The Leads Are Weak



The Leads Are Weak - Tony Sannicandro of Job For A Cowboy

Put that coffee down! The leads are not weak. You’re weak. This is a cold fact. Mr. Baldwin said it himself. You always have to be closing. After all, coffee’s for closers only, and who doesn’t like a nice cup of sludge in the morning to get their ass in gear? Let me tell you something, it’s not about what you play anymore. It’s not the leads.

I’ve played a lot of places with a lot of bands and if there’s one thing that really separates the good from the sick it’s the inflections and the meaning behind what people play. I’m not talking about the whole “HE CAN SAY MORE WITH ONE NOTE” bullshit that a lot of YouTube assassins like to spew out (and I know you MS mongoloids will do, too). I’m talking about pick attack, slides, the intensity of your hammer-ons, the fwap of pick against string and the aggressiveness or expressiveness of vibratos. The best guitar players that I’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with all developed a good vocabulary of inflections that made what they were playing unique. Listen to Guthrie, Syrek, or Petrooch, or any number of hundreds more to hear how they spell out things with taste. It’s not what’s being played, it’s how you’re playing it.

I think about all the times I’ve come up with a riff or a solo or anything music related I was stoked on, and then listened back a day later with fresh ears only to realize it sucked ass. Then you listen to a song like “Spheres of Madness,” or “Walk,” or any Meshuggah song ever and you’re fucking jaw is on the floor at how cool it is. These may be simple riffs or licks on paper, but if you wrote them you would throw them out right away and laugh because there weren’t enough #13s or you couldn’t use your new Phrygian b2 sweep over the top of the riff. The difference is the attitude, the way it’s played, the timing, the groove.

I think as guitar players in the metal world, sometimes one can lose track of the “ROCK.” Tom Petty said it best: “It’s rock and roll, it’s not supposed to be THAT good.”

Next time you sit down to practice or to fuck around think about how you are playing. The subtleties of vibrato, slides and how they make even the simplest of licks cool. How the fuck you hit the strings! Don’t pick like a pusswack! Noodlefingers impress no one. It’s tiring to see guitar players that know a lot but who look like the guitar is manhandling them when they go to play. You bought the fucker; beat it up. Play it like it owes you something. Your chops mean nothing if you can’t play them in your own unique way. Always be closing, and strangle that guitar.

Listen to some Hendrix; I’ll be the first to say I’m not the biggest fan, but FUCK, the dude could make the guitar weeeeeep. Probably the first guy that really made the change in guitar playing happen. Check it out… again.

See ya later, slobs. Keep them trolls coming. It’s refreshing to know some people can be so easily irked. Go fuck yourself! :)

– Tony Sannicandro / Job For A Cowboy

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