Skip to main content

Ben Weinman: How B.B. King inspired Dillinger's sound

The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman has paid tribute to B.B. King – saying his band wouldn’t sound the same without the late blues icon’s influence.

King died on Thursday, aged 89, after a career spanning 66 years highlighted by his trademark guitar style.

Weinman tells The Metal Hammer Magazine Show’s Alexander Milas at Rock On The Range: “When I first started playing guitar, all I did was play blues. I had a teacher and we learned the basic blues styles, then he’d send me home to listen to B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. I really cut my teeth on those things.

“B.B. knew how to use space. Where he didn’t play spoke to you more than where he did play. That’s what really brought the feeling.”

And that lesson helped Weinman develop his own band’s sound. “That’s what I’ve always thought about with Dillinger,” he says. “Some of the less complex moments speak to you the most, because of everything around them that’s so crazy.”

He cites King’s early hit The Thrill Is Gone as a prime example of his work and adds: “With him it was all about that space. It really showed you the different between him and players who were just constantly playing notes.”

Hear more from Weinman and Rock On The Range via The Metal Hammer Magazine Show through the coming week.