Metallica – Black Album This album is responsible for me playing guitar in the first place. It made me start learning and playing every day. I learned to switch from clean to grit, and when to do so, with songs like, Enter Sandman, Wherever I May Roam and Unforgiven.
Aerosmith – Get A Grip This album introduced me to the band, with heavily blues-laden riffs like, Eat the Rich, Fever and the title track, Get a Grip. It helped me look for the old blues to learn who influenced them and to learn the standards.
Silverchair – Frogstomp This album made me realize I could write my own songs and Straight forward, to the point riffs. It leaned me towards simple but effective. It also, taught me how to use drop D tuning.
White Zombie – Astro Creep This album helped me play more open and loose but, still have tight riffs. Songs like, More Human Than Human, with the bluesy slide guitar, made me play with more swing and feel.
Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill It was the Heaviest I’d ever heard, at the time. I learned to play tighter and chunkier. With slower, softer songs like, Floods, I learned to tweak my clean tone better.
Virgos Merlot – Signs Of A Vacant Soul They made these soundscapes with the guitars that didn’t sound like guitars, and I couldn’t figure out how they made the sounds. It made me think outside the box and add little treasures in the background of my recordings. Especially, on this new album, It Ain’t All Unicorns & Rainbows. Fun fact: I recently got to record a 3 song full band EP with the singer, Brett Hestla. It will be available later this year.
Machine Head – The More Things Change I started using more Unconventional Guitar noises after hearing this album. Songs like, Ten Ton Hammer and Take My Scars have these awesome pick scrapes, harmonics, pinch harmonics etc. It affected the in-betweens and tags of riffs and sections in my playing/song-writing. I also, learned about creepy, tension building intros, like in, Down to None. You can hear the influence on my song More, off the new album.
Alice In Chains – Jar of Flies I love everything they have ever done but, this album in particular because, it made me want to do acoustic versions of my heavier songs. It made my playing more mellow, and I learned about dissonance and how to get a dark, creepy feel. It made me play acoustic much more. The song Ghost on my first EP Melodies for the Memories, has a strong influence from this album, specifically, the songs Nutshell, Got Me Wrong and I Stay Away.
The Black Keys – Thickfreakness This album, and all of their albums really, helped me lay back on my playing and to be a little more raw. Let the song breath a bit. You can hear their influence on the songs Tied Up and Feelin’ Bad from the new album, and Runaway Girl from my first EP.
Lightnin’ Hopkins – Lightnin’ & the Blues I love all his albums but, If I had to pick, it’s this one. Dirty, raw and real. This guy taught me how to play rhythms and melodies simultaneously. Also, learned a lot of different blues turnarounds. The song Expectations has a little Lightnin’ influence.
C J Orazi will release his new album It Ain’t All Unicorns & Rainbows on March 27th