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Brendon Small (Galaktikon / Dethklok) Plays His Favorite Riffs

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Metalocalypse co-creator Brendon Small is our guest for this edition of Loudwire’s Gear Factor, and it should come as no surprise that a rock classic inspired the future Dethklok and Galaktikon musician to pick up a guitar for the first time.

Small says that while he was inspired by the riffs of Prince and Eddie Van Halen’s work on the 5150 album, inevitably it was Guns N’ Roses who first motivated the young rock loving musician to test out the guitar. “I think I heard that at the orthodontist when I was getting my braces tightened and it made the pain go away,” said Small, recalling his introduction to the classic “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” “The guitars on that are so good and it made me interested in why his guitar sounded so good.”

Small serves up a hodgepodge of early influences, including Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, revealing that once his friend showed him how to play the power chords of “Iron Man,” he was on his way. “It was just two notes played together at the same time – a chord, the power chord, and you can move it around everywhere,” he explains. “That was an important lesson cause it meant you could start writing your own songs.”

He also credits a Paul Gilbert instructional video as a key tutorial, but one that drove his siblings a little nuts as he practiced the repetitive exercise constantly. “Thank you Paul Gilbert, but my family doesn’t love you as much as I do,” says the guitarist.

Small then dives into his own catalog, singling out the Dethklok theme song as one of the first songs he ever wrote. Viewers get a taste of that as well as “Awaken.”

Speaking of his own metal-inspired material, Small admits his favorite riffs are not the ones you might expect. “They’re never the fast ones,” he states, adding, “They’re always on the ones that are more epic chord kind of stuff like ‘Go Into the Water.’ I like the intro and those chords a lot.”

He also takes viewers into his playing on “Crush the Industry” and the Van Halen-esque “Prophecy of the Laser Witch” before finishing his Gear Factor performance with “GhostHorse,” a song that shares a name with his Epiphone Guitar.

“I did something kind of fun based off of a riff I did on Galaktikon II, a song called ‘Icarus 666,’ that I stole that style back for myself,” says Small.

For fans interested in Brendon’s Epiphone GhostHorse guitar, you can get a closer look at the specifics right here and check out the namesake track here. Watch the full Brendon Small edition of Gear Factor below.

Brendon Small (Galaktikon / Dethklok) Plays His Favorite Riffs

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