Meegs Rascon, best known for being the founding member and guitarist for nu-metal project Coal Chamber.
Coal Chamber hit the world like a sledge hammer breaking through spoon fed dribble of their Hip-Hop Metal counter parts. Bringing a leaner, meaner, heavier and harder stance to the radio friendly, overly saturated rock scene.
With Meegs’ unorthodox approach to guitar, the guttural percussive vocals of Dez, and the driving groove of Mikal Cox and Nadja Peulen, Coal Chamber had a new style all their own.
Meegs sat down with Schecter to talk about his “dark days” of old and what he is up to now.
1. You’ve been playing guitar for a long time now, what was the defining point in becoming a guitar player for you?
Shout at the Devil from Motley Crue. Mick Mars was one of my early influences. That record was it. Evil and brilliant… Perfect
2. You have a great relationship with your family, did they always encourage you as a guitar player?
They didn’t at first. They were scared and afraid (he laughs). They got into in when they realized I was super passionate about it. No turning back for me.
3. Tell us about the early years of playing, what was the first band(s) you were in?
My first "official" band was Coal Chamber. I was fortunate like that. I count my blessings every day.
4. You are known for your work with Coal Chamber, bring us through a little history of how the band came about and how it became the monster it was.
I put out an ad for a singer on the LA Recycler a thousand years ago searching for a singer. Dez (fafara) answered it, and we hit it off. We had the same passion for the same bands. We started a band called She's in Pain, what later transformed into CC. Long and beautiful history of fights and making music we both loved.
5. There was a long gap between the breakup of the band and the reunion what where you doing that whole time?
I was involved with other projects. One was called Piñata (with Brian Medina from Gemini Syndrome) that later turned into Glass Piñata. I also played and toured with one of my favorite people in the world, Roxy Saint. I also had a band with Mikey Cox (Coal Chamber drummer) and Andy Cole and Cheyne Fritts, Some of my very best friends called We are the Riot.
The last and current band I am in is with Brian Medina again called Gemini Syndrome, I’ve come Full circle!
6. How did the Reunion come about?
Well, after many years of being broken apart, Dez called me to get the band back together. It took years after that to really gel and form a bond together again. Lot of hard work and soul searching. It just felt right after many years to make music and tour again. Fully organic in that sense. Wasn't about money for me. It was about doing it right.
7. For a band that thrived on being heavy the last album seem to take it to another level, what was the mindset with everyone in making the album “Rivals”?
We wanted to make a classic CC album, but with a more modern sort of twist. Something heavy with groove, with guitar soundscapes that were different than everyone else. I’m very proud of it.
8. For a band that had the reputation you all had for drama and internal fighting, was all that put behind you or did that demons come back during the last tour?
It’s a thing of the past. We're all older now, so we no longer have issues with each other. That's a young man's game HaHa.
9. Recently we’ve seen you playing live with Gemini Syndrome. Are you an official member now and what does the future hold with them?
I'm an official member. I'm very happy to be in a band with some of my favorite people. We are writing new music and plan on releasing a new record next year
10. You’ve been with Schecter Guitars for about 5 years now. What made you come over to us and how has that relationship been?
I came over because of Anthony (Love) and the wonderful company he represents. The guitars they make for me are just the best quality and tour worthy. I'm in love with my customs. I love this company and the people that work there.
11. You play a couple modified PT guitars. What was your thoughts behind the mods?
I wanted my customs to represent the old and the new. My vibe was Keith Richards meets something modern.
PT with an updated "Meegs" look
12. Who are some of your guitar heroes?
Well, in the early days, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, up to Jerry Cantrell and Dimebag Darrell. I love bands like The Cure all the way to Metallica.
13. You seem to be a very original player, your approach to the guitar seems unconventional, explain the mindset behind how you play guitar?
I grew up NOT playing any cover songs. I started playing my own original songs. They were shitty at first, but i started fine tuning my songwriting. At the same time, i started getting into the mindset of being different in the way i approached the guitar. I thank Tom Morello for that. The catalyst for that adventurous type of mindset. I approach a lot of the things i do outside of the box, while keeping a cohesiveness with my songwriting and the way i look at the guitar as a tool for noises and just plain out wackiness. That’s my life in a nutshell...