Thrice have carved out a successful career, with guitarist Teppei Teranishi becoming a key piece of creating the band's ever changing sound. In this edition of Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater, the musician speaks with Loudwire about his evolution in guitar playing, dating back to his first riff.

Like many kids of his age, Teranishi was drawn to heavier music, including a certain thrash metal act of the era. “My dad played guitar, so there was always a guitar in the house. He taught me some chords, but it wasn’t until like fifth or sixth grade maybe that I started getting into Metallica," said the guitarist. "I think that era that I might have started listening to them might have been the Black Album era, but I went back in the catalog pretty quickly so I think what really hooked me was Kill ‘Em All, Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning.”

Grab Your Gear Here

But Metallica wasn't the first riff he learned. That honor went to the Deep Purple classic "Smoke on the Water." “I think because it’s the easiest," says the guitarist, adding while playing, "I think when you first learn it, you just sit there [playing the riff].”

Reflecting on his own band, Teranishi says, “When we started playing, we were super young. I was like 17 or 18 years old and so at that point it was just play a bunch of notes as fast as you can, riff as hard as you can. But I think as we’ve grown as musicians and our musical tastes have changed as we’ve gotten older, I think I approach the guitar pretty differently now. I think I go for more feel than anything else. That kind of musical shift probably started with Radiohead.”

He credits the Thom Yorke-led act for their experimentation in sound and effects, but says, "They have simple repetitive riffs that I think are just groovy and has a certain catch to it.”

Teranishi digs into the band's catalog for "Under a Killing Moon" off The Artist in the Ambulance album, but admits the "riff central" style from the early album is further away from what he enjoys playing these days.

Thrice are currently touring in support of their Palms album. Dates can be found here. Plus, they just announced a 10th anniversary deluxe vinyl release for their Beggars album that can be purchased here.

Top 100 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 21st Century