Mastodon axeman Bill Kelliher touched on the importance of Led Zep and bands such as Iron Maiden and Rush.
On Led Zeppelin:
“I’ve always been a Zeppelin fan. Jimmy Page was my first big influence but not that I play anything like him. Zeppelin always took me to that f*c*in’ weird place where I’d get stoned and put on ‘Led Zeppelin II’ or ‘Houses of the Holy’ and just sit in my room and learn the songs.
“My dad owned a hi-fi business and one of the first records I got was ‘Led Zeppelin II Remastered’ or something like that, which I still have. That was my go-to record. I’d go up to my room and listen to ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ and play it on my guitar. Some of the first basic chords I learned from Zeppelin for sure.”
On Iron Maiden:
“Not so much. I wasn’t big into Iron Maiden. There was something about the vocal style that bothered me.
“When I was a teenager and first started playing guitar when I was 15, I just wasn’t impressed. Everything sounded too polished and perfect to me and the singing, I couldn’t get into it. Oh, Alex Lifeson.”
“A lot of Rush. He was from upstate New York right by the border of Canada and I heard Rush on the radio every second.
“I learned a lot from listening to Rush and some of my first jamming buddies, we just sat around and geeked out about Rush and Zeppelin. The first Rush record was, like, the sh*t, man!
“The first Rush record [Rush] was very Jimmy Page. ‘Finding My Way’ and all those great songs like ‘Working Man.’ It’s almost like it’s a different band. Like, ‘Wow. This sounds like Zeppelin from Canada.'”