whoever is to blame-it would lie somewhere between the road manager and the club. That’s what I think.

MI-Do you have a message you would like to send to your fans?
Rusty-Thanks for all the support. Without you guys, I am nothing. To all the upcoMIng, aspiring musicians…just stick to your guns, play what you play, do what you do-and forget about the trends.

MI-If you could get on to a label, which label would it be?
Rusty-I would go for something mainstream, but I don’t know what that is at this point. I would say something big-whoever those people are nowadays. Who’s somebody big? Is Geffen still around?

MI-How did you get involved with Jemfest?
Rusty-I got involved with Jemfest through a compilation cd that I was involved in. There was a compilation cd being put together through Ibanez. The guy that put that together was a guy named Eric Sands. –All the guys involved with that cd are a pretty close knit group of guys. They called me up and asked me if I wanted to headline last year, and I was like sure.

MI-What is your favorite quote of all time?
Rusty-The only thing we have to fear is fear itself….

If you love great guitar players, you are going to fucking LOVE Rusty Cooley. Email him. Buy a cd. Think about taking a lesson before he is too big and famous to take your call. You won’t be sorry. You will be able to say that you know him!

MusicIncider Magazine is a wholly owned and copyrighted subsidiary of Barbara Ann Fara Productions, Inc.

About this Article

This article was written by Barbara Fara and is identified as Article #100.
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