100 FOR 100


Posted: 22nd August 2023

Our history is built on alternative music created by artists. Without these genre-defining guitarists pushing the boundaries of what can be done, welding a wall of Marshall amps behind them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. 

As we celebrate Jim Marshall's 100th birthday we’re showcasing 100 artists, 10 a month for the rest of the year. Artists, who have made the music scene what it is today, breaking through defiantly into the industry that Jim helped shape.

Read time: 14 mins

amy love

Alongside Georgia South, Amy Love is the other half of punk duo Nova Twins. Before Amy learnt to play herself, she always had a love for the electric guitar and would find guitarists to accompany her on songs. This became a temporary solution as Amy grew frustrated at not being able to express her own vision musically and having to wait on others which would often slow down her creativity.  

By the time Amy was in her teens, Nova Twins had already formed and been playing for several years. This is when her bandmate’s dad suggested that she learn to play guitar herself, which she did, and the rest is history. Since then, the duo has gone on to support Yungblud, Wolf Alice, Prophets of Rage, Skunk Anansie, Bring Me the Horizon and Enter Shikari. They have also played at some of the biggest festivals including, Glastonbury, Pukkelpop, Pol’and’Rock, Boomtown, Download, ShipRocked, Good Things Festival, Mad Cool festival & Hellfest. 

Although the band are reluctant to share the secrets to their unique tone, what we do know is that Amy often uses an Origin50C as part of her mystery set-up, and is ideal for players looking for classic, rich, harmonic tones like that of a ‘Plexi’

The band have a long list of impressive credentials including collaborating with Bring Me The Horizon’s on the hit song ‘1x1’, a Mercury award nomination, a sold-out headline show at Electric Brixton, as well as a critically acclaimed album release with ‘Supernova’, which landed in the UK Top 30 Official Charts. In 2022 Nova Twins also made history as one of the first artists nominated for the ‘Best Alternative Music Act’ at the 20th annual MOBO Awards and were named Kerrang! band of the year. The duo’s long list of credentials and upward trajectory shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

lee malia

Lee Malia is the guitarist in British rock band Bring Me the Horizon. Forming when the members where still only teenagers, Bring Me the Horizon have gone on to revolutionise the heavy music landscape in ways that few other bands have been able to.  

Hailing from Sheffield and formed in 2004, their first shows were basements full to the brim of friends, keen to hear the bands heavy songs inspired by the deathcore genre.   

Lee was inspired by the likes of Metallica and Pantera in his early guitar-playing days, which eventually evolved into heavier influences and led to more extreme bands like Cannibal Corpse, whose influence can be heard in his guitar playing on early albums like Count Your Blessings and Suicide Season. 

To achieve his clean tones, Lee uses a JTM45 on its own, but he also uses delay and reverb pedals in the front end. Whereas, for songs that require more gain and crunchy tones, Lee uses a JCM800 2203 to achieve sharp, punchy attacks.  

In 2013 Bring Me the Horizon released their fourth studio album, Sempiternal. Between Lee’s perfected guitar techniques and new electronic elements, the band created an iconic metalcore record, which granted them their place in metalcore history as well as giving them mainstream attention. The band continued to push this winning formula further and, even now, continue to experiment with post-rock riffs combined with electro beats in their newer work. 

Many consider Lee, and Bring Me the Horizon, to have paved the way for other metalcore bands as they have broken down barriers within genres and sold-out arenas around the world. 

angus young

Angus Young is an Australian musician, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter, and original member in hard rock band AC/DC. He is known for his energetic performances, schoolboy-uniform stage outfits, and his version of Chuck Berry's duckwalk.  

Angus started his journey into guitar when he was able to get hold of a cheap acoustic guitar that he purchased second-hand. He eventually ended up upgrading to a Gibson SG in 1970 and played it until it had wood rot from so much sweat!  

After playing in different groups whilst growing up Angus eventually began AC/DC with his brother, Malcolm, in 1973. The name AC/DC came from seeing the phrase on the back of their sister Margaret’s sewing machine. AC/DC’s went on to consistently release albums through the 70’s and into the 80’s where they released their 7th studio album ‘Back in Black’. This album received both commercial success and critical acclaim, selling 50 million copies.   

Like many other players in the 60’s/70’s, Angus was influenced mainly by blues guitarists such as B.B. King and Chuck Berry. Beginning with this style led him to learn different blues licks in the major and minor pentatonic scale. Learning different blues licks in the major and minor pentatonic scale. Many AC/DC songs gravitate towards power chords in the root and fifth position. A stereotypical AC/DC riff would be focused around the chords E minor, G, A and the pentatonic scale in the first open position.

Hammer-ons are super important to nailing Angus’ style but the most important aspect of his playing is the power and energy he expresses. Huge power comes from his picking hand and he’s not afraid to hit a huge chord. Known for his riffs and guitar licks, combined with a blend of blues and rock, Angus has been able to achieve those classic ‘Plexi’-style tones with thanks to numerous amps. Using cranked JTM45s, JMP50s, 1959SLPs and even the elusive JTM50, Angus’ tone is aggressive and biting, loud enough to fill sold-out arenas.  

laurie vincent

Laurie Vincent makes up half of Soft Play the punk rock duo. Alongside drummer and vocalist Isaac Holman. The duo from Kent, came into the spotlight in 2015 with the release of their debut album Are You Satisfied?. This album went on to earn the band nominations for the BBC’s Sound of the Year and the Mercury award, on top of this the album also ended up becoming gold certified. Soft Play continued their rise performing at Reading and Leeds festival, Radio 1s Big Weekend and most recently headlining 2000trees.

Laurie’s larger than life, signature guitar tone from the JTM 45 helps the duo stand out from the crowd and gives the same tones as most four-piece bands. Laurie has previously said that personally his guitar tones and techniques have been inspired by established punk bands like The Clash. However, the duo have been known to venture into other genres including grime and electronic music, famously covering Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ and The Chemical Brothers ‘Go’ in their punk style. 

gary moore

Born in 1952 in East Belfast, Gary became interested in the music industry at a young age. He learnt to play the guitar at 10 years old and he was instantly hooked and dedicated his spare time to playing. Gary began playing at local clubs and quickly became friends with guitar legend Rory Gallagher. When Gary continued playing in his teens, he was noticed by the Irish band Skid Row, where he met Phil Lynott.   

Eventually, Phil would leave to start the band Thin Lizzy and Gary would continue with Skid Row, after a fateful meeting with Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green the band were signed and headed over to England to tour.  After a few years, Gary ended up joining Thin Lizzy, where he toured with them and worked on multiple albums. Gary wrote the iconic piece ‘Parisienne Walkways’ with Phil before leaving Thin Lizzy during a US tour.   

Despite the volatile relationship between Phil and Gary they continued to work on music together until Phil passed away in 1986. After this, Gary continued to work on writing and releasing solo music crossing over a variety of genres and styles. In the early 90’s he returned to his classic blues tropes and released ‘Still Got the Blues’ which went on to become his most iconic release.

The secret behind Gary’s renowned tone, particularly on this album, was his faithful JTM45 which he used on a clean setting. However, to achieve those distorted and sustained tones, Gary relied solely upon his The Guv’nor pedal. To many, the tones heard throughout this album are considered to be Gary’s definitive classic blues tones that have gone on to influence other musicians including, Joe Bonamassa, Kirk Hammett and Zakk Wylde. Gary Moore died in 2011, his music is still championed by many musicians today and he has become a name synonymous with the guitar and blues rock genre.  

paul gilbert

Best known as the lead guitarist of Mr. Big, and Racer X, Paul Gilbert is famed for his shredding and picking technique. 

From a young age, Paul was making music, and by age 15 he was gigging with his band Tau Zero. Guitar Player magazine even featured Paul alongside fellow up-and-comer and now legend Yngwie Malmsteen. 

Formed in 1985 and influenced by Judas Priest, Racer X quickly became popular with the release of their debut album ‘Street Lethal’ Thanks to the release, Paul even secured an endorsement deal with Ibanez guitars. . The following year, Paul was approached by Billy Sheehan to form a new band, and in 1988 Paul left Racer X and formed Mr. Big with Billy. In 1991 Mr. Big’s ballad ‘To Be With You’ reached No. on the US Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for 3 weeks. The song also topped the charts in 11 other countries. 

Following the break-up of Mr Big, Paul launched his solo career and has since released a number of acclaimed albums including, ‘Alligator Farm’, and ‘Behold Electric Guitar’. He has also collaborated with fellow six-string legends Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai. 

Paul has used various Marshall amps throughout the years, including a 1987X for the recording of ‘Vibrato’ and a JTM45 with a 1960A cab to achieve clean tones and the vocal on ‘Holy Diver’. He has also used many of these amps when recording in the studio, plus a Bluesbreaker and 2061X. 

Today Paul continues to build his reputation as a guitar legend with his extensive touring and solo work. Not only this, but Paul has also written guitar technique articles for Total Guitar and Guitar Player magazine, continues to teach at the Guitar Institute of Technology, and he also teaches online guitar lessons in collaboration with ArtistWorks. 

john notto

Hailing from Maine, John Notto is the guitarist in American rock band Dirty Honey. John initially left for LA in the hopes of recreating the success of Guns N' Roses. While he was there, he met singer Marc LaBelle who at the time was gigging with his band Ground Zero. For a brief period, John joined Marc's band, but the two soon wanted to start their own band.  John and Marc recruited bassist Justin Smolian and drummer Corey Coverstone and the band officially formed in 2017 under the original name The Shags before changing to Dirty Honey. Inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses, John has also said he’s influenced by funk and soul. With a 1987X and Silver Jubilee 2555 paired with 1960BX 4x12 cabs, to say John’s guitar tones pack a punch is an understatement. As he’s been phasing out overdrive pedals in his set-up, John began using his Silver Jubilee as his overdrive ‘pedal’, turning it on through a switch when the solos came on. 

Things quickly moved for John and Dirty Honey as the band became the first unsigned band to top Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart with their single, ‘When I’m Gone’. Soon after, they hit No. 3 on the same chart with the follow-up single ‘Rolling 7s’.  

From this success, Dirty Honey quickly found themselves in high demand and were opening shows for the likes of The Who, Slash and Alter Bridge. In April 2023 the band ventured to Australia to record their highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Can’t Find The Brakes’ with producer Nick DiDia who has worked with the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. A full circle moment for John, the band will be supporting Guns N’ Roses on the North American leg of their 2023 world tour. 

Joe Bonamassa

A blues guitar legend, Joe Bonamassa was raised on the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jeff Beck. First picking up the guitar at the age of 4 after being encouraged by his father, Joe was playing Hendrix note for note by the age of 7 and by 12 he was opening for the legendary blues musician B.B. King, who even stated that Joe is “One of a kind. The kind that will be a legend before he’s 25”. 

With over 40 albums to date all under his own label, J&R Adventures, Joe is regarded as one of the greatest blues guitar players of his generation. With help from his JCM800, Silver Jubilee and JTM45, Joe tones range from powerful hard rock to smooth, crisp blues. Joe’s classic bluesy rock tones can be heard on songs such as ‘Sloe Gin’ and ‘Different Shades of Blue’. Almost every album Joe releases instantly rockets to the number-one spot in the Blues charts. Joe has even debuted in the top 10 of The Billboard 200 charts, proving that a Blues album could still hold up next to the biggest names in pop music. 

As well as continuing to make music, Joe is now a Radio host having his own show ‘Different Shades of Blue’ on Sirius XM’s Bluesville channel. Joe also runs ‘Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea’ Music festival cruise. From whatever angle you look from there is no sign of Joe stopping anytime soon. 

brian ray

Rock ‘n’ Roll guitarist, session musician and singer-songwriter Brian Ray is best known as a key member of Paul McCartney’s touring band and the lead vocalist and guitarist of The Bayonets. 

At the young age of 17 Brian’s professional music career took off when tour manager Phil Kaufman introduced him to blues singer Etta James. From this meeting, Brian then signed on as her music director and guitarist, staying in this role for 14 years. In 2002, Brian was hired to play a one-time show with Paul McCartney at a Super Bowl pre-game show, however Brian became a permanent member of Paul’s touring band following the show., Paul’s band has been regarded as “Paul’s best band since the Beatles”. As part of his set-up, Brian favours a JTM 45 paired with a 2x12 closed-back cab, ideal for creating greater low-end punch. Being a part of Paul McCartney’s touring band has allowed Brian to play prestigious shows such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic games opening ceremony, as well as feature on three of Paul's solo records.  

In 2006, Brian launched his solo career with the release of his debut solo album ‘Mondo Magneto’ in through his record label Whooray Records. Paul has since released two more solo records and continues to feature in Paul McCartneys live ensemble. 

Fredrik Kihlberg 

Fredrick Kihlberg is the guitarist for progressive post-metal band Cult of Luna. Formed in 1998, Cult Of Luna has forged a sound that can only be described as ambitious, epic, and drenched in emotion. 

He first began playing guitar when his dad built him one, it wasn’t until he was 18 that he bought his own real guitar and got hooked on practicing for over 10 hours some days. However, before he even strummed a chord, he was a vocalist. Fredrik even states that in his first band ‘Coma’ he preferred singing a riff first and then translating it to guitar. 

Today, Fredrik plays a vast array of metal styles in Cult of Luna, and the band have experimented with various guitar tunings and voicings, going all the way down to Drop G# on their album Vertikal. Fredrik and the band try and create a sonic sound that is interesting to the ear, with intertwining guitar patterns and layers over each other making a unique sound.  

Cult of Luna’s latest album ‘The Long Road North’ has taken them to new heights performing at ArchTanGent festival and in late 2023 they will be embarking on their biggest headline tour of the UK yet.