Karnivool's Mark Hosking: top ten guitarists
"I hated guitar as a kid," confesses Mark Hosking, "my two older brothers played, and both my parents (mum was a drummer, dad was a guitarist) and I think I felt a little pressure to play. I remember my brother, baffled, asking me 'Why don't you play guitar? I can't believe you don't just want to play it 24 hours a day!!?'. I thought he was weird then, until I got the fever.
The Hosking musical genes couldn't be suppressed any long after that… "Then I was the dude in the corner of room," says Mark (or Hoss as he's known to Karnivool's fans), "playing guitar for hours on end, doing impromptu concerts to anyone who would listen. Guitar players were then the coolest things in the world to me."
We were interested to know more about the players who had inspired Mark's own style. And his responses surprised us. Read on for Mark's picks for his top ten guitarists.
"Prince was very enigmatic and dividing for me growing up. I hated ego, hated everything about people 'with' egos, and yet found Prince to be the most brilliant, powerful edifice of everything that attracted me to music. I guess it was that balance of ego and talent that 'almost but never quite' makes ego ok.
"Whatever it was, it was sexy, and powerful and smooth and dripping in soul. I think that's what got me most in Prince's guitar playing,the soul of it."
"One of the most underrated of this current crop of riff giants. Mis-cast amongst a long list of nu-metal crud, probably because of the ESP headstock… sorry.
"He certainly knows what's what when it comes to rock night floor fillers as Be Quiet & Drive, amongst many others, demonstrates. Just enough menace to matter. Turn it up."
Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Watching Stevie Ray play is a perfect example of a man who gives it all. Fender on Fender… what is that sound? Sounds like wood going thru atitanium vacuum cleaner and being electrocuted.
"Blues personified, Testify is like the golden eagle on that album. I want to be front row looking up at Stevie, getting ashed on and sweated on!"
"Queen was another eye-opening band for me, that made me appreciate just how wide a band can spread its wings and sounds. Brian May, the nutty English Professor with his quiet demeanour and fat hair, sounding like a washing machine sucked through a black hole and doused in kerosine.
"I'm in love with his sound on the early albums but the soundtrack to the movie Highlander was amazing, this song is an attention grabber wherever you hear it. The Red Special in action. Wonder what that thing feels like to play?"
Mike Howard and Cornell Dupree
"I discovered Donny Hathaway late, almost guiltily finding him way after I found all the people who came after him. But the live albumsI don't think I have ever listened to any album more. The best thing about listening to things like Voices Inside is you can hear something new and deeper, or at least different.
"This particular song is wicked to listen to for Mike Howard's solo, then the differentiations with Cornell's... depending on my mood I like either one better!"
"There is nothing to say about this piece. Everybody loves it, and for a fucking good reason! It's the fucking fucking bomb.. oh I'm sorry, am i not allowed to say fucking? Fuck."
"Crazy goings on!"
"Tom Morello's eclectic, almost hip hop style mixed with punch in the face slab riffing had as much to do with that thrashed JCM and his minimal pedals as it did with hardcore.
"Played a little too loud after a little too much booze, things can get a little out of hand. He's playing with Bruce Springsteen now. Obviously."
Ed O'Brien and Jonny Greenwood
"Yeah, obvious choice. But listen again."
"Upside-down back-to-front Stratocaster…who would take this guy seriously? The master… what a sound, what a feel!
"This interview has made me realise how much I love Fender. I need to go play a Fender through a Fender and just keep turning it up."