In a brand-new interview with The Flint Journal, DISTURBED guitarist Dan Donegan spoke about the group's resurrection of a time-honored tradition in rock — the guitar solo — while penning their latest album, "Ten Thousand Fists".
"When we started writing, we went back to the basics of just kind of jamming out riffs," Donegan said. "That brought us back to some of our influences. It made the songs seem like some of them could use guitar solos. We just thought we would expand on that. We're trying to contribute in our way bringing this element back to rock music.
"I think part of it is a tribute to Dimebag," Donegan said, referring to late PANTERA guitarist Darrell Abbott, who was gunned down while performing with his band DAMAGEPLAN in 2004.
Donegan is unsure why guitar solos fell to the wayside.
"Ever since the grunge days and this 'alternative' thing, there hasn't been a whole lot of soloing going on," he said. "When we first formed, we had a lot of guitar solos in all the songs. As we were developing, our songwriting - for me, personally — was starting to become more influenced by (grunge) bands like SOUNDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS. SOUNDGARDEN, especially, really didn't have any solos.
"There probably (aren't) many kids that can play it, I guess. There's a lot more coming out that are starting to shred a lot more. A lot of these hardcore bands like SHADOWS FALL, ATREYU, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, they've got some great players. They're all strutters and quick players."
Donegan explained that he comes from the "school" that promotes tasteful guitar playing, "not trying to show off for 20 or 30 seconds of a song.
"I'm trying to do something more along the lines of what Jerry Cantrell (formerly of ALICE IN CHAINS) did, very tasteful. He did what felt right for the song. There were very melodic and memorable solos," he said.
"Just growing up as a kid, I liked playing air guitar to my favorite players, and (it) needed to be something melodic that made you want to act like you were playing it yourself. It's kind of hard to do it if it's all speed, fast playing. I admire the guys that do it and do it well."
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