Korpiklaani’s Jonne Jarvela Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

One of the great things with Loudwire’s Gear Factor is when artists go a little deeper in showing you how a song was constructed. Korpiklaani‘s Jonne Jarvela does exactly that, showcasing two songs from the recently released Jylhä album.

First up is the song “Miero,” a track that needed some beefing up with some metal intros. But hearing it now, you might not realize it started on acoustic guitar. Jarvela breaks out his acoustic to show you the fingering patterns while letting his studio console provide you the full fledged metal version you hear on the album. “I think it is one of the best riffs of the new album,” says the singer-songwriter.

He also breaks out another key song on the album titled “Tuuleton,” once again showing the contrast of the singular acoustic instrumentation against the fully realized metal backdrop.

As with most of our Gear Factor episodes, we also dig into Jonne’s early days picking up the instrument. Heavy riffs appealed to him at an early age while growing up in the ’80s, with Jarvela breaking off bits of Deep Purple‘s “Smoke on the Water,” Black Sabbath‘s “Paranoid” and AC/DC‘s “Live Wire” as the first things he attempted to learn.

Watch the episode in full below and be sure to pick up Korpiklaani’s Jylhä album, currently available here (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases).

Korpiklaani’s Jonne Jarvela Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

The Best Metal Album From 40 Subgenres

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David Lee Roth With Zero Context Is Pretty Much Normal DLR

David Lee Roth is one of the most entertaining rock stars of all time. Do we understand what he’s saying most of the time? Not entirely… but it all makes sense now with this compilation.

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The amount of high-profile interviews David Lee Roth has done is exceptional, including TV appearances with David Letterman, Joan Rivers, Jon Stewart and many others. DLR always brings over-the-top energy to an interview, electrifying any studio audience with stories about sex, drugs and awkward celeb encounters.

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Ever watch DLR: The Movie? Nobody has, but on Roth’s official YouTube channel, the Van Halen legend released a trailer where he plays a hitman in Asia. Don’t even try and hide your milk from Diamond Dave, because he’ll put a pistol to your head and drink it in front of you. Do not test him.

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Watch this compilation of David Lee Roth With Zero Context in the video below.

David Lee Roth With Zero Context

Best Hard Rock Album of Each Year Since 1970

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Morbid: I Still Receive Hate Messages for the Death of Elisa Lam

When Pablo Vergara checked into Los Angeles’ Cecil Hotel in 2012, he filmed a quick video of himself and posted it online. One year later, the hotel room clip made him a main suspect in the case of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old woman who mysteriously disappeared after being caught acting in a bizarre manner by a Cecil Hotel elevator camera. The video of Lam subsequently went viral.

However, it wasn’t police who targeted Vergara, it was instead a gang of internet sleuths, who haphazardly connected Vergara’s 2012 video with Lam’s 2013 disappearance due to his career as an extreme metal musician. The corpse-painted artist, also known as Morbid, had released a music video for the song “Died in Pain,” which depicted a woman running from a killer before ultimately being caught. In another track, Morbid sang about dumping a corpse in a body of water, adding the line, “I’m thinking China.”

Elisa Lam, who happened to be Chinese, was found dead in a Cecil Hotel water tank. Though Vergara wasn’t even in the United States when Lam disappeared, internet sleuths haplessly connected the dots within Morbid’s music, becoming certain that Pablo Vergara had murdered Elisa Lam.

Elisa Lam Video

The internet mob attacked Morbid’s social media and streaming accounts, getting his music deleted from YouTube and his accounts banned from Facebook and Google. They also publicly labeled Vergara as a murderer while circulating his photos online, even getting a Taiwanese news station to report Vergara as an official suspect.

“You’re constantly looking over your shoulder, you get death threats everywhere, all the time,” Vergara tells Loudwire in an exclusive video interview. “You can’t win, so you’ve got to formulate a way to survive. Mine was trying to walk away from it, completely turn my back on it, but that was after my suicide attempt. At a certain point … it feels like there’s no escape.”

Elisa Lam’s death was ultimately ruled as accidental, while her behavior in the elevator video was found to be a symptom of bipolar disorder, for which Lam had stopped taking her medication.

The online harassment Vergara suffered was an early case of extreme cyberbullying, which has become increasingly common in the age of social media. “This is a criminal act,” Vergara insists. “Cyberbullying is a criminal act. These people need to be prosecuted and when we see it happen, we need to take a stand, not just watch. You could be saving a life.”

Vergara also speaks of the misjudgment and vilification that metalheads often face. “Ted Bundy’s favorite music was the Beatles. Listening to the Beatles doesn’t make you good, just as listening to black metal doesn’t make you bad. I was just reading about Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Rob Maltby from the U.K. They get savagely beaten and she dies. She’s only 20 years old and they do that just because she’s looking goth, because she’s wearing goth makeup and dark clothes. People need to wake up, we’re losing lives. People are being killed and people are killing themselves because of this. This is a serious issue.”

Thanks to a new Netflix docuseries, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, Vergara has now cleared his name on a massive platform. “It took [Netflix] a while to convince me,” Vergara admits. “I just figured it’s something that’s gonna follow me all my life. Still to this day, I get hate messages. I’m going to have them all my life. I’m okay with that now. I think I did the right thing, because I’m starting to get a lot of [positive] messages from people around the world. They’re also taking an active stand in trying to stop cyberbullying.”

Vergara also says he hasn’t been able to make music since the 2013 swarm of cyber sleuths. “Sometimes I even think to myself, ‘I’ve been doing music all my life, since I was 16.’ I had a label, I had management, a lineup in Norway, all this stuff. Then it just stopped. I’m trying to get back to music. I do have a lineup here in New York, we’re thinking of making new music. I do have a lot of lyrics, especially now with all this crap. I have a lot to say.”

Watch our full interview with Vergara below.

Morbid: The Metal Musician Falsely Blamed for Elisa Lam’s Death

Pablo Vergara can be seen in Episodes 3 and 4 of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, now streaming on Netflix. You can also watch a teaser clip for one of Vergara’s songs, “Died in Pain,” below and listen to his Died in Pain album here.

Slitwrist Died in Pain (Preview)


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System of a Down’s Serj Tankian Has Something to Say

Serj Tankian is the most powerful force for activism in the history of metal. Having used his voice for over two decades to spread awareness of environmental injustice, the Armenian Genocide and other human rights issues, the enigmatic System of a Down and solo vocalist is now the subject of a new documentary, Truth to Power.

Despite System of a Down’s monumental success, Serj Tankian’s activist mission as an artist — worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide —  remains unfinished. Almost no countries in the region of Asia have acknowledged the Genocide, and the United States only officially recognized its 1.5 million victims in 2019.

“An activist rarely sees the fruit of their labor,” Tankian explains. “Eventually, results, if enough people congregate around a particular cause of justice, there will be change. Sometimes it takes a year, sometimes it takes decades, sometimes it’ll take many lifetimes. It doesn’t matter. If you’re on the right path, keep on the right path, irrespective.”

In Armenia, however, System of a Down’s music helped fuel a peaceful ‘Velvet Revolution’ in 2018, which successfully forced then-Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan to resign. Tankian was beckoned home by Armenian protestors, and the System frontman made the trip across the globe to experience the fruits of his activism.

“Going to Armenia at the tail end of the revolution and seeing the elation in people’s eyes on the street was something I’ve never experienced in my whole lifetime. I’ve seen happy people, I’ve seen partying people, I’ve seen excited people, Rock in Rio and people going crazy, but I had never seen elation. Elation is a different level of happiness. I relate it to emancipation. The 2018 Velvet Revolution in Armenia created that.”

Truth to Power Official Trailer – Oscilloscope Laboratories HD

Along with his new EP, Elasticity, which marks Serj Tankian’s solo return to music rooted in rock ’n’ roll, the vocalist also spoke about System of a Down’s first new music in 15 years and how the two songs — “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” — took a far more direct approach compared to past System releases.

“In most cases, I do believe that art should be interpreted by the listener, the viewer,” Serj begins. “[System] generally don’t share what everything means, especially lyrically, but in terms of the two songs we released with System, it was for a very specific cause. Our people were being attacked in Artsakh by the combined forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Syrian mercenaries, and the press was being manipulated by social media bots paid by Azerbaijan, as well as the caviar diplomacy that they’ve been conducting for years — bribing politicians of different countries and media outlets, even non-profit organizations, even humanitarian non-profit organizations, even UNESCO … For us, it was a way of breaking through that in the media and letting people know what’s really going on and what, really, this means to us.”

Serj continues, “Daron [Malakian] wrote both songs. ‘Protect the Land,’ he already had it in the can and he was going to release it on his Scars on Broadway record, his next record. He said, ‘Hey, this would actually really work if you guys wanna use this.’ We jumped on it because it worked perfectly … We had to be specific because the cause was greater than the band.”

System of a Down’s Serj Tankian Has Something to Say

Watch our full chat what Serj Tankian above. Truth to Power will be released worldwide on Feb. 19, while Tankian’s Elasticity EP will drop March 19. Listen to the title track below and click here to pre-order the EP. (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases)

Serj Tankian, “Elasticity” (Official Video)

Top 50 Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time

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Architects’ Josh Middleton Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

Architects continue their ascent as one of metal’s bigger modern bands, but long before writing brutal riffs for Architects and Sylosis, guitarist John Middleton was getting his start with grunge.

The guitarist tells Loudwire’s Gear Factor that he first picked up the guitar around the age of eight. “Around that time, my friend gave me a cassette tape and he was like, ‘Check out my brother’s band.’ But it wasn’t his brother’s band, it was Nirvana. It had like, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ ‘In Bloom’ and then he had some Prodigy songs on there. I think he was trying to convince me that all those bands were his brother’s band. I kind of half believed him.”

Turns out Nirvana was quite huge in young Josh’s world, as he eventually learned to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on guitar and played the song unaccompanied at a high school event. “That must have been tedious for people to watch,” he adds.

When asked about his first riff, the guitarist says, “I don’t know if I’d classify this as a riff, but Radiohead, ‘Street Spirit,’ the picking thing. That was one of the first things I learned and it’s still kind of tricky.”

Josh reveals that he struggled early on with his bending technique and sweep picking, but he later mastered the latter and credits a Metallica favorite for really paving his path musically, adding, “As soon as I could [play ‘Battery,’] the world was my riff oyster.”

Having shown the riffs and solos that helped shape his playing, the guitarist turns his attention to his favorite Architects riffs. He opens with “Mortal After All,” reflects on the ease of coming up with the “World Beggars” riff, and admits that while he views it as a “meathead” riff, he loves playing “Modern Misery” live.

Middleton also serves up two newer riffs from the upcoming For Those That Wish to Exist album. First up is “Animals,” the last song written for the new album, and the main riff to “Black Lungs,” revealing that he used his octave pedal to make it sound a little more quirky.

For Those That Wish to Exist is due Feb. 26 through Epitaph Records and you can pre-order your copy right here (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases).

2021’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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10 Unforgettable Amy Lee Evanescence Moments

Evanescence will release their newest album, The Bitter Truth, on March 26. To celebrate the band’s massive career, we put together these unforgettable moments from Evanescence legend Amy Lee.

It was only a matter of time before everyone’s childhood was captured on camera, and a high school recital tape of Amy Lee made it all the way to YouTube. The duet of Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection” was actually posted by the guy who sings alongside Lee and was filmed on an ancient Hi-8 camera in Little Rock, Ark. From the very beginning of the performance, it’s plain to see how talented even a young Amy was.

It’s true that Evanescence’s breakout hit, “Bring Me to Life,” wasn’t supposed to feature its famous male vocal part. With the nu-metal movement at its height, Evanescence’s record label wanted a rapper added to the band, but the group refused, nearly losing their deal because of it.

“[We drove] all the way back to Arkansas with tears in our eyes,” Lee told Loudwire. “I guess we called their bluff enough that they were like, ‘Okay, we have a movie opportunity and we’re gonna let you do your thing, but you do have to have the rapper on the one song, because they specifically asked for it.’

“It did work out,” Lee laughed. I can’t be mad about it now.”

Check out these 10 Unforgettable Amy Lee Evanescence Moments in the Loud List below and click here to pre-order The Bitter Truth. (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases)

10 Unforgettable Amy Lee Evanescence Moments

2021’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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10 Times Cops Shut Down Rock + Metal Concerts

If you grew up going to punk shows, chances are you’ve been thrown out of a basement or hole-in-the-wall club by police. Though cops are usually cool at (or outside of) shows, we found these 10 clips of police shutting down rock and metal shows.

When Rage Against the Machine attempted to perform in protest of the 2008 Republican National Convention, police shut the band down before they played a single note. Although Anti-Flag got their set in, Minneapolis police declared the Rage gig an unlawful assembly, arresting over 100 people as conflict stretched into the night.

Both Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello made public speeches that day. “Why the fuck are these cops so afraid of us?” the Rage singer said before a crowd of fans. “Are they afraid of us? No, no. They’re not afraid of four musicians. They’re afraid of you.”

Imagine having the balls to cut off the power when Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen are performing together in front of a gigantic crowd. “When did England become a police state?” guitarist Steven Van Zandt tweeted. Police denied involvement in cutting the cord, though the musicians onstage and news outlets pointed the finger at the cops, who reportedly ordered the end of the concert after Springsteen’s band blew past a venue’s curfew.

Check out these moments when cops shut down rock and metal shows in the Loud List below.

Cops Shutting Down Concerts

57 Rock + Metal Bands Who Changed Their Name Before Getting Famous

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Melvins’ Buzz Osborne Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

The simple play of a record can change your life forever. That’s what happened with MelvinsBuzz Osborne, who tells Loudwire’s Gear Factor that it was a Johnny Winter song that made him want to pick up a guitar.

“‘I Guess I’ll Go Away.’ That riff right there, that did it,” the singer-guitarist recalls. “I was in this guy named John Murphy’s bedroom and it was his sister’s record. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is that?’ I still love that record and love his playing. When I heard that riff it was like something went through my backbone.”

Osborne gives us a little bit of UFO‘s “Rock Bottom” and also mentions Deep Purple‘s “Smoke on the Water.” He also credits Chuck Berry and rockabilly music in general for having a big impact on his playing.

“I’ve worked a lot of those ideas into Melvins songs. I don’t think people have picked up on what a massive Chuck Berry, rockabilly fan [I am and the impact] that stuff has really had on our music.” He also drops a Dead Boys riff, pointing out that there’s a rockabilly influence there as well.

Osborne goes on to suggest that beginner guitarists should start off with Open E tuning, explaining, “Use Open E first so they’ll be able to play guitar today! That’s where you lose ’em, when it’s too hard and then they get lost and they put the guitar down. Whereas if you let ‘em play something they can pick up right away, they’ll be better off and the rest of it will come.”

Admitting to being self-taught and not really knowing how to read music, Osborne shows off some of his own work. The first riff he ever wrote for the band was “Set Me Straight,” while he also serves up “Oven” and the Nude With Boots favorite “Billy Fish.” Osborne also shows how dissonant chords and different tunings factor into his playing.

Check out Buzz Osborne’s full Gear Factor episode below. Melvins have a new album en route called Working With God, due Feb. 26. You can pre-order the record here. Melvins also have a Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) livestream coming. Ticketing details for the Divine Monkeyshines Valentines Day Special can be found here.

The Melvins’ Buzz Osborne Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs

2021’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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10 Times System of a Down Outclassed Interviewers

With System of a Down’s recent release of new music for the first time in 15 years, we decided to look back at the band’s most entertaining interviews. Watch as the band either takes the high road or verbally bests their inquisitors.

System of a Down never seemed to get along with Fuse host Mistress Juliya, sparring with her on at least two occasions. The Uranium host often attempted to probe too far into the meanings of SOAD’s songs (a mistake we’ve certainly made in the past) leading to both hilarious and uncomfortable verbal jousting between herself and the band.

“If anyone’s looking for us, or at us, for answers, then they’re in more trouble than when they started,” guitarist / vocalist Daron Malakian said. “Most of the songs are, personally, about how screwed up I am, lyrically, in some ways. Has nothing to do with answers.” That’s one of Malakian’s more direct answers from the interview, where he often responded to questions with a thousand-yard stare and the word “fellatio.”

In another interview, bassist Shavo Odadjian was asked if the members of System would ever self-censor their criticism of various governments, including the Bush administration. “Self censorship? Never self censorship,” he said. “I’m telling you everything I feel right now. I could be political and say the nice things and make you think that I’m different, but I’m telling you the truth. I would never self-censor and I hope no one else in my band would either.”

Watch these 10 Times System of a Down Outclassed Interviewers in the Loud List below.

10 Times System of a Down Outclassed Interviewers

Top 50 Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time

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TikTok Star Zaria Plays Her Favorite Guitar Riffs

Toward the end of 2020, TikTok star Zaria saw her fame skyrocket after an absolute takedown of online trolls who called her out for wearing a Metallica shirt. Though she’s gotten plenty of attention as a singer online, those questioning her metal cred got a lesson they won’t soon forget, and now, Zaria joins us fpr this edition of Gear Factor.

In this episode, we’re digging a little deeper with this emerging talent to learn a bit of her musical background. Zaria tells us that her first recognition of Metallica came in fifth grade when a teacher showed her a version of “Enter Sandman” put to footage of the Virginia Hokies team. “I just remember hearing the [open] and my little ears just perked up and I thought this is the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” says Zaria.

“Slowly, from eighth grade, I just became more and more interested in it, and I think by ninth grade, literally the whole year, I only listened to Metallica and that is not a joke,” she explains. You can check out her skills below as she rips through “Enter Sandman,” “Creeping Death” and “Master of Puppets.”

Zaria also cites Megadeth as an early favorite as she was learning to play. She calls one “Holy Wars” riff underrated before singling out Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Crazy Train” as the second lead she learned to play.

During the chat, Zaria also served up a vital few tips, showcasing how she eventually got past her early struggles with vibrato.

You can check out Zaria’s own Sully ’71 Starling right here. “I’ve never connected with an instrument faster than I did with my Sully ‘71,” she explains. “The tone is in-your-face and the playability inspires me to explore. I’m excited to represent Sully Guitars as I take my music in a new direction.”

To see more of Zaria’s well-rounded musical stylings and playing, be sure to follow her on TikTok and Instagram. Watch Zaria’s full Gear Factor episode below.

TikTok Star Zaria, Destroyer of Metallica Trolls, Plays Her Favorite Riffs

Every Metallica Song Ranked

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