Manowar Legend Ross the Boss Plays His Favorite Riffs
We've had some great Gear Factor episodes, but now it's time to show you how "The Boss" gets it done. Ross the Boss visited the Loudwire studio, reflecting not only on his career, but also giving us some insight into the riffs and acts that influenced his guitar growth along the way.
While many in the '60s were gravitating toward the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, young Ross found himself enamored with a band that had a TV presence. The Monkees enjoyed a solid run in the late '60s, even expanding their career to include a TV series.
“Back a long time ago, there was this group called the Monkees that had this song called ‘I’m Not Your Stepping Stone,’ and I thought it was really bad ass because my neighbor had an amp and he was playing it. If you could play that you were pretty bad ass,” recalls Ross, who plays a bit of "Stepping Stone" as well as another Monkees favorite "Last Train to Clarksville."
Ross recalled his musical journey, eventually deciding to get involved in the band with violin, but as he states, “The violin was okay for a while, but I saw that if you played guitar, you’d be very popular with the ladies.”
Over time, he'd gravitate toward the blues, explaining, “I started playing because of the blues and the most important thing that I thought of listening to blues when I started was vibrato. If you couldn’t do that, you were screwed."
Digging into his own career, Ross the Boss starts with the Dictators. In a blistering span, he performs a bit of "The Next Big Thing," speaks about his use of playing with octaves, talks about the band's varying influences, then rocks out the songs "Cars and Girls" and their cover of "California Sun."
As for his time in Manowar, the band's former guitarist tells us, “The first batch of songs we wrote, the first song I wrote for the band, I think it was called ‘Shell Shock.’” He then makes his way through a number of Manowar favorites over the years, including the self-titled "Manowar," "Dark Avenger," "Hail to England" and "Hail and Kill."
Finishing out the segment, Ross hypes his current solo record, Born of Fire. “It’s probably our best record. It’s fierce. It’s amazingly produced," says Ross. "I strongly recommend this if you wanna get your head kicked in. It’s a beautiful record and you can see the artwork is tremendous.”
Making sure he backs up his statement, Ross then performs bits of "Denied by the Cross" and the Born of Fire album title track. To check out the new album in full, head here. And to see Ross the Boss masterfully rock some of the key riffs of his career, check out the full Gear Factor episode above.
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