Watch: St. Vincent tears through favorite Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix riffs
BBC Radio 6/YouTube

Who doesn’t love a great guitar riff? Remember those, what musicians used to do with a guitar and their hands? It almost seems like ancient history now, but there was a time before Ableton when the core power and potential success of a pop song relied almost entirely on the strength of the guitar riff. St. Vincent a.k.a. Annie Clark definitely hasn’t forgotten the long lost art of the guitar riff, as the popular rocker recently sat down with BBC Radio to discuss the familiar grooves and riffs that had the biggest influence on her as a young musician.

As seen in the video interview above, a stylishly cool Clark and her matching black acoustic guitar take viewers and fellow rock fans on a cruise down memory lane, which is filled with some epic notation from guitar pioneers like Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and more. According to the interview, two of the first riffs Clark ever learned to play came from Nirvana’s famous grunge anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung.” She also goes on to reveal that her favorite riffs of choice to perform at the moment comes from her own arsenal of grooves with her songs “Masseducation” and “Fear The Future.” Both can be heard on Clark’s recent 2017 studio album Masseducation.

Other songs which she goes on to quote as inspirations include tracks from The Breeders, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin’s blues lick from “Back Dog” and even Pantera’s much heavier “Cowboys From Hell.”

In addition to being a fan and student of guitar playing, Clark is also quite the designer. Her own customized guitar from Ernie Ball has picked up enough popularity that even Jack White decided to play it during his musical appearance on “Saturday Night Live” last season. The guitar riff might not be heard as often on FM radio as it once was, but fans can still hear and appreciate them in all of their distorted glory anytime St. Vincent takes the stage. Rock on Annie!