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“There’s no question”: Cory Wong nominates Nuno Bettencourt as his guitarist of the year

The Vulfpeck man cites Bettencourt’s solo on Rise – which shook up a storm in the guitar world earlier this year – as a key reason behind his choice.

Cory Wong and Nuno Bettencourt

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Vulfpeck maestro Cory Wong has named Nuno Bettencourt as his personal “guitarist of the year” in a new interview.

Speaking with Total Guitar, Wong reveals his admiration for the Extreme rocker’s musical talents, saying Bettencourt isn’t just a great guitarist but also an impressive songwriter and producer.

When asked about who he’d nominate as “guitarist of the year”, Wong states that in his mind, “there’s no question” the title belongs to Nuno Bettencourt.

“Everybody in the guitar community suddenly freaked out because of that big solo on Rise,” he says. “But cats forget that he’s also an amazing songwriter and an amazing producer.”

“It was just a matter of time before we were all reminded that Nuno is as good as he is!”

Earlier this year, Extreme released Six, their first studio album in 15 years. As the man behind the epic solo in the record’s opener Rise, Bettencourt explained that the members had really “set a bar” for themselves during the making of this particular record.

He shared that the band had about “three albums’ worth of material” to choose from, though curating the final tracklist wasn’t easy since “You really have to be super proud and super excited to share your music with anybody, even if it’s your brother or it’s your family member or if it’s Tom Morello that you happen to know.”

“Once you have that feeling of, ‘Would you play these songs in front of your peers?’, then you kind of know you got something there and you’re ready to go.”

He added, “I told the guys, ‘I wanna go for blood on this album, in the sense of I want to make it fun, and I want to make it fun with the guitar, so that there are things within the rhythm playing. To bring joy into it, to bring passion into it, is what I have always done in the past, and it comes from that Edward Van Halen school, and Brian May and Jimmy Page.”

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