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Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt: the 10 guitarists that blew my mind

4. Uli Jon Roth

“I grew up with Scorpions and my era was with Mathias Jabs on lead guitar. On a nostalgic level, he’s almost a tie with Uli, though Uli is probably the better and more interesting out of the two. After hearing Mathias, I kinda backtracked and bought Virgin Killer. It felt so loud, almost like death metal to my ears.

“Uli is a great rhythm player too, he wears his inspiration on his sleeve and it’s mainly Jimi Hendrix. Obviously he gets a lot of credit for his solos and rightfully so, they’re all fuckin’ fantastic. They’re still putting out good records. I’ve seen Uli live a couple of times, he’s always so loud. I think he should throw away his Sky guitar and get his Stratocaster back. It sounds too high-endy and sharp for my tastes, though I get that he wants to maintain his trademark single-coil sound. 

“I wanted to be Mathias Jabs as a kid. He definitely loves guitars… I believe he has a shop. I had a chance to meet him at MusikMesse in Frankfurt a while ago, he was stood right next to me. But I couldn’t do it… it was too much. They once invited us over to meet the whole band once, but I said no because I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with it. That’s how much of an influence he was. Mathias is very underrated, but he can sure play that Explorer.”