How does Bad Wolves’ Doc Coyle get some of those bad man sounds from his guitar? It’s a lifetime worth of playing that’s taken him through several bands and we dig deeper into his guitar inspirations in this episode of Loudwire’s Gear Factor.
Like many other musicians, MTV was a major tool in the formation of his music tastes at a young age and he recalls his introduction to an iconic metal being his “superhero origin story” of how he picked up the guitar.
“I lived in the inner city and there wasn’t a lot of rock and metal in my environment, and I was at my friend’s house and MTV was on and I saw the music video for Megadeth’s ‘Symphony of Destruction,'” recalls Coyle. “It was probably one of the few times in my life where I had a lightbulb moment and I don’t know what that sound was and what was happening with the guitars and the vocals and the melody and the hook, whatever, but I was immediately hooked for life.”
From there, Doc picked up the guitar and even took a few lessons, revealing that the first riff he remembers learning was Nirvana’s “Come as You Are.” “One of the great things about Nirvana really was that their songs were very simple. They were the gateway records for young people to learn and go, ‘Hey I can be playing guitar for a very short amount of time and learn how to be playing these riffs,'” recalls Coyle.
During this episode, Coyle recalls some of his biggest early challenges playing, struggling with alternate picking and trying to capture the physical speed of playing thrash metal, but he offers a few tips of how he eventually overcame those issues.
The guitarist also digs out a few of his favorite riffs, showcasing Metallica’s “Harvester of Sorrow” and digging into deeper cuts from Pantera and Megadeth and revealing the impact that the respective songs – “Shedding Skin” and “This Was My Life” – had on his playing.
Doc also took some time for a trip through his extensive career. During the episode, he rocks out a bit of God Forbid’s “Divinity,” revealing a low key inspiration from another band for the beloved riff. He also shares that a riff for Bad Wolves’ “Better Off This Way” evolved after initially starting in another of his bands, Vagus Nerve.
Digging into the Bad Wolves material, Coyle reveals the evolution of the “No Masters” riff, and how he was able to add to it after his late addition to the band’s lineup. He also showcases another favorite riff, “Jesus Slaves,” which even though he didn’t write it, he loves as it is “just so damn groovy.”
And with a new album en route – Bad Wolves’ Dear Monsters arrives Oct. 29 – Doc gives us a taste of what’s to come. First, he shows off “House of Cards,” which includes “an ass-beater” main riff. “This is something that comes from part of my style which is to write a lot of riffs around chord changes and finding ways to give it that melodic flare, but still give it a groove and heaviness,” he explains.
He also shares the riff for the current single “Lifeline,” which “combines all of the elements that the band does really well in one song. It’s heavy, it’s groovy, it’s hooky, but it’s still has those elements that can reach even the regular everyday listener.” And we close out this session with “Sacred Kiss,” the album opener that Coyle proclaims has “all the heat and all the fire” courtesy of a John Boecklin-penned riff.
Be sure to pick up Bad Wolves’ Dear Monsters album, arriving Oct. 29 and available to pre-order here. And watch Doc’s full Gear Factor episode in the player below.
Bad Wolves’ Doc Coyle Plays His Favorite Riffs
2021’s Best Rock Songs (So Far)
Loudwire’s picks for the best rock songs of 2021 so far.