DevilDriver’s Mike Spreitzer Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

Ah, the ’80s… it was a golden period for the explosion of metal, and the period which inspired DevilDriver‘s Mike Spreitzer to pick up a guitar.

“The first song that made me want to play guitar was Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me,’” says the guitarist. “I was about six-years-old and it was on MTV. I had an older brother and older sister that were teenagers at the time, so MTV was always on and I remember watching and slowly got addicted to it. When I first saw ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me,’ that was pretty much it. I started begging my parents for an electric guitar and I really wanted the Explorer that the bass player was playing in that video. Funny thing is to this day, I’ve never owned an Explorer guitar.”

That led to a broader exploration into the Def Leppard catalog, with Spreitzer backtracking from Hysteria to High and Dry, where “Let It Go” grabbed his attention, as he displays for the viewers.

It wasn’t long before even heavier metal entered the picture, with Spreitzer citing Black Sabbath as an early influence. “One of the first riffs I learned to play, I believe it was a Black Sabbath song off Paranoid and I believe it was ‘Electric Funeral,” says the guitarist.

Spreitzer says he was a big Metallica fan growing up, nabbing the group’s Black Album tab book (which he still has to this day). From there, it was time to backtrack through Metallica’s And Justice for All and Live Shit: Binge & Purge, as he was able to xerox the tab pages from a buddy. So what Metallica song most grabbed him? He displays a bit of “Harvester of Sorrow.”

Looking at DevilDriver’s own catalog, the guitarist cites “Testimony of Truth” and “End of the Line” as his favorite riffs. He also pulls out some of “My Night Sky,” a track he loves to play live due to its groove.

“The first riff I ever wrote for DevilDriver was the verse in “Hold Back the Day” from Fury in Our Maker’s Hands,” adds Spreitzer, recalling, “I wasn’t in the band when they recorded their first record. I came in shortly in between the first and second record cycle. We were on Ozzfest in 2004 and I brought my Line 6 pod with me and I always had my guitar and that pod in the back of the bus. We needed to start writing for Fury while we were on that tour. We had a limited amount of time between getting off Ozzfest, going home to write and then going to El Paso to Sonic Ranch to record the record. So we were all on each others’ ass to keep writing riffs so that we could come home with material to work with rather than starting from scratch.”

Turning his attention to DevilDriver’s upcoming double album, the single “Keep Away From Me” is currently his favorite. “It was one of the first songs, if I remember correctly, that I wrote for the record. It’s always been my favorite song on the record.”

You can hear “Keep Away From Me” in full on DevilDriver’s Dealing With Demons I, which is due Oct. 9. Get your pre-orders in for the album at this location. See more of Spreitzer showcasing some of his favorite riffs in the Gear Factor episode below.

DevilDriver’s Mike Spreitzer Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

2020’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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10 Rock Stars Wasted on TV

Back when television was the only place to see your favorite rock stars live in two dimensions, wasted musicians created some unforgettable moments.

The Dick Cavett Show was a home for rock and roll during the ‘60s and ‘70s, creating a forum for in-depth and personal conversations. While making an appearance on the show, David Bowie showed up coked out of his mind, twitching and sniffing while erratically answering questions. The suspenders and cane add another brilliant touch to the interview, giving Bowie the persona of a Batman villain.

One of the most famous wasted moments on TV comes from Courtney Love at the 1995 MTV VMAs. Not long after the death of husband and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Love interrupted a Madonna interview by throwing her shoe at the pop star, eventually making her way up to a platform where host Kurt Loder was speaking with Madonna. Love hijacked the show, chasing Madonna away and bringing a horrified look to Loder’s face.

Of course, Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue make appearances in this list. Both bands can be seen during their early years, taking their trademark party lifestyle to televised interviews both backstage and on the red carpet.

Check out these 10 Rock Stars Sh!tfaced on TV in the Loud List below.

10 Rock Stars Sh!tfaced on TV

Top 50 Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time

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Who Really Invented Power Metal?

Who really invented power metal? Was it really Helloween with The Keepers of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1 album as the legend goes, or is there more to this story? That’s the question we explore in Ep. 19 of Loudwire’s “50 Years of Heavy Metal” series.

Power metal is a bit more challenging to define than so many of metal’s other branches. The differences between thrash, death metal and black metal, for example, are all quite distinct, bearing unique characteristics that the others lack.

That isn’t so much the case with power metal, which bears all the hallmarks of traditional metal as defined largely by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Twin melodies, high singing, fast riffs and faster drumming have just as much place in traditional metal as they do power metal.

Of course, a lot of that came from Iron Maiden, but so did epic storytelling, though not in the same fashion as early prog rock. See why this gets tricky? Maiden’s vivid lyrical themes along with the ones conveyed from the mystical mind of Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and the Dio band, rounded out yet another crucial component of power metal.

Fiction/fantasy literature — The Lords of the Rings, in particular — is a natural fit for music that’s reliant on major keys, joyous melodies, dominant chord progressions and triumphant, sky-high choruses.

It really comes down to the ol’ “on steroids” adage, which is essentially the relationship between traditional metal and power metal. Oh, and then there’s the dress code: while not required, this genre is overwhelmingly playful, embracing frilly shirts, animal skins, armor… basically anything you’d see at you local Renaissance faire. And there’s only one band that can be credited for putting that in motion… but that’ll be revealed in Ep. 19.

Find out Who Really Invented Power Metal at the top of the page.

The Top 25 Power Metal Albums of All Time

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Rock Legend Suzi Quatro Plays Her Favorite Bass Riffs

Groundbreaking musician Suzi Quatro is the subject of the upcoming documentary Suzi Q, and she recently took some time to join us via Zoom for this latest edition of Loudwire’s Gear Factor.

Quatro revealed during the chat that she started her music education at a very young age, growing up in a musical family where her father was also a performer. “I began on bongos at the age of 7 and I was pretty damn good. My dad actually let me come to his gigs and play in front of him. Then I went to classical piano, so I took that for about eight or nine years, so I had to learn to read, write and play and I still play now. Then I went to percussion in school and I ended up learning to read, write and play percussion and I ended up first chair.”

Like many of her age, the Beatles‘ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was a turning point, with all the kids in the family deciding to start a band. “Everybody quickly chose an instrument,” she recalls “I didn’t speak up, so I was like, ‘Hey, what am I gonna play?’ and my older sister said, ‘You’re playing bass.’ So I went, ‘Okay.’ I didn’t care. So I got this [bass guitar] from my father – 1957 Fender Precision – as my first bass guitar.” And thus Suzi’s bass legacy was cemented.

She tells us, “I think one of the first [riffs], if I go back very early, was ‘Stagger Lee’ by Lloyd Price. It’s very basic bass. That’s what I learned when I learned.” Suzi also cites Motown legend James Jamerson and Canned Heat as an early influence on her playing, displaying a bit of “On the Road Again.”

As for the first song she learned to play, that goes back to The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie.” “I do remember the first song I tried to learn and because I didn’t try to go from guitar to bass, I never used a pick in my life. Never used one. I can’t get along with them. There was no one to teach me the bass. I taught myself. So I figured you had to put your hands here and then play with your thumb. So I learned to play ‘Louie Louie,'” said Quatro. “But I had a big blister, so then I learned to play like this.”

When asked for her favorite riff, she boasts, “I consider this to be my best bass riff I’ve ever written and I have seen some seriously good bass players do this riff. It’s called ‘Walking Through the Changes.’ Not easy, not easy to play, it’s that deadened string.”

Quatro reveals that she didn’t always make it easy on herself with her bass lines. To demonstrate, she pulls out “She’s in Love With You,” explaining, “I illustrate this when I do my tutorials because the riff is like a machine. You can’t alter it. It’s like a machine. And the vocal, do you hear that? It’s backward.” You can also catch Suzi demonstrating a bit of “Truck Stop” and the super funky “Your Mama Won’t Like Me” as well.

Speaking about her love for the bass, Suzi offers, “I think what you’ve probably noticed by now, my style, for a bass player, it’s very expressive for a bass player. I’m not just playing the notes. I’m getting the light and shade in the notes. I don’t know what that is, but I guess because I’m a bass player in my heart. I actually love the bass. I love the bass notes, I love the runs. It’s really in my heart and soul. I could never be a guitar player, it’s far too delicate.”

Quatro finishes her Gear Factor episode, speaking about the Suzi Q documentary that is being released virtually tomorrow (July 1) and then hitting on demand viewing July 3.

Suzi Q Documentary Trailer

“The documentary has been on my bucket list for a long long time because I always just wanted the record set straight. Everybody that’s in this one wants to be in it. They’re speaking from their heart and you feel it and you start to cry, you know. Alice [Cooper] was wonderful. Debby Harry, bless her heart. Oh she couldn’t have been nicer. Henry Winkler brings me to tears every time. Joan Jett was very sweet. Cherie Curie is good friend of mine. Talking Heads, L7’s Donita Sparks, [The Go-Go’s] Kathy Valentine. I hope I’m not forgetting anybody. They all were just so wonderful,” says the bass legend. “You have to see the film. It’s a terrific documentary, warts and all, and it does put the record straight and it has had rave reviews around the world.”

Watch Suzi Quatro’s Gear Factor below and make sure to get your order in for the July 1 Suzi Q documentary premiere at this location.

Rock Legend Suzi Quatro Plays Her Favorite Bass Riffs

12 Women Who Pioneered Hard Rock + Metal

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The Truth About Sexuality in Rock + Metal

In episode 18 of 50 Years of Heavy Metal, we’re breaking down 100 years of LGBTQA+ representation in music.

Being openly gay in the 1920s wasn’t just rare, it was legitimately dangerous, but gay culture began to blossom in the Roaring ‘20s, especially throughout New York City’s club scene in Harlem, Greenwich Village and Times Square. As the LGBTQA+ community began to freely express themselves in certain spaces, artists began to hint at their sexuality through music.

Blues singer Ma Rainey is credited as a revolutionary figure for her lyrics on sexuality, first addressing the issue on her 1928 cut, “Prove It on Me Blues.”

I went out last night with a crowd of my friends
It must’ve been women, ’cause I don’t like no men
Wear my clothes just like a fan
Talk to the gals just like any old man.

Ma Rainey is also believed to have had a relationship with blues icon Bessie Smith, who’s often credited as a forbearer for what would become rock ‘n’ roll. In 1930, Smith sang about her bisexuality in “The Boy in the Boat.”

When you see two women walking hand in hand
Just look ’em over and try to understand
They’ll go to those parties—have the lights down low
Only those parties where women can go.

Jumping forward to the 1950s, blues musician Billy Wright was one of the few openly gay musicians of his era, and he’s credited with helping Little Richard develop his flamboyant look. So rock and roll wasn’t just created by one gay man in Little Richard, it was created by two black, gay men from the south. As for Little Richard, the original lyrics to his rock n roll opus “Tutti Fruitti” actually read, “Tutti Frutti, good booty / If it don’t fit, don’t force it / You can grease it, make it easy.” But the words were later rewritten by an outside lyricist and Little Richard’s ode to life as a gay man was lost on the cutting room floor.

Another man who came out relatively early was Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum. He spoke in-depth about his sexuality with The Advocate in 1993, following a previous interview where he came out to NME. “I never thought it was that important,” Bottum said. “Since I went public I tend to see the prejudice that’s being leveled against homosexuals. Before, I tended to think of it as a gossipy sort of a thing. Now I think of being openly gay as a political statement, something that in some small way furthers the gay rights movement … Kids who are into hard rock and who may be dealing with the possibility of being gay themselves don’t see a lot of positive role models.”

There’s plenty more LGBTQA+ icons in rock and metal like Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, Jobriath, Tegan & Sara, the Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley, Marcie Free, Dug Pinnick of King’s X, Otep, Gaahl, Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert of Cynic, Husker Du’s Bob Mould, Angel Vivaldi, Placebo’s Brian Molko, Lynn Gunn, Randy ‘Biscuit’ Turner of the Big Boys, Gary Floyd from the Dicks, Life of Agony’s Mina Caputo, Melissa Martinez, Tyler Carter and the most important punk band of the 21st century, GLOSS.

Watch our full retrospective into The Truth About Sexuality in Rock + Metal in the video below. Happy Pride Month!

The Truth About Sexuality in Rock + Metal

26 LGBTQ+ Icons in Rock + Metal

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Rivers of Nihil’s Brody Uttley Plays His Favorite Riffs

Though Rivers of Nihil lean a little heavier, guitarist Brody Uttley reveals in our latest edition of Gear Factor that his earlier roots are a little more rock and blues leaning.

Taking us way back to the earliest of his playing days, the guitarist reveals that his father was really his first teacher, showing him a “Boogie Woogie” progression that would serve as his first riff. “I would just play that over and over again on the acoustic guitar, flat on my lap just picking it out. I guess that was the first real riff that I learned,” says the guitarist.

But it was really Metallica that first garnered his attention, giving him the appetite to really pick up the guitar and progress at a more rapid pace. “[‘Enter Sandman’] actually inspired me to sell my PlayStation, sell my bike, sell some Pokemon cards and go out and buy my first set up.”

Uttley also shouts out his first guitar teacher for really inspiring his love of the instrument and showing him every song he wanted to know. Aerosmith‘s “Mama Kin” was particularly an early favorite, with the guitarist stating, “As soon as I heard that sound, I was totally and completely hooked. From there it was an upward trajectory to infinity, basically.”

Another early favorite was Eddie Van Halen, who essentially introduced the guitarist to the finger tapping style of playing. “When I saw Eddie Van Halen, some live videos of his just playing some solos and smoking a cigarette and just being super cool. He was just making all these crazy noises with the guitar and most of it was based around tapping. I was just completely blown away by that.” He cites “Eruption” as a key song in his progression, stating, “That was the song that changed the game for me and showed me there were no rules as to what you could do on the guitar.”

The guitarist also reveals that he was obsessed with Guns N’ Roses, with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” being one of the first solos he learned, while his room at home was plastered with GN’R and Slash posters.

As for Rivers of Nihil, the guitarist leans toward the band’s most recent work, Where Owls Know My Name, for some of his favorite guitar work so far in the band. He shows off a pair of riffs from “The Silent Life,” calling it an “ass-beater” of a song that really gets the crowd going.

He also serves up a couple parts from the album’s title track, primarily because they’re just so fun to play live. He adds in part of “Capricorn / Agoratopia,” explaining, “I’m a big fan of super spacey parts. It’s just two chords and it’s very Floyd-ian I guess. There’s this note that’s just kind of echoing throughout the whole sequence that has a hypnotic weird sort of vibe.”

Uttley also reflects back to the early years, recalling “Post-mortem Prostitution” as one of the first riffs he ever wrote for the band. He serves up a bit of history on the song before revealing that Behemoth and Vader likely inspired the song.

See more of Uttley’s playing in the video below and pick up Rivers of Nihil’s Where Owls Know My Name here.

Rivers of Nihil’s Brody Uttley Plays His Favorite Riffs

Best Death Metal Album of Every Year Since 1985

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10 Up-and-Coming Bands You Need to Hear in 2020

It’s time again for our most debated-upon list of the year. We’ve put together a group of 10 up-and-coming bands you need to check out in 2020, with the goal of introducing you to a new favorite act.

Polaris have been taking the metalcore world by storm with their second studio album, The Death of Me. Adding to the ferocious legacy of Australian metalcore, Polaris reached No. 3 on their home country’s album chart, surpassing the breakout success of their 2017 debut. Polaris have all the makings to become another Parkway Drive, thanks to a brutal vocal delivery and solid songwriting.

When it comes to rock, Fire From the Gods have emerged as a standout genre-bending act, attaining multi-million view counts on YouTube. The band’s biggest hit, “Right Now,” dropped in 2019, allowing them to chart on the Mainstream Rock chart for the first time and gain an even broader following. If you’re into metallic rock anthems with big choruses, give FFTG a shot.

SeeYouSpaceCowboy are bringing sasscore back, creating chaotic and experimental music in the vein of the 2000s math movement. The anti-racist and intersectional band released their debut album, The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds, in 2019 and have since emerged as one of the most energetic young bands in metal’s underground.

Check out these 10 Up-and-Coming Bands You Need to Hear in 2020 in the Loud List below.

10 Up-and-Coming Bands You Need to Hear in 2020

2020’s Best Metal Songs (So Far)

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Ensiferum’s Sami Hinkka Plays His Favorite Bass Riffs

Ensiferum may have a certain sound, but as you’ll see in our latest Gear Factor, the roots of bassist Sami Hinkka’s playing are a little bit more varied that what you may think.

Hinkka was schooled early in metal, coming from a musical family. His father was a drummer and his older brothers made sure to indoctrinate him with plenty of metal at a young age.

“I have two big brothers who made sure I grew up listening to heavy metal – bands like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Dio, King Diamond, Bon Jovi, WASP and so on. My other big brother, he got a guitar at some point and it was so cool to watch him play real songs,” says Hinkka, who recalls asking Santa for a guitar at a young age and getting a small plastic one.

The bassist says KISS was his first love, trying to play tracks like “Lick It Up” and “Heaven’s on Fire,” years before he understood what the lyrics were about.

As for his first riff, he recalls, “When I was 11, I got my first bass and my big brother taught me stuff and the very first riff that I learned to play was ‘Iron Man’ from Black Sabbath. Legendary.”

Even though he plays bass, Hinkka credits his brother, a guitarist, for teaching him how to utilize a four-finger technique on his fretting hand. He also had an appetite for learning his instrument by watching others. “One very defining thing as a bass player for me was the gig, Live After Death, from Iron Maiden. Every day after school I’d get home and play this gig every day just to learn the Steve Harris galloping [parts] and to get some stamina to my right hand, because originally I played with a pick.” Hinkka plays a little bit of Maiden’s “The Trooper” for the viewing audience.

Other inspirations in the bass world include Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler and Metallica‘s Cliff Burton. “It’s incredible as it’s almost like he’s soloing all of the time. It’s almost like playing melodies at the same time. Good job sir,” marvels Hinkka about Butler. Meanwhile, he leaned on Burton for the melodic style, demonstrating a bit of “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Another Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted, helped him develop a more tight metal bass style of playing.

But Hinkka’s influence goes beyond the hard and heavy style of playing, venturing into funk. He singles out The Brothers Johnson’s Louis Johnson, recalling, “I fell from my chair when suddenly I started hearing [him] … He played incredible slap bass, great soloing and I thought, ‘I can’t do that kind of stuff.’ Check his stuff out. He’s fantastic. He just bangs the bass so hard it looks like he’s going to break it.”

As for his own band, Hinkka says his parts are often to serve the song while the guitars get more of the attention. However, he does display a bit of “Victory Song,” one of the first tracks he worked on after joining the group. He also breaks out some of “Deathbringer From the Sky” and finishes this edition of Gear Factor playing a melody line from the forthcoming song “Andromeda” from their upcoming Thalassic album.

See more of Sami Hinkka’s playing in this edition of Gear Factor in the video below. And look for the Thalassic album arriving July 10. Pre-orders can be found here.

Ensiferum’s Sami Hinkka Plays His Favorite Riffs on Six-String Bass

2020’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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When Metalheads Troll Normies

Metalhead trolling is glorious, especially when the victims have no idea what’s going on. From playing brutal music in public to artists on the Grammys red carpet, we’ve put together the finest in metalhead trolling moments.

Let’s start with the death metal ice cream truck that serves nothing but sadness. If your ugly kids spot Minneapolis’ Hell General, they won’t be receiving a Rammstein or Strapping Young Lad popsicle… they’ll be served some brutal music while the Hell General flies past them at top speed. You can even request the Hell General visit your neck of the woods, so you can get behind the troll job.

Mastodon attended the 2015 Grammys after being nominated for Best Metal Performance for “High Road.” They lost the golden gramophone to Tenacious D, but Mastodon won the red carpet. Brent Hinds dressed as a L.A. Dodger while Brann Dailor donned his best birthday suit, messing with two interviewers who didn’t know quite what to make of the Georgia metal giants.

Remember that time Marilyn Manson smoke bombed the paparazzi? After leaving the premiere party for the movie Spring Breakers, Manson avoided cameras by dropping a smoke bomb, navigating to his vehicle under cover like a ninja. The fire department was even called, with paparazzi left to explain exactly what had occurred.

Watch these metal trolling moments in the Loud List below.

When Metalheads Troll Normies

25 Legendary Extreme Metal Albums With No Weak Songs

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Should Politics Be Kept Out of Metal?

We’ve all heard the argument that heavy metal and politics don’t go together, but although we do understand the desire for music to purely be a form of escapism, the idea is fundamentally incorrect. Metal is not inherently conservative or liberal, centrist or radical, but it is very frequently anti-war… and that is where politics and metal intersect.

Like the devil and like horror, anti-war themes in heavy metal began with Black Sabbath and the lyrics, “Generals gathered in their masses / Just like witches at black masses.” But “War Pigs” is about more than just rhyming masses with masses; it criticized the military industrial complex and America’s ulterior motives to fight the Vietnam war.

You know who else told it like it was? Dave Mustaine. “Peace Sells” also addresses the military industrial complex and how the government has a vested interest in endless war to make endless profits. After much research, we also discovered that Megadeth‘s “Holy Wars” is about wars, namely the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.

One of metal’s quintessential anti-war acts is Napalm Death, whose name itself is a brutal message against chemical weaponry. Napalm Death are still one of the planet’s most politically active bands concerning both human and animal rights, and they do practice what they preach, with vocalist Barney Greenway being a vegetarian since he was 14 (he’s now a vegan) and actually facing off with neo-Nazis in Apartheid-era South Africa.

A new age of anti-war acts came in the post-9/11 era, namely with System of a Down’s monumental “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Bombs). It was probably the first time since Rage Against the Machine that a political band was so prominent, while in the underground, Lamb of God made their own statement with As the Palaces Burn. Slayer even won a Grammy for their anti-war cut “Eyes of the Insane,” a song that addressed the epidemic of veteran suicides.

For our full argument on why metal and politics absolutely do go together, check out the video below.

Should Politics Be Kept Out of Metal?

25 Legendary Extreme Metal Albums With No Weak Songs

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Vio-Lence’s Phil Demmel Plays His Favorite Riffs

Phil Demmel is a man of many projects these days, including supergroup BPMD and returning back to his early roots in Vio-Lence. The guitarist recently joined Loudwire for an edition of Gear Factor in which he traces the riffs that helped shape his playing, digging into quite a bit of his early and now once again current band along the way.

While KISS may have been “the band that made me want to be a performer,” Demmel points to AC/DC‘s Angus Young for really starting his musical path. “You felt all of Angus’ emotions and you felt when he was pissed or happy or drunk or horny and you learned it all from Angus and his fingertips. I loved that he was able to emote just by holding a single note. You just felt Angus and I dug that so much,” says the guitarist before playing a bit of “T.N.T.”

Black Sabbath also featured prominently for Demmel in those early years, but the first riff he learned to play may not be the one you’d think. “I think the first riff I learned was a Sabbath song, ‘Warning,’ it’s kind of a jammy part. I think that was the part that I was first able to connect with moving some spots around.”

Demmel also riffs through some Van Halen, Ted Nugent and Aerosmith tracks, showing off the music that shaped his formative years. From there, he takes us back to one of the first shows he saw as a fan, catching Ozzy Osbourne with Randy Rhoads during the Blizzard of Ozz cycle.

Eventually Demmel discovered Savatage and Slayer, which pushed him in a heavier direction. He serves up a bit of music from both bands that can be seen in the video above.

As for his own musical career, Demmel flashes back to being a 15-year-old playing in a band with Exodus‘ Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza and demonstrating the music from the first song he ever wrote called “Back to You.” The songs come freely to Demmel, who then revisits an original called “Answer the Phone.”

Eventually, Demmel formed a band called Death Penalty that would eventually morph into what became Vio-Lence. “I started writing songs for them and we changed our name to Vio-Lence. The first song I wrote for them was a song called ‘Knocking on Death’s Door.’ I had this big idea for a big intro,” says the guitarist before launching into his “big intro.”

“I think the first fast riff I ever wrote was [this]. That became ‘Serial Killer,'” says Demmel, who also breaks out some of “Kill On Command,” “Eternal Nightmare” and the Sabbath-influenced “Falling Off the Edge of the World.”

Demmel also shares a bit of the Machine Head song “Halo” and how his playing on the song changed from the initial idea.

Vio-Lence are currently working on new music, while Demmel has also busied himself with BPMD, who have a new album called American Made dropping this week. He’s also come up with the moniker Echoes of Reckoning as an umbrella for all his assorted other recordings. See Phil Demmel’s full Gear Factor episode below.

Phil Demmel (Vio-lence / ex-Machine Head) Plays His Favorite Riffs

The 66 Best Metal Songs of the Decade: 2010 – 2019

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12 Times Musicians Took on the Government

When you’ve become a celebrity for your music, you can often work as an advocate for change. These 12 musicians went to bat for their causes, taking on the government either in Washington D.C., their local chamber or on the road.

In 2000, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to present his argument against Napster and peer-to-peer downloading. “I don’t have a problem with any artist voluntarily distributing his or her songs through any means the artist elects– at no cost to the consumer, if that’s what the artist wants,” Ulrich said during his testimony. “But just like a carpenter who crafts a table gets to decide whether to keep it, sell it or give it away , shouldn’t we have the same options? My band authored the music which is Napster’s lifeblood. We should decide what happens to it, not Napster — a company with no rights in our recordings, which never invested a penny in Metallica’s music or had anything to do with its creation. The choice has been taken away from us.”

When the PMRC was waging war against the rock and metal community, three musicians had the courage to address the government in person — Frank Zappa, John Denver and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. All three delivered compelling testimony supporting freedom of expression, fighting against censorship and the oppression of creativity.

Some rock stars have even run for office, with varied success. Dead Kennedys vocalist Jello Biafra unsuccessfully ran to be the mayor of San Francisco in 1979, with his platform mandating that businessmen had to wear clown suits within city limits. D.O.A.’s Joey ‘Shithead’ Keithley, however, won his election, becoming a city councilman in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

Check out these 12 Times Musicians Took on the Government in the Loud List below.

12 Times Musicians Took on the Government

25 Legendary Metal Albums With No Weak Songs

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