What makes a good guitarist is a hotly contested subject. Is it speed? Precision? Flair? Riffs? It's too hard to call, which is why we ask you guys to vote for your favourite in the Metal Hammer Golden Gods. One of this year's nominees is Miss May I's Justin Aufdemkampe who gave us the lowdown on the guitarists that inspired him.
Justin Aufdemkampe (Miss May I): My Favourite Guitarists
We talked to the Miss May I lead guitarist (and Golden God nominee) about his favourite fret ticklers
Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Stevie is one of my all-time favourite guitar players. I grew up listening to Stevie Ray a lot when I was a kid because my dad was and still is heavily into the blues. His style of playing is very unique and very soulful at the same time. I'm also a huge fan of the tones that Stevie Ray would get out of his amps. His guitar tones cut through a mix like butter and really warms the heart."
"Pantera and Dimebag's unique sound have shaped a lot of what metal is today. His style is bluesy and he had incorporated it into the metal world so well! When soloing Dime used a lot of effects as well, which brings even more of an original sound to his playing and to the genre. I look at Pantera as being one of the best metal bands in history in my opinion."
"Tom Morello's style of playing is extremely rhythmic and he incorporates a lot of effects into his music as well. I personally am a huge fan of using a lot of effects with guitar playing. He also knows when to back off and let the band sound like a band and not just a guitarist that is soloing like crazy just because he can. His unique sound compliments the music that the band makes and he capitalises on it perfectly."
"Pink Floyd are one of my favourite bands. They brought synthesisers, phasers and other awesome sounding effects into a bluesy/funky sounding band. David Gilmour's style of playing is also one of my favourites as far as guitar playing goes. He really isn't the most technical guitar player out there but his soulful sounding leads and solos really go straight to the heart for me. He is another guitar player that knows exactly when to be flashy and when to compliment the band that is surrounding him. Pink Floyd revolutionised a sound that is still very common in today's music."
"Killswitch Engage is probably one of the most influential bands for what I do in Miss May I. The riffs that Adam D comes up with will without a doubt be stuck in your head for days! He is one of the most melodic guitarists that I personally listen to and when writing in Miss May I, I try to follow his lead a bit. Not only is he a killer guitarist but his showmanship is insane as well."
"When I first started getting into heavier music, Metallica was one of the first bands that I started listening to. The solos that Kirk Hammett comes up with are so legendary and just outright badass sounding. Not only is he amazing at creating some of the most catchy/heavy solos around but his riffs have stood against the test of time and to this day are a staple in the metal world and music in a whole. Without Metallica I would have never gotten into heavy music."
"Angus Young is just an outright amazing guitarist. In my opinion he and AC/DC have really defined what rock music is today. Angus is such a great showman and his solos are always crushing! This is another guitarist I really looked up to when I first started playing guitar. The first couple of songs that I learned when I first started playing were AC/DC songs. Angus is a perfect example of someone who can take simple rock licks and turn them into very catchy and powerful sounding solos."
Justin is nominated for the Dimebag Darrell Shredder award at the Golden Gods this year. You can vote for your favourite shredder here.