Before I decided to pick up the guitar and try to get serious with music, I never really listened to any bands, went to gigs or even bought any albums. Learning guitar has definitely shaped the type of music that I listen to and has made me the person that I am today. Without it, I wouldn’t be listening to half of the bands that I listen to today. I’ll never forget my first ever guitar lesson.  
“So Dean, what sort of music have you learned before?” 
“Just some basic chords and tabs, nothing too hard” 
“OK, thats cool. Well I’m gonna teach you “Suffocating Under Words Of Sorrow” by Bullet For My Valentine.”

“Sorry . . . What?!!”

My First Album             

With so many in my collection, it’s hard to remember which was the first I ever bought but I believe it was “The Poison” by Bullet For My Valentine. They were the first metal band I liked and helped me make the transition into metal music. The album itself followed a story that I could listen to over and over. All I wanted to do was learn to play every single song on this album! Over time, their music has became more mainstream but I’ll always come back just to hear them play “Tears Don’t Fall”, “Her Voice Resides” and “Room 409”.

The Album That Changed My Life

Without a doubt, “Ascendency” by Trivium. Before I heard this album, I never thought I would ever like Trivium (their sound seemed a bit too heavy for me) but now they are one of my favourite bands. I had never heard an album like it before;  it was in your face and had one of the greatest dual guitar solos I had ever heard! Before this album, I was still unsure whether I liked metal or not; I still played it to get better at guitar but it wasn’t until I heard this album that I wanted to be able to write my own music. Everytime I see Trivium play live its the songs from this particular album that tend to dominate the set; “Ascendency” means a lot to the band as well as the fans that listen to it.  
Favourite Gig Experience

 It’s hard to decide which has been my favourite gig! Every concert I’ve been to has been memorable for me. I’ve hung out with Rise To Remain, waited 12 hours in line to see Bullet For My Valentine and even lost my shoe at Lamb Of God! If I had to choose it would be when I saw Trivium play live at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. Me and my friends skipped school and waited outside HMV to meet Trivium before the show; I managed to get my “Ascendency” album signed. The gig itself was unforgettable!  Trivium gave one of the best live performances I had ever seen; the next day I was bruised battered and had lost my voice. I look forward to see Trivium play live everytime they come to the UK.

Favourite Band EVER

My favourite band are As I Lay Dying. Their music was some of the most complicated and diverse riffs I had ever heard and, as a guitarist, I was determined to learn them all! Each album they put out is a step up from the last and their latest album, ” The Powerless Rise” features some of my favourite songs of all time. Tim Lambesis writes some of the most inspirational lyrics I’ve seen in any metal band and is a great testament to the band’s musical style. I’ve strived to become as good a guitarist as they are and they have had an impact on my life and how seriously I take my music.

 Guilty Pleasures

30 Seconds To Mars. I really hate this band sometimes but I can’t deny that they write really catchy songs. I really enjoy listening to some of their older material; “The Kill” and “From Yesterday”, in particular but their new music is so mainstream and too pop for me. Maybe, I dislike Jared Leto more than I do the band;  I feel that their music videos are a means for him to try and reclaim his failed acting carrear. However,  I do get a kick out of Edward Norton beating him sensless in “Fight Club”.