Inspirations

June 8, 2015

 

 

A couple weeks ago, Corey asked us to share 2 albums that inspire us. Thinking about trying to narrow it down was beyond difficult, and felt almost impossible.

 

I grew up with hundreds of classic rock records. My father loves music, and although he isn't a musician, he has good instincts of what makes a song great. His taste is impeccable...Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Yes, The Beatles...and so many more. My childhood has a soundtrack to rival Woodstock. As a kid, my prize possession was a stereo with 2 tape decks—not only could I record songs off the radio, I could edit them and be my own DJ. Somewhere out there are a bunch of tapes with a passionate 8 year old spinning the hits. I recall the first song I was obsessed with: "Nothing Compares to You" by Sinead O'Connor, the first song to make me cry, to make me realize that music can convey strong emotion.

 

Slipping out of pop in my angst ridden teen years, I found the songs of my soul: grunge. I felt alone, unappreciated, misunderstood, and I felt nothing captured that like Seattle. Sliding further and further down the rabbit hole of adolescence, I embraced bands like Radiohead, Portishead, and Massive Attack—trippy, electric, sensual. And all this time, whenever I had a moment to myself, I would be making music: humming melodies in my head, writing my fear, confusion, heartbreak on countless pieces of lined paper.

 

So what inspires me? What sounds? What voice and what feel?...It's an interesting question that I've never asked myself. I am always humming to myself, hearing little pieces of music...sometimes it's the night sounds that I hear while I'm walking the dog, sometimes it's being stuck in traffic...I really think that's what my brain does, and I can't really narrow down a spark.

 

How do I pick 2 albums to hang my hat on? How do I boil my influence down to just 2? I went with my gut:  "Nevermind" by Nirvana because I love the drum sound and the focus on melody and dynamics (and because being produced by Butch Vig is on my bucket list). Pick #2:  "...Like Clockwork" by Queens of the Stone Age because it's such a theatrical, emotive album and I think Josh Homme is an incredible songwriter. Adam chose, "Raw Power" by Iggy and the Stooges and, "In a Space Outta Sound" by Nightmares on Wax. Corey chose, "Catch Without Arms" by Dredg and, "Odd Soul" by Mutemath. Matt picked, "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughan and, "The Blue Album" by Weezer.

 

4 completely separate musical journeys each of us made, so important and formative to us all...and we ended up here, in a room to make music together. I am reticent...I've never worked with a group that had such different musical tastes, and I worry about being able to find a common sound that we all enjoy. Our album selections are all over the map, but Corey is excited by this:  all our influences will create a new sound versus just sounding like a copy of something else. 

 

 

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