One of the funnier things that occur each and every time I sit down and attempt to write a heavy riff is that, even though I don’t set up on writing it with this in mind, it inevitably ends up sounding like a Metallica or an Avenged Sevenfold riff (even Rise Against sometimes, but weirdly, not as much nowadays).
That’s not too say it’s identical to anything they created, I try to steer away from that as much as humanly possible because record labels have better lawyers than I can afford. But it will have the same vibe as anything James or Syn write.
And while at first it was frustrating and I tried to change them, in time I have come to terms with the fact that…my riffs will always end up sounding like certain bands.
It’s not a bad thing per se. I mean, one could argue that Led Zeppelin sort of made a career out of this. And it’s quite evident that, especially in rock music, such resemblance is inevitable. And since I mentioned Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica, go listen to Sad But True by Metallica and then to This Means War by Avenged Sevenfold. Let’s just say there’s a bit of similarity between the two…just a smidge.
What I’m trying to say is that you don’t need to beat yourself up if you feel you sound like a band. Sure, if it bothers you that you sound too much like a band, then go ahead and change the riffs up as much as you like.
But if you feel like it’s only a certain vibe and you like how it sounds, then by all means go for it. I’m sure in the back of your head you might be thinking that some people will pick up on the similarity and be all like: “oh good, just another X band knock-off”. I find those people hilarious, since they are probably the same people that go to X band’s YouTube videos and are all like: “ugh, why can’t music like this be more popular”. See also, comments on every Greta Van Fleet video.
In the end, whenever you’re writing songs, you’ll inevitably be inspired by the stuff you listen to the most. And yeah, you will end up sounding similar to the stuff you listen to. The most important thing you need to remember is that, so long as it’s not identical, you’re good to go. And hey, if you ever feel like you’re sounding too same-y same-y between songs, an easy workaround is to start listening to other types of music that might make you write different stuff.
Now, go out there and write your next awesome piece.