Rock is dead? Not so fast nay-sayers. Rock isn’t dead. It’s not only alive but we have proof that the future of rock looks bright, particularly guitar-heavy rock. The Van Halen News Desk has a guitarist from Oklahoma who simply must be heard. His name is Joshua Jones and he is heavily inspired by the guitar playing of Edward Van Halen. On his YouTube channel the 23-year old guitarist has posted over a handful of videos of him performing Van Halen classics. Here’s his version of Van Halen’s groundbreaking 1978 solo “Eruption”:
The VHND recently had the chance to talk with Jones to find out more about him and his love of Van Halen. “To me, in my honest opinion, there will definitely be never be another Ed,” said Jones. “He’s the pinnacle of rock guitar playing. He’s got the songwriting and the god-given talent to back it up. He’s a virtuoso.”
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma Jones now lives and shreds on his guitar daily in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. “I’ve pretty much lived in Broken Arrow my entire life, my family did move from Tulsa to Phoenix, Arizona when I was way younger but it only lasted about 4 years and we came back here,” said Jones.
Jones got the guitar-rock bug around 2007. It was a 1988 hit single by David Lee Roth featuring the guitar work of Steve Vai along with a Poison song (also from 1988) featuring guitarist C.C. Deville that lit his fire. “What got me interested in guitar was two songs specifically. I was 11 and my parents were starting to give us all a bit more freedom to listen to whatever we wanted so I chose to listen to their music for some reason,” said Jones. “The two songs I listened to were ‘Just Like Paradise’ [by David Lee Roth] and ‘Nothin But A Good Time’ [by Poison]. I would listen to those two songs endlessly and dream about playing the riffs and solos to em.”
Two years later Jones was given his first guitar while continuing to discover more and more classic guitar rock bands and songs. “Got a guitar at 13 after begging my parents day after day. I didn’t play those two songs I loved at that time because I found a new liking in Metallica and heavier riff-based rock,” said Jones. “Took [my parents] a while to scrape up some money for a little cheap starter guitar but they did it and I played all the time. Lost all my friends because of it. Well I only had one friend anyways lol.”
It wasn’t long after that when Van Halen started to become a huge influence on Jones and his style of guitar playing. “To be honest with Eddie and Van Halen it was always floating around but I think the first song I absolutely loved by VH was ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’,” said Jones. “I must have been 16 or 17 by the time I was getting into Ed heavy. I even changed my Twitter name I had at the time from Joshua Jones to “Van Halen” lol.”
Check out more of Jones playing classic Van Halen riffs below: “Spanish Fly”:
“I’m The One”:
“Ice Cream Man”:
“You Really Got Me”:
Just messin’ around:
Jones also has some original riffs he’s written and wants to eventually turn them into complete songs with a band. “Hopefully one day, sometime soon, I can get a band going,” said Jones. “I’ve been trying my whole life to do so. I need a drummer badly to hash out my riffs with. Looking to write an album with some good rockin’ shit.”
You can find Joshua Jones on Facebook. Jones also has a YouTube channel where you can watch videos of him performing guitar classics from Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Pantera, Dokken, Dio and more. You can also watch Jones perform live Sundays at Twitch.tv around 8 p.m. CST, 9 p.m. EST.