Having just released their self-titled debut album, Brighton-based band Army Of Bones have been gradually building quite a reputation for their engaging live shows.
We caught up with Martin from the band to find out some of the songs that have meant the most to them over the years in today’s Life Is Like A Box Of Records…
“This was so difficult I could have put in 10 more songs or 10×10 more songs, but this is what jumped out at me at the time. Hope you enjoy some of these songs as much as I do.”
‘Night Boat To Cairo’ – Madness
I grew up in a family of musicians and my fondest memories were “record nights” where my dad and my siblings gathered around ice cream tubs and milk crates, trying to out do each other with leftfield choices and quirky transitions. And the band that ruled those nights was Madness! This song reminds me of sparring around the room like a lunatic, skanking and dancing until I fell; it is the epitome of fun to me. Music that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet is full of fantastic musicality – Mark Bedford’s bass playing is a schooling in groove and melody, always serving the song and always so interesting. The lyrics are amusing, the perfect chopping guitar and phat sax all gloriously going down the plug as the tempo plunges into a rall to, then ramps back up into ecstasy.
‘Give It Away’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
I rocked around this riff for forever and a Saturday… We’d start on ‘Give It Away’, then go into some endless noodling, back to ‘Give It Away’ and then to some more noodle, and back again for hours and hours! This is the soundtrack to me finding my love of playing music – there was nothing else I wanted to do with my Saturdays other than get down to the Wickbourne Chapel and play guitar until my fingertips were down to the bone. From the gigantic snare fill at the top, I was hooked by this song, and loved the repeating bends and then the riff! Funky doesn’t cut it as a description… It’s just so groovy, oozing swag and style. The simplicity of the droning guitar, the bass pops, and the space it leaves to hear the immense size of the room around the drums in the chorus as Anthony intensely spits the lyrics from his mouth. Also who doesn’t love really loud jaws harp!!
‘Freedom’ – Rage Against The Machine
The band that took over those Saturdays, moving me and my friends from egotistical noodles into ego ridden power riffs haha… ‘Freedom’ is so instant for a riff hungry 15 year old, the power groove of that intro could go forever and I’d have still lapped it up like a thirsty kitten. This song just helps release my inner confusion and anger… I can be a pleasant person in the day to day and then listen to the angst and anger in this and let go of the day’s worries!
‘Breathe’ – Pink Floyd
If freedom is my outlet for anger and stress, then this would be my post-release float. I can just let my mind drift forever to this song, looping over and over. It’s just the perfect groove to be carried down an imaginary river watching the world go by. It’s also where my love of the lap-steel guitar and more ethereal and ambient musical parts came from; a real defining change in my musicality.
‘Idioteque’ – Radiohead
An obsession was born out of seeing and hearing the 2000 SNL performance of ‘Idioteque’. Seeing Jonny Greenwood live patching his Analogue Systems Integrator blew my mind. That was it, I had to know what that machine was and how they work. Nerdiness, geekery and a hell of a lot of reading and googling ensued – squeals, fart noises and mayhem led the way to a new sonic appreciation opening my ears beyond “guitar music”.
‘La Femme D’Argent’ – Air
No electronic music journey can pass by Francais! My mind filled again by dreamy grooves being guided through a landscape of dreamy voice pads, interstellar filter sweeps, extra terrestrial lo-fi gurgles, and Herbie Flowers-esque bass. I hold this song responsible for my deepening love of the electronic genre, ushering forth my sonic experiments and attempts at finding “my sound”. I quickly discovered, however, that I would never be a purely groovy electronica fiend, there were still riffs to be played and fuzzy distortions to mangle.
‘The Hand That Feeds’ – Nine Inch Nails
I discovered this track through some remix competition… I’d been aware of NIN from the Johnny Cash cover of ‘Hurt’ and friends who were fans, but this track came just at the right time for me. I was ready for heavy again, but still loved the synths and drum machines; so, was great to discover this raw power and energy! That fuzzy bass, those filthy hooks and Trent’s rasping vocals: mind blown! The impact was that I now find it pretty hard not to compose NIN wannabe soundalikes – I’m just so drawn to the energy of Trent’s music. That, and my love of technology, electronics and pounding guitars, is a winning combination.
‘Lights Out Words Gone’ – Bombay Bicycle Club
Moving into a feel-good number: this song found me at the perfect time. It’s just fun and chilled – it just hit me and really changed my guitar playing, whilst reawakening my groove that had been neglected. This song really inspired my production ear as well, and set a blueprint for a lot of my reverb and modulation FX I use when mixing.
‘Magnolia Mountain’ – Ryan Adams And The Cardinals
Having been introduced to this sound through Pink Floyd, I wanted more of “that sound”, but country was a step too far at that point in my musical education. A friend played me Ryan Adams and man it got me! It rocked but had this comfy rootsy groove to sit in, and that steel guitar – what a sound, so expressive! And six albums later, I was a serious fan boy.
‘Runnin Down A Dream’ – Tom Petty
The same friend introduced me to Tom Petty, and there it was – the sound I had always wanted! I have special emotions set aside for Mike Campbell’s guitar tone. It’s raw, its perfect for the song – it’s such a swag part, and that guitar solo at the end is so understated; not too many notes, it’s just punchy and serves the song.