In the process of finding a new sound I find it a good idea to find an instrumentalist that you can emulate. If you pick a guitarist as you try to emulate the player you will come up with something different from the original and your sound will be advantaged. I have many influences and they come out in my playing in different ways.
Wayne Kramer and Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith from MC5 have been very influential. The Stooges were also a big part of that Detroit sound. Blues players were a big part of my early development. Freddie King seems to stand out as did Johnny Winter.
Rock players include Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton. Players like Jimmy Page I couldn’t really idolise, even though I like Led Zeppelin, because Page’s playing was often lose and carefree on record while other players were solid and note perfect. I even found Hendrix a little hard to bear live for the same reason. Blackmore is an example of being rock solid live and on record.
Band influences include Thin Lizzy, Cold Chisel, Dr Feelgood, Ramones and The Kinks all of whom I have seen live. I still use Cold Chisel’s “Your thirteen, your beautiful and you’re mine” for warm up exercises. The breaks in Wild Thing and Merry-go-round in particular are worth a listen. The Beatles were a big influence, Jo Cocker and other soul, blues, rock combinations.
I really like Black Sabbath but haven’t developed my Metal playing. My influences in rock go until Van Halen 1 and that is as metal as I go in my playing. That album was quite influential and a great example of rock playing.
One of my favourite instrumentalists is the jazz organist Jimmy Smith. I feel that emulating someone who isn’t a guitar player has a greater potential for coming up with something unique and exciting. I am still in the process of analysing Jimmy Smith’s playing but this is where my direction is heading.
I have been interested in Power Pop for some time. Examples being early Elvis Costello, Sunnyboys, The Knack, The Sports. Any rock band that has songs you can sing along to. Clean guitars are very alluring and bands like The Jam and Jo Jackson are great examples. I would like to describe myself as a dance band if I can achieve that goal.