Welcome to the opening installment of Inside The Shredder’s Studio, where we talk to accomplished players and guitar nerds about the riffs that make them warm and fuzzy. It would be easy to call this another “Women In Metal” bonus feature but I’m not going to do that. You see, chances are Elizabeth Schall can play guitar better than you if you are a male or female.
I had the distinct pleasure of talking with Schall about her band Dreaming Dead for that issue (available here) and was particularly moved by her story of selling lunches at school in Chile to purchase her first guitar. She taught herself to play and the results have been pretty fantastic. How many people do you know that could kick complete ass in an all-female Iron Maiden tribute band (The Iron Maidens), start their own band and then self-finance their own second record? Schall isn’t just a great player; she appears to be a fine businesswoman, too. We connected again a few times (via text messages, naturally) and she agreed to put together a list of her favorite guitar riffs for dB. “It’s hard to pin down my exact playing style. Maybe this list will describe the many facets of my playing,” Schall says. So read, listen and learn.
Megadeth/”Tornado of Souls” – This is my shit right here. It’s impossible to dissect this song and decide which riff is my favorite. They all are – end of story.
Los Prisioneros/”Estrechez de Corazon”/Main Riff and Chorus: 80’s Chilean alternative pop. Middle school years in Chile and my first steps to heavier music.
Emperor/”The Tongue Of Fire”/pre-chorus @ 3:53 : Everything about this riff and its harmonies are perfect. They create a unique bond between melody and technicality, two elements that I always apply in my own writing.
Type O Negative/”Love You To Death”/Chorus: The sadness in it weighs so much. It’s so heavy and beautiful. The vocals really make it one amazing piece.
Iron Maiden/”Aces High”/Intro and Outro riff: The harmonies are bringing it so hard, you can’t help but want to air guitar the whole time! It also brings back great memories of performing in front of 40k people in Venezuela with The Iron Maidens.
Soundgarden/”Jesus Christ Pose”/Main Riff: Grunge is where it really started for me. That heavy and relentless groove seems to be creeping back into music.
Dreaming Dead/”Overlord”/Chorus: Of course I’m gonna choose one of my riffs, haha. At first that section was just a simple chord structure. Then I decided to take it to the next level and add a technical melody over it… that’s how I come up with most of my riffs.
2Pac/”California Love”/Chorus: Heavy, hard, raw, tough and groovy as fuck! I just wanna get up and party, which I think I’m gonna go ahead and do right now.
Connect with Schall and Dreaming Dead here.