Jeff Waters (born February 13, 1966) is a Canadian guitarist and founder of the metal band Annihilator. He was born in and resides in Ottawa, Canada. Waters has owned Watersound Studios Inc. since 1994 (where it was in Maple Ridge, BC) and recently, since 2003, in Ottawa, Canada.
Water's father was in the military and his mother was a teacher. His family had houses in Ottawa and Camp Borden, Ontario as well as London, England. He took some classical and jazz guitar lessons at a young age.
Career with Annihilator:
Waters formed the band Annihilator in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1984. He wrote and recorded the song "Annihilator" (not to be confused with their 1994 song of the same name) with singer Big John Bates. This original version of Annihilator was released on the special edition of the 2005 album, Schizo Deluxe.
Waters has frequently changed Annihilator's line-up over the years. During the early era of the band, his goal was to produce a stable line-up. However, members left for a multitude of reasons such as family issues, substance abuse and work commitments. Due to these rapid line-up changes, Waters has taken on the role of bass player, engineer, producer and writer as well as guitar player. After some time, Waters began to embrace the idea of working with many other musicians, and has recruited permanent vocalist Dave Padden as well as a revolving touring line-up. Jeff Waters has performed lead vocals for three of the band's studio albums and on the songs "Holding On" from 2004's All for You, "Too Far Gone" from the 2005 album Schizo Deluxe and "Operation Annihilation" from 2007's Metal.
Annihilator has been touring prominently Europe and Asia since 1989. Despite not touring and receiving virtually no press or label interest in Canada and the USA, Annihilator has become one of the biggest selling Canadian Metal band of all-time, yet the majority of their sales have been generated from Asia and Europe. Most of Annihilator's discography is hard to find in the band's home country of Canada. Waters has been quoted as saying:
"I live a few blocks from the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. One day, a few years ago (2005) I contacted the Entertainment editor by email and introduced myself, gave him links to our web site and info, and asked if he might spare a few minutes to talk with me about the band, as I live a few minutes walking from his office. He told me to mail him a CD and he would consider reviewing it. He didn't. It actually made me a bit sad, as I have been waving the flag for Canadian metal and Canadian music for over 21 years abroad and also have sold more than any other metal band from this fine land. Yet I could not even get a review or interview with our nation's capital newspaper, when local artists with no deal and no CD releases, were actually getting full page or front page stories. The last thing I needed was coverage in Ottawa but I thought, out of principle, I should try. Shot down in flames! Ha!"
Waters has been cited by many metal musicians worldwide as an influence on their own music. Artists from bands as diverse as 3 Doors Down, Slipknot, Nickelback, Megadeth, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, In Flames, Danko Jones, H.I.M., Children Of Bodom, Johannes "Axeman" Losbäck of WOLFTrivium are either influenced by Waters' writing and guitar playing or have revealed themselves as a fan of Annihilator or his guitar playing.
Music writer Joel McIver identified Waters as the third best metal guitar player in his 2008 book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. Waters is also commonly described on the internet as the most under-rated guitar player and metal songwriter of all time. He is also often compared to Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, due to being a multi-instrumentalist.
Waters is reported to have ghost-written many successful country/pop ballad songs for other artists.
Watersound Studios Inc. has been Waters' studio since 1994, and in 2003, relocated from Maple Ridge, BC to Ottawa, ON, and is a well-known and sought-after mixing/mastering engineer and producer.
In the early stages of his career Waters used a Hamer Flying V. Around 1994, he began to experiment with other guitars and over the next few years used classic models such as a Gibson SG and Gibson Les Paul to achieve the diversity of sounds in Annihilator's music during this time period. He would also use a Fender Stratocaster from time to time in the studio and a Gibson Flying V Gothic in live stage. Waters has been known to use an ESP Dave Mustaine signature Flying V that he owns and it was this guitar that he used to record Schizo Deluxe as mentioned in the video section of annihilatormetal.com. Waters currently plays Epiphone Annihilation-V Guitars (his own model, available in Red or Black, with custom pickups, kill switch and other modifications), previously endorsing Ran Guitars. On a tour in Europe in November 2009, Waters used a prototype of the Epiphone Annihilation-V Flying V, which is now for sale. The new Annihilation-V shape is very similar to the original flying V, but has a smaller body and four cosmetic lines cut into the center of the V. It comes in "Annihilator Red" and Pitch black. For amplification, he used the Hughes and Kettner Coreblade head and is now using the EVH 5150III amplifier. He also has his own signature overdrive pedal called the Jeff Waters Devil Drive by SolidGoldFX.
Product of Society
Lead Guitar on "Deadly Intentions"
Walk Across Fire
The All-Star Sessions
The Dagger and Independent (Voice of the Voiceless)
Repent Or Seal Your Fate
Self Destruct and Misery
Dimension of Pain
War of Wars
Reduced to Ashes
Perdition for All
Urge (The Greed of Gain)
Bridge to Neverland
Autonomy In Progress
The Winter Is Dawning
Chasing the Grail
Martyr No More and God Pounds His Nails
Beast of Thunder
Pure Evil (Hides in the Dark)