This week I thought I'd take the time to highlight some of my favourite musicians and bands. I'm hoping that by doing this I can turn people onto some artists that inspire me, encourage a conversation about what inspires you and explain what I have personally taken from each artist I outline to potentially help you learn how to take influence form your favourite artists. I believe that creativity is made up of the colours you take from your inspiration's palette that you then use to paint your own canvas. So everything you create, whether consciously or not, can be traced back to something that inspires you in some way.
With that in mind I think it is best to start with the band that started it all for me when I was 13: Guns N' Roses. I distinctly remember watching my brother playing Guitar Hero 2 when my childhood mind decided to flick the switch that turned me into the music lover I am today. Back then the rights for songs on the game where hard to come by so a lot of what was on the game were cover versions of famous songs including, Sweet Child O' Mine. I just remember hearing that solo and being absolutely blown away, with my dad telling me shortly after that it wasn't even the real version of the song. I then hurriedly found a way to listen to the original version and that was that. Guns N' Roses is that one band that will always subconsciously influence my creativity just because of how crucial it was to my musical education, and a lot of people I know have that one artist that is the same for them. If I were to pinpoint what I have taken from them it would have to be the way they construct guitar parts, their attitude and they were also the inspiration for me to experiment with different guitar tunings in my own music, among many other things.
From Guns N' Roses I began to immerse myself in Hard Rock and eventually began to expand into Heavy Metal with the release of another Guitar Hero game, this time Guitar Hero Metallica, (if it isn't already obvious, I used to play a lot of Guitar Hero when I was younger!). The main thing I took from my love of Metallica was the want to experiment with more than just one genre. You can say what you want about the success of this, but Metallica definitely expanded their music beyond the Thrash Metal that began their career. There are also a lot of Metallica inspired guitar parts in the heavier music I write, my singing is also heavily inspired by James Hetfield of Metallica.
The next band I am going to touch on is The Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters are one of the few artist's that used to crop up on the more mainstream radio stations that I would unplug my headphones on the car ride to school for. I learned quite a lot from them, mainly how to create great rock songs that most people want to listen to. Additionally Dave Grohl's singing and the band's ability to not be pigeonholed are also of great inspiration to me. I aimed to make sure Sloan and The First Gentlemen's upcoming album release Axiom was varied in scope and genre in response to this influence.
Finally I want to talk about a group of artists that all are in the same network. Through my love of Guns N' Roses, I fell in love with their guitar player Slash's way of playing. Which is what inspired me to pick up the guitar in the first place. In 2010 Slash released a solo album and on the tour to promote that album he had Myles Kennedy singing vocals. Myles Kennedy is now my biggest inspiration in many aspects of music due to his prolific song-writing, incredible vocals, guitar playing and humble perspective on his own success. Through this pairing of Slash and Myles several bands became linked together, these being: Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, Alter Bridge, Tremonti and Myles Kennedy's solo project. All of these artists are produced by the same team and this network is a big inspiration behind the inception of Songplistic and Sloan and The First Gentlemen.
I thoroughly encourage anyone reading this to listen to the aforementioned artists if you haven't already, and if you have I would recommend digging deeper into their catalogue. Wear your influences proudly, you are the culmination of what you take from them.