Scott Ian Says AC/DC, KISS, Ramones & Black Sabbath Turned Him Into Rhythm Guitarist

In a brand new 50-min interview with The Sessions Panel, Scott Ian, the rhythm guitarist of the Anthrax, recalled his youth and stated that AC/DC, KISS, Ramones, and Black Sabbath records turned him into the rhythm guitarist.

During the interview, the interviewer asked the musician that what he was working on the learn some things about guitar. Answering his question, Scott Ian said “learning the chords. As I got a little older, and I started getting into more and more hard rock – by ’76, I was really into KISS, Aerosmith, and I remember getting into The Ramones.

“Because we had moved back to Queens where I was born and raised, back to the neighborhood where I was from, so now I’m starting seventh grade, and I’m a guitar player, and I’m making new friends, and there are other kids playing guitar, and kids playing drums, and everyone’s into KISS, and Aerosmith, and Zeppelin…”

Anthrax’s Scott Ian – (image credit: Boston Lynn Schulz)

He continued his words by saying that he always tried to learn new music all the time. Ian also mentioned the current state of rock music at the time and said those times were epic.

“And just finding out about new music all the time because it was a great time for rock and music,” Scott said. “And I would just sit in my room, if I wasn’t out jamming with other friends at their house or whatever, I would sit in my little room and put records on, and just figure out the chords.

“I would sometimes attempt to figure out lead breaks but in the time, it would take me to figure out one guitar solo on a song. I could learn the chords to the whole album and that was just way more interesting to me, to learn how to play the songs.”

Black Sabbath – (image credit: Courtesy of Warner Records)

Later, he revealed what turned him into the rhythm guitarist and touched on the impact of legendary bands, including KISS, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Ramones, and Led Zeppelin.

“I was just so interested in learning the chords and, of course, that’s what kind of turned me into becoming a rhythm guitar player,” he continued. “I really learned how to play guitar by listening to AC/DC records, and KISS records, and Ramones records – I forgot to mention Sabbath, they were one of the earliest bands I got into.

“Sabbath records and Zeppelin records… And when Jimmy or Tony [Iommi, the guitarist of Black Sabbath] would go off into the lead break, a lot of times there would be a guitar overdubbed still playing chords even though there was no second guitar player in those bands.”

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