Flamenco guitarist, Ben Woods was born & raised in Seattle Washington, Ben taught himself to play the electric guitar while plucking along to his collection of Iron Maiden albums. At the age of 21, Ben’s electric guitar, amp and other gear were all stolen by some scumbag meth-head, so he had no choice but to keep practicing heavy metal on his “beater classical guitar” and thought…
“Hey this sounds like that crazy Spanish Guitar stuff!”
Ben found that Flamenco is what he was thinking of, and began teaching himself until he needed to take formal lessons. This really opened up a whole new world to him, a world of culture, art, dance, traveling to Spain, and eventual his mastery of the instrument.
Ben Woods’ Flamenco Style Cover Of The Judas Priest “Crusher”, Painkiller Is Nothing Short Of “Holy Shit”!
Heavy Metal and flamenco guitar, both require incredible speed, skill, and a heightened sense of rhythm. Ben Woods clearly has all those in abundance, because his cover of Painkiller is completely rad!
Painkiller (Judas Priest) – Ben Woods – Solo Flamenco Guitar
Seriously, Ben does the vocal lines, the intro drum fill, all the solos, and still, he manages to keep the underlying melodies flowing!
Inspired by Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer, and record producer Paco de Lucia, Woods embarked on his education about 20 years ago and thought this style of playing would be so great in a speed metal context. He searched the world to find something like that but it didn’t exist, so he pioneered the style of arranging heavy metal songs for flamenco guitar.
In 2005 Ben formed the band FLAMETAL. In 2010, he recorded an album of Heavy Metal covers in the Flamenco idiom called Heavy Mellow.
The Ronnie James Dio classic “Rainbow in the Dark” is also a FLAMETAL fan favorite.
DIO “Rainbow in the Dark” (acoustic) Ben Woods on flamenco guitar
And in case you were wondering? Yes, that is a crazed ax-murderer outside Ben’s window, chopping up a body!