Dan: Appetite for Destruction – Guns n Roses. I think it was even before I started playing the guitar I heard the songs such as Welcome to The Jungle, Paradise City and Sweet Child o’ Mine, which were mind blowing to hear, especially the guitar work by Slash.
I must of been playing guitar for about 2 years at the age of 14, and I went into town to my local small venue which was called Riverside club (isn’t there anymore) and they use to have a lot of tribute bands on throughout the year, and one of them being a Guns N’ Roses one. Their name was Guns 2’ Roses, and it was the first time I really heard other songs such as Mr Brownstone, Rocket Queen, It’s so Easy and Night Train.
Night Train instantly amazed me with the cool cowbell count in, and Slash’s outro solo which goes with the song and rhythm so well.
As soon as I got home from Guns 2’ Roses gig, I got straight on my computer and searched for the song Night Train and listened to it non-stop. Due to listening to that song I came across the rest of the songs from that album. The whole album was awesome, from the first song, straight to the last.
As a guitarist I was drawn to Slash more than any of the other members of the band. His tone on that album was incredible and so recognisable to many across the world. So after watching music videos and some research I saw that his guitar was a Gibson Les Paul and running through a Marshall amplifier. Instantly I wanted them 2 things, (what guitar player didn’t want that combo) but couldn’t as the price tag was high and being in school still I had no money. But one Christmas my parents bought me an Epiphone Les Paul and later on got me a Marshall JCM 2000TSL. Then I got to work and started learning a lot of Guns N’ Roses songs from that album.
A few years I actually did end up getting myself a proper Gibson Les Paul that I still have today. In 2014 I managed to get my hands on a Marshall AFD100 which was Slash’s signature amplifier. I used that amp on our Renegade Twelve album with my second Gibson Les Paul. So really from when I started playing guitar and hearing Appetite For Destruction, I went down that route of using Marshall amps and Gibson, to even using them for our first original record and for live gigs. In the entire album Appetite for Destruction and the man Slash himself had a massive influence on me and my sound and playing technique today.
Jack: Powerslave – Iron Maiden This album has to be in my top 2, it’s possibly the reason I got into rock/metal music. I remember the first time I heard 2 Minutes to Midnight, I was playing GTA vice city on the PlayStation 2 listening to the V Rock radio station as I drove my motor down the highway shooting at whatever crossed my path when this song came on, I stopped playing to listen to it and immediately searched the record online, that’s when I discovered the Powerslave album and I listened to it over and over.
For me I believe it to be Iron Maidens greatest, simply due to the guitar work throughout, the drumming style of Nicko (possibly my greatest drum idol) and the presence of Bruce’s voice. When you get to the end of the album and the 13 minute great Rime of the Ancient Mariner comes in it just sums up an album of excellence, hard work and great musicianship, I wouldn’t be where I am today with the guys in Renegade Twelve without this album, which also means GTA must do you some kind good.
Jack: Master of Puppets – Metallica This is my second album choice, why? Stick it in the CD player, whack it up as loud as it can go and come tell me track one didn’t blow your head off, the pure ferocity of Battery once the acoustic intro is over was enough to make me buy the record. If you delve deeper into the record and you find tracks like Master of Puppets, Orion and Disposable Heroes, the whole album is filled with angry, fast paced in your face thrash. For the age of the record and the greatness it holds is unprecedented, a lot of people give Lars stick for his drumming but I believe the sound of this album would be nothing without his frantic drumming style, lyrically I love it, the whole album rocks and I’m sure it’s in every metal heads CD collection, but if it isn’t,.. GO GET IT NOW!
Jack: AC/DC – Let There Be Rock I mean the record is as cool as and the lyrics are about everything rock and roll should be about and 8 songs on how rock and roll should sound with pure raw sound from Angus, raw vocals from Bon Scott, great backbone from the drums and bass, when I first heard it I honestly didn’t realise how old it was, I was rocking out to “Let There Be Rock”, “Problem Child ” and “Whole Lotta Rosie” thinking man this rocks, when I saw the age of the record I was amazed, for me this album made me realise as a musician that sometimes straight forward beats underneath raucous vocals and epic guitar riffs/licks done right is the sometimes the best way. The record thumps through and it will always be part of my collection as the go to rock out with album.
Jacob: Iron Maiden – Live After Death. (Actually any Maiden album)
Imagine the figure of a young, but physically larger than normal, 11 yr old. Sat on the side of a single bed, that was already too small for him, but also had a small hi-fi and a handed down TV with a dusty games console. That image you just created was me 11yrs old. And I hated pop music.
I’d used the hi-fi in the past to play Linkin Park, Feeder and the supercharged compilation album! (Hybrid Theory my earliest musical love I may add) This music used to be on non-stop in my bedroom, while I’d be stacking my Pokemon cards or playing Goldeneye 64 on the Nintendo. I couldn’t play Limp Biscuit, because if mum heard the swearing, I feared it would be confiscated.
Anyway, somehow one day I was sat on my bed with one of my dad’s albums. It had this this crazy art work of some monster, wielding lightning on top of these eerie gravestones. I think I ‘borrowed’ it and also for some reason I remember feeling embarrassed to be heard listening to it… so I connected some cheap pc headphones I found lying around to the hi-fi head phone jack and I was away.
It began with of course Churchill’s speech. Skip! (I was young and naive; I now massively respect the history of WW2)
Aces High… I was breathless and my mind was blown by the harmonized guitar riffs in the intro, and the staccato lyrics. I was hooked instantly! Everything about the album I learnt to love, from the songs, the crowd and even the tonality of the instruments. Dad popped in, probably to see why I had been so silent but I was just sat there listening. He gave me an appreciative nod and smiled. Personally, Live After Death, for me is a masterpiece. You won’t get a better album with a better selection of epic songs, let alone the fact it’s live! It’s magical and everything about this album has contributed to who I am musically and maybe even spiritually?
Jacob – Pantera: The Great Southern Trendkill Bit like Guinness this one I found took a while to warm to it but now it’s probably my favourite. I was older when I stumbled upon this album. I’d previously heard Cowboys from hell and that one is obviously a strait 10/10 and was the catalyst for me to work through all the Pantera albums. To start off, I found The Great Southern Trendkill grotesque and scary (the opening track wow) but over time I learnt to appreciate the angle of the album, it had ultimate groove metal, amazing originality and heavily channeled anger. I directly took inspiration from this album and used it in our song writing.
I hope that some of the elements of Pantera scream out of our tracks: This Town and Yea Boi to name a couple, you can hear us digging into the strings, battering the drums and ranting over the top! I love the idea of making music out of what could be considered weird to most people and this was definitely inspired from this one too.
On an emotional level I can connect to the feel of the album. Focused, disciplined madness and anger!
I just loved how the groves will make you beg for a solid flat beat and when they finally do drop one in it’s so effective! (War nerve ending for example) No one makes me want to bang my head more than Pantera.
Jacob – Yngwie Malmsteen: Rising Force. I was 15 and I had never heard guitar playing like it, Far Beyond the Sun to name one of the tracks is stunning. It used to send me into a dreamy sleep and also this is why I think I like to use single coil pickups.
I quickly decided that if I learnt to play like this guy I could play almost anything, so I committed to it. I sacrificed girlfriends and being popular for practicing the licks but I didn’t care. This album helped teach me the approach of learning new music that’s way too hard for you currently. Also local guitar player Greg Fitch, who I think is an amazingly accomplished wielder of the axe, suggested to get out the metronome and incrementally increase the speed as you go (as long of your playing cleanly) amazingly it works and I used this for the solos in the album. I would write them on Logic Pro lick by lick and then once I was happy with how it was sounding I would commit to practice the solo. All of the guitar solos were approached this way and I wouldn’t rest until I could do them note for note 20 times over. My friends have even said ‘Jake, you can still play the guitar… chill’ Thanks Yngwie!
Sam – Avenged Sevenfold: Waking the Fallen I was a late comer to the heavy scene. Up to the age of 16 I had never really been exposed to anything heavier than Green Day or the Killers and, (embarrassingly) I spent most of my weekends sat in front of the tape recorder getting ready to record the top 40. It sucked, a lot, but until the likes of Kazaa and Limewire came along to blow the internet wide open with unknown or non-charting bands, I didn’t really know what else existed. At 16 I moved to Brighton to attend Music College and this really was the beginning of my widest musical influence.
I met a fellow music student out the back of Concord 2 music venue whilst waiting to see if I could catch a glimpse of Prodigy and whilst we waited he played me an old Avenged Sevenfold track, Second Heartbeat. I had never really listened to anything that heavy but there was something about the heavy hitting riffs, the insane drums style and harsh and imperfect vocal that just left me wanting to hear more, a lot more! A week later I had this album down from front to back lyrically and I was obsessed with the how the music could suddenly turn from hard hitting and heavy riffs such as Eternal Rest into the soaring chorus melodies such as Chapter Four or I Won’t See You Tonight. Over the coming years this band exposed me to more and more metal naturally introducing me to their own influences such as Maiden, Pantera and Metallica.
Every now and then I’ll challenge one of our guitarists in R12 to master one of the solo’s from this album and they haven’t let me down yet, but the invention of melodic and uplifting melodies with duelling guitars and hard hitting riffs on such an early album within AX7’s career has to be why I pick Waking the Fallen as my most influential album.
Josh – Black Sabbath: Paranoid Black Sabbath…….. That’s where it all began right? Well it did for me anyway. I must have been about 8 years old when my dad said you’ll like this Josh and he pulled out an old vinyl and stuck it in the record player we had in the living room and whacked it up full volume, then I remember hearing this sound I thought it was a sound effect from a scary movie… It was the intro to Iron Man and I was just mesmerized by the track apparently, I just played it on repeat. From then I knew I was going be metal head. When I got older I listened to the whole album and all the songs are great especially tracks like War Pigs which is one of my favourite songs of all time and Fairies Wear Boots. Personally, I think that Black Sabbath were one of the first bands to create the “riff” which I love. I started playing guitar when I was about 12 years old and Black Sabbath were one of the bands I learnt a lot of riffs from which I think helped define me as a player. In recent years after reading up about the band I came to learn that Geezer Butler used to be guitarist in a band and then turned to bass when he joined Black Sabbath and he said he didn’t really know how to play bass so he just used to play riffs on the bass like he did guitar and I get a lot of inspiration from this. Still to this day when I listen to Sabbath I get a feeling of nostalgia for some reason and I’m just blown away with how a 3 piece band can make such a noise, especially with Ozzy’s screaming vocals on top. I love how the bass and guitar are doing two separate things yet still sound like a full band, it’s such a heavy, groovy, evil sound to me, which I think our Renegade sound touches on.
Renegade Twelve release their self-titled debut album on Friday 27th January. The band are Sam Robson-Lead vocals, Jacob Mayes – Dual Lead Guitar, Dan potter – Dual Lead Guitar, Josh Barnard – Bass, Jack Mcsloy – Percussion.