When did you first start playing the guitar? What was it about the instrument that attracted you to play it?

Karamian: I picked up the guitar when I was about fifteen... I started with a drum set but drove my parents crazy after a week, so they took it away...I ended up buying a Hohner G2 tremolo for $150 from my brother's friend and transferred the percussive tendency onto the guitar... Tell us about your musical training. Did you study guitar at school or are you self-taught?

Karamian: After about a year of playing I took a couple of weeks of lessons from the guitar player in my brother's band... he was GIT grad and was very technical. At the time, I was heavily into the blues and feel was all I cared about. I found myself parked in front of his house doing homework before a lesson one day and it took all the fun out of playing so I stopped. So I basically taught myself and I'm grateful because if I hadn't I probably wouldn't have stumbled upon my percussive style if I had kept taking lessons. Do you read music?

Karamian: No... Who are your musical influences? Was there a guitarist in particular that inspired your songwriting and playing?

Karamian: I always had the most respect for players who seemed comfortable enough on their instrument to let their personalities come through the guitar. That kind of freedom has always been the most inspirational thing for me. Slash, Hendrix, and Page have all taught me the value of vibe... Tell us about your songwriting process. Do you compose tunes on your own and then bring them to the band or do you all write together?

Karamian: Our songs come together in different ways... sometimes they stem from a riff or idea but most of the time they are taken from parts of long jam sessions. An average day would be me walking in to Sam who's been playing for an hour or so and I start jamming with him... An hour later Dave walks in and joins in...and then Andy comes in and joins and we improv for a couple of hours and then we stop and say our hellos... Can you describe your pre-show warm up/practice routin?

Karamian: I used to try finger exercises and cramped up often... but now I just relax, and breathe and even nap sometimes...and i hardly ever cramp up anymore... Tell us what guitars and amps you have with you on the road.

Karamian: I'm always trying different things from one tour to the next, but now, on Ozzfest, I use a modded JCM 800 for the cleans, and a Peavey 5150 II for the dirty. I use my Gibson Smartwood Les Paul standard mostly, I also have an SG as backup, a PRS for one song, and a 72 Gibson "the Paul" which looks like a coffee table... What tunings are you using?

Karamian: Standard, Drop D, and a whole step down with the low and high strings to a C... Can you describe your guitar setup please? (action, strings, etc.) Do you use standard guitars or do you have custom modifications made?

Karamian: I'm not a technical person when it comes to gear at all. As far as action I have no idea, but I've used D'Addario strings since I started playing. As far as mods, I usually put a SD custom pickup in the bridge and a Duncan distortion in the neck, and I normally like the toggle where it is on the Les Paul... I moved it on "the Paul" and am going to do the same to my SG... What advice can you give to beginning guitar players?

Karamian: Lock Yourself in your room and try to find your own personality on the guitar and as soon as you feel a little comfort as far as communicating, jam with different people to nurture your own voice...

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