Sometimes music is just in the genes, but it always helps to have a supportive parent to help nurture that along. That was the case for Sleeping With Sirens guitarist Jack Fowler, who credits his mom for his musical start in this edition of Loudwire’s Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater.

“It’s funny because my mom is actually a drummer, so I grew up in a Southern Rock household,” explains Fowler. “My mom played in bars and all that fun stuff, and she was like, ‘Honey, you should learn how to play guitar.’ I was like, ‘Mom, I don’t know if I want to play guitar.’ So she basically forced me into doing it and I ended up loving her for it.”

The guitarist says he was raised on a healthy dose of Marshall Tucker Band, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with ZZ Top’s “La Grange” being the first riff he ever learned. “After that it just kind of stuck with me. I started jamming with my mom in the garage and eventually worked my way into bands,” says the guitarist.

As happens with most aspiring musicians, his tastes evolved. According to Fowler, he was a self-proclaimed music nerd who loved Steve Vai during his entry years playing the instrument. He adds, “For me, I loved Pantera doing solos, but I also like Brownsound from Sum 41. He was also a really big influence on me as a guitar player. Dimebag is one of my favorite guitar players, because he still has a bit of that Southern Rock vibe that I grew up listening to, but he’s also more modern and metal.” Listen as he breaks off a bit of two Pantera favorites for the viewing audience.

Fowler also has a little fun at the expense of his bandmates, joking to the camera, “There is a riff that changed my band’s life forever and it is [Metallica’s] ‘Enter Sandman’ in major key and they hate me when I play it, so I’ll play it for you guys. Every time I play it, they get really pissed, so it’s a major life-changing riff for me.” The guitarist also delves into a bit of his own band’s music, rocking riffs from two tracks from the band’s upcoming album How It Feels to Be Lost.

He demonstrates a bit of the single “Leave It All Behind,” cautioning, “By the way, all these covers on YouTube, it’s just one note the entire time.” He also plays a bit of a currently unreleased track called “Never Enough.” “It’s on the heavier end of things,” says Fowler. “That’s a riff that when we were in the studio together, they just gave me a click and they were like, ‘Dude, just start riffing.’ I remember Kellin (Quinn) looking at me and going, ‘That’s the one, let’s work off that,’ and that turned into a full song.”

If you want to catch Fowler in action with his Sleeping With Sirens bandmates, look for them this summer on the Rockstar Disrupt tour. Dates can be found here, and be sure to circle Sept. 6 on your calendar for the release of How It Feels to Be Lost. Pre-orders are being taken here. And just a reminder that if you want to rock some of the riffs Fowler just played, you can get all your gear needs taken care of at Sweetwater.com.

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