Life Is Like A Box Of Records: James Graham (The Twilight Sad)

Some time ago I was sitting on a bus with a token playlist of songs that had influenced my life in some way or another. Being somewhat refreshed, I started thinking of all the times that these songs had become significant and thought, wouldn’t it be an excellent idea to delve into other people’s ‘Life Record Boxes’. Luckily people have been wonderful and we have an incredible series continuing.

Photo by Pat Mcguire

Today is the turn of James Graham of The Twilight Sad. You can find out more about their music here:

Young Memories and a song that reminds me of when I met someone very special to me: ‘Everyday’Buddy Holly

This song is one of my first musical memories, reminds me of being a wee boy and also the first time I saw one of my favourite films Stand by Me. Anybody who knows our band well will know that the first song I ever wrote was ‘That Summer At Home, I had Become The Invisible Boy’ and that title is a line from Stand By Me.

Reminds me of being at High School: ‘Design for Life’ Manic Street Preachers

Everything Must Go was the first album I ever bought and the first gig I ever saw was the Manics at the SECC. I’ll never forget when they played this song and the crowds reaction. That moment made me want to be in a band and play live.

Going to College: ‘Killing Moon’ – Echo and the Bunnymen

I remember renting out Donnie Darko from Blockbuster after coming back from School one day and the opening scene starts with this song. I think its one of my favourite opening scenes to a film ever. I was studying Film Editing at college and watched Donnie Darko a lot around that time. I also listened to a lot of Echo & The Bunnymen, unfortunately I’m a college drop out as I left to go record and promote our début album. So I’m basically a Non-Educated Delinquent (NED).

Bad Job/Life after School: The Smiths‘You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby’

I went through a bit of a hard time after I left school and had a job that I hated. Fortunately, that’s when I discovered The Smiths. I’d drive to work and back listening to The Smiths feeling sorry for myself. Pretty Emo to be honest.

On Tour/Missing Home: Micah P Hinson ‘Don’t You Forget’

On our first tour of America we played a gig with Micah P Hinson in Philadelphia and I remember hearing this song and instantly connecting with it. I had never toured before and was missing home.

Good Day/Best inadvertent use of music ever: ‘Imperial March’John Williams

I really enjoyed my sister’s wedding a few years back. Firstly, I was really happy for her, secondly, she had planned to have ‘the medal ceremony music’ from the end of Star Wars playing as she walked back down the aisle after being married. Unfortunately, someone pressed skip on the CD player and ‘The Imperial March’ played instead. When I hear this I remember that day.

Arab Strap‘Fucking little Bastards’

I spent a lot of time in Falkirk as I went to college there on day release when I was an apprentice Electrical Engineer; I went to Sleaves on my lunch break to buy records, this reminds me of then.

Mogwai‘Mogwai fear Satan’

We’ve been on tour with a lot of bands but 3 of the best tours we’ve ever been on have been with Mogwai. They’re now good friends, but to begin with they’ll always be one of my favourite bands. Getting to hear this every night on 3 separate tours was something I wont ever forget and when I hear this song I always remember how good a time we had on those tours.

Interpol – ‘Untitled’

You only get to record your début once (obviously) and we mixed ours with Peter Katis at his house where ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ was recorded. We stayed at his house on and off for 3 weeks and there were little reminders of that album, like notes with song names on the fridge. It’s one of my favourite records and when I hear it, it also reminds me of how excited I was recording/making our 1st record.

Abba‘Dancing Queen’

Reminds me of many drunken nights out. It’s a good night if this has been played I might add.

Arcade Fire‘Rebellion/Lies’

Reminds me of when I started writing music. I remember hearing this and it changing the way I thought about writing music.

Frightened Rabbit‘Poke’

This reminds me of the time before our first record came out and meeting our good friends Frightened Rabbit. We did a few tours together and would hang about together in Glasgow and let each other hear new songs we’d be working on. We were skint and playing really small gigs but it was all really exciting and even better to share that time with them. I remember Scott playing Andy and I this song on his acoustic guitar in his bedsit before we went out to the pub one night and being blown away.

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