100 FOR 100


Posted: 13 October 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: 12 mins

Mike Kerr

Alongside drummer Ben Thatcher, Mike Kerr makes up half of rock duo Royal Blood, who formed in Worthing, UK in 2011.  Royal Blood took the UK rock scene by storm with the release of their debut self-titled album in 2014. The album landed the number one spot on the UK album charts and became certified platinum. The band’s following albums have also gone to top charts and earned themselves gold certification status.

Royal Blood’s sound on this first album, and the following records, have caused them to become a talking point among other guitar players and gear fanatics. For years, Mike Kerr’s signature bass sound has been the driving force behind the band’s iconic sound. Mike draws inspiration from the likes of Jimmy Page, Jack White, and Queens of the Stone Age’s, Josh Homme. These inspirations have led Mike to use a range of simple, yet effective, techniques including hammer-ons, pull-offs and prebends as core elements to his sounds, resulting in catchy and rhythmic songs.

Mike uses a short-scale bass guitar through a signal splitter pedal, playing through both a bass and a guitar amp. As well as the signal splitter pedal Mike uses a variety of other pedals which he plays through the front of both amps. When Mike’s signature guitar tone is played alongside Ben Thatcher’s thunderous drum tone, the duo creates a sound that matches those created by most four-piece bands.


Image Credit: Royal Blood, BIME Live 2017, CC BY-NC-ND, via Dena Flows

Pat McCrory

Pat McCrory is one of the two guitarists behind Baltimore hardcore breakouts Turnstile. Turnstile burst onto hardcore scene in 2013 with their debut album ‘Step to Rhythm’. Turnstile's attitude and brand of youth-minded and youth-driven hardcore brought the genre into new light and towards a new generation of listeners.

In 2018 the band dropped the album "Time & Space" and marked the group's debut release for Roadrunner Records. The album was released and received rave reviews from critics and fans alike. It ranked number one in Kerrangs top 50 albums for 2018 and sold nearly 3000 physical copies in its first week of release, making it a mass hit for those in hardcore and punk. Their aggressive punk style riffs and vocals were contrasted with dance-like drum groves and catchy chorus.

This style was continued with the release of ‘Glow on’ with even greater success. Angry and aggressive guitar riffs were further complimented by dance elements in the grove and the beat, but with also new elements like synths and heavy reverb adding to the style - making their style of New York hardcore punk stand out further and bring them more mainstream appeal.

Pat’s overdriven riffs mixed in with these other elements have created a winning formula for pushing Turnstile into the mainstream. With them going on to perform at Coachella, supporting Blink 182, and headline Outbreak Festival all while keeping to that hardcore ethos.

Stephen Carpenter

Stephen (Steph) Carpenter is the guitarist and co-founder of the metal band Deftones. His power chord-based rhythm guitar has been the foundation for creating the band’s unique sound. Steph's sound has allowed him to go on to create some of the most recognised guitar riffs in the metal genre through the 90s. Starting in 1988, Deftones have been around for over three decades and Steph has made a name for himself in the guitar world across the globe. He’s been able to do this through a complex combination of simple techniques such as power chords, ringing open strings, and dissonant chords. Another recognisable element of Steph’s guitar playing, and Deftones’ style, is his use of alternate tunings. In the band’s debut release, Steph can be heard playing in standard tuning however with every record they have released since, he has experimented with lower tunings on six, seven, eight, and even nine-string guitars. As time has passed Steph has also branched out into a cleaner sound, with the use of range or midi and effects pedals.

Considering how much Steph’s sound has developed and changed over the years, it’s not surprising to hear that he has used a plethora of gear throughout his career. From JCM800s to more recently going for a full midi and digital tone, Steph doesn’t limit himself when trying out new gear. He also has a wide range of signature guitars produced by ESP - available in all kinds of specifications and finishes, each inspired by a different era of Deftones.

In 2021, Deftones released their album ‘Ohms’, an album that became a fast favourite. With this release, Deftones also found themselves becoming popular on TikTok, and soon music from every generation of the band found life on the platform. More recently, Steph has also begun posting on YouTube, where he performs guitar playthroughs demonstrating to fans his unique playing style.


Image Credit: Deftones @ Rock im Park 2016, (CC BY-SA 3.0),  pitpony.photography, via Wikimedia Commons

Brady Deeprose

Brady Deeprose is the guitarist and vocalist of the UK metal breakthrough band Conjurer.

Brady started learning the cello in secondary school, so he could avoid going to RE lessons - However, musical talent soon became apparent and he started playing in local orchestras. By the time he was 13, he was playing classical music at the Royal Albert Hall. During his mid-teens, Brady started attending gigs at his local venue in Rugby where he would meet his future bandmates. After finishing his studies early Brady and Conjurer went full speed ahead and released their debut EP ‘I’ on Holy Roar Records.

Shortly after this release, In 2018, the band released their debut album 'Mire' in 2018. This record took the band to new heights with a tour supporting Rivers of Nihil throughout America in March 2019. As well as performing at Download and then a UK/EU headline tour. Since the they have gone on to release a split album with Pijn and another full-length record, which they toured extensively all over the UK and Europe.

The band’s sound throughout these releases has stayed consistent, in the dark realms of extreme metal. With extremely low-tuned guitars, which hold on each note and chords to add to that doom and dark atmosphere - that can be felt on each track. This is all alongside Brady's, and fellow vocalist Dan's, contrasting vocal performances which range from high screams to gut-wrenching lows.

The band have recently put out their latest album ‘Páthos’ and are currently touring the album across the UK and Europe.

Poison Ivy

Kristy Marlana Wallace, also known as Poison Ivy, is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and vocalist who co-founded the rock band, The Cramps.

The Cramps was founded by Poison Ivy and her lifelong partner Erick Purkhiser (Lux Interior) who fronted the band. The band's journey began when Lux Interior drove Poison Ivy to college as they were both enrolled in a course at Sacramento City College. The pair instantly connected and soon began a relationship. They found they both shared a passion for the obscure sounds of rock ‘n’ roll and the more artistic and aesthetical aspects of modern music.

The pair quickly decided they should form a band and shortly after they moved to New York in search of success. After a few short stints under different names, they finally settled with the name The Cramps and after finalised the band lineup. The group cut their first record, ‘Lucky 13’ at the legendary Sun Studios and released it in 1978. The band had managed to create their own sound did and performed like no one else on the vibrant New York punk scene.  Their songs describe tales of horror, sex, and other rock and roll fantasies that play homage to mid-20th century B movie horror with the band’s creepy aesthetic and DIY ethos.

Throughout her career, Poison Ivy’s distinctive style of playing was often compared to surf guitar styles. Surf guitar playing involves fast tremolo picking with the right hand and playing repetitive patterns with the left hand, this technique creates a crashing wave like sound. She also favoured classic rock 'n' roll swing styles of playing made, popular throughout the 50s and 60s.

The Cramps released their 13th, and final album ‘Fiends of Dope Island’ on the band's own label Vengeance Records. The band unfortunately ended in 2009 when Lux passed away.


Image Credit: The Cramps 1991 Tokyo, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), via Flickr

Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas is a singer-songwriter, record producer and session musician. Born and raised in London, Lianne started showing an interest in music at an early age by singing. When later asked she said her parent’s diverse musical tastes had the biggest influence on her love of music, with other inspirations coming from Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, creating her contemporary R&B sound. Her father was a successful multi-instrumentalist and taught her the basics of guitar and piano. Contributing to Lianne’s music style which is a hushed hybrid of alternative folk, soul, jazz, and pop.

She found success with the release of her debut album, ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ in 2010 which reached number five in the UK. The album was nominated for the Mercury prize in the UK and earned her an Ivor Novello award. She has then since gone on write and release two more records along with seven EPs. Lianne's second album ‘Blood’ found her even more success, the album entered the UK chart at number two and was nominated for a Grammy.

After the release of her second album, Lianne took an extended break from music. She returned in early 2020 with a small batch of singles that led to the release of her self-titled third album. Which went on to win Best Album at the Ivor Novello Awards in 2023.


Image credit: Lianne La Havas - Boardmasters 2021, (CC BY 2.0), Raph_PH, via Wikimedia Commons

Adam Jones

Adam Jones is the guitarist and visual artist behind progressive metal giants, Tool. Adam has been rated the 75th-greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone and ninth in Guitar World's Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. 

In his early life, Adam was classically trained in music - learning violin and the double bass in an orchestra. Whilst still playing classical music, he began playing bass in Tom Morello’s first band, Electric Sheep. However, Adam would later move to California, where he would meet Maynard James Keenan and go on to form Tool. Since their founding in the 90s, Tool have become one of the most popular metal bands in the world. Their progressive metal sound, intricate conceptual album themes and song structures have made them rock and metal royalty.

Adam's guitar tone contributed considerably to the creation of Tool’s instantly recognisable sound. Over the years, he has used multiple amps and effects. However a fan favourite is his recorded tone from the bands more recent years. When recording the albums ‘10,000 Days’ and ‘Fear Inoculum’ he tracked through two, three, (or more) different amps simultaneously, with different cabs and different microphones being used. This resulted in a rich sounding tone, especially in the mid ranges creating a unique sound that no single amp could recreate. 

Recently Adam and Tool have embarked on a world tour in support of the Fear Inoculum album. This tour saw the band sell out arenas around the world and headline major festivals.

Rachel Goswell

Born in England in 1971, Rachel Goswell is best known as the vocalist and guitarist of the shoegaze band Slowdive, as well as being recognised for her solo music and her work in the rock band, Mojave 3.

Slowdive were previously named Pumpkin Fairies, however in 1989 they reformed, to be now known as Slowdive. Within a year they were signed to Alan McGee’s label Creation Records and released their debut self-titled EP. Following the success of this, in 1991 Slowdive released their debut album ‘Just For A Day’. It placed in the top ten of the indie charts and climbed to number 32 on the pop chart. With this release, Rachel and Slowdive began making waves with their ambient dreampop and shoegaze sounds. Bands like Slowdive focused more on a sonic sound and atmosphere rather than impressive shredding techniques. The guitar sound that Slowdive creates is room filling, with lots of ambient, reverbed cleans accompanied with large fuzz like overdrive in the chorus’ to power and suspense from just simple playing rather than heavy power chords and solos.

Slowdive went on hiatus in the early 2000s with other members wanting to focus on other areas of music. Following this, Rachel went on to release her own solo album in 2004 and focus on her work with Mojave 3. In 2017, Slowdive reunited and released a self-titled album and went on to appear at several festivals in the following years. Slowdive’s music also found its way to new popularity on TikTok introducing a new generation of fans to their music. With this increased popularity, Slowdive more recently have gone onto release their new record ‘Everything Is Alive’.


Image credit: Rachel Goswell (Slowdive) 1991 (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr


Vixen is a session guitarist, solo artist as well as social media influencer. She has played and worked with a wide range of stars including, Zara Larsson, Rina Sawayama, and Halsey both on stage and in the studio. Her talent has given her the opportunity to play to some incredible spaces and events, such as Abbey Road Studios, Glastonbury, Lovebox, Royal Albert Hall and V Festival. Outside of performing on stage and in the studio, she has continued her success online after amassing a huge social media following, playing short covers, performing solos she has written and creating tone tutorials for her followers to recreate.

With almost two decades of playing in her credentials, Vixen’s guitar influences come far and wide, from Guns N’ Roses to Ben Howard. Having such a variety of influences means that she has been able to create her own style that can then mesh with several genres – something that is a necessity for any session player.

Tom Morello

Rock guitar sensation, political activist, and solo artist... few rock guitarists in the 90s were as groundbreaking as Tom Morello. Best known for his work in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Tom first appeared on the scene in the 90s with his experimental. As a teenager, he became infatuated with both rock music and politics. Throughout this time, Tom taught himself guitar and later started playing in local bands.

After his first band ended, Tom connected vocalist and Rapper Zack De La Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk, who would go on to form Rage Against the Machine in 1991. In 1992, the band would release their self-titled album which broke new ground for both rock and rap music crossover. The band's debut album, and the three other albums that followed, caused controversy in the media with their political lyrics. All this combined created a legacy that would resonate with minorities and frustrated youth still to this day.

Zack De La Rocha, parted ways with Rage in 2000. This is when Tom, and the rest of the band members, enlisted the services of former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, forming Audioslave. Together, they released three top ten albums from 2002 to 2006 before disbanding in 2007.

On the new Audioslave records, Tom continued to build the guitar sound he had created with Rage. Toms's sound is famously built around a JCM800 paired with a Peavy cab and a whole range of effects pedals. He mostly riffs on the neck pick-up but integrates unique playing elements such as kill switch. Tom uses it to instantly cut the guitar tone or rapidly turn the guitars pickups on and off. The intro to ‘Know Your Enemy’ is a good example of this technique.

In recent years, Rage Against The Machine has reformed and have gone onto to headline Coachella festival and perform in stadiums around the world. Their music and messaging continue to be relevant and empower people all around the world.


Image Credit: Tom Morello, Bristol, UK. Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons