(The following text is an excerpt from an interview that appeared circa 1990.)
The Damned, “The Black Album”
Their songs are good. I just like them. And I kind of like their image. I hated them though, back in the day. I preferred harder bands like The Clash or The Stranglers, so I didn’t get the whole joke. It’s the album from a time when I was still trying to smarten……when I was trying to mature. As Captain Sensible said: “isn’t it good to be wrong once in a while?”
Ultravox, “Systems Of Romance”
This album’s from a time when Ultravox were labelled ‘electric punk’. It almost sounds like a precursor to techno. And yet the guitars are amazing, they’re incredibly rythmic and precise. They’re sharp like a razor. Their muting would get stuck in my head so much that the album eventually grew on me. It’s my favorite Ultravox album.
The Toy Dolls, “Wakey Wakey”
Well the Toy Dolls are kind of a comic band so I never paid them much attention, but luckily one day I received this album and upon listening realized what incredibly skilled guitarists they are. Their performances for one, are amazingly tight. What they do is more interesting than what any awkward heavy metal band could manage and on top of that, the songs are good. I was starting to wonder if they solely relied on muting but then they plunged into this lightning fast solo, in perfect unison. It was brilliant. You won’t find many guitarists who like this kind of band but I think Olga’s brilliant, he has great style.
Love And Rockets, “Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven”
I’ve been listening to Bauhaus for a long time and I like Daniel Ash so out of curiosity I decided to give it a listen. I didn’t know what to make of it! I thought, is he even playing his guitar? *laughs* And then the next thing I know, I’m listening to it every day before bed.
Alice Cooper, “Trash”
There’s a lot of different guitarists playing on this particular album but it’s Joe Perry being on it that made me want to listen. But I thought, man, he doesn’t play on it as much as with his band. *laughs* I like all of the songs. I do like Alice Cooper from back in the day as well but back then he’d release boring songs side by side with good ones, while this album seems to have been destined to be a hit. Yet his vocals are so raw that they become incredibly grating, I’ve never listened to a hit album by such a weird band before. And the guitars, they sound so fresh. They have that 90s sound. It’s like, they don’t even sound like Alice Cooper’s. *laughs* He’s one of my influences. A great one, actually. I’m pretty sure the album was made just to go with pro wrestling, but when I watch the songs I forget all about wrestling and enjoy the music. It’s amazing, this kind of entertainment value.
I only got into them because they looked cool. But Mask is quite the avantgarde album. First time I ever heard it I thought it sounded European, with this certain monochromatic feel. The base and drums sounded robotic and the guitars, well, it felt like the band were “creating noise” rather than playing guitar. The chords sounded like, or rather, were carried by the bass while the guitars almost sounded electronic. I personally love this kind of ornamental guitar. It’s almost like Daniel Ash is the singer rather than the guitarist, even though they already have Peter Murphy on vocals. It feels to me like Ash is being held back by his guitar. *laughs*
Iron Maiden, “Iron Maiden”
It’s the album that taught me how to write songs, how songs really should be written. I mean songs like Phantom of the Opera. It’s sick right from the intro, you know? Very few heavy metal albums prior to this one had any originality to them. But don’t ever think that Iron Maiden are about the beauty of form. Even the vocals are super rough. *laughs* I was incredibly influenced by their riffs, by their twin guitars. My twin guitars even kind of resemble theirs. Once I’ve played my solo and Pata his we’ll launch into a twin section or sometimes, we’ll do the opposite. Or all of a sudden, right from the intro, the bass will pick up the chords while our twin guitars launch into the melody on a single note.
KISS, “Hotter Than Hell”
I like all of KISS up until Alive 2 but this album’s my favorite. Hotter Than Hell and Let Me Rock ‘n Roll are considered two of its best songs but my personal favorite, is Going Blind. It’s about a 90-year-old man raping a 17-year-old girl, I didn’t what the hell to make of the lyrics at first! The guitars carry the whole song so they’re pretty heavy. Also, the band’s image on this album is much darker than on all their other ones.
Crumbsuckers, “Beast On My Back”
It might be thrash but it’s pretty awesome. Though, the songs aren’t very good. *laughs* The composition’s horrible, on the whole album you never once get the overall mood of a song. I’m thinking, this might be more of a solo guitarist’s band. It’s pretty damn awesome how tight the guitar and drum accompaniement is and how fast the guitarists play. It’s lightning paced. But instead of feeling wild it’s all very precise. So even though the songs aren’t that good I thoroughly enjoyed the whole album.
Stranglers, “Live X Cert”
Hugh Cornwell is another unique guitarist. Take No More Heroes for example, even throughout all of the solo he has this thin sound and yet in the end it doesn’t sound like your usual R&R fingering. I’m thinking of copying him myself. Despite the thin guitar he somehow sounds as powerful as a tank. There’s also keyboards but they’ve never bothered playing those softly. Well, in the beginning anyway.
* Out of the albums I currently have at home I chose the 10 I’m most fond of. * The one that until now has proved the most educational and that I’ve actually copied is Iron Maiden’s Phantom of the Opera (I copied their twin guitar). * From the perspective of famous guitarists, there’s also the Rich Kids, or Generation X’s Valley of the Dolls and Youth Youth Youth.