Canadian rockers The Glorious Sons visited the Loudwire studios earlier this year, with guitarists Jay Emmons and Chris Koster taking part in our Gear Factor series, reflecting on some of the riffs that helped shape their playing.
Emmons says his start playing music came via a pop-punk classic, deciding to pick up the guitar when he saw his buddies learning Green Day‘s “When I Come Around.” For Koster, it was something a little heavier, pulling out a bit of Motley Crue for the viewing audience.
Koster admits guitar wasn’t his first instrument. “I kind of just wanted to sing over something, so I started on drums and then my brother kind of stole those away from me, so my dad felt bad for me and bought me a guitar,” says the musician, who eventually gravitated toward Prince and Guns N’ Roses‘ Izzy Stradlin as his favorite rhythm guitar players.
As for Emmons, he leaned more to the Rolling Stones growing up. “I’m a big Rolling Stones fan so I like what Keith [Richards] and Ronnie [Wood] do when they’re playing. Keith is probably considered the rhythm guitar player there, but he’s probably my favorite,” said the guitarist before playing a bit of “Satisfaction.”
Koster shares a little of his pre-Glorious Sons history, admitting he couldn’t play the first riff he wrote for a self-penned song called, “Love’s Been Killing My Heart,” but he did serve up a little portion of a song called “One More Time” from his early days.
Digging into their own catalog, they play a bit of “Kill the Lights” before offering some insight on one of their most popular tracks, “S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun).” Emmons reveals he was initially not a fan of the song’s riff, feeling it was a bit too “circus-y” before being convinced to keep it. Koster then reveals that the instrumental part of the song was initially meant for a track called “Black and Blue.”
“The whole instrumental track in that song was done supporting another song entirely and then we loved the instrumental track and Brett [Emmons] wasn’t that jazzed with what was happening vocally,” says Koster. “We all felt that it was good enough that it might deserve a better song, so we wrote completely different lyrics and it became ‘Sawed Off Shotgun.’
Koster then says he loves Emmons part in “The Contender,” saying it reminds him of AC/DC. After a bit of playing by Emmons, Koster shows his talents on AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”
Digging into their most recent work, both guitarists choose favorites from their A War on Everything album. Jay chooses “Closer to the Sky,” while Chris picks the album’s title track, expressing his love for the unconventional structure and the “ugly notes” he enjoyed playing.
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