As we continue to roll out Gear Factor episodes, you get to learn a little more about the era in which the artists grew up and track a bit of their evolution on their preferred instruments. Such is the case for Unleash the Archers‘ Andrew Kingsley and Grant Truesdell, who show their initial love for the music of their youth.
Kingsley recalls, “I listened to a lot of Nirvana when I was a kid and I think that was where it kind of took off. I found that it was heavier than most stuff I listened to but also super melodic. Most of the stuff I started with was pop-rock, mostly Foo Fighters and Nirvana, but I was like 10 or 11.”
After playing a bit of Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” he confesses to also being influenced by the nu metal of the late ’90s/early 2000s until he discovered Iron Maiden.
The same holds true for Grant Truesdell, but rather than nu metal, it was pop-punk that caught his ear with Blink-182’s “Dammit” being the first riff he learned. “I grew up a punk kid, so the first kind of songs and stuff I started learning, it wasn’t very metal, but Blink-182. The first riff I ever learned was from ‘Dammit.’ That was like when I was 12,” says the guitarist.
He too also points to Iron Maiden as the turning point in his metal education, recalling, “I came home from school one day and I don’t know if you remember Much More Music, but it was on TV and they were playing Iron Maiden’s Rock in Rio and that was the first time I’d seen Iron Maiden, heard Iron Maiden and it completely changed me.” The pair then serve up a bit of “The Trooper.”
For Kingsley, his journey then took him to melodic metal, citing Rhapsody and DragonForce as favorites. “When I first heard Rhapsody and the song was called ‘Emerald Sword.’ I was just like, ‘Holy crap. This is epic!’ It was still like Iron Maiden in that sound, but it introduced more cinematic themes, way more virtuoso guitar playing.”
Truesdell says “Crazy Train” was the first guitar solo he learned, stating, “It sounds a lot harder than it is, but when you’re 12 you learn that and you’re like, ‘Cool, I can tap.’” The two musicians share their love for “tapping,” with Kingsley nimbly making his way through Van Halen’s “Eruption.” “I think tapping as a young guitar player is one of those things that’s easy to learn and makes you sound better than you are,” laughs Truesdell.
Digging into their own catalog, Truesdell recalls a song called “Dream Crusher” being his first riff once he joined Unleashing the Archers. He recalls listening to an Angra song and shows a bit of the evolution until it reached what appeared in “Dream Crusher.”
Kingsley, who joined the group in 2013, breaks out “Hail the Tide,” a track that he’d written prior to being in Unleash the Archers. His first true UTA song was “Test Your Metal,” which he calls “the beginning of the quick bangers.”
The pair also dig a little deeper in the catalog, with Truesdell rocking through “Crypt” and Kingsley showcasing “False Walls,” before the pair address their new album, Abyss. Kingsley showcases riffs from “The Wind That Shapes the Land” and “Soulbound” before they both demonstrate their love for the album closing “Afterlife.”
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