elixir

For Marcus King, sharing about his music comes with a powerful openness about his mental health struggles and substance abuse.

Photo by Simon Reed

On his latest full-length, Mood Swings, the young guitarist recorded under the sage guidance of studio veteran Rick Rubin. Here, he reflects on his life’s tribulations, and displays a rare fluency and comfort in sharing about his mental health.

The guitarist, singer, and songwriter Marcus King began drinking heavily around age 15, in part because the sorts of venues he was playing in the Southeast considered Pabst Blue Ribbon to be fair pay. “I was like an alley cat,” he recalls via Zoom, describing how these clubs would leave a case of cheap lager out back for their precocious guitar slinger. “Other stuff,” King says, “got introduced a little later.”

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Rig Rundown: Shinedown's Zach Myers & Eric Bass [2022]

The arena-filling rockers cheekily exude excess with a cavalcade of signature gear and some custom creations—including a pink number that made some see red.

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Now five albums deep, Harakiri for the Sky was founded by guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Matthias Sollak (at right) and singer J.J. in 2011. Sollak composes the music and J.J. pens the band's lyrics.

Austrian black-metal magus Matthias Sollak realizes his panoramic vision for Mӕre via cues from prog, shoegaze, and neo-classical.

For all the black-metal bona fides Matthias Sollak has accumulated as a guitarist, his musical range extends into areas you might not expect from a 31-year-old who's been running with headbangers for most of his life. Even during his long stint with Bifröst, the band he co-founded in his native Salzburg, Austria, at the age of 16, he brought elements as far afield as bagpipes, folk instruments, and keyboard samples to a freewheeling and unpredictable sound that helped set the group apart from their self-avowed "pagan metal" contemporaries.

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