Papa Roach’s Jerry Horton Says He Chose Metallica Over AC/DC

In a recent interview with Premier Guitar, Papa Roach guitarist Jerry Horton stated that he was more into Metallica’s music rather than classic rock acts like AC/DC.

Like many in the industry, the Papa Roach lead guitarist was also heavily influenced by the thrash giant Metallica when he was a young musician. However, Metallica’s fourth studio album, released in 1988, significantly impacted the direction of his career. After he discovered what a guitarist could do in a song as well-rounded as ‘…And Justice For All,’ he wanted to achieve that for himself.

Horton stated that when he was a kid, he used to visit his grandparents in a small town in Indiana. He was into Metallica and played acoustic guitar. He added that everyone in town preferred AC/DC as they liked a classic rock sound, whereas he was more interested in the heavy metal sound of Metallica.

The song, ‘…And Justice For All’ from the band’s album of the same name, had a riff that was simple enough for him to try on his acoustic guitar, and that was when he realized he wanted to pursue a career in music as a guitarist and be on stage, rocking out to his craft. That moment paved the way for him to find the sound that would shape the rest of his musical journey.

Jerry Horton’s words about Metallica’s influence on his path to becoming a guitar player:

“I remember visiting my grandparents in a small town in Indiana. And I had an acoustic guitar, and I had just picked it up, and I was into Metallica. Everyone around me was more into AC/DC, more classic rock. But Metallica was new for me, and ‘…And Justice For All.’

I was learning with my acoustic guitar. And that riff was simple enough – in the beginning, the intro riff – and it sounded enough like an acoustic that I worked on trying to figure out, and I remember that ‘a-ha’ moment.”

He added:

“I was at the park down the street and started playing it, and then I had my Walkman along with it. And even with the acoustic, still riffing the loud parts, I felt like I could be up on that stage and rocking out. I’ll never forget it. It was a blast. And it just set me on that path to try and figure out as many of the songs that I loved and try to do my own thing.”

You can watch the interview below.