Shred Lords: Cory Scheider of Casket Robbery
Photo by Gary Flinn
Hailing from Monroe, Wisconsin, Cory Scheider is a dedicated guitarist with 16 year behind the axe and several albums under his belt. A veteran of the Midwest metal scene, Cory has played with Luna Mortis, Mercy Isle, and Casket Robbery to name a few. He’s an incredibly recognizable player, but how did Cory first discover the guitar?
“It’s a weird story. I was in grade school and some acoustic guitar player came in to our school and for some reason my class stayed after the set and got to ask him a question. My class was asking him all about his guitar and that’s what kind of sparked it,” Scheider says fondly. “My mom had this acoustic guitar sitting around and she booked me some lessons. That was that.”
Learning the correct way from the beginning, Cory gradually learned the guitar from lessons, some of which came from future Luna Mortis bandmate and MATG Shred Lord, Brian Koenig, but eventually learned to play by ear. In time, he took a great deal of inspiration from Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, whom he considers an amazing rhythm player.
Playing in numerous bands over the years such as Luna Mortis (formerly known as Ottoman Empire) and Mercy Isle, Cory has greatly honed his skills and brought a great deal of inspirations to the table to create a unique sound that refuses to be pinned down to one specific genre.
“I’ll listen to anything. I’ll listen to grindcore, I’ll listen to 80’s pop music and pop 80’s new wave music. One of my favorite bands is Tears for Fears and I’m not afraid to admit it as a metal fan. You gotta have that diversity. That’s probably where a lot of the melody comes from; that 80’s music,” says Scheider. “I don’t like to get too caught up in genres, because it kind of splits up the metal scene. I think people should just dig music for what it is, regardless of category.”
Though not a shredder by his own admission, Cory is known for his fast, aggressive playing, which is a hallmark of the brutal death metal style he currently plays with Casket Robbery. Of course, that’s not to say he can’t play lead guitar, especially considering his work in Luna Mortis.
“Brian would write these crazy harmony leads and we’d play them together live, so I can do it, but I’ve always gravitated to rhythm. Casket is much more rhythm. I like the chunky stuff,” Scheider says of his abilities. “I like the really crazy rhythm stuff. Casket is more cool rhythm stuff. I found it hard to transfer from Luna to Casket. I was like, I really gotta have my right hand, my rhythm hand in shape to play this.”
Known for his fast, aggressive playing, Cory works on his hand strength and flexibility so not to tire out, cramp up, or get stiff mid-show. These techniques have paid off, for Casket Robbery has been playing almost every weekend across the Midwest since the release of their debut full length Evolution of Evil and the band’s brutal death metal style takes a great deal of skill and endurance, as well as creativity.
“I like to incorporate some weird chromatic stuff. I know a little bit of music theory, but I really play by ear, so it’s whatever sounds good to me. My thing is trying to throw chromatics into my music and not make it sound too weird,” Scheider says of his far from generic approach to the death metal guitar style. “Casket is one of the hardest rhythm stuff that I’ve played, so it’s challenging for me.”
With Casket Robbery as his main focus, Cory is working on improving himself as a guitarist and keeping the Casket Robbery sound heavy but memorable, so not to be lost in the crowd. And he certainly has ideas for the next album.
“That’s something I’m really thinking about for this next Casket Robbery release…how to keep our riffs from sounding the same. I try to incorporate melody. In a death metal band you can get caught up in this alternate picking, but one thing that helps you stand is melody. You can sound super brutal, but still be memorable.”
Currently without a lead guitarist, Cory is doubling as the band’s lead and rhythm guitarist while Casket Robbery writes and records their upcoming EP. And though he’s not too fond of playing the lead guitar, he certainly promises to be more experimental by incorporating more lead guitar.
“I will probably challenge myself more on the leads, unless we find a real shreddy lead guy,” says Scheider. “I’m interested in seeing what the new guitarist will bring to the band. We’ll see if they stick to that heavy sound.”
As of right now, Cory and the rest of Casket Robbery are pretty tight lipped on the next record, but if Cory keeps to his word we might indeed see him exercise that shred lord spirit he has hidden away inside. Until then, we have an arsenal of great albums featuring his guitar work in a variety of styles, many of which have earned him the title of Shred Lord.