“My inspirations were more along the guidelines of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and the British Invasion. There’s a lot of great bands that are out right now [that] fans look to, a lot of young bands that are really great.
“For me, I always wanted to know, ‘What were their influences?’ Like with Van Halen – everybody thinks that David Lee Roth was such a great frontman, but what was his influence?
“It was Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas. It’s like David Lee Roth is a clone of him, except for his voice of course – the black leather pants, real low hip-huggers, big, giant belt buckle, no shirt, tan, muscles… the same thing.
“For me, when I look at my influences, I try and go back in time. Jimmy Page was a huge influence guitar-wise. Angus [Young] was a big guitar influence; so was his brother, Malcolm.
“Believe it or not, I was probably more influenced by Malcolm than I was by Angus. I liked Angus’s solos a lot, but the rhythm of AC/DC was what did it for me, because there was a hook to it. A very simplistic hook.
“I think that’s what’s suffering with music nowadays – people are trying to be so fucking cerebral with their music, and a guy that played music with us at one point came up to me and goes, Hey, ‘I’ve got a new riff,’ and I was listening to it and it was awful. I said, ‘What is it?’ He said, ‘Well, it’s Megadeth in Morse code. I was like, *puts head in hands*…
“How do I go back one more than Eddie Van Halen? What influenced Edward Van Halen? Classical. He was a classically trained guitar player growing up as a kid. I looked at some of the really great players – Vivaldi, Paganini, Chopin, Bach, Wagner, although not all of their movements or their pieces are stuff that I like.
“Vivaldi has ‘The Four Seasons’ – two of them, I like; the other two, they’re a bit long for me, and while I can totally appreciate the songs, I’ve grown up in a kind of pop-radio mentality, so a four-minute song [is] paydirt.
“Where’s the hook? When you have a song that’s a little bit longer than four minutes for me, I tend to kind of lose the plot.”