Paul Crook and Warmoth Guitar Parts

Paul Crook

Here at Warmoth we are lucky to have a stable of artists and players that are as die-hard about using our products as we are about manufacturing them. One of those players is Paul Crook. With a decades long career playing for hard rock royalty such as Sebastian Bach and Anthrax, Paul is now rocking stages around the world with Meat Loaf. He's been with the Original Bat out of Hell since the early 2000's, and is currently the Musical Director for Meat Loaf's band, The Neverland Express.

Paul and the Neverland Express family were kind enough to invite Warmoth to a show recently where we got a chance to talk and get a good look at his live rig, including his stable of guitars; all built with Warmoth parts. For a guy who believes the integrity of the manufacturers of his gear is far more important than the hype, seeing all of Paul's guitars is as good of an endorsement as anyone can ask for. Here's what he had to say about Meat Loaf, why he views Public Enemy's Chuck D and Queen's Brian May as the greatest at what they do and, of course, all things Warmoth:

Warmoth: Hey Paul, So what got you into guitar?

Paul Crook: Gene Simmons...I wanted to blow fire and spit blood (laughs).

Warmoth: Why not bass then?

Paul Crook: I wanted a bass for Christmas but my father said, "You want to learn guitar. It has two more strings."

Warmoth: Sounds like a smart man. So what do you currently have going on, and what musical plans are on the horizon, Meat Loaf or otherwise?

Paul Crook: We're (Meat Loaf) currently in rehearsals for our summer tour which begins on Friday at The Austin City Limits. Outside of Meat Loaf I'm collecting songs for another album that I was asked to produce.

Warmoth: How did you get the Meat Loaf gig?

Paul Crook: It was the Maximum Rock Tour in the summer of 2000 with Motley Crue, Megadeth and Anthrax. Crue had two backup singers. One of them was Meat's daughter Pearl Aday. After the tour Pearl and Scott Ian started dating. A couple of years later I split from Anthrax. Conveniently, Meat was looking for a guitar player and Pearl said "Daddy, hire Paul."

Warmoth: Tell me about the last Meat Loaf album, Hell in a Handbasket. You had a lot to do with playing, writing and producing right?

Paul Crook: Production, engineering and playing. Very little song writing except for basically re-working arrangements and coming up with lots of riffs. The only song I have writing credit for is: "Good God is a Woman and She Don’t Like Ugly." Chuck D wrote the lyrics and I composed the backing track.

Warmoth: Wow. Chuck D. What was it like working with him?

Paul Crook: Unfortunately, he was in Atlanta while we were in California so we did things via email. Saying that...The man is the best at what he does. I was turned onto Public Enemy through Anthrax. I've been a huge fan of Chuck D since 1990.

Warmoth: Ya. I don't think it's that uncommon of a story for rock fans to have been turned on to Public Enemy via Public Enemy and Anthrax's collaboration on "Bring the Noise." Chuck is truly an icon.

Paul Crook: He is the greatest, hands down.

Warmoth: Getting back to the Meat Loaf album: did you have the opportunity to use any of your Warmoth products on the album?

Paul Crook: Yes, of course!!! I used my Korina Explorer, Tele®, and Flying V.

Warmoth: Awesome. We love to hear that. How many guitars using Warmoth parts do you currently own?

Paul Crook

Paul Crook: I think 17 or 18. Not really sure. I have 9 out on tour at the moment.

Warmoth: Not being sure is a problem I think most players would love having. What drew you to Warmoth to begin with?

Paul Crook: My good friend Mark Katzen turned me onto Warmoth. He started building me Van Halen types. From there it moved to him building me all my guitars for tour. Mark is incredibly sick at this very moment. It's killing me because I haven't had a chance to see him...Killing me...

(Since this interview Mark Katzen has unfortunately passed away. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul, as well as Mark's family and friends.)

I have a few friends that have stepped up to get my guitars road ready for this upcoming tour: Guitar Doctor Bob as well as my friends at Ed Roman Guitars (Michael, Bob and Alex). My tremolo guitars (V's, Explorer, Star, Strat) are souped up with Floyd Rose and Floyd Upgrade parts (titanium). Johnny Metal (AKA John Jensen) installed/ upgraded all the Floyd trems with the Floyd Upgrade parts while we were on break from touring. My guitar went straight to his place in Omaha from Auckland, NZ (our last stop).

Warmoth: What are the guitar woods that you prefer and why? Do you have one sound you go for or do you like to mix it up?

Paul Crook: I love Korina. Nothing is better for me than a big piece of Korina with a bolt-on neck. Hmmmmmm, I love Les Paul types as well. Yeah...A big piece of Korina with a Maple cap is pretty awesome.

Warmoth: What was your last instrument project with Warmoth parts?

Paul Crook: It was three at once:

  • Tele with a Korina body and a Bocote neck
  • Les Paul (Korina on Korina) with a Maple neck
  • Les Paul (Maple on Mahogany) with a Rosewood on Rosewood neck

"I love Korina. Nothing is better for me than a big piece of Korina with a bolt-on neck."

Warmoth: Wow. All for gearing up for this tour?

Paul Crook: Yes...Those three along with two Flying V's and Explorer, a Tele and a Star (all Warmoth). And a Korina Strat as well.

Warmoth: Awesome.

Paul Crook: Complete Warmoth builds.

Warmoth: You hear of so many players getting signature models these days, and then within a year or two they're moving companies and changing their specs all around. What is it about Warmoth that keeps you using our guitar parts and rocking them on stages around the world?

Paul Crook: Consistency. I know that when I receive a body or neck from Warmoth it's going to be perfect. John Jensen has his Warmoth Strat® out with him as well. It's all Warmoth on my side of the stage!!! By the way, our bassist Danny Miranda has a few Warmoth builds out with him.

Warmoth: Can you give us a quick rundown on the rest of your live rig?

Paul Crook: The heart of the rig is an AVID ELEVEN RACK. The rig runs:

  • Furman Power Conditioner
  • Jim Dunlop Rack Mount Wah
  • Eleven Rack
  • SPL Vitalizer
  • Digitech GSP 1101

I then have a pull-out drawer that houses my Fishman electronics for my Taylor acoustic. Fishman makes a killer set of stomp boxes. Of course Taylor acoustics rule. Voodoo Lab Ground Control with Mission Expression Pedals. The Digitech is used for widening (stereo slap/ chorus).

Warmoth: With all the work you're doing, do you still find time to sit and practice or does the work load keep you up to speed?

Paul Crook: Don't practice as much as I'd like...I was playing 14-16 hours a day as a kid (on summer break). I wish life was that simple again...Don't get me wrong. I am incredibly greatful for what the Universe has given me. Greatful beyond words. The fans rule!!! It would be great to not think about health insurance, blah, blah, blah...

Warmoth: For sure. Here's a fun one for ya. Name your 3 favorite guitar players...go.

Paul Crook: This makes my head hurt...HAHAH!!! Ok...


Warmoth: Neil Giraldo. Awesome addition. And of course Brian May. Did you get to work with him in the studio on "Bad for Good" (from the Meat Loaf album Bat Out of Hell III, The Monster’s Loose)?

Paul Crook: Brian May...I wasn't in the studio but I was the one that got him on the record. He's a dear friend of mine. One of my greatest friends. Neil is incredible. Very honored to say he's my friend too!!!

Warmoth: That's pretty good company to keep! Tell us about some other artists you work with that maybe aren't as well known as Meat Loaf and Anthrax.

Paul Crook: I worked with a guy named Alex Lifeson. Have you heard of him??? It was a long, long time ago. Anyway, Alex produced a demo for a singer named Jack Secret. I was Jack's guitarist (still am and always will be). Look him up...
There's this Estonian girl named Marya Roxx. She's full of piss and vinegar! I did a record with her (Kevin Shirley Produced). The players were myself, Brian Tichy, Dereck Sherinian and Scott Metaxas. I ended up touring with her for a while. She's great.

Paul Crook

Warmoth: Last but not least, is there any Paul Crook solo material out there or in the works?

Paul Crook: Thanks for asking... I have a bunch of instrumentals recorded. I'm not sure if they'll ever see the light of day with regard to an actual release. Every time I think about doing an album some new Gutherie Govan video pops up and I hide in the corner. (laughs)

Warmoth: Don't we all? It's funny, I watch Gutherie play and want to quit all together. And then it's the long sustained notes Gilmour plays in Comfortably Numb that really hit me the hardest. By the way, if you haven't seen Roger Water's tour "The Wall" you need to asap.

Paul Crook: I haven't seen that show! I hear it's the greatest show ever in the history of arena rock! Gilmour is incredible...Hmmmm, Brian May has the same effect on me. Perfect notes/ perfect tone... ALWAYS!

Warmoth: Thanks for all your time Paul. It means a lot to Warmoth that you use our product so visibly and continue loving it. It's truly an honor to be working with you. Is there anything else you'd like to add before I let you go?

Paul Crook: Thanks for the great questions. I love you guys... I'd just like to add that I am incredibly thankful to have such a wonderful family, awesome friends and the greatest fans. I'd also like to thank Meat Loaf for being such a great boss, and the Neverland Express (John, Patti, Randy, Dave, Dan and Justin) and Johnny Metal (my tech) for being so awesome.

Warmoth: Awesome. Thanks again.

Paul Crook on Warmoth Guitars - I currently own 9 Warmoth guitars. All of them are incredibly beautiful and possess unbelievable sustain. I love the way they make my chest shake as I play them. It's almost like these instruments are alive Paul Crook's Warmoth V build before a show

Paul Crook currently resides in Las Vegas, NV when he is not busy touring...which means that Paul is not in Vegas very often because he is a busy guy. He is currently recording as the Lead Guitarist for Meatloaf. When he is not working with Meatloaf, he's busy recording and touring as the Lead Guitarist for the up-and-coming artist, Marya Roxx.

As a skilled lead guitarist, Paul has an extensive history of playing with the biggest bands: Meatloaf, Marya Roxx, Anthrax, and Sebastian Bach. He has played on dozens of albums and he was the guitarist for the musical, "We Will Rock You"-a musical based on the music of Queen which was produced by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Robert De Niro and written by Ben Elton.

After getting a taste of the superior quality of Warmoth custom guitar parts, Paul has built up quite the collection. Paul has several guitars built using Warmoth parts, most of which were built by the skilled hands of Mark Katzen.

Paul Crook Rockin' with a Warmoth SG build

Paul's Stats

  • Meatloaf Lead Guitarist - Current
  • Marya Roxx Lead Guitarist - Current
  • We Will Rock You Guitarist - 2004 - 2005
  • Sebastian Bach Lead Guitarist - 1999 - 2004
  • Anthrax Lead Guitarist - 1995 - 2001

For more information on Paul's up-and-coming endeavors:
Visit Paul's site here

or visit his MySpace here

Paul Crook's Warmoth collection

Paul Crook's Warmoth arsenal built by Mark Katzen

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