Sick Riffs: Paul Marc Rousseau teaches you the destructive breakdown bends of Silverstein's new single, Bankrupt

Sick Riffs #141: It's been a while since we brought you an episode of Sick Riffs, but we're coming back swinging. This time, Paul Marc Rousseau of Ontario alt-rockers Silverstein teaches you how to play the breakdown from the band's latest single, Bankrupt.

While relatively simple, the riff is designed to be “a representation of how mad you are”, rather than something that's “difficult, technical or challenging”. However, with the right tone dialed, this one's sure to get the pit spinning in your living room.

Gear-wise, Rousseau plays a custom Ernie Ball Music Man Valentine electric guitar with DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup through Neural DSP's Archetype: Gojira plugin.

Says Rousseau: “I miss playing shows. I miss people. I've spent hundreds of hours frustrated with the state of the world, angry about how dehumanizing it has all felt. 

“In many ways I am lucky – I haven't been sick, it's relatively easy for me to stay safe, and our fans have been overwhelmingly supportive of our Covid projects. I know how devastating this last year has been for so many others and I hope we get out of this hell soon.”

Support Silverstein

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.