It's about to get heavy as Devin Townsend steps in as the latest guest on Loudwire's Gear Factor. The musician took the time to trace the steps of his guitar development from youth through modern day, sharing the acts along the way that helped shape his playing.

Heavy music impacted Townsend from an early age, with the singer-guitarist revealing that Motorhead's self-titled song "Motorhead" was the song that made him want to pick up guitar.

“I remember as a kid we could get the best Seattle radio station up in Vancouver and it used to play metal – KISW – and when the first riff from the song 'Motorhead' came on, I think it was from a live version, I just thought that it seemed well within the possibilities for me to learn. It had a momentum to it that I loved.”

The guitarist shares, “I learned it on an old acoustic guitar I had bought from the Sears catalog and it had broke. Where it joins, the body had broken, so I could pull the guitar body and the neck together and it would be like a whammy bar effect.”

You might be surprised to find out that the first riff Townsend learned didn't come from a metal titan, but rather country superstar Johnny Cash, as Townsend riffs through a bit of "Folsom Prison Blues."

This episode also finds Townsend reflecting on Eddie Van Halen's impact upon his youth, discussing the techniques that troubled him as a young player and revealing the song that made him feel like a real guitarist.

He also revealed an extensive love for Judas Priest, riffing through "Heading Out to the Highway," "The Sentinel" and "Victim of Changes," calling the latter track "the most defining riff" for him as a kid.

When it comes to his own music, Townsend admits his music isn't very riff-based, as he often chooses to stack his writing with more orchestration. That said, he does pick out a few riffs from his catalog that he enjoys, including "Vampira," "Truth," and from his most recent album Empath, "Evermore."

“A lot of the riffs I really enjoy the most are really knuckle-dragging riffs, cause I tend to think structurally and melodically in ways that are fairly complicated," says Townsend. "But I find that if the basis, the very brass tax of the song, bass, drums and guitar is very complicated, it becomes off-putting to me. So I try to get really simple octaves and fifths, and then have it really dead-on in tune and have it layer all those strange melodic and rhythmic things over the top of it."

Townsend ends the episode with a special message for the fans, so watch his edition of Gear Factor in full below. Devin just released the massive Order of Magnitude - Empath Live Volume 1, which you can buy here.

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