Ben is a Regina-based guitarist who plays several different styles of music including Latin, Heavy Metal, solo finger style and classical. He’s also a husband and father of two, and in his spare time, he says, he’s a BBQ master. Here are six songs he considers favourites. /Gregory Beatty

“Holy Wars The Punishment Due” Megadeth, Rust in Peace (1990)

This song was introduced to me by a friend. It’s track one on the tape, so it got a lot of play. It was the first real metal song I heard as a teen that I thought was really cool. It was also the first song that started getting me into guitar. I wanted to play like that! YouTube

“Mediterranean Sundance” Al DiMeola, Paco DeLucia, John McLaughlin, Friday Night in San Francisco (1981)

This live track is probably one of the most influential songs of my entire life. It’s an amazing recording that has affected my musical direction on the guitar. The playing on this recording is unbelievable. YouTube

“Peg Leg Speed King” Michael Hedges, Breakfast in the Field (1981)

I hadn’t been playing guitar for even a year when I was introduced to this by two skateboarder friends who played guitar. It really resonated with me, and made me want to play solo music like this on a steel string acoustic guitar. I’ve heard hundreds of great instrumental acoustic guitar songs over the years, but this one raised the bar high very early on. YouTube

“Hatework” Morbid Angel, Domination (1995)

By the time I heard this I’d already been listening to all kinds of heavy stuff. It’s the last song on the tape, and is one of the heaviest songs out there. I remember thinking, “how much heavier can things get?” YouTube

“Inferior Devoties” Hypocrisy, Osculum Obscenum (1996)

When I was in high school a friend made me a mix tape of metal songs. I’d been playing guitar for a few years, but hadn’t really started playing in a band. I knew I wanted my band to sound like this song. It had cool keyboard/chant parts and heavy guitar. I’ve had similar elements in several bands I’ve played in. I’ve always liked that combination of heavy and operatic. YouTube

“The Violation” Fleshgod Apocalypse, Agony (2011)

As I get older I feel less attracted to new music. That being said, this band crossed my path about 10 years ago. It’s nice to see what metal has evolved into. The production quality and technical ability of this band is amazing. YouTube