Name: Michael Spreitzer
When and how did you discover your passion for music?
I was given a bump in the right direction when I first heard Oingo Boingo’s “Only a Lad” record. I was probably five or six years old at the time. Shortly after that I saw Def Leppard’s video for “Pour Some Sugar on Me” on MTV in 1988 and I knew without a doubt that I wanted to play guitar in a band.
When did you know you were going to play metal?
My second obsession in life after Def Leppard was Metallica. They made me want to play heavy metal.
How has the writing and recording with DevilDriver changed throughout the years
The writing process for us has changed quite a bit over the years. The first record was prominently written by DevilDriver’s original guitarist Evan Pitts. By the time the second record came around, Evan wasn’t in the band anymore and it became more of a group effort with Jon Miller and John Boecklin writing a majority of the guitar riffs. I wanted to write more in the beginning of the band but I was the “new guy” and when you first join an established band, its best to tread lightly. Over time I started writing more and more. Before we started writing for our current record “Trust No One”, Boecklin and MIller had moved on and I was next in line. Writing “Trust No One” with Austin D’Amond and Neal Tiemann was a fantastic experience for me. We have a great dynamic.
What Toontrack products do you use on a regular basis…and what problem do they solve for you when writing and/or recording?
I use Superior Drummer more than anything else. I’ve used the Lo-Fi EZmix plug-in here and there. I have to program drums while I’m writing these days. We always end up re-recording the drums with our drummer, but for me, having Superior Drummer is crucial for pre-production.
What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you in stage or the studio?
A few years ago we were driving to England to play the main stage at the Download Festival for the first time. At some point, our trailer with all our gear had gone missing in the middle of the night while we were driving down the highway and our driver didn’t notice. Eventually we stopped at a gas station around 5 AM and one of us noticed the trailer was missing. We turned around and drove for roughly three hours before we found the trailer on the side of the highway. All our gear was unharmed. I couldn’t believe it.
How has Toontrack helped you in your writing process?
Unfortunately I can’t write without Superior Drummer anymore. Listening to demos without drums doesn’t get me excited.
What’s your favorite part of Superior Drummer 3?
The depth of the tones has definitely been taken to a new level with Superior Drummer 3. The drum editor and drum replacement features are a nice addition. It has turned into the “everything you need” drum program.
Anything new we should look forward to with DevilDriver?
We have a new record coming out early 2018 called “Outlaws Til the End”. It consists entirely of Outlaw Country cover songs done in the vein of DevilDriver.
If you had advice for anyone looking to be a guitar player in a metal band, what would it be?
Learn to shred but don’t stop there. Focus on good songwriting more than anything. Listen to a variety of different genres, focus on how the different parts are arranged, and apply it to your own songwriting.