Rock Eyez Webzine
Rock Eyez
Rock Eyez Webzine


Interview with Rusty Cooley
(Guitar - Outworld)

Rusty Cooley

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 20th, 2006

Hey what’s up Rusty?
I’m just getting my day started and just chill ‘in.

So are you excited that the CD is finally coming out?
Yeah man finally, we been through so much hell it’s not even funny. The release date has Rusty Cooleybeen pushed back a bit because of our issue with our former singer. The date now is November 13th.

Let’s get right into the meat of things, the way I read it is Kelly is out of the band because his focus was not primarily on Outworld, true or untrue?
True. That’s pretty much it.  With Outworld, we’re always doing something, writing, rehearsing or gigging so there’s not really any down time. We can’t afford to have someone squandering themselves somewhere else. It’s one thing if you did a guest solo or some background vocals on a tune, something very minimal. But when you get involved in recording all the parts of someone’s album and it requires you to be gone a month or two to record and three or four months to tour. What are we suppose to do sit around and do nothing and put our career’s on hold until you get back? We are supposed to be one hundred percent committed to this band.

Have you found a new singer?
Yes! His name is Carlos Zema and he totally kicks. You can check out some his stuff at I think he was voted the #1 metal singer in Brazil. He was also in a band called Vougan and Heaven’s Guardian.

Is he comparable to Kelly?Carlos Zema
Yeah man he’s nailing all this stuff. It’s just amazing, he’s a little different but when you hear him singing it’s not so much different that you say it’s not right. His range is the same as Kelly but I think a bit more diverse. He has a thicker or manlier voice is a better word. He has that real thick powerful Dickinson kind of sound and all the range that Kelly had.

I knew of a band that had a huge debut release and replaced the lead vocalist with another singer, did a video with the new singer yet used the voice of the original singer. That band was Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Their original singer was Robert Fleischman and he was replaced by Mark Slaughter.

Malmsteen did the same thing in Marching Out. They had the song “I’ll See The Light Tonight” with Jeff Scott Soto singing but it was Mark Boals on the video. Our record label didn’t want to put the CD out until we found a new singer and re-record the vocals. I said, ‘No way!’ we have been waiting for this CD for so long and to move it back into next year… So we came to an agreement and it was only moved back until the second week of November. I’m just happy it’s finally coming out.

Your debut release is just weeks away. How are you going to let new fans know that the new vocalist is not the singer on the CD?
Well I mean most of the fans we have now, know what’s going on with the band. Once the CD is released I’m sure we will be getting a lot of new fans. The thing is Kelly put us in a tough situation. I’m a band guy I want to build something from the ground up and make it last.

You were named on our site last year best new band of 2005.
Yes you did thank you very much. That was awesome!!! And again that was in 2005 when our album should have been out and one of the reasons why it wasn’t was because Kelly took five months to record his vocals. It took every member in the band minus Kelly only four months to record all out parts. We recorded all the guitar, rhythm guitar, guitar solos, keys, key solos, bass, drums, all in four months and it took Kelly five months for his vocals. That was a big delay. He did that “Beyond Twilight” CD and once he got back to Outworld he was a totally different person. He came to rehearsal when he wanted to and did what he wanted and it all went down hill from there.

Tells me what goes through your mind when you get endorsed by Dean Guitars with superstars like Zakk Wylde, Dimebag, Randy Rhoads, Dave Murray and many others?
I am very, very blown away. It’s amazing having a company that believes in you so mucRusty Cooleyh that their going to allow you to design a guitar from scratch and put it out. It’s a dream come true.

You have a new Dean Model 7 string coming out next year and fans can see a prototype video on the Dean Guitar website. Can you tell the fans if your signature will be on the neck and will there be any special emblems or anything else unique about the guitar? By the way that video was fantastic.
Thank you very much. You know I have spent many years trying to get guitars to play right. Nobody built guitars that I could buy that were built for performance, it always had limitations on the guitar. No matter how good you were there was always something that would get in the way, we gotta fix these things and make some modifications. It’s a signature model and a seven string, I am not sure yet if my signature is going to be on the neck but it will be called the RC7. I was thinking of having my signature small on the head stock. I don’t want to over do it. I know I wouldn’t want to have someone else’s guitar with their name big and bold all over it.

How did Dean get in touch with you?
One of my good friends was at the Dean factory checking out guitars and mentioned me to Elliott Rubinson who owns Dean Guitars.  Elliott called me I submitted some material; we hung out at the January NAMM. He flew me to the Dean factory we came to an agreement and we started designing guitars. Elliot is an amazing guy, very cool, very supportive of all my ideas and genuinely interested in everything I have to say and do. He’s great!

Tell us a little about your visit to NAMM?
NAMM was great; it was my first time going. It was amazing going out to meet just about everybody you ever wanted to meet. Going to NAMM is like going to the mall a couple days before Christmas but twice as busy. The place is huge and jammed packed with wall to wall musicians and music industry people. We also went to summer NAMM in Austin where Outworld played, that was great. That is actually, where I received my Dean 7 string prototype.

When the name Rusty Cooley takes off, how are you going to keep low-keyed and absent of the ultra ego like some others?Rusty Cooley
I think it’s pretty easy to keep a level head if you just remember who you are. Even with all the recognition I get now, you can’t let that get ahead of you. When I play my guitar I hear the mistakes I make, I hear the things I have to work on and improve. Being a guitar player is always a work in progress for me. Regardless what other people say I still hear myself play and I know I can do better. That pretty much keeps me level. I think I’m doing pretty well as a guitar player in my field. I don’t view it as a competition; I just push forward as a musician and not let any ego get in the way. 

Let’s get to some of the CD. Since it has been done for sometime, has anything been changed on the record or the CD sleeve?
No everything is the same on the CD. Our new drummer Matt Smith is pictured on the sleeve.

Do you plan on an alternate CD addition for a foreign release?
Yeah they wanted a bonus track so we gave them “Polar”. We really didn’t want to do it because we don’t feel that any of the songs should have been given up. Usually a bonus track you would consider as a lesser tune, but we didn’t feel that any songs fit that description. We put our hearts in every tune on this Outworld CD. At the last minute they wanted a bonus track and it was too late to write anything.

So do you plan on touring?
 I’m not sure how hard our label is going to push us to get out on the road. I know their really anxious for us to get writing on the next CD, because they really want to push that as our first CD because it will be the new line-up. I guess from a business point of view I can understand that, but as an artist it doesn’t make a difference to me because I feel all the Rusty Cooleymusic is good and should be promoted equally. I think it’s a great first CD.

When you head out on tour will Outworld have a stage presence and image?
Yeah we will all go up there and rock out that’s for sure. As far as what we wear, it’s pretty relaxed.

Do you think Outworld will be able to match the high octane sound comparable to the CD, live? Which is very powerful?
Absolutely! We can pull that off on stage. The only thing that can stop us is a bad sound man or a bad PA. Because a bad soundman or bad PA unbeknown to the people that come and see you can sabotage your sound and people might say these guys really sound like crap when it’s not the band.

Do you have songs ready for the second release?
Yep we already do. We have a ton of material. Even if I didn’t write another note we would have enough material. Because it’s taken so long to get this CD out, I never stop writing.

Since our last interview which was August of last year, was their any guitarist that you met or heard that made an impact on you?
I haven’t met anybody new in person that inspired me. There are bands out there that inspire me to write, I really love bands like Arch Enemy, UnEarth, Meshuggah and Lamb of God. When you listen to bands like these they are so powerful and have such brutal rhythms sections.

Who was the last band that you saw in concert?
Unearth they were great!

How many guitars do you own now?Rusty Cooley
Maybe about ten or eleven… not a lot for a professional musician, I need to build up my Dean collection now and sell off some of my Ibanez guitars.

Are you still teaching guitar?
Yeah man. It’s going great. I stay totally swamped with that. I get people from all over the world taking lessons.

Just say you’re going on tour what are some of the items Outworld would want on their rider?
Laughing…good question… some Cokes…

Rusty man, you sure you want me to put Coke…
Yeah, yeah you’re right, make it soda and no brown M&M’s (both laughing). Bobby’s a vegetarian so we have to have stuff for him, I would like steak, some soda, maybe lobster and some nice Cuban cigars (laughing). Oh did I forget to mention bring on the Booze??

If you had a large amount of money what cause would you donate it to?
The PKD foundation… there is a history of that in my family and there is no cure at the moment.

Rusty it’s been a pleasure as usual. You want to say anything to the Outworld fans?
Thanks for all of the support and check out the new Outworld CD! © 2005 All rights reserved. The contents of this site may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of
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