Ernie Ball: Striking A Chord

Ernie Ball: Striking A Chord

Welcome to Striking A Chord, a podcast presented by Ernie Ball — the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality electric guitar and bass strings. Tune in as host Evan Ball interviews some of music’s most influential artists and trailblazers about their stories, their reflections on musical trends, their advice for aspiring musicians, and more.


July 23, 2021 35 min
Emily Wolfe discovered her passion for the guitar at just 6 years old. Then in college, she found the courage to step forward as a vocalist. Equipped with both a microphone and an electric guitar, Emily’s creative potential was unleashed. In this episode we discuss her fantastic new album, Outlier, produced by Michael Shuman of Queens of the Stone Age. Additional topics include the city of Austin’s reputation as the live music capi...
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In this episode we chart Steve Vai’s path from 12-year-old student under the tutelage of Joe Satriani to full-blown rock guitar god. Additional topics include the evolution of guitar playing, the development of Vai’s showmanship (especially while playing with David Lee Roth), the difference between discipline and passion, the story behind his monumental song “For the Love of God,” and more.
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May 28, 2021 49 min
On today’s episode we welcome Nick Hexum and Tim Mahoney of 311. Nick and Tim grew up playing in bands together in Omaha, Nebraska. They soon forged the 311 sound and today, over 3 decades later, they’ve released 13 studio albums—ten of which reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200. Topics discussed include being rap-rock pioneers in the early 90s, breaking through to the mainstream in the mid 90s, band chemistry, influences, songw...
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April 30, 2021 61 min
In today’s episode we speak with Jesse Keeler of Death From Above 1979 about the secrets to his bass sound, the origins of the band, the “Freeze Me” video, and their new album, Is 4 Lovers. Additional topics include Jesse’s musical upbringing, his thoughts on the future of music creation, and of course his affinity for Regular Slinky bass strings. Freeze Me video: Intro music by Eat the Wolf Outro mus...
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April 2, 2021 41 min
On today’s episode we welcome guitarist Jake Goldstein and bassist Kevin Grimmett of the band HUNNY. We discuss their history and the success of their local scene, which included bands such as the Neighbourhood and Bad Suns. We talk about their influences and pay homage to the Cure. Other topics include signing with Epitaph Records, predicting future trends in music, releasing a steady flow of singles, and more. Intro music by Eat...
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March 5, 2021 44 min
At just 16 years old, Joe Robinson, equipped with his acoustic guitar, won Australia’s Got Talent. His career has since continued to flourish, releasing solo albums, doing session work, and performing with Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, and many other artists. In this episode we speak with Joe about getting the most out of your guitar practice, embracing mentors, growing up in a tiny Australian town, winning Australia’s Got Talent...
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February 5, 2021 61 min
Today we welcome YouTuber, shredder, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Jared Dines to the podcast. Through his intermingling of musical proficiency and comical skits, Jared has amassed millions of subscribers and hundreds of millions of views. In this episode we discuss social media as an outlet for musicians, the viral video experience, internet trash talkers, a day in the life of Jared Dines, Shred Wars, guitar practice, influe...
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January 8, 2021 53 min
Joey Bradford, guitarist of the Used, knows touring — from all angles. Right out of high school he jumped on the opportunity to sell merch on the Warped Tour for Saosin. Never looking back, Bradford’s talent and tenacity continued to open doors (like the time he was approached at the merch table and asked to fill in on guitar for Thrice!). In this episode we speak with Bradford about making his way in the music biz, trying out for ...
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December 4, 2020 42 min
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Kid Bloom joins us on the podcast for a wide ranging conversation. We discuss the idiosyncrasies of growing up in Los Angeles, playing strange gigs, writing songs on an instrument vs in a DAW, gaining traction without a label, and creating music that is unencumbered by social pressures. Intro music: Eat the Wolf Outro music: The Vacant Shapes
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November 17, 2020 42 min
Cliff Williams of AC/DC joins us on the podcast to discuss his musical history prior to joining the band in 1977, his favorite memories of playing with AC/DC through the decades, his reflections on their new album, and his Music Man bass which has accompanied him through thick and thin since 1979. Ernie Ball Music Man has recently recreated Cliff’s bass and is making a very limited run available to the public. Following our intervi...
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November 13, 2020 43 min
In this episode we speak with Knuckle Puck guitarists Nick Casasanto and Kevin Maida. The Chicago suburbanites tell the story behind their name, describe their first gig, and explain why they all get along so well. Kevin pitches The Sopranos as the greatest show ever created and Nick tells the story of a fan who turned out to be a long lost relative. Other topics include guitar strings, blink-182, and Knuckle Puck’s new album, 20/2...
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October 30, 2020 30 min
As the son of Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons, Zach Irons grew up immersed in music. Zach, not surprisingly, played drums from an early age, but soon discovered an even deeper passion for the guitar. Today Zach is the lead guitarist for both IRONTOM and AWOLNATION. In this episode we speak with Irons about the current state of the guitar solo, left-handed guitar, the roots of Red Hot Chili Peppers, IRONTOM’s new album, ska...
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In this episode we speak with System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian about moving to the US from Armenia as a kid, the formation and early days of System Of A Down, their unique situation of touring but not recording, and dealing with the public obsession with a new System record. We also discuss Shavo’s new band, North Kingsley, which has been prolifically writing and recording and is just beginning to release their songs to the ...
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October 2, 2020 45 min
Growing up in Brazil Rafael Moreira dreamt of ripping guitar solos in front of adoring masses. These dreams turned to determination, leading Moreira to LA where he attended Musicians Institute. Rafael’s skills were soon discovered and put to good use as the guitarist for P!nk, Christina Aguilera, The Voice, and American Idol (to name a few). In this episode we speak with Moreira about his experiences playing in house bands of hit T...
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September 18, 2020 38 min
Indie-folk artist Matt Costa grew up skateboarding in Southern California. In the wake of a debilitating accident, Matt discovered a new passion and natural aptitude for songwriting. He soon crossed paths with No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, whose early mentorship helped put Matt on track for a successful and enduring music career. In this episode, we speak with Costa about songwriting, skateboarding, touring, John Steinbeck, and hi...
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September 4, 2020 38 min
In this episode we speak with Stefan Babcock, lead singer and guitarist of the band PUP. Stefan discusses the Canadian music scene and the extent to which the US/Canada border acts as a musical divide. He also discusses lyrical inspiration, band chemistry, the dedication required to make music one’s livelihood, and an experiment PUP ran: what happens when you provide the public with the chords and lyrics to a song they’ve never hea...
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August 21, 2020 52 min
Seether formed in 1999. Just one year later their demo was charting in their home country of South Africa. The year after that, US label Wind-up Records flew the band out to NYC for a showcase performance, promptly signed them to a deal, and the rest is history. In this episode we speak with singer/guitarist Shaun Morgan and bassist Dale Stewart about Seether’s grassroots rise in South Africa, their big move to the US, and their br...
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August 7, 2020 37 min
In this episode we have a wide-ranging conversation with Dream Theater bassist John Myung. John discusses his experience attending Berklee College of Music with John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater’s formation and early days, tips for practicing bass, and the story behind his new Ernie Ball Music Man Artist Series six-string bass. Intro music by Eat the Wolf Outro music by The Vacant Shapes
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July 24, 2020 37 min
The members of hardcore outfit Code Orange have earned a reputation for their unrelenting drive. Whether writing heavier riffs, intensifying their live shows, or finding creative ways to engage fans during the pandemic, Code Orange is always pushing the envelope. In this episode we speak with guitarists Reba Meyers and Dominic Landolina about the power of bringing audio and visual together, the tricky balance of executing guitar pa...
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July 10, 2020 30 min
With their self-released debut album 40oz. to Freedom, Sublime quickly established a grassroots following on the California coast. With the release of their self-titled third studio album—two months after the passing of singer Bradley Nowell and the dissolution of the band—Sublime amassed worldwide fame, which persists to this day. In this episode we speak with bassist Eric Wilson about Sublime’s early days, their signature musical...
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