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Modus Operandi: Trey Azagthoth – Morbid Angel

By: Ramon

The then sixteen year old guitarist George Emmanuel III had only one big dream, mainly inspired by Eddie van Halen. He wanted to become the most fiery and explosive guitarist of his generation. And the name Trey Azagthoth suited that dream more than his birth given name. His name is synonymous with the darkest, most ominous death metal that nearly sounds like an incantation. Last year’s release ‘Kingdoms Disdained’ did not really get the credits it deserved, to which I am partly guilty too, as in hindsight it appears to be a growing diamond, which allows you into its secrets with only little steps at the time. Still he counts as one of the very best and in any case on the most influential guitarists in extreme metal and in spite of (or maybe thanks to) his withdrawn media presence, everything that happens in the Morbid Angel Compound is still headline news. Well, I have some modest news for you too, an overview of the most important gear Trey Azagthoth uses, in a period in which he does no further interviews at all.

Modus Operandi

Too many to list but mainly use my custom InstaGIB Ironbird, custom Starbody and Charvel Dinky Strat for 6 string stuff and my oldschool Ibanez Universe guitars for the 7 string stuff.
6 string guitars at D#
7 string guitars at A#

Always passive pickups. Dimarzio PAF Pro for 6 string and the Dimarzio Blaze for 7 string.

Amps & Cabinets:
Early 1990s Marshall 900 100 watt amps with EL34 tubes and the built in FX loops running in stereo. Classic 1960s cabs with the 75 watt speakers.

Oldschool Eventide H3000 rack fx unit,
Rack mount Rat R2DU
Univibe via Rockman Midi Octopus
ART Ultrafoot midi controller
Morley Wah
MXR Flanger
MXR Phase 90

GHS 46 – 9 and adding a 56 for the 7 string guitars

Dunlop Tortex 1.14 full size

band image


When did you start playing guitar/bass/keys/drums?
I started playing guitar around 1982. I started composing drum beats around 1984.

On which piece of gear do you keep your most beautiful memories and why?
I don’t know, it all works so well together.

Do you have an endorsement deal or a signature model? If so, could you tell us a little bit more about it?
Only endorsements are for the strings and the pickups. Other than that I pretty much stay clear from endorsements. Most stuff I use is not even for sale anymore, other than used which I usually just find on Ebay.

What was your worst purchase ever and why?
Back years ago my first Tremolo Bar I bought was a Kahler which was awful. Ridiculous design using those silly little wheels which get all gummed up from sweat. Floyd Rose is superior.

Who are your influences (musicians)?
Eddie Van Halen, Frank Marino, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Glen Tipton and KK Downing, Tony Iommi, Michael Schenker, Uli Rothand a bunch other from the 70s and 80s. I also am inspired by many other types of music as well such as Motown, Soul Jazz, vintage Big Band Swing and other stuff.

What was your first guitar?
My first guitar was a Gibson SG.

What is on your wish list?
I pretty much have what I need already.

Ultimate goal as a musician?
Same as always, to create some cool stuff that inspires other musicians and listeners. Thanx for the interview

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