The Floyd Rose artist relations team had a chance to speak with the legendary Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Bozzio Levin Stevens, Michael Jackson, Vince Neil) while in quarantine:-What have you been doing during this crazy unexpected press of the “pause button” in the music industry?I finished my last live show with Billy Idol in March of 2020. We then quarantined and were able to record new music with producer Butch Walker who had also quarantined. The three of us successfully finished our new songs.
-Tell us about your signature model with Knaggs guitars. How did it come about? Why Joe’s guitars? Do you spec the FR on all your personal guitars when you speak with Joe or his guys about a new build? Etc…Peter Wolf is the artist rep for Knaggs Guitars. I worked with Peter back in the 80s when i was a Hamer guitars artist. I always liked Peter. He contacted me a number of years ago and explained he was now at Knaggs Guitars. It turns out Joe Knaggs was head of the PRS custom shop and had built me one of favorite guitars. It’s been an amazing collaboration and we now offer three different SS guitars. One is an acoustic. Anytime I have a guitar with a tree system I request the Floyd Rose. I got my first Floyd equipped guitar in 1984 and never looked back.
-When did you first start using FR bridges?I got my first Floyd equipped guitar in 1984 and never looked back. That bridge is a featured element to the Rebel Yell album.
-What do u prefer about FR bridges over other hardware brands?Floyd’s just feel solid and I love the fact that the company now offers many options to really customize the bridge.
-Do you have any special setup tricks or tips?Although not always possible, I do like having the Floyd bridge sit flat against the body. That connection really allows the strings to vibrate on the guitars top. The other advantage is breaking a string does not put you out of tune. That said, there are many effects that are only available if the bridge is floating….flutters, and subtle vibratos.-Have you tried the FRX (surface-mounting) bridge???I did have a guitar built with it.
-Are their any tentative live shows planned for post Covid-19 touring? With Billy? Or other projects?Our new record will be released the first half of 2021. There are rumblings that touring for bands may return around September 2021 in some capacity.
-Were you close with EVH?I got to really know Ed when I supported Van Halen while playing in Vince Neil’s band. I have jammed with Ed previously and he’d join Billy Idol onstage when he’d come see us. I loved the guy. Obviously his musical output is legendary but he was just great fun to hang with. Generous to a fault and had none of that bullshit rockstar attitude.
-Any projects or causes you would like us to help raise awareness on?I have a signature overdrive pedal “The Rockaway” with J Rockett. 20% of all proceeds go to St. Judes Children’s Hospital. You can donate here.
For more information on Knaggs Guitars, please see check out their website:
Most hard rock or metal guitarist’s would say that playing alongside Ozzy Osbourne night after night on-stage would be their #1 dream gig if they had a choice. Well how about playing alongside Zack Wylde night after night?? Not a bad alternative right?? Either in a recording studio or performing live around the world in Black Label Society, guitarist and Floyd Rose devotee Dario Lorina is indeed living that dream.The Floyd Rose artist relations team had a chance to speak with Dario Lorina following the 2018 Black Label Society world tour:
FR: How did you get started playing with the Black Label Society?
Dario: A while back I was playing in the band Lizzie Borden, during a hiatus, we had some mutual friends and management in common and I’d send them (Zakk) some tapes and some videos of my playing; Zakk heard the stuff that I had sent him and he invited me up to California-I went up there and that was pretty much it!FR: What is the most satisfying aspect about playing with Black Label Society?Dario: well I enjoy it all; I love being ‘up’ there. Everybody is so cool, strong in what they do...I'm constantly learning something new. We’re like family - I love all of it!FR: Do you prefer playing onstage or in the studio?Dario: Nothing compares to the energy of when you’re playing a rock show -definitely the stage. That can’t be topped.FR: In what would you attribute to your success in your career?Dario: A mix together of skills, drive, and motivation-with a splash of luck in there. When I was in school as a kid, I always thought, "I'm gonna be a guitar player"; like how some kids say "I'm gonna be a Doctor...or a football player". Being a guitar player was all I thought about. That was the path that led me here. From giving lessons early on to putting a band together - just laying the road to get here brick by brick...FR: What songs represent the best “Dario” sound or writing statement?Dario: I have two instrumental albums on Shrapnel records. Both of those express myself as a guitar player. Probably though “ Echoes of a Stone heart“ & “Demon Rum”FR: How did you get started using Stone Tone products?Dario: Some years back while I was playing with Janni Layne, I was out at the NAMM trade show where I met Rob DiSanto. I played a granite covered EVH Wolfgang model guitar and that guitar had such a bite - like nothing else! I played that guitar for a long time and it was such fun to play; so that’s how I met Rob…FR: What is you favorite guitar to play these days?Dario: The guitar that is most meaningful to me are my Gibson Les Paul and Les Paul Junior. Both of those guitars came from family members. I had that Junior refinished into a killer lime sparkle green. A friend of mine who paints hot rods hung it up in his garage and detailed the back of the neck as well, and I played that guitars on this past tour with BLS...FR: Tell us about your Floyds...Dario: I’ve always had a Floyd somewhere from the beginning with my guitars -always live and always in the studio. When I do my lead work, “it” always has a Floyd on them. When you need that extra flavor "it" always gives it to you. A Floyd Rose Trem has always been in my arsenal!!FR: Is there one piece of go-to electronic piece of gear in your rig that you feel is a “must have”?Dario: Yeah - an overdrive pedal!! Not a distortion pedal but an overdrive ... I’ve been using the Seymour Duncan 805 for a long time…since it came out. With Zakk I've always used his signature overdrive pedal. They’re in the same park. The key is having an overdrive in front of my amp pushing the signal into the head. I feel like that is a pretty vital part for me.FR: What’s coming up for you as a solo artist or for Black Label Society?Dario: Well we just finished up a long tour for this year. The rest of this year Zakk is doing a bunch of Ozzy stuff, and I’ll be doing a couple different things: I’m working on a new solo album which I’ll be singing on. It will be more than just an instrumental release. BLS will be coming out on tour at the beginning of next year...lots of great stuff comin' up!