“Us guitar players in the West, we all have the same base vocabulary, the same handful of stereotypical licks. But Mdou’s music, it’s almost free of that stuff”: Mdou Moctar finds a new fan in Metallica’s Kirk Hammett

Mdou Moctar playing his left-handed Fender Strat at Coachella 2024
(Image credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Mdou Moctar's latest album, Funeral for Justice, features psychedelic guitar work that draws as much inspiration from Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix as traditional Tuareg wedding dances.

Now, Moctar's unique guitar-playing style and music sensibilities have been praised by Metallica's Kirk Hammett. 

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Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.