If you were a rock music fan in the early 2000s, MTV's Total Request Live may not have been on your list of "can't-miss" shows, but amidst the Britneys and the NSYNCs, there were a few guitar-based bands. One of them was Blink-182. And that's what influenced A Day To Remember's Neil Westfall to start playing guitar.

He tells Gear Factor host Squiggy, "I was like, 'What is this?' This is so cool! Who are these people? This is so rad. They're funny, they're just doing what they want to do.' I was like, 'I'm going to be in a band.'"

So, he started learning guitar. When asked about the first riff he ever learned, he says, "'What's My Age Again?' from Blink-182. I know that's not, like, a 'guitar player's' riff. I grew up being influenced by Tom DeLonge. Every one of my friends wanted the Tom DeLonge [signature] guitar."

All these years later, Westfall is an admired guitarist with his own signature guitar. But his model is more inspired by the instrument of choice of an artist who predated DeLonge and Blink-182 by quite a few years.

"The guitar is influenced by the 1974 Randy Rhoads Gibson Les Paul custom, down to the color. I remember picking up that guitar, playing it, and being like, 'This is like the nicest guitar ever.'"

He says he was very involved in the guitar's specs: "They would send me white ESP guitars, and I would take the pickup out, and I would take the electronics out and I would try to put a fake pickup in and paint it white. I actually have that guitar, it's on tour with me now. That was my prototype: 'This is what it will look like.'"

Catch A Day To Remember on tour: get all their dates here.



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