Jerry Horton from Papa Roach’s top 10 pieces of music

Society of Sound Fellows Papa Roach are not perhaps known for their varied taste in music as much as their propensity for very loud music. We asked lead guitarist Jerry Horton for his top 10 favourite pieces of music and you can see his excellent selection here:

Thelonious Monk:   North of the Sunset

Solo Monk

He has many more songs that convey emotion, condition, and feeling, but I like this one, because it has a very cool rhythm.  I can hear a hip hop beat behind it.  His performances are always spot-on, and played with such conviction and insight, you can actually imagine being in the room with him.

Norah Jones:   Seven Years

Come Away With Me

Norah Jones sings beautifully, and is an accomplished pianist.  However, the reason I picked this song is that it features acoustic guitar with a very cool slide solo.  I really love how the guitar sounds; as the sustain of the strings lessens, you can hear the rubbing of the slide against the strings, like it is an old guitar with old strings.  It is not easy to play an acoustic guitar and make it sound great, so I appreciate it that much more.  Also the fact that there is minimal percussion only helps the guitar stand out.

Red Hot Chili Peppers:   Can’t Stop

By The Way

I like this song because it has the classic Chili Peppers groove, but with some great background and harmony vocals.  John Frusciante is an amazing guitar player, but also a great singer.  You can feel everything he does with his guitar and his voice.  The recording is great, with the drums sounding punchy, but roomy.  Chad Smith plays with a great deal of finesse that most people don’t notice.

Pink Floyd:    Money

Dark Side of the Moon

Dark Side of the Moon is widely regarded as the best sounding rock record, for obvious reasons.  I particularly like Money, because of the creativity in the recording process.  The “Money” loop in the intro, which took a great deal of work to create is instantly recognizable.  There is ample space for each instrument, and each one is featured nicely at one point or another in the song.  David Gilmour’s guitar solos are great because you can sing them;  The song is dynamic in volume, and rhythm, switching between huge, doubled guitar solos and very tight sounds where the instruments play off of each other.   Lush and focused

Refused: Deadly Rhythm

The Shape of Punk to Come

This band unfortunately no longer exists, but this record is one of the most influential records of the post-punk-hardcore era.  The record is very dynamic in its sound, and playing.  The tones of the instruments are great, the drums especially sounding very natural, but punchy.  The music transforms from jazz-punk to blues-punk rock at the end of the song, with a stand-up bass solo in the middle.  The intricacies of the rhythm, and the way each player finds the nooks and crannies still blows my mind.  For anyone who is into rock, and can tolerate a little screaming, should buy this record.  It was very difficult for me to choose a song from this record, because it really should be listened to in its entirety.

Mogwai:   Sine Wave

Rock Action

This song is a very moody piece, with lots of noise in it, with distorted drums and barely intelligible and effected vocals, but it sounds great to me.  The main melody doesn’t change, but the instruments that come in around it, and the noises make it very unique.

Johnny Cash:  Hurt

American IV: The Man Comes Around

This is a song I already loved, and to hear it sung by Johnny Cash just draws me in so much more.  Not to take anything away from Trent Reznor, but to hear this intimate recording makes it so much more powerful.  To hear a cover done in a different style makes you focus on the melody and words, and gives you a whole new perspective on something familiar.

Led Zeppelin:   Whole Lotta Love

Led Zeppelin ll

Any of Led Zeppelin’s recordings will overshadow any contemporary recording, but I had to pick just one, so I chose Whole Lotta Love.  The guitar solo in this song is my favorite Jimmy Page solo.  The music breathes on this song, and the tones showcase the players’ abilities.  Bonham’s ability to effectively “mix” himself while he played is something the blows me away every time I think about it.  Playing drums is such an involved process, and to be able to play all the notes, do it with a little swing, and pay attention to how loud each drum needs to be depending on mic placement is just mind-boggling.

AC/DC:   Back in Black

Back in Black

At first I thought AC/DC was a juvenile rock band with no substance, but the more and more I listened to them the more I realized the genius in their songwriting.  They establish a groove, and rarely stray from it, to keep the flow going.  You will be hard-pressed to find a person not nodding their head, or tapping their foot when an AC/DC song comes on.  They provide a party atmosphere, which is a release for people in its own right.  I chose Back in Black because this song exemplifies the fact that they are groove masters.  The tones on this song, and the rest of the record are second to none, not only on record, but also live.  It has as much to do with the players’ hands (and feet) as it does the equipment, and recording style.  Another thing I appreciate about this song, and the rest of the record is that they record only what is needed.  The genius in writing and recording is not what you can add, because anyone can add more and more layers, and make something sound good.  But get the song to a point that you can’t take anything else away, and still keep the message you want to convey, and you have a song that will stick with people.

Peter Gabriel:  Darkness


Peter Gabriel is another artist who really knows about sound.  He sends great messages, but crafts songs and recordings in a way that only enhance that message.  Darkness, with its juxtaposition of beautiful, melodic parts with industrial wails and distorted drums really serves to create a landscape for his lyrics, which is what music is supposed to do.  Something I see in a lot of music today uses music that is good, but doesn’t necessarily connect with the music.  It seems like common sense, but Peter Gabriel is one of the masters of this.

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