Though Rivers of Nihil lean a little heavier, guitarist Brody Uttley reveals in our latest edition of Gear Factor that his earlier roots are a little more rock and blues leaning.

Taking us way back to the earliest of his playing days, the guitarist reveals that his father was really his first teacher, showing him a "Boogie Woogie" progression that would serve as his first riff. "I would just play that over and over again on the acoustic guitar, flat on my lap just picking it out. I guess that was the first real riff that I learned,” says the guitarist.

But it was really Metallica that first garnered his attention, giving him the appetite to really pick up the guitar and progress at a more rapid pace. "['Enter Sandman'] actually inspired me to sell my PlayStation, sell my bike, sell some Pokemon cards and go out and buy my first set up.”

Uttley also shouts out his first guitar teacher for really inspiring his love of the instrument and showing him every song he wanted to know. Aerosmith's "Mama Kin" was particularly an early favorite, with the guitarist stating, “As soon as I heard that sound, I was totally and completely hooked. From there it was an upward trajectory to infinity, basically.”

Another early favorite was Eddie Van Halen, who essentially introduced the guitarist to the finger tapping style of playing. "When I saw Eddie Van Halen, some live videos of his just playing some solos and smoking a cigarette and just being super cool. He was just making all these crazy noises with the guitar and most of it was based around tapping. I was just completely blown away by that." He cites "Eruption" as a key song in his progression, stating, “That was the song that changed the game for me and showed me there were no rules as to what you could do on the guitar.”

The guitarist also reveals that he was obsessed with Guns N' Roses, with "Sweet Child O' Mine" being one of the first solos he learned, while his room at home was plastered with GN'R and Slash posters.

As for Rivers of Nihil, the guitarist leans toward the band's most recent work, Where Owls Know My Name, for some of his favorite guitar work so far in the band. He shows off a pair of riffs from "The Silent Life," calling it an "ass-beater" of a song that really gets the crowd going.

He also serves up a couple parts from the album's title track, primarily because they're just so fun to play live. He adds in part of "Capricorn / Agoratopia," explaining, “I’m a big fan of super spacey parts. It’s just two chords and it’s very Floyd-ian I guess. There’s this note that’s just kind of echoing throughout the whole sequence that has a hypnotic weird sort of vibe.”

Uttley also reflects back to the early years, recalling "Post-mortem Prostitution" as one of the first riffs he ever wrote for the band. He serves up a bit of history on the song before revealing that Behemoth and Vader likely inspired the song.

See more of Uttley's playing in the video below and pick up Rivers of Nihil's Where Owls Know My Name here.

Rivers of Nihil's Brody Uttley Plays His Favorite Riffs

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