Conventionally speaking, Slipknot’s music – with its walls of electric guitar and thundering percussion – is tailor-made to be played by nine musicians at high volume. But YouTuber Luca Stricagnoli’s approach to acoustic guitar playing is far from conventional.
The Italian virtuoso has amassed a following of over 700,000 subscribers on the platform with his jaw-dropping covers of classic songs, in which he crafts stunning fingerstyle and percussive-flavored arrangements to be played entirely on one acoustic guitar.
And in his latest video, Stricagnoli has repurposed Before I Forget, a heavy metal classic from the Iowa juggernaut’s 2004 album, Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, in his signature one-man-band style. Needless to say, the results are extraordinary.
Kicking off proceedings with a thumping take on the track’s legendary main riff, Stricagnoli puts his custom-built strummer through its paces, maintaining a locked-in sense of rhythm throughout while effortlessly playing both Jim Root and Mick Thomson’s guitar parts and Corey Taylor’s instantly recognizable vocal melodies.
And for added visual effect, he plays in an eerie-looking room amongst a selection of Slipknot masks from various eras. Check out the clip above.
“How does Slipknot sound on acoustic guitar? This video is my answer to this question,” Stricagnoli says. “I first listened to Before I Forget many years ago, and I loved the song right away. Now, after quite some time, I heard it again and figured it [was] time to arrange it for fingerstyle guitar.”
Stricagnoli’s rendition of Before I Forget is just one of his catalog of insane acoustic guitar covers. Other highlights include head-spinning takes on The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army (opens in new tab) and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama (opens in new tab), and a version of Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing, in which he showcases his incredible acoustic modification, the reverse slide neck.
In an interview with Guitar World last year, Stricagnoli spoke of his long-term ambitions as an acoustic guitar player.
“My dream when I started getting into fingerstyle guitar was to bring my own contribution to the way guitar is played,” he said. “I want to leave a mark for the new wave of guitar players, and maybe one day – 20 or 30 years late – a guitarist says, ‘I play this weird way because of Luca Stricagnoli.’ That would be a life goal.”