Former Evile guitarist Ol Drake marks his return with his solo debut album, ‘Old Rake’.
With an album packed full of colossal riffage – out now through Earache Records – and an appearance at Bloodstock coming up in August, we persuaded the fret alchemist to put his guitar down for a moment to create a playlist based around the mighty solo…
**STEVE VAI – For the Love of God **“This was the first song I heard that made me think that you can play solos without loud metal behind it.” Find it: Passion and Warfare (Relativity/Epic, 1990)
**ANNIHILATOR – Word Salad **“This is one of my favourite guitar solos by Jeff Waters. It’s from their debut album and is probably one of their best songs as well.” Find it: Alice In Hell (1989, Roadrunner)
**METALLICA – Ride The Lightning **“I spent a long time learning all the Metallica stuff and Kirk Hammett’s solo in this is the one that really got me. It took me a long time to get right and I think it’s one of his best.” Find it: Ride The Lightning (1984, Megaforce)
CAMEL – Chord Change “This is really cool. It’s a lot mellower with clean guitars, but Andrew Latimer is a major guitarist. Any metal guitarist should check Camel out.” Find it: Moonmadness (1976, Gama/Decca)
**GUNS N’ ROSES – November Rain **“Slash is one of my all-time favourite guitarists. I’m a big fan of musicians who don’t have to play at 5,000 miles an hour and actually play something memorable that you can hear in your head weeks later, instead of just shreddy noise.” Find it: Use Your Illusion I (1991, Geffen)
**TESTAMENT – Malpractice **“Alex Skolnick turned me on to a lot of prog-rock actually. I read an interview with him where he cited King Crimson and Yes as influences, which made me check them out and after hearing them, I heard a lot of it in his playing. His solos are almost like vocal lines. He’s kind of like Slash, he’s very memorable. He has a certain style that really stands out.” Find it: Souls Of Black (1990, Atlantic/Megaforce)
**EXODUS – Bonded by Blood **“This is the best Exodus song and Gary Holt’s shredding is just ridiculous. I didn’t realise how good he was until Evile played with them and I saw him playing in person. It was mind-blowing.” Find it: Bonded By Blood (1985, Torrid/Combat)
**SYLOSIS – Anything from Dormant Heart **“I’ve been listening to the new Sylosis album, but don’t know any of the song names yet. Josh Middleton is an amazing guitarist. He put a solo down for one of the songs on the Old Rake album which I had to tab out and learn in case I play the songs live without someone else there. It was just impossible and I had to do an easy version!” Find it: Dormant Heart (2015, Nuclear Blast)
**BLACK SABBATH – Paranoid **“You can’t beat Tony Iommi’s playing. This song is very simple but it’s a classic.” Find it: Paranoid (1970, Vertigo)
**LED ZEPPELIN – Whole Lotta Love **“Jimmy Page is brilliant, unbeatable. My dad brought me up on Led Zeppelin, but when I was younger I didn’t really pay attention to the guitar solos – I just knew them by ear. When I got into guitar, I started to recognise them a lot more, then when I started playing properly and learning things I realised how influential they must have been back then. People like Hendrix and Zeppelin created a brand new sound, which I’m a huge fan of.” Find it: II (1969, Atlantic)
Ol Drake was speaking to Callum Galbraith. Old Rake is out now through Earache.