In October of last year, Trivium released The Sin and the Sentence, their eight studio album. They’ve also been touring heavily over 2017, with the last leg of their tour taking them on a North American trek from October to December with co-headliners Arch Enemy.

Now that Trivium is on a break from touring – they hit the road again in March 2018 – Music Radar thought it a good idea to quiz the band’s frontman and guitarist Matt Heafy on the tracks that formed the building blocks of his musical education.

Heafy starts off with Van Halen’s seminal 1978 classic ‘Eruption,’ calling it “the first song I remember” and reminiscing about his dad playing it in the car. For the first song he ever played live, he chose a more punk-oriented Nineties staple – The Offspring’s ‘Self Esteem.’ Up and coming (as well as experienced) guitarists will find the next one interesting: according to Heafy, the song he plays every time he’s trying out new gear, isn’t the standard ‘Stairway To Heaven’ or ‘Smoke On The Water,’ but instead, ‘Mein Teil’ by German industrial rockers Rammstein.

The song he really goes into raptures about is Jason Becker’s ‘Altitudes,’ saying, “I’ve been trying to casually learn ‘Altitudes’ for my entire guitar playing life and I’m nowhere near it. I’ve seen some guys that can do it. It’s something that’s the next level of skill.”

Read Matt Heafy’s entire Playlist here.