Godsticks have returned with their mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal for album number 5 that shows their more melodic side that brings out more energy and emotion than we’ve heard from them on Emergence’ and ‘Faced With Rage’.
To celebrate the upcoming reissue of their record ‘Inescapable’. We caught up with the guys to find out a bit more about their musical influences by asking them to pick the albums that inspired them:
RUSH – ‘A FAREWELL TO KINGS’
This band is without a doubt the one that inspired me to become a musician at age 16. But with the very recent passing of Neil Peart (my drumming hero), I found it very hard to go back and listen to their music; like every other Rush fan in the world I was heartbroken and the awful news just hadn’t properly sunk in yet. It wasn’t until I heard ‘Xanadu’ playing over the PA at a gig about a week later that I finally snapped out of it and remembered how much this music means to me – I sang every word, every guitar solo, every bass line; and of course I air-drummed every beat and fill. It was a huge cathartic release and a reminder that this music is very much a part of me. In my humble view ‘A Farewell To Kings’ is a masterpiece: quintessential 70’s Rush, quintessential heavy prog rock.
JOHN MAYER – ‘CONTINUUM’
This album is everything that I aspire to be. Every single note has purpose with 0% wastage – it’s all about the songs. Being a bass player it’ll come as no surprise that Pino Palladino is my favourite bass player. It’s unbelievably inspirational when you consider the amount of different genres he’s just glided in and out off over all these years, and he ALWAYS sounds like him regardless of what style it is. This record is a classic example of that: perfect parts played with the perfect feel.
FRANK ZAPPA – ‘JOE’S GARAGE, ACTS I, II & III’
This body of work was my gateway drug into the Zappa world. I wouldn’t say it was his greatest album, but it most definitely had the greatest impact on me and my outlook on music. This album not only pushed me as a musician, but it also taught me to think outside of the box and that it’s cool to be different.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN – ‘MEZMERIZE’
My musical taste had to have been strong influenced by my dad who was regularly blast out at very high volumes bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Rainbow. Then years later, Korn arrived on the scene in the 90s they completely revolutionised the genre and created their own sub-genre ‘Nu-metal’. Such was the popularity of Korn, they managed to spawn countless clones, and as such my interest in metal waned and I never really listened to it again for at least 10 years. However, it was the accidental and serendipitous discovery of System of a Down that reignited my love for heavy music.
‘Mezmerize’ is my favourite release of theirs. It’s littered with great riffs, quirky lyrics, anger, and memorable choruses. System of a Down have always done exactly what they wanted but it’s this album that best represents their vital contribution to metal.
STEVE VAI – ‘FLEX-ABLE’
Steve Vai will always remain my biggest guitar influence, and from a purely playing standpoint ‘Passion and Warfare’ was a bigger influence. From a compositional standpoint though, it was the sheet quirkiness of ‘Flexible’ that makes it slightly more influential. The rhythm guitar in ‘Little Green Men’ with it’s alien time signature still fascinates me, and the solo from ‘Call It Sleep’ is my favourite off all time: its raw, visceral guitar tone is a million miles from the kind he uses today. Then you have ‘The Attitude Song’ which, as an instrumental guitar song, still sounds as fresh and original today as it did back when the album was released in 1984.
It’s also from Steve Vai that all my later musical paths originated from, and his work eventually led me to the church of Frank Zappa, who in turn dominated my musical landscape for many years.
Godsticks‘s new album, ‘Inescapable’, is out now via Kscope.
The band hit the road in April. Check out the dates below:
APRIL 2 – CARDIFF, Fuel Rock Club
APRIL 3 – LONDON, Black Heart
APRIL 4 – MANCHESTER, Gullivers
APRIL 5 – EDINBURGH, Opium