Paul Crook (Meat Loaf/Anthrax/’We Will Rock You’)

Paul Crook Meat Loaf guitarist

Paul Crook needs little introduction from me. The opening sections of his own website tell you all you need to know about his pedigree, experience and commitment to rock  ‘n’ roll.

“Paul Crook is an internationally acclaimed guitarist and highly sought after songwriter, producer and engineer. Known for his stints as lead guitarist for metal pioneers Anthrax, vocal icon Sebastian Bach and currently performing with the legendary Meat Loaf, Paul has established himself as one of the world’s premier rock and metal guitarists. It is that reputation that has Paul contacted for studio session work with famed producers including Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Dave Matthews Band) and Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin) as well as being personally selected by world renowned Queen guitarist Brian May to perform those classic Queen licks in the Las Vegas version of the smash hit musical We Will Rock You.”

He has played rock ‘n’ roll all over the world, performing on gold and platinum albums and taking music to the masses. Want to know what rock music means to Paul? Then read on …

So Paul, what does rock music mean to you?
It’s my every ounce. It’s a part of my DNA. There is no separation.

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – jaded stereotype or the meaning of life?

You can often catch the Meat Loaf band backstage, talking about anything/everything except this cliché. We’ll discuss lower-back pain, health insurance, college tuition, mortgage rates as we’re sticking veggies and fruit into a juicer… Hmmmmm, so rock ‘n’ roll…

First artist to make an impression on you?
Gene Simmons. KISS is the reason I started playing the guitar.

An album, band or song that means a lot to you?
KISS: Rock And Roll Over. It was the first album I ever owned.

An artist or album that has stayed with you over time?
There are several. The ones I’m still learning from:

  • AC/ DC
  • KISS
  • NIN

Dylan or Morrison?
Morrison = Cool & Dangerous

What do you say to a ‘rock star’ after you say hello?
I’m trying to think what I said to Gene Simmons when I first met him… Probably “HELLO” then “THANK YOU”.

Your best encounter with an artist as a fan?
That would be Brian May…

I auditioned for the Las Vegas version of WE WILL ROCK (The Musical). To make a long story short, I was playing the song ONE VISION. As the guitar solo was getting close, Brian May got up from his seat and approached me. I remember thinking: WHAT IS HE DOING??? HE’S WALKING OVER TO ME!!! WTF???!!! Brian then stood directly in front of me and looked at my hands as I hit the solo. I shit my pants… Thankfully, I nailed it and got the gig.

Your strangest encounter with a fan as an artist?
There are several… Let me just say that I find it strange to be approached while eating dinner.

What makes a rock gig special?
ROCK!!! It’s an event. The energy in the room is like nothing else.

Your most notable gig as an artist?
Meat Loaf, 2003 in Hyde Park with 200,000 people

Your most notable gig as a fan?
KISS, 1979 at Madison Square Garden

Rock music – music for all or a tribal affair?
I’ll take TRIBAL. Rock music is rooted in loyalty. It’s a revolution!!!

Rock music – the spawn of the devil or a force for good?
I’ll take SATAN… It makes me feel harder/ tougher when I walk on stage, especially after just having a discussion with the guys about my mortgage rate while drinking a shake made of celery, carrots and various fruits.

How do you view what you do as an artist?
I’m very hard on myself. I’m always looking for ways to improve every aspect of my being. My artistry morphs into my everyday lifestyle. Again, I can’t separate…

Is there a particular piece of music, or album or performance for which you would most like to be remembered?
At the moment it’s MEAT LOAF: HELL IN A HANDBASKET but I like the thought of getting better, stronger with every step. Meaning, I’m always looking to outdo myself. There is no room for complacency in my head.

What would you say to people who say that rock or the rock era is dead?
ROCK IS DEAD??? I like this!!! That means it’s back underground? It’s cool again??? Wooooo!!! Keep saying it, B-holes!!!

Paul Crook onstage

Paul Crook onstage (photo courtesy of PurpleBean)


Visit Paul Crook’s official website at:

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