Watch: Spiritbox, ‘Constance’ Guitar Playthrough

Spiritbox hit everyone right in the feels with the emotional music video for their song “Constance,” which deals with the difficulties of watching a loved one endure various stages of dementia. The theme is one that is relatable for so many and, perhaps playing the song yourself on guitar can offer some form of catharsis, which is why we’ve partnered with Spiritbox to debut the guitar playthrough of the popular “Constance.”

In the video below, the look on guitarist Mike Stringer’s face says everything about the emotional weight of the Spiritbox track. We all look to music for some sort of release and the hypnotizing rhythms and delicate, heavenly lead passages are guaranteed to stir a number of emotions within any fan of heavy music.

Of the playthrough, Stringer said,

The song itself is pretty straightforward to play, but relies on a lot of heavy bending to get the hypnotic nature of the chorus/ending breakdown just right. Even though it’s a “simple” song, I still have to concentrate pretty heavily to ensure I’m not falling flat on those bends, or messing up the clean parts which if played wrong, are very unforgiving. “Constance”’s subject matter is very emotional and personal. Because of this, I wanted to add as many ethereal elements as possible which is why we have 4-5 layers of ambient guitars going throughout most of the song. The song is in drop F#, but at the end we de-tune down to F for the “breakdown ” portion of the song. This whole ending is intended to be a sonic representation of what it must feel like for someone with dementia, as their memories fade.

Late last year, Spiritbox fans shared their reaction videos to the “Constance” music video, which brings the lyrical themes to the visual forefront, and openly wept while watching the heart-wrenching scenes play out.

Coupled with the breakout song “Holy Roller,” last year proved to be a banner year for the band, despite their touring plans being cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. They’ll look to bring that momentum into 2021 as work continues on what will become Spiritbox’s first full length album.

Follow Spiritbox on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify. Get a copy of “Constance” here.

Rig Rundown

— Balaguer Custom 7 string “Growler”
— Fishman Fluence Modern pickups
— Played live with the Neural DSP “Archetype: Plini” plug-in for clean tones, and the Neural DSP “Archetype: Gojira” plug-in for heavy tones

Spiritbox, “Constance” Guitar Playthrough

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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

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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).

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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

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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

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