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The playlist: Ryan Roxie

(Image credit: Chris McKay / Getty)

As Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie releases his first solo album, we grill him on his inspirations...

The first song I remember hearing… Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple

“This is going to be the same answer as every other guitar player out there, but it’s Smoke On The Water. And 98 per cent of people who pick up the guitar for the fi rst time, this is their song. Years later, we were able to tour with Deep Purple on their final tour and I was able to get onstage with them and play Smoke On The Water. It was a dream come true.”

The song I play when trying out new gear… School’s Out - Alice Cooper

“I think, because of so many years of playing and being associated with the Alice Cooper band, I play those classic Alice Cooper riffs. Songs like No More Mr Nice Guy, School’s Out or Poison always give you a good idea of what sound you’re going for when you try guitars out. If I’m trying out a more overdriven amp, I play Poison, if it’s more of a classic rock sound I go for the other two.”

A song I remember covering in my first band… Mama Don’t Dance - Poison

“The first band I was ever in played this. We were called The Stratocasters, even though one guitarist played an SG and the other played an Epiphone Les Paul.”

A song I always wanted to cover… California Man - Cheap Trick

“On my new album, I actually covered this song, and I’d always wanted to. It’s an old blues song [originally by The Move] that was covered by Cheap Trick - was my favourite band growing up. I had Robin Zander from Cheap Trick guest on the song as well, so I’m pretty excited about that.”

A guitar solo I love… It’s Late - Queen

“Any Brian May solo from Queen’s News Of The World album. There’s so much great playing, it’s hard to pick just one. Brian May is one of the best guitar players out there. When you think about the tone and the style and the craftsmanship of writing a guitar solo, Queen was a great band.”

A song I can escape to… I Wanna Be Adored - The Stone Roses

“I wouldn’t play a song that reminds me of home because I wouldn’t constantly want to be reminded of home! But in terms of a song for taking things off my mind, I’ll usually listen to something by the late 80s, early 90s Manchester rock bands. It brings me back to living in New York City in the late 80s, I was having a great time and listening to bands like the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Curve. That era of songs always gives me a good vibe.”

A song I’m enjoying playing live… Over And Done - Ryan Roxie

“This is the one that’s sticking out these days and getting a lot of good feedback. It’s from the new album. We just put that out recently with a new video and so far the response has been pretty positive.”

A song I’d like to be remembered for… Second Chances - Roxie 77

“I’d like to think that I haven’t written that song yet! But at the same time, I’m very proud of this song. And hopefully one off this new album - you’ve got your pick of eight, because two are covers.”

Imagine Your Reality is out now via Cargo Records UK.

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