Machine Gun Kelly: You Don’t Have to Be Technical to Be Good at Guitar
Everyone has different opinions on what makes a guitar player good. Are their riffs heavy? Can they solo at the speed of light? Machine Gun Kelly doesn't think being able to shred necessarily makes a guitarist good — he thinks it's more about the feelings the playing invoke.
Explaining his stance to Kerrang!, MGK cited Nirvana's Kurt Cobain as a major influence on him when he was growing up. “Some of us are just fuck-ups who look normal and wear shitty clothes because we can’t afford good ones, and we’re angry and we just wanna take out our angst and shit with a guitar," he said. "I’m not inspired by how good you are, it’s almost like the opposite. I wanna feel you.”
“Kurt didn’t give a fuck how he sounded, he gave a fuck how he felt," Kelly continued. "He was like, ‘Dude, my stomach hurts today. I feel like shit. I hate this song that you all love so much. I’m gonna play it terribly. I’m not even gonna sing the right lyrics to this shit. Fuck you!’"
The musician, who's about to release his first pop-punk album Tickets to My Downfall, reflected on his own experiences growing up, and how he felt like an outcast. "Where the fuck was I going to learn how to play like Steve Vai? I couldn’t! I was broke. No-one gave a fuck about me. Give me three chords, though, and tell me to show you how I feel, and I bet you I will."
“Fuck the people who think that your technicalities are what defines you,” he affirmed, comparing technical guitarists to robots. "You know robots can do things really fucking good, right? But a robot can’t make you feel."
Tickets to My Downfall will be out Friday, Sept. 25 on Bad Boy and Interscope Records.
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