Sophie Lloyd on the pros and cons of being 2023's reigning shred queen – only in the new Guitar World

Sophie Lloyd adorns the cover of Guitar World's September 2023 issue
(Image credit: Jen Rosenstein)

I hereby welcome Sophie Lloyd to the GW cover club! It’s a joy to watch guitarists spring up, basically out of nowhere, to achieve such high levels of acclaim in this, um, interesting modern age of ours.

I joined GW in early 2011, and I’ve witnessed a few bright careers in the making since then, including occasional GW cover stars Billy Strings, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Jake Kiszka, Rob Scallon, and Wolfgang Van Halen (although Wolf did share a GW cover with his dad in 2008…).

OK, back to Sophie: Somewhere in Joe Bosso’s interview in this issue, Lloyd says, “People always say, ‘You haven’t paid your dues,’ but I feel as though I’ve done that in a different way.”

I agree. And what does “paying your dues” even mean in 2023? Isn’t building a massive online following over the course of several years paying your dues? Isn’t somehow shifting from the digital realm onto major brick-and-mortor stages like Madison Square Garden, Wembley Arena and the awesomely named KFC Yum! Center "paying your dues"?

Lloyd’s is definitely a unique story, and although I have very little inside information, I can promise you that her current stint with Machine Gun Kelly is still just the beginning.

Speaking of Lloyd, in this jam-packed issue you will find…

Welcome to the Machine: Lloyd discusses the joys – and the very public pitfalls – of her wild trajectory from popular online creator to Machine Gun Kelly’s arena-rocking secret weapon. (by Joe Bosso)

Exclusive Lesson with (and by!) Sophie: Lloyd breaks down her main riffs and solo in Do or Die and offers some useful playing and practicing tips – with tab and video. (by Sophie Lloyd)

Surfing with the Sophie: Lloyd chooses the 10 albums that changed her life. (by Andrew Daly)

Pop Goes the Shredder: 10 respected rock ’n’ blues guitarists who – for at least a little while, anyway – boarded the pop train. (by Andrew Daly)

This issue (AKA the September 2023 issue of Guitar World) is available right here, right now!

Sophie Lloyd adorns the cover of Guitar World's September 2023 issue

(Image credit: Jen Rosenstein)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.