Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 3.7: Adema – Adema

Labelled as Nu-Metal. I never understood what that label meant. Even though I hated the “hair metal” tag back in the late 80’s, it was easily understood why the record labels and media outlets labelled bands with that term.

But Nu-Metal always had me confused. To me it’s all just music.

The bands that started to make inroads in the early 2000’s, had the same aggression and rage as a lot of the bands I grew up with. Just because they didn’t have guitar solos, had shorter hair, dressed differently and played syncopated riffs, it didn’t make them that much different.

And the majority of these bands had even bigger arena rock choruses than the bands who made it in the 80’s and still had a level of success without MTV pushing them, which was very different to the 80’s as all the bands then got to a million in sales on the back of the exposure MTV generated.

The vocal tones of singers in the 2000’s were different as well.

Growing up in the 80’s my ears got used to the Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate, Sebastian Bach, Ronnie James Dio, Tom Kiefer and David Coverdale style vocals.

And then in the 90’s with the advent of Grunge, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley and Eddie Vedder (along with others) changed what a vocalist should sound like.

Rob Thomas, Trent Reznor and Jonathan Davis further changed the expectations. And I was like a pariah within my hard rock friends, who hated all of these singers because they didn’t have the range of the metal and hard rock singers of the 80’s.

Back to Adema, the album came out in 2001, but I didn’t hear it until 2003. I have written about them in a Record Vault post, previously.

Adema is Mark Chavez on vocals, Tim Fluckey on lead guitar and keyboards, Mike Ransom on rhythm guitar, Dave DeRoo on bass and Kris Kohls on drums.

Everyone

The Intro riff reminds me of P.O.D and Godsmack.

The Chorus reminds me of Korn. I like how songs do that.

Everyone is the same
Quick to point the blame
All I know is that life is a struggle

Truth right there.

Blow It Away

So many influences here.

The Intro music reminds me of Godsmack.

In the verses, there is a Nirvana bass feel, with Korn like guitar embellishments.

Lyrically, it’s a nasty song about a relationship gone bad and if you’ve seen American Psycho, you will know what the singer is thinking.

Giving In

The Intro hooks me in, with its combination of Deftones and “Come Undone” from Duran Duran.

And it’s one of my favourite tracks on the album, about giving in to your addictions or giving in to the darkness that loneliness brings due to your addictions.

Freaking Out

The rapped verses have enough melody to keep me interested and the music/feel of the song reminds me of New Order.

The Way You Like It

My second favourite and the flow of the song is great, with a catchy Chorus.

More Linkin Park like.

Close Friends

A bass riff in the verses which reminds me of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

Do What You Want To Do

Aggressive song about living the life you want to live.

Skin

Phased out chorused guitars shimmer and glimmer in the verses over a jazz-rock fusion drum groove. Then the Chorus riff kicks in, abrasive, compared to the verses.

Pain Inside

It’s got all the synth electronics that bands were using back in the day.

The chorus gospel effect on the guitars gets me interested and the verse drum and bass groove keeps the momentum going.

Once the power chords come crashing in for the Chorus, I’m sold.

Speculum

The acoustic guitar gets some use but it’s not a ballad.

There’s so many people dying
You complain about your situation

Death gives perspective.

Drowning

The intro riff reminds me of Muse.

It’s like a needle in my spine
It stings inside
Poisons me with time
I can’t deal with your lies

Relationships are tough. They could lift you up or bury you.

Trust

It feels like a song from “The Crow” movie with a bit of “Come Undone” by Duran Duran as an influence.

I’m so alone, empty and lost, it’s easier to let you go
Time will erode the shame and the fault, it’s easier to let you go

We become focused on achieving something and when we do, we realize we also lost something along the way, like a relationship that you didn’t want to lose.

And that’s the album.

The band was active up to 2009 and then disappeared, only to resurface in 2021 with a new song and possibly a new album.

But it all started here. The debut gave them the valuable rookie card.

Crank it.

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2001 – Part 3.6 and Australian Method Series: The Living End – Roll On

“Roll On” is the second album by The Living End. It was released in Australia and New Zealand in November 2000, and internationally in March 2001, so I’ll go with the 2001 date.

The band for the album is Chris Cheney on vocals and guitar as well as writing the songs, Scott Owen on double bass and backing vocals and Travis Demsey on drums.

The album is the last work to feature drummer Travis Demsey. In the downtime following the album’s release and subsequent tour, he would leave the band, to be replaced by Andy Strachan.

The album was certified 2x platinum in Australia by November 2007.

Roll On

1,2,3,4 and the band crashes in.

“We roll on with our heads held high” is the catch cry. It remains with you long after the song is finished about a wharfies strike in Melbourne in 1998 and how after a month of striking, if the wharfies didn’t go back to work they would be replaced.

The riffs are classic Aussie Pub Rock riffs, rooted in the blues. You can smell the sweat of the working class in the notes.

Check out the guitar lead.

It’s their big single from the album and a live favorite.

Pictures In The Mirror

It’s a cross between the Foo Fighters, The Beatles and The Clash.

But that solo/interlude section reminds me of Van Halen and Kansas.

“The sun goes down, the moon appears on the horizon, the streets are bare, she walks alone”

The scene is set as the character in the song disappears from the limelight.

Alone.

Because all of those people around you when you’re famous, abandon you when they can’t make money from you.

Riot On Broadway

Similar to “Prisoner Of Society” merging their punk and rockabilly hooks and riffs.

Staring At The Light

One of my favorites.

It’s like a new wave rock track circa “The Police” merged with “The Clash” and made to sound like a modern rock song.

Carry Me Home

That Intro riff would melt the pavement on the Sunset Strip.

Listen to it.

And the NWOBHM influences makes this a metal cut.

And Cheney, is a guitar hero.

Don’t Shut The Gate

A heavy blues rock groove starts it all off before it moves into a Midnight Oil style of cut.

Dirty Man

The Intro lead lick reminds me of something else.

The interlude riff is like a Nu-Metal riff as it’s intertwined with a rockabilly riff.

“I was born on Saturday and I was buried on Sunday” is repeated throughout the song.

Blood On Your Hands

Is there a thing like funk/reggae/punk and jazz?

Well listen to this.

If anything The Police amalgamated these different styles and made it sound rock.

Revolution Regained

It’s a metal cut which has a galloping riff like “The Trooper”, some rockabilly sections and an excellent melodic guitar solo.

Silent Victory

It’s their AC/DC cut.

The Intro is “Dirty Deeds”.

The Chorus is melodic.

And how good is the interlude section between 2.10 and 2.30?

Read About It

Cheney is a master of incorporating so many different styles and techniques into a 4 bar riff.

This song has reggae, melodic rock, punk and metal in it, with a progressive mindset.

The Chorus riff is essential listening.

Killing The Right

Similar to “Read About It”.

Check out the guitar work from 2.30 to 2.50.

Astoria Paranoia

A fast drum riff like “Black Betty” starts the song.

Uncle Harry

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2001 – Part 3.5: P.O.D – Satellite

A singer from a band I was in burnt me this CD when it came out and I was surprised to find out that “Satellite” is the fourth album by P.O.D, released on September 11, 2001.

P.O.D. (short for Payable On Death) are Sonny Sandoval on lead vocals, Marcos Curiel on guitars, Traa Daniels on bass and Wuv Bernardo on drums.

Howard Benson is producing and Benson was sort of the Werman/Olsen of the late 90’s and 2000’s to me. Chris Lord-Alge is mixing and Randy Staub is engineering. If you owned albums in the late 80’s you would have seen these names on production credits.

Set It Off

The tone of the guitar is massive. I wanted to mimic it back then, so I tried different pre-amps to boost my tone.

The intro riff and Chorus riff are great to jam to and suddenly Marcos Curiel was on my radar as a guitar hero.

Alive

In its essence, there is a Texan Hard Rock groove in the intro and verses.

The Chorus is massive, about feeling alive for the very first time. And people liked it. Its sitting at 87.7 million streams on Spotify.

Boom

Another great riff to start the song off.

It’s perfect for the live show, with the catchcry, “Here comes the Boom”. And it’s a popular song for em as well, with 114.93 million streams on Spotify.

It also reminds me of the movie of the same name with Kevin James, who is a high school teacher and becomes a MMA fighter to raise money for the school.

Youth Of The Nation

At 175.96 million streams on Spotify.

Check out the drum groove which appears in the Intro and Chorus. And the kids choir brings back memories of Pink Floyd and I suppose it always will.

Celestial (instrumental)

A short instrumental filler track.

Satellite

How good is the Intro riff?

It’s pure hard melodic rock.

The Chorus riff showcases Marcos Curiel. There’s power chords, artificial harmonics and single note lines, all made to sound massive and supplement the arena rock

Sitting at 16.9 million streams on Spotify. It’s not on as many playlists as “Youth Of The Nation” and “Boom” and “Alive” however it’s as good as those songs.

Ridiculous

If you like hip hop, this is a pure hip hop cut, but it’s not for me.

The Messenjah

Man, that Intro. The clean tone octaves over a droning pedal note and then the distortion comes crashing in.

Check out the Chorus as well.

Guitarras de Amor (instrumental)

A flamenco Texan Western inspired cut. More filler.

Anything Right

It features Christian Lindskog from Blindside. Almost ballad like and it reminds me of “In The End” from Linkin Park.

Check out the section which has the violins and the guitar playing a melodic lead.

Ghetto

A Rush like Intro that reminds me of “Test For Echo” starts the song off as it goes from a world believing in love to the world being a ghetto and transitioning to a Staind like song.

Masterpiece Conspiracy

There is a staccato like tremolo riff in the verses as the words are spat out and rapped.

The Chorus has a metal like riff as the words are screamed out.

Check out the interlude when the bass starts running on its own.

Without Jah, Nothin’

A skip track.

Thinking About Forever

It has an acoustic “What It’s Like” from Everlast track with a nice flamenco solo from Curiel.

Portrait

The closer.

The intro arpeggio riff reminds me of Judas Priest before it goes into a System Of A Down like riff and vocal craziness.

Check out the brief guitar solo in the song in the slower section of the song. It reminds me of those 70’s albums that always had a progressive like track as the closer.

And by the end of the album I became a fan of guitarist Marcos Curiel.

Then, in 2002, Curiel was fired from the band by their manager because he wanted to work on a few other projects while still being a member of P.O.D. The band continued with a new guitarist and Curiel went on with his other projects.

In 2004, Curiel went to court over unpaid royalties.

And P.O.D didn’t achieve the same commercial success without Curiel, as their “Payable On Death” album in 2003 went Gold and their “Testify” album in 2006, received no certification, leading to the band getting dropped by Atlantic Records in 2006 and Curiel’s replacement also leaving. On the other hand, Curiel also didn’t achieve the same commercial success without the guys in P.O.D, so in 2006 he re-joined the band.

In 2008, they released the excellent and underrated “When Angels And Serpents Dance” with Curiel.

But “Satellite” gets all the likes and views.

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2001 – Part 3.4: Saliva – Every Six Seconds

“Back Into Your System” released in 2002 was the album that got me into the band. I purchased it because it had ONE song on it, written by Nikki Sixx and James Michael called “Rest In Pieces”. That’s right folks, I purchased an album that I’ve never heard from a band that I’d never heard off, based on ONE song written by an artist I was familiar with.

And man, that album blew me away, so I went back and listened to the first one “Every Six Seconds”.

Released in 2001, it’s listed as their second album on their Wikipedia discography, however on Spotify it is their first. Their independently released debut from 1997 doesn’t rate a mention on Spotify.

In July 2008, “Every Six Seconds” was certified platinum by the RIAA.

Saliva for this album are Josey Scott on vocals, Wayne Swinny on lead guitar, Chris D’Abaldo on rhythm guitar, Dave Novotny on bass and Paul Crosby on drums.

The cover is like a Glam Rock disco album but the influences are Sabbath, Crue, Steve Earle, Metallica, Sevendust and Skynard.

“Superstar”

Sitting at 18.1 million streams on Spotify.

Written by vocalist Josey Scott.

I think it appeared in a “Fast and Furious” movie as well.

It’s like a Guns’N’Roses cut on some sections, and even the vocal melody of the “all that I” section sounds like an Axl vocal melody.

“Musta Been Wrong”

It’s got a metal groove which sounds like Bush or the groove which is known as the “post grunge” or “Nu-Metal” riff, but vocally it’s an amalgamation of what Oasis created in the mid 90’s and hard rock from the 80’s.

“Click Click Boom”

Sitting at 146.799 million streams on Spotify. Written by Scott, D’Abaldo, Swinny and producer Bob Marlette. I was listening to P.O.D at the time and this song could be interchanged with a track from their “Satellite” album or anything from Kid Rock’s “Devil Without A Cause”.

The riff is sleazy and as good as any hard rock riff that I grew up with. Production wise, it’s got all those Korn sound effects with arpeggios and downtuned industrial sounding guitars

Vocally, the word rapping is different, but it works.

Check out the section from 3.16 to 3.30 when Josey Scott is singing, “it’s all inside of me”.

“Your Disease”

Its a heavy Dropped D bluesy in the riff department.

“After Me”

The vocal melodies get me interested in this song.

There is also a brief guitar melodic lead which enhances the interlude.

“Greater Than/Less Than”

It feels like an Alice Cooper cut, from his “Brutal Planet” and “Dragontown” era’s.

Six songs in, I wasn’t bored at all.

“Lackluster”

Sevendust comes to mind listening to this.

“Faultline”

A tremolo effect shimmering chord progression starts the song. Under it, is a heavy palm muted groove. The shimmering guitar part changes to a shimmering arpeggio riff.

“Beg”

Another heavy riff to start it off, with a loudspeaker vocal melody in the verses. The octave melodic idea reminds of Tool and the song “Sober”.

“Hollywood”

Another cut written by Josey Scott as the strummed acoustic guitar riff starts it all off. “Take A Picture” from Filter comes to mind. Also “Life Is A Highway”. And for some reason “New Tattoo” from Motley Crue also comes to mind.

“Doperide”

It’s been a skip since day one and still is.

“My Goodbyes”

An ominous tritone arpeggio riff starts it all off. The longest song on the album and a perfect closer.

Overall, Saliva’s has a dropped D rock/metal “Soundgarden” meets “Bush” meets “Tool” meets “Alice In Chains” sound with bluesy Southern/Country Rock influences.

Bob Marlette as the producer got those Mesa Boogie Rectifiers sounding big, loud and messy (but tight as a G-string tuned to A).

Check it out.

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2001 – Part 3.3: Avenged Sevenfold – Sounding The Seventh Trumpet

“Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” is the debut album by Avenged Sevenfold, released in 2001.

I started my journey with “City Of Evil” in 2005 and went forward with em. Sometime after the “Nightmare” album, I went back to listen to this one and “Waking The Fallen” as a tribute to The Rev. Even though he was the “drummer”, he was a lot more to the band. Just listen to the self titled album released in 2007 as proof.

This album was recorded on a $2,000 budget. The guys in the band had to have their individual parts down so they didn’t waste time. The Rev did his drum parts in one take. All the guitars are played by Zacky Vengeance as Synyster Gates was not in the band at that point in time. M. Shadows is the vocalist and bass is played by Justin Sane.

“To End the Rapture”

A short 90 second track to introduce the album and musical style. The first 50 seconds has some serious guitar virtuoso work.

“Turn the Other Way”

A lot of technical playing and progressive song writing as a Pantera style groove kicks off the song, while The Rev is channelling Vinnie Paul.

Musically it’s a thrash metal cut. Vocally, the screamo vocals don’t do it for me, however at 2.45, clean tone vocals kick in.

The section from 4.21 to the end is Maiden-esque musically and vocally. The last 30 seconds has a synth playing the chords as the harmony guitars fade away.

“Darkness Surrounding”

Musically its punk thrash. The Rev is a fucking machine on this and somehow he worked out how to put a drum solo into the song.

Check out the metal reggae section between the 3.00 and 3.25.

I dislike the scream vocals but enjoy the clean tone ones.

“The Art of Subconscious Illusion”

Another punk thrash song.

The intro is great to play on the guitar.

“We Come Out at Night”

I like the section from 1.20 to 1.40 musically, but dislike the screamo.

From 1.41 to 2.05, Shadows sings in clean tone and this same section comes back in at 3.18. The last 40 seconds is a piano playing the riff and Shadows singing in clean tone.

“Lips of Deceit”

Great riff to start the song. Actually the first 70 seconds are excellent.

But the screamo vocals don’t do anything for me and they detract from the excellent riffs.

“Warmness on the Soul”

My favourite song.

Excellent piano playing and emotive vocal melody leads the song. At 1.57, a country/southern rock solo kicks in. A highlight of the song.

“An Epic of Time Wasted”

It’s hard to listen to because of the screaming.

But the head banging riff from 2.50 to 3.09. Listen to it. And from then on, there are clean tone vocals and the song feels redeemed.

“Breaking Their Hold”

A fast pop punk drum beat starts the song. At 50 seconds it’s the shortest song. And it’s all screaming.

“Forgotten Faces”

Nice intro riff, but the screaming.

“Thick and Thin”

A skip.

“Streets”

The drum/bass groove to start the song gets me interested. After 33 seconds, it becomes a fast punk song. The good thing about this song is that Shadows is singing in clean tone and by now I wish most of the albums tracks were in clean tone.

“Shattered by Broken Dreams”

The closer.

An arpeggio acoustic guitar that reminds me of hard rock songs kicks starts the song. And for the first part of the song, Shadows is in clean tome. The guitar work is brilliant and The Rev plays those drums like they are part of him.

It reminds me of the 70’s closer tracks which experiment with different styles. Almost progressive like.

This one moves from slow rock to hard rock at 2.10. This time around, I didn’t mind the screaming vocals. And then it moves to speed metal, then groove metal and at 4.24 its back to slow rock and clean tone vocals.

I heard this album once circa 2010 in its entirety and today was my second time. I don’t like it. But I do have “To End The Rapture”, “Warmness On The Soul” and “Shattered By Broken Dreams” in my Avenged Sevenfold playlist. And the stuff they did after this album is so much better. But all bands need to start from somewhere.

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2001 – Part 3.2: The Rasmus – Into

“In The Shadows” from their 2003 album “Dead Letters” made me a fan. And I followed em with each subsequent release after that.

Around 2013, I decided it was time to go back and listen to their earlier albums, before “Dead Letters”.

“Into” is their fourth studio album, released in 2001. When they broke through to the international markets and mainstream attention it was with “Dead Letters”, which was their fifth album. Imagine that. Five albums deep into your career and you are finally breaking through the borders of your homeland, which in this case is Finland.

With this album, The Rasmus continued to move away from their earlier sound and into a more hard popular rock sound with the mood of the album being more contemplative and melancholic. Also the songs are concise, trimmed to ensure that the majority are lean and under 4 minutes.

The Rasmus band is Lauri Ylönen on vocals, Pauli Rantasalmi on Guitar, Eero Heinonen on Bass and Aki Hakala on drums. Names that are hard to remember in the English language but that shouldn’t detract from the great musicians and songwriters they are.

“Madness”

A pop punk distorted riff kicks off the song.

I like the Pre-Chorus with its acoustic guitars and electric guitars dynamic and its auto-tuned vocal melody, which also acts as a fuzzed out guitar lead the second time the Pre-Chorus comes around.

At 2.27, a violin solo kicks in, which mimics the vocal melody and it keeps going until the song finishes with the vocal melody over it.

“Bullet”

A heavily processed guitar riff starts it oft and it’s sitting in the background when the normal music kicks in.

The verses remind me of Whitesnake, Muse, Scorpions and there is a pop song there as influence that I can’t think of.

The Chorus is typical of the Chorus’s that would appear on the subsequent albums.

I gotta leave to make you see I’m over you
‘Cos if I stay I’m number two anyway

What do you do when you still like the person but they don’t like you the same way anymore?

“Chill”

The clean guitar melody in the intro is catchy and it was that good, it would appear on other songs on later releases.

I gotta make a phone call to my best friends.
I gotta let them know that I’m leaving.
Everything behind me and politely I don’t wanna hurt their feelings, oh no.

The first three lines. It’s sung fast but so melodically.

You want to leave but you’re not sure. You are going out on your own with no safety net. And you don’t want to burn any bridges because if you do return, you would want to have those friendships kick-starting again.

Reading Tommy Bolin’s story, he hitchhiked, by himself at the age of 15, from his hometown to a bigger city to play with better musicians.

And every time when I painted my room
like a fool I hid my feelings.
And every time when I painted my room
I thought about leaving.

The Chorus hook. For all the talk these days about mental health, the issues of mental health are nothing new. They seeped into lyrics of songs since music was invented.

“F-F-F-Falling”

It was number 1 in Finland for three weeks.

At 3.52, it’s my favourite song. It’s what “Dead Letters” was built on. The staccato like intro riff is arena rock.

The verses then roll along with its strummed acoustic guitar being the main riff and a tasty distorted guitar playing some single note licks in between. It reminds me of songs from Collective Soul, The Wallflowers and Eagle-Eye Cherry (think “Save Tonight”).

F-F-F-Falling down with the sun
I can’t give it up
The night is calling me like a drum
I keep on F-F-F-Falling

The Chorus hook. Its anthemic.

At 2.01, the Bridge kicks in, and the way the vocals are layered is excellent.

At 2.35, it all quietens down, as it builds back up into the Chorus and the excellent Bridge. There is also a nice guitar lead buried in the mix which mimics the vocal melody.

“Heartbreaker”

Another masterpiece in pop rock song writing.

The intro I believe is played on a synth, and it sounds like an 80’s retro riff. Then the acoustic guitar kicks in with its strummed chords and the vocal melody.

Oh yeah, oh yeah. She wanted to be a heartbreaker
Oh yeah. She was so greedy but a lousy love maker

The Chorus is anthemic. The music is in a pop punk fashion, but the vocal melodies are hard rock.

She used to be the queen of the scene
She had a key but she lost it
Nothing’s gonna last and the time goes fast – she knows

Descriptive story telling. Maybe Warhol was right. We all will get some form of 15 minutes of fame. All the Kings and Queens of the past, don’t seem to hold their title for long.

“Smash”

The way it started off, with processed drums and phased/tremolo’d guitars, didn’t prepare me for the arpeggios to come in the verses and the melodic rock hooks vocally.

Understand that you’re holding a bomb in your hand
Take control, hand in hand with yourself from now on
Take this advice, aim to the skies

Is the bomb the person’s dreams and wishes?

“Someone Else”

It’s a great power ballad, about drinking blood off dinosaurs and other strange things. There has to be some peculiar metaphorical meaning behind it.

Check out the Chorus. It’s huge.

“Small Town”

The intro reminds me of Bon Jovi but then it goes into a “Teenage Dirt Bag” kind of verse with the Chorus going back to a Jovi feel.

“One & Only”

The intro reminds me of “Save Tonight” from Eagle-Eye Cherry.

Overall, the track is in the vein of the tracks to come on subsequent albums.

“Last Waltz”

A music box intro starts off this bolero waltz groove.

P.S. The album went 2x Platinum in Finland.

P.S.S. All ten tracks are listenable. There is no filler.

P.S.S.S. “Into” is their great leap album, bridging their past with something new to come and international success.

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2001 – Part 3.1: Hoobastank – Hoobastank

I saw a tab of “Crawling In The Dark” in a Guitar World magazine and the notes in the Intro Riff had a lot of similar notes and feel from the 80’s riffs I played like “Crazy Train” and “Lightning Strikes Again” from Ozzy and “Fighting For The Earth” by Warrior.

So I was interested.

The self-titled debut, released in 2001, is their first album on a label, however Hoobastank did release an album independently in 1998, called “They Sure Don’t Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To” which was more funk metal and ska punk in sound that the alternative rock of this album.

Hoobastank is Doug Robb on lead vocals, Dan Estrin on guitars, Markku Lappalainen on bass and Chris Hesse on drums.

The album is produced and engineered by Jim Wirt.

Vocalist Doug Robb grew up learning guitar and names Faith No More and Van Halen as his favourite bands.

Guitarist Dan Estrin grew up listening to his Dad’s 70’s and 80’s vinyl collection and he’s mentioned that “Appetite for Destruction” by Guns ‘N’ Roses inspired him to take up guitar.

Drummer Chris Hesse’s grew up playing the piano, guitar and then drums while bassist Markku Lappalainen had Finnish parents who exposed him to Iron Maiden and Megadeth. That’s parenting 101. He also discovered techno music and somehow all of those influences make up his style.

But Hoobastank sounds nothing like those bands, but if you listen you will hear bits and pieces of those bands in the Hooba-Mix.

Crawling in the Dark

It’s only 2.55 long. No filler on this song, just great riffage.

The intro/verse riff is based around 80’s riffs, played with a phaser/flanged effect and palm muted. Guitarist Dan Estrin showcases his abilities, but its bassist Markku Lappalainen and the way he phrases his bass riff which makes the different.

The Chorus is almost Staind like, when they are melodic.

The interlude/bridge part is head banging.

It’s a great crossover track and at 70+ million streams on Spotify, it’s a favourite on the service as well.

From a guitar point of view, Estrin rented several guitars for the recording of the first album and the PRS Custom 24 guitar became his mainstay as it sounded killer. A few years later, while on tour, PRS touched base with him and he got a custom PRS built.

Remember Me

Estrin shines again on this track.

After 22 seconds of ambient noise, the bass and drums kick in with the verse groove. But the song really shines when Estrin kicks in. His guitar playing reminds me of Carl Bell from Fuel on this track.

The riff in the Chorus when Robb sings, “do you remember me?” reminds me of Stabbing Westward.

At 2.26, it kicks into a Bridge. At first it’s clean tone and when Estrin kicks in with the distortion at 2.48, its head banging time with Robb singing “you’re never going to be a part of me”. And they close the song off with that riff.

Running Away

At 2.58, it’s all killer music and no fat at all as an acoustic guitar starts the song, strummed.

The Chorus. Excellent and anthemic with a riff which ascends, like “Hero Of The Day” does from Metallica when Robb sings, “Why are you running away?”.

Check out the fast arpeggios after the Chorus. I want em to go longer, but Hoobastank is a lean machine on this record, delivering concise songs, with the majority of em under 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Pieces

So much happening in the intro riff here. It’s like Faith No More, Linkin Park, Fuel and Incubus amalgamated.

The interlude from 1.58 is head banging and loaded with groove. When Robb starts singing “suffocating, sinking further” it reminds me of the melodies of Maynard Keenan from Tool.

Four punch combo so far.

Let You Know

Clean tone arpeggios but it’s not a ballad.

The bass playing from Lappalainen is excellent and the drums from Hesse are on an acoustic kit but with a techno element in the verses.

But the Chorus. Brilliant. Hard rock to a tee and sounding like 90’s Aerosmith.

At 1.58, Estrin goes into a melodic passage with a digital delay added and it’s the best thing The Edge had created during this period that didn’t come from this fingertips.

Better

The intro riff is the standard derivative Nu-Metal riff.

The Chorus with its mix of clean tone arpeggios and distortion reminds me of Fuel.

Ready for You

A Mark Tremonti inspired riff appears in the first 19 seconds before it moves to a major key riff that reminds me of songs that Autograph did on the debut album. Good Charlotte used these kind of riffs on their albums as well. And every Frontiers release over the last two years would have a song with a riff like this.

And the Tremonti inspired riff is all over the song, popping up between sections.

Up and Gone

An octave and busy bass riff kicks the song off.

Listen to when Estrin kicks in with this riffs, how he decorates a super heavy distorted riff with open strings, natural harmonics, bends and fast palm muted chords on his dropped D guitar.

And Jim Matheos was doing a similar style of riff decorating in Fates Warning during this time. Just listen to the “Disconnect” album released in 2000. Then again, Steven Wilson was doing the same in Porcupine Tree from the late 90’s.

The album could have ended here.

But there’s still more.

Too Little Too Late

It could come from a Creed album.

Hello Again

Another track with a Creed like sound.

To Be With You

It’s got an Incubus feel, rock with a jazz/funk feel. Estrin shows his varied guitar style, purely within a clean tone setting.

Give It Back

This track is ferocious and full of energy, like the Collective Soul heavy grooves. The interlude reminds me of “Linkin Park”,

Losing My Grip (Japanese Bonus Track)

This track should have been on the normal release. When the distorted riff kicks in from the 40 second mark, it reminds me of Papa Roach and “Last Resort” which also reminds me of Bruce Dickinson/Iron Maiden and “Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter”.

The Chorus is like those Oasis/Alanis Morissette type of Chorus’s.

The last thirty seconds sees Estrin kick in with a little melodic riff/lead.

The Critic (Japanese Bonus Track)

A jazz style drum groove starts the song before the acoustic guitar kicks in, for a song which reminds of Incubus.

For their label debut, this is an excellent album. By October 2002, it was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Then in 2003, “The Reason” came out. And we all know what happened after that. But that story is for another time.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 2.7: Creed – Weathered

Released in 2001.

Bassist Brian Marshall was out after giving up on communicating with Scott Stapp, so Tremonti stepped up and did the bass parts for the album.

“I couldn’t pick a single player who’d be a blue print but Jimmy Page is one of those guys that’d be in there.

Even though his playing is 70% blues oriented, I still feel close to him. I didn’t get into Zep till I was in high school.

In Junior High, I listened to Slayer, Venom, Mercyful Fate – real dark and heavy stuff.

Tesla was a big inspiration to me as well. I loved how they would have a little intro and a little outro like they do on “Love Song”. Those are the cool little tangents that took me away.”
Mark Tremonti: Guitar One – January 2002

I’ve written it and said it so many times. Mark Tremonti is the reason why Creed became a favourite.

He is the modern day Jimmy Page, as he can move between fast metal riffs, blues rock riffs, heavy groove rock riffs, to folk rock and even classical. There is a lot of variation on the albums he’s involved in. Similar to how Page moved between so many different styles on each Led Zeppelin album. And Page did it by using various open string tunings which Tremonti also employs.

Four years ago, Creed was looking for a record deal. And by 2001 they had become one of the biggest acts on planet Earth. During this time, Tremonti graced the covers of Guitar One on four occasions and Guitar World on three occasions, winning numerous “Best Rock Guitarist” polls.

The third album “Weathered” was anticipated. And they didn’t disappoint.

“Bullets”

It’s a great album opener and a concert opener. A “grab you by the throat” full throttle metal tune.

After the clean tone bass riff plays, a speed metal like riff kicks in. It’s angry and its perfect. After the big anthemic hits of “Higher” and “With Arms Wide Open”, this one is anti-anthemic.

At least look at me when you shoot a bullet through my head”.

If you’re going to talk trash, than do it to their face.

There is also an interlude/bridge section here which was only brief but excellent and it is similar to the “Weathered” interlude/bridge section which is fleshed out a little bit better.

“Freedom Fighter”

It has this Texan blues groove but done in a Pantera style for the verses.

“Who’s Got My Back?”

It’s typical of the style of the Creed songs I like (think “Faceless Man”), with atmospheric finger picked riffs in clean tone percolating in the verses, which leads to open string tuned chords and eventually crunching and distorted chords across different intensities.

“Signs”

How heavy is that verse riff in “Signs”?

At one stage its reminding me of Stone Temple Pilots and “Vasoline” or Disturbed “Down With The Sickness”.

“One Last Breath”

Then you are treated to the excellent finger picked lines of “One Last Breath”.

On YouTube it’s got a massive amount of views. On Spotify, it’s at 135.3 million streams, higher than “Higher” which is sitting at 110.1 million streams or “My Sacrifice” at 127.3 million streams.

In a Guitar World issue, Tremonti mentioned how he would have devoured all the Classical/Baroque stuff, but subliminally his style developed by devouring the acoustic pieces from metal and rock artists, like the style of Frank Hannon or the fingerstyle stuff from Metallica on their slower tempo songs and instrumentals like “Call Of Ktulu”.

If you’ve heard the intro to “Love Song” from Tesla, then you would have heard the main riff to “One Last Breath”.

“My Sacrifice”

This song doesn’t get the respect it should. The riffs are stellar and the vocal melody is iconic.

It pushed this album to multi-platinum status in Australia and the U.S

And while I liked the song when I heard it on the album, it wasn’t until I saw Creed live that I really enjoyed the song and the way they played it.

It was the closer, it was delivered with power and a lot of pyro and they made sure they left you wanting more.

“Stand Here With Me”

“Stand Here With Me” came next and its similarity to “My Sacrifice” made me ignore it initially, but the riff stands on its own.

And there is a lead break in this song, which got me paying attention.

“Weathered”

“Weathered” is my favourite track, especially that whole interlude/bridge section from the 3.27 mark and that riff. It reminds me of heavy metal from the 80’s.

And don’t forget the Bad Company/Led Zeppelin like intro and verse feel and groove.

But let’s talk about the section which gets the head banging and the foot moving.

The metal like interlude and bridge from the 3.27 mark. Think of the song, “Fighting For The Earth” from Warrior. That’s the song which used the riff prominently throughout, however the riff appears in so many 80’s music.

Even Bullet For My Valentine used the riff for “The Last Fight”.

But what makes the riff different in this song is the groove. Its slower, its menacing and Tremonti builds it nicely, starting off with single notes and by the end of it, he’s combining single notes and octaves, heightening the intensity.

“Hide”

It’s “My Sacrifice” part 3 and although it is derivative, it doesn’t get boring.

How good is the verse?

The drums and bass stop, and it’s just the guitar with Stapp’s vocals.

The Chorus riff reminds me of “Goodbye To Romance” from Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

“Don’t Stop Dancing”

It has a nice little melodic lead from Tremonti, who really picks his small lead break spots to perfection.

If you haven’t heard this album get to it.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

2001 – Part 2.6: Nickelback – Silver Side Up

The early 2000s were a great time to be making rock and roll, in the same way the ‘70s were a great time for rock bands. Labels just couldn’t stop signing rock bands. Rock festivals were gargantuan. It was a great time to be a singer in the rock band. And there were a lot of rock bands. Rock was at a pinnacle. Country music was nowhere to be seen and nowhere to be found.
Chad Kroeger – Billboard interview

“Silver Side Up” hit the streets on September 11, 2001. Yep, that September 11.

But nothing was going to stop this album from going 2x platinum in Australia, 3x platinum in the U.K, 6x platinum in the U.S and 8x Platinum in Canada. It was a monster album for the Roadrunner label.

And they had momentum.

Paying their dues since the mid 90’s, “The State” made inroads and their songs “Leader Of Men” and “Breathe” were doing the rounds on radio. In the guitar mags, those songs also got transcriptions, and those transcriptions got me interested in the band.

Rick Parasher is producing. He worked with Zakk on the Pride And Glory album in 1994, as well as “Ten” for Pearl Jam and “Sap” for Alice In Chains.

Never Again

The rumbling bass and drum groove kick off the song. It percolates until the octave guitar riff kicks in. It’s a riff that’s as good as any of the riffs that became Guitar Store staples.

Its metal, in the 2000 way.

Lyrically, it covers domestic violence. With all the knowledge available to people, it’s an issue that doesn’t seem to go away.

How You Remind Me

Billboard celebrated the 2001 year recently and they interviewed Chad Kroeger, asking him a lot of questions about this song and how it came to be.

Woke Up This Morning

Check out the intro/verse groove and riff.

Its heavy metal and a perfect fit for a song about feeling like crap when you wake up in the morning, because life has gotten the better of you.

Too Bad

It deals with abandonment from a child’s perspective. The Kroeger brothers had their father leave when they were young and like all relationships, the father came back into their lives after “Silver Side Up”.

Just For

This song would not be out of place on a Fuel album.

Nickelback had a knack for merging metal with hard rock with grunge with nu-metal with alternative. This song is living proof.

Hollywood

The riff is heavy, reminding me of the “Sad But True” groove. Vocally, its more alternative, grunge like.

Money Bought

It could have appeared on a Nirvana album. These crossover tracks got purists upset.

Where Do I Hide

It sounds like Shinedown took this sound for their debut. Check out the verses call and response vibe.

Hangnail

It’s got a real heavy blues groove. And this part of their style gets missed or forgotten.

And it’s got a chorus which sounds really similar to “How You Remind Me”.

Good Times Gone

Country blues rock before it became massive again in the mid 2000’s and way before Jovi took the “Lost Highway”. Goddamn, it could have come from the vintage fingertips of Tom Keifer and his 1990 “Heartbreak Station”.

In the end, Nickelback had an algorithm. “Physical Graffiti” + “Eliminator” + “Nevermind” + “Superunknown” + “Ten” + “The Joshua Tree” + “Metallica Black” = good popular songs and potential success.

And this album captures the algorithm nicely but “All The Right Reasons” in 2010 would perfect it.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2001 – Part 2.5: System Of A Down – Toxicity

Guitar World (September 2001 issue): What guitarists have been most inspirational to you?

Daron Malakian: Dave Murray of Iron Maiden and Randy Rhoads. The thing about Maiden’s solos was they were melodic, tasteful and easier to play than Yngwie Malmsteen’s. But as much as I loved Randy Rhoads or Eddie Van Halen when I was young, I still never wanted to play like them. I always wanted to play like myself.

The answer made me depart with $20 for the “Toxicity” album. But System Of A Down took me a while to get into.

This band is capable of delivering whacked out but accessible instrumental passages, enormous riffs and bone shaking grooves, augmented by a vocalist with a style which is hard to describe.

“Toxicity” came out in September 2001 with Rick Rubin overseeing the production. The terror attacks couldn’t stop the album from selling and going Platinum within 2 weeks in the U.S.

In Australia, we made it 5x platinum. It was basically huge.

Let’s start with my favourites.

“Aerials”

I call it “Whisper A Prayer For The Dying” as the clean tone arpeggio riff in dropped D reminds me of the Coverdale/Page song. This familiarity made it a favourite straight away.

Hang around until the 2.30 minute mark, when that intro riff is played with power chords and Serj starts singing “Aerials, in the sky”. It’s powerful and a sing along.

Aerials in the sky
When you lose small mind
You free your life

“Toxicity”

The power of the music and the drumming.

Serj is again delivering a killer vocal.

Conversion, software version 7.0
Looking at life through the eyes of a tire hub

How can you not like it?

No one was writing shit like this.

At the 2.40 minute mark, this Iron Maiden like riff comes in, which they then jam on.

“Chop Suey”

It opens with an acoustic guitar strummed riff, then the drums come in and a Spanish flamenco like feel is created. Then the madness starts when the distortion riff kicks in.

And the verses.

WTF..

The way the vocal line is delivered, it just doesn’t make sense. Then the pre chorus kicks in and it’s all melodic and somehow it all hangs together.

But it’s a song about suicide and they are trying to capture the frantic killer thought process about putting on your make up and leaving the keys on the table.

But the outro.

Wow.

Serj is nailing those melodies and when you think he couldn’t get higher, he goes higher. And Malakian is there as well, harmonizing. At 3.27, it ends. So I pressed repeat on my CD player just to hear it again.

And now for the rest.

“Prison Song”

It’s the opening track.

It has clean tone singing, rapping, death metal growls, high pitched falsetto funk and talking. They cover so much ground with this song.

They’re trying to build a prison for you and me

The private prison system needs inmates, so there are people doing time for minor drug offenses instead of being treated for their addictions.

Serj always writes about politics and this is basically a song on the three strikes law. The three-strikes law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously been convicted.

“Needles”

I usually skip it.

Then again just listen to it, as the lyrics talk about pulling a tapeworm out of your arse.

Which Serj has explained is symbolism for releasing yourself from the toxic control of society.

Okay.

Next.

“Deer Dance”

This is what SOAD is about. Weirdness and still making it sound like a rock or metal song. At some stages it sounds like a Rammstein cut, with weird vocal lines.

Then at 1.41, this palm muted riff kicks in, and a vocal line from Serj which is catchy.

“Jet Pilot”

The way the music sounds, if you play it with clarinets and accordions, it sounds like an Eastern European folk dance.

But in this case it’s all distorted and Serj’s manic vocal line brings a crazed intensity about wiring eyes of a horse on a jet pilot while he flew over the bay.

Yes.

“X”

It’s less than 2 minutes long. Actually the majority of the songs are short. It’s like SOAD knew that streaming is on its way and having shorter songs means that you get paid more.

For example, you still the same cents if the song is 2 minutes or 4 minutes or 8 minutes long. The only difference is that 2 minute song can be played a lot more within the hour than the 4 minute or 8 minute song.

Then again they did mention that The Beatles songs structures played a huge part in condensing these songs . And if you look at the times of The Beatles songs, most are under 3 minutes.

“Bounce”

A song about a pogo stick and orgies.

And Disney had no idea on the content when they used it for the family-friendly animated film “The Secret Life of Pets”.

“Forest”

It’s got this Dio “Gates Of Babylon” vocal melody when Serj sings “Why can’t you see that you are my child / Why don’t you know that you are my mind”.

“ATWA”

It’s melodic and heavy and the vocals are chaos personified.

“Science”

The riffs in this song are excellent, hard rock like.

And the vocal melody is hypnotic, about science failing the Earth and the people and how letting the reigns go is what faith is about, not control.

Make sure you stick around to the 1.40 mark. That whole exotic feel.

“Shimmy”

It’s like classical and punk which rhymes education and fornication and indoctrination with nation.

“Psycho”

It movies between aggression and melody.

Like the lyrics which go “Psycho, groupie, cocaine, crazy”.

“Arto”

An instrumental using traditional Armenian instruments.

Check out the first three songs I mentioned and if you like then go deep and pull out that tapeworm.

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