AEW Wrestler Frankie Kazarian Plays His Favorite Bass Riffs
The rock and wrestling worlds continue to diverge, as this week we bring you AEW wrestler and rocker Frankie Kazarian, as he shares a bit of his love for the bass guitar in this episode of Loudwire's Gear Factor.
“I was always just drawn and attracted to the sound of bass guitar. It just sounded so powerful to me and sounded so different. I’m a huge hard rock and metal guy and my first real influence was Jason Newsted. That’s kind of the era I came up with,” says Kazarian.
Though he'd later expand his horizons to include of love of Iron Maiden and Motorhead and came to appreciate the lead guitar as well, the bass was truly his first love. "The personality of the bass guitar just kind of appealed to me more than a lead guitar did and none of my friends that were interested in music wanted to play the bass, so that had a lot to do with it," says Kazarian. "I just always loved the groove and the sound and the look of it.”
Sharing one of his first favorites, Kazarian plays a piece of Metallica's "Orion." The wrestler says one of his first things as an aspiring musician was to pick up all of the Metallica tablature books he could find.
If there's any piece of advice he's offer, it's this: “Learn the fundamentals. Do the reps. As boring as it sounds and as much as you want to be doing Steve Harris bass lines, it’s not gonna happen, so put in the reps just like any athlete should.”
Early on, Kazarian had shared interests both in music and wrestling, and had always envisioned something heavy blazing his path to the ring. “Look at the history of pro wrestling. The best entrance music has been heavy metal, hands down.”
These days, Kazarian has a band called Gutter Candy that he plays in when he's not in the wrestling ring. However, as someone who leaned to play bass with his fingers, he's had to adjust to the pick, using an up-picking technique so that he can play songs from Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue and Poison. He demonstrates his warm-ups on GNR's "Sweet Child O' Mine" and Motley Crue's "Don't Go Away Mad," while also revealing he recently picked up the Eagles' "Hotel California" just because he always liked the song.
Kazarian was kind enough to show us one of the first riffs he ever wrote. “I literally wrote it in the late ‘90s and it’s just been sitting around. That’s the joke -- will I ever really have a song based around that riff? The answer, I hope, is probably yes... just 20 years later.”
Speaking of Gutter Candy, Kazarian reveals that much like Steel Panther, his band has found inspiration in the hard rock scene of the '80s. He shares a piece of a song called "No Mercy" that's meant as a nod to The Karate Kid and the Cobra Kai series.
Finally, Kazarian speaks to the parallels between his two worlds, finding that rising through the ranks as an independent wrestler mirrors what he's gone through with his band.
“The relationship between live music and wrestling; I think there’s a real good opportunity for that to be discussed long-form like a documentary or something. The parallels are crazy," says Kazarian. "It’s all based on action and reaction. It’s live theater.”
Watch Frankie Kazarian's full Gear Factor episode below. AEW Dynamite airs every Wednesday at 8PM ET on TNT. To check out more from Gutter Candy, head here and follow Frankie on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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