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.
Today is the turn of Pete Flett from Holy Mountain. You can find out more about their music here: http://www.holymountainband.co.uk
Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi
I have vivid memories of this song being played on one of many compilation tapes that my parents had in their car. I was probably only about 5 or 6 and had no fucking clue what type of music it was, let alone what the guy was actually singing about. I just remember the energy of the song making me feel like I wanted to just run around shouting some vague Franglais version of the words.
Imagine my heartbreak when Plastic Bertrand came forth recently with the confession that he never sang on the song and was only miming on TV appearances.
Michael Jackson – Speed Demon
The first album I bought on tape was Michael Jackson’s Dangerous at a dodgy market somewhere (part of a 2 for £5 deal that also included The Shamen’s ‘Boss Drum’, but let’s not dwell on that). Up until this point, I had satiated myself with creating my own little mix tapes from my parent’s 60s-heavy record collections, so I think this purchase maybe had a lot to do with a youthful curiosity for the zeitgeist.
As you can tell, my lexicon was impeccable at the age of 9. This song probably also explains my obsession with slap bass.
Pantera – Strength Beyond Strength
I remember rushing back from Our Price after buying this (because it had a cool cover), putting it into the tape machine, and then absolutely shitting myself at what was coming out of the speakers. With no older siblings to expose me to their music taste, or any friends at this point that remotely cared about music, this was definitely an eye-opener. Probably sounds terribly dated to most these days, but it still invokes that feeling in my stomach that it did on that first play.
This tape definitely contributed to my ostracisation during school. Well, that and my horrendously shite patter.
Leonard Cohen – So Long, Marianne
Once metal had blown my tiny little mind open, like so many others in their early teens, I began to inexplicably resent my parents for absolutely no credible reason. This mainly manifested itself in loathing of their music taste; Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Beatles, etc. The one artist I hated most was this dreary, monotonic Canadian songwriter that wrote depressing songs and couldn’t sing.
Older, and not necessarily wiser, I want to go back in time in a DeLorean and kick my 13-year-old self up the arse.
Fugazi – Suggestion
Late to the party, I bought 13 Songs and wrote it off immediately because it didn’t have the big sheen production of a lot of the 80’s thrash albums I was listening to at the time. It took a bit of time for the attitude and mentality that post-hardcore prides itself on to set in. Was also a gateway drug to a lot of the DC stuff like Faraquet, June of 44 and Scream.
Another reason I love Fugazi is because Andy McGlone (Holy Mountain lead singer) hates them. Fugazi to him is like his Guns n’ Roses to me.
Dillinger Escape Plan – Sugar Coated Sour
A friend and I went to see System of a Down, and a conversation transpired on the drive there that while we had both heard of the support, neither of us had actually heard them. We left the gig during the second SOAD song, with Calculating Infinity in hand and proceeded to cheese it all the way home with it on the stereo. Wanky and technical, but executed with pure energy and mind.
Also, mad respect for anyone that shits on stage á la GG Allin/David Yow. On purpose that is.
Fiona Apple – To Your Love
In my first year at college, our lecturer gave us this CD to make a ¼” tape loop with. It was a small pivotal moment where I stopped just appreciating the production on albums and began thinking about the processes and techniques that lead to the final product. It’s a great album from a writing and performance point of view, but I spent months listening to it repeatedly and analysing the many layers and the sounds contained within it.
Plus, I’m pretty sure I’m in love with everything she does.
Iron Monkey – House Anxiety
No explanation needed.
Holy Mountain exists because of this band.
Slayer – Epidemic
A staple album in the Captains Rest (former bar/venue in the West End of Glasgow) or in the van on tour. I can never tire of this album, no matter how much it gets played.
Going to run a festival some day called The Slayer All-Dayer.
The Groundhogs – Cherry Red
On a recent tour, I woke up on a couch in Nottingham with this song blasting out of the kitchen courtesy of Andy and our gracious host for the evening’s record collection. Sometimes you find yourself in a brief musical purgatory where everything seems a little bland and boring and you find it hard to get excited by music (or at least I do). Then you’ll hear a certain song and it reminds you that you’ve probably only heard an exceptionally tiny amount of music in your pathetic little life and to stop being an imbecile.
Russell Elder (Mono) and Rick Bruce (Lab Monkey Tattoo) are very good at this game too.