Sum 41 may have emerged during the pop-punk explosion of the early 2000s, but as we’ve seen over the years, the guys are heavily influenced by music outside of the genre. In this edition of Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater, Sum 41 guitarists Dave Baksh and Tom Thacker revisit some of their favorite guitar solos by other artists.

Baksh kicks off the video, revealing that he started learning Tom Morello guitar solos before eventually moving forward to Randy Rhoads. The guitarist plays what he considers “one of the most beautiful solos of all-time” from Rhoads while marveling at his skill.

Thacker also marvels at Rhoads’ work. “When players are playing fast like that, sometimes it can just sound like picking exercises, but all the notes are chosen really well,” says the guitarist. “There’s a lot of players that do that. Brian May does it, Randy Rhoads. They make it really musical as opposed to just a bunch of shredding, which is awesome too. It’s awesome just to see a dude hitting a million notes, but it’s nice to have someone hit you in the heart.”

The two musicians also show some love to Metallica’s Kirk Hammett with Thacker digging into the “Battery” solo, while Baksh chose “Master of Puppets” as one of his faves. “He had a way of ending a solo with that crescendo where you knew something rad was coming up next,” Baksh says of Hammett’s work. Speaking specifically about “Master of Puppets,” he adds, “It’s weirdly mathematical, but also sounds very raw.”

The other musician that stands out for his solo work is Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell. “His ability to channel Ace [Frehley], Eddie [Van Halen], all these guys that we grew up with too was really cool,” says Baksh. “He just had a way of breaking up solos with these really cool memorable licks.” Watch as he works his way through one of Dimebag’s classic solos.

The Sum 41 guitarists are currently putting their skills to use on the Rockstar Disrupt tour this summer, while promoting their Order in Decline album. Ticketing details can be found here. You can also revisit Sum 41’s Gear Factor episodes where they play their favorite riffs by other artists as well as picking out some of their own best guitar work. And if you want to pick up a guitar and start figuring out some of your favorite guitarist’s work, be sure to visit Sweetwater.com for your gear needs.

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