The WillToRock Top 5 will be randomly timed post giving you an artist’s Top 5 (albums, concerts, singers, guitarists…etc.)

Sam Bam Koltun is the lead guitarist in Faster Pussycat, Budderside as well as one half of the acoustic Duo, 20Something.

From FP: Sam “Bam” Koltun, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, first picked up the guitar when he was 10 years old. By the tender age of 12, he was playing all the local clubs in his hometown. Sam packed up and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to attend the Musicians Institute where he was awarded Musicianship and Development scholarships. He successfully completed his Bachelor’s Degree while touring the country with various bands

Sam sent us his Top 5 albums and let us know why they had such an influence on  his playing style. Without further ado …

Sam “Bam” Koltun

Top 5 Albums

5. Green Day – “American Idiot”

Green Day was one of the first bands I discovered right as I started playing guitar. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, which resides on this record, is one of the first songs I ever learned to play on guitar. When I started taking lessons, they were 30 minutes long. Half of the time was used for “the book” stuff (reading, and other technical stuff) and then half was used for learning whatever I wanted to learn. I would BS my way through the reading and book stuff so I could get to learning the Green Day songs. The overall sound of this record to me is incredible. Green Day’s guitar tones are just massive. Billie Joe Armstrong is one of the coolest and greatest frontmen of all time, in my opinion. Back then, when I was 10 years old, I didn’t understand the whole “Concept Record” thing. Now that I have an understanding of that type of writing, I have a whole new appreciation for this record that I have always loved.  

4. Monster Magnet – “Mastermind”

Monster Magnet is a band I’ve been listening to since before I even started playing guitar. My dad & I were gifted the “Monolithic” and “Powertrip” CD’s, and I clearly remember always listening to those 2 disc’s in my dad’s car and wearing them out. Despite this, I chose their album “Mastermind” because overall, this is the most influential record for me from the band. It has this super warm & “dirty sounding” quality to it that I live for. Distorted bass, amazing guitar tones, and the giant sound of Dave Wyndorf’s vocals on 12 perfect songs (14 if you count the deluxe edition- which is my personal favorite ?).. Some of my favorite/most influential tracks are “God’s and Punks“, “Time Machine“, and “Ghost Story“. 

3. Shinedown – “Sound Of Madness”

I first discovered Shinedown at a festival show where I went to see another band, and Shinedown played right before them. I couldn’t believe what I saw and I had to find out who they were. This was right after they put out “The Sound of Madness” record, which to me is an absolute musical masterpiece. Incredible songs, vocals, guitar parts/tones, bass parts, drums, strings, harmonies, everything. It’s like a greatest hits album, even though it‘s not a greatest hits album.

2. Three Days Grace – “One X”

I can really say this record is a very clear depiction of where I come from musically. I started playing guitar when I was 10 years old, and found this band soon after. This is one of the main albums that I “identify” with as making me who I am as a musician and as a guitar player. The sound/mix of this record, the gigantic guitar tones & huge riffs, Adam Gontier’s unique and dark vocals, and above all the songs still resonate with me today. 

1. Alice In Chains – “Dirt”

Alice In Chains is my all-time favorite band. Jerry Cantrell is my favorite guitar player. This record is an absolutely perfect record to me. Every song on it has some of the most incredible, crushing guitar riffs I’ve ever heard… some of the most amazing vocal harmonies known to man… Sean Kinney’s drumming is phenomenal (in general, but especially on this record).. and Mike Starr’s bass playing and bass tone. My favorite Alice In Chains songs live on this album, which are “Dam That River” and “Rain When I Die“.

Sam’s Plus-One-For-The-Road:

+1. Dio – “Holy Diver”

I have to put an honorable mention to Dio’sHoly Diver” as Vivian Campbell’s guitar playing on this album is a major reason I am the guitar player I am today. I learned a lot of these songs when I was like 15/16, right as I started to get into “heavy” type of music (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Sabbath). Vivian’s in my top 3 favorite players of all time… and I’m still striving to hopefully one day be able to play the “Don’t Talk To Strangers” solo at full speed.”


Thanks Sam Bam!


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