Name: James Peach
Track entered: Now or Never
Current main guitar: Maverick Matrix
For James, it was the fretboard mastery of Nuno Bettencourt that first inspired him to learn to burn on the guitar. A self-confessed technique-freak, he worked slavishly from the age of 15 to emulate the speed, passion and intensity of players like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert. More recently, he’s become a big fan ex-GotY winner Guthrie Govan. Earning the title of Guitarist of the Year would be a proud achievement, he says, adding that he believes there are “only two types of music: good and bad”.
Random fact: Before he set his sights on being a top-flight guitarist, James’s ambition was to be the first Brit to win the Tour de France.