Gina Gleason, the formidable guitarist of Baroness, recently revealed her musical tastes extend far beyond the realm of heavy riffs and blazing solos. In an exclusive interview with Ultimate Guitar, Gleason shared her admiration for Chris Stapleton's guitar work, particularly his soul-stirring solo in the song "You Should Probably Leave," which she declared her favorite non-metal solo: "It's one of my favorite guitar solos because it's emotional too, that's another part of it."
Gleason praised Stapleton's ability to convey emotion through his playing, noting his knack for leaving space and letting the tone speak for itself. This approach, she believes, is a valuable lesson for metal guitarists who often strive to fill every space with intricate technicality.
"It conveys the emotion of the song, but he leaves so much space – there are a lot of parts in that solo where he could go off and do something, but he just lets it hang. And I think that's really cool and maybe a really cool thing for some metal guitarist to kind of pick up on."
"I'm guilty of it too. Sometimes, I feel like I have to fill every space with something, but I love that solo. It's just super catchy. It's super emotional. And I just like that there are so many parts where he could do some bend or some little lick, but he just lets it hang in space, and you just hear that awesome tone, and that's it."
Beyond her love for country music, Gleason also acknowledged her deep respect for Kirk Hammett, who she credited with igniting her passion for the instrument and inspiring her early guitar playing: "I think I owe a lot to Kirk Hammett because I learned a lot from him. I'm a big Metallica fan and I learned a lot of just how to play guitar from learning Metallica songs."
"So I always think I owe a lot to Kirk Hammett because Metallica, for me, and Black Sabbath were those bands where I started learning those songs, those solos, and I was kind of able to draw parallels between, 'Oh, this is using this scale, but they're just doing this different sequence with the notes' or whatever."
Gleason also mentions how Dimebag Darrell's rhythmic riffs and songwriting prowess impressed her: "Dimebag Darrell and Randy Rhoads are guitar icons to me. Dimebag, not just for the solos, but also the rhythmic nature of his riffs and his songwriting. It's so powerful. So I've always loved his playing."
Gleason's diverse musical influences underscore her versatility as a guitarist, demonstrating that her creative expression extends beyond the confines of a single genre. Her appreciation for the nuances of different musical styles enriches her own playing and songwriting, contributing to Baroness' unique and captivating sound.