The Rocks Off 200: Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker
Who? Marzi Montazeri, who currently splits his time between his hometown of Houston and New Orleans, is something of an underground metal legend, and probably the most amazing guitar player that almost no one is talking about. He fronts his Southern-metal act Heavy Texas while here, and is also a key component to ex-Pantera singer Philip H. Anselmo's band the Illegals in NOLA. Between the two, he unleashes an incredible amount of guitar explosions that simply have to be seen to be believed.
Photos courtesy of Marzi Montazeri
"I've known Marzi since the late '80s," Anselmo said in a Houston Press interview earlier this year about War of the Gargantuas. "Really, it goes back to my early days in Pantera where Dimebag [Darrell Abbott] was always this incredible, insane guitar player with this extraterrestrial fuckin' talent. And he knew it! And he would let you know it: He was really critical of other guitar players a lot of the time, and he was correct a lot of the time.
"All of a sudden, we play Houston, and this guy Marzi comes up, and I think that he was the first guitar player that Dimebag stepped back and said, 'Whoa. This dude's a bad motherfucker,'" Anselmo continues. "For this particular project, I really needed an executor. Without a doubt, Marzi was the guy for the job. I wrote every goddamn note on the record, and he executed them to a 'T.'"
Photo by Chad Lee
Montazeri's guitar journey for has been very unique in its own right. He's an organic player from the soul. He's never had any intention to do anything in his life but play music, and taught himself guitar all alone in isolation in Northwest Houston. For him the instrument has become a portal of spiritual expression that is free from the falsehoods of life. His metal is as sincere as it is triumphant.
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "My mother lives here and I do have the best damn friends a man can ask for," he says. "Honest, loyal, strong brothers and sisters I know and love."
Home Base: Montazeri is constantly writing. As long as he's not immersed in water or something his guitar is in his hands, channeling the sounds in his head. As far as venues go he got started and fell in love at Fitzgerald's, and remembers with some wry nostalgia hauling amps up the rickety old stairs.
These days he's more partial to Rudyard's because of the intimate atmosphere and the quality of the sound system. A gig where a sound check transitioned seamlessly into the actual set there is one of his favorite musical memories.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "Rock stars."
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