Sick Riffs: Cody Quistad teaches you the earth-shattering main riff of Wage War's Who I Am

Sick Riffs #88: Florida's Wage War deserve a spot on any metalhead's playlist, and should be firmly on the radar of any heavy-inclined aspiring six-stringer. The group's 2019 album, Pressure, sees the five-piece double-down on their already-established brand of metalcore - which is often tastefully infused with electronica and tech-death influences.

The record emerges strong from the get-go with Who I Am, a ferocious rager with all the hallmarks of solid contemporary metalcore: drop-tuned, technically impressive guitar lines, ground-shaking drum work and an instantly catchy chorus section. Guitarist Cody Quistad joins Guitar World today from his house in Nashville, Tennessee to take you through the track's show stopping main riff.

He plays a Fender American Professional Telecaster electric guitar fitted with Fishman Fluence Modern humbucking pickups and Ernie Ball Not Even Slinky 12-56 strings - but with an 80-gauge on the low string to handle the low F. This all runs through an STL ToneHub digital amp modeling plugin.

"We are in unprecedented times with this coronavirus," says Quistad. "It's good to see people taking initiative and staying at home and doing the best we can to take care of each other. Here in the music industry, things are a little uncertain right now. There's people saying concerts won't come back 'til fall 2021. Then people are saying that's wrong. 

"But you know, we're all just banding together and finding new ways to stay connected to people through music, whether that's video or new songs or whatever. Hopefully you guys are staying safe, washing hands, and wearing masks."

Support Wage War

Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.