Loudwire Celebrates 100 Episodes of Popular Guitar YouTube Series Gear Factor

The rock and
metal world’s leading source for music and culture news, Loudwire, is
celebrating the 100th episode of its popular Gear Factor series, which
tells the story of rock’s most popular guitar players through the riffs that
shaped them.

Since its launch
on YouTube in 2018, the show has featured many rock and metal legends,
including Robby Krieger from The Doors, Nancy Wilson from Heart, Lzzy Hale from Halestorm, John
5
, Tobias Forge from Ghost, Frank Iero from My Chemical Romance, Gary Holt from Slayer and Exodus, Vivian Campbell from Def Leppard and more.

These interviews,
along with many others, were a huge success with Loudwire’s 1.4 million
YouTube subscribers and beyond, with the series amassing over 17 million views
since its inception.

The idea was
birthed by the show’s host Squiggy of The Music Experience and Loudwire’s former Head of
Business, Josh Bernstein. Noticing a gap in artist-focused instrument playing
segments, the two set out to create something leaning less on technicality and
more on passion, discovery and inspiration.

“It’s been
amazing watching Gear Factor grow on our channel, and we are proud to
tell the stories of how great players got their start while hopefully inspiring
new ones to pick up a guitar,”
says Loudwire Executive Editor Rabab Al-Sharif.

Today, every fan wants to relate to their favorite artist and Gear Factor sought to show these fans that even the most celebrated rock and metal musicians had the same humble beginnings — just figuring out how to play their favorite riffs.

With interviews
focusing on the story of how iconic players learned their craft and developed
as a player, the series celebrates artists sharing the songs and musicians that
inspired them to pick up a guitar in the first place. Showing that everyone has
to start somewhere, Gear Factor aims to speak to the audience in a way
that inspires them to do the same.

“I try
not to use the word luck when I discuss Gear Factor,”
says Squiggy. “Luck is when something
falls in your lap, Gear Factor was built on passion, hard work from many
people and a belief in the journey.”

Based on the
number of messages Squiggy has had from fans saying, “Just watched your
video with _____, what kind of guitar do you think i should buy,” the
format is working. It’s that passion that fuels the show.

“I have
been in the instrument business for over 23 years,”
Squiggy says. “Unlike many people in
the business who are driven by sales, I am driven by the things I want people
to say at my eulogy.”

To celebrate the milestone, Gear Factor host Squiggy recalled his 10 Favorite Gear Factor Moments in a special episode. Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale made a young fan’s life last year, bringing her onstage during the band’s performance at the 2019 Sonic Temple Festival. Young Karissa first met up with Halestorm at their meet-and-greet session, before being invited backstage to hang out with the band and exchange Howard Dean “Byah!” screams. Finally, Hale gifted her custom Epiphone Explorer to the young superfan.

We also learned
about the history of Anthraxand Public Enemy‘s iconic
collaboration, “Bring the Noise,” during a Gear Factor
episode.

“I had to
work with Public Enemy somehow,”
Scott Ian recalls. “I had to work with Chuck
[D.]
, and I just had an idea for a riff that came off the horns that they
sampled for ‘Bring the Noise.’ That’s what inspired the riff. I feel like I was
just transposing the existing horn part, keeping things the same.”

In another great
episode, Gary Holt recalled the first guitar he ever had — a
Montgomery Ward given to him by Kirk Hammett, but when his love for something better
came along, it landed him in a spot of trouble. Holt says he purloined a
Gibson Les Paul gold top copy, but got busted and spent some time in a juvenile
hall.

Check out all of
the great Gear Factor moments and revisit every episode here.

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