‘There are so so so many records that I associate with various points in my life. I think it’s awesome how hearing even a couple of seconds of a specific track can just instantly throw you back and make you think vividly of certain memories, like you almost have no control over it. I could honestly put 100 songs down on this list, so picking 10 was really hard, here’s my best shot’:
Earliest Musical Memory
The Supremes – Baby Love
This is probably one of the earliest memories I have in general and of music.I can remember my mum cleaning the house to this song, she was a big fan of Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Cher, Whitney Houston – ladies with big voices and big personalities. When I look at the music I find myself listening to these days I am a sucker for a stand out voice always, it’s also one of the fondest memories I have of my mum, when she had me and my sister she decided to be a ‘stay at home mum’ and it takes me back to hanging out with her loads as a wee guy.
First ‘Rock’ Band I Saw Live
Bowling For Soup – Girl All The Bad Guys Want
Second/third year of secondary school was when I started to get into guitar music properly, beforehand the only guitar based stuff I had listened to was whatever my dad played in the car which was usually Dire Straights, The Eagles, or The Rolling Stones. One of my friends at the time was a massive fan of Bowling For Soup and turned me onto them and before I knew it I was buying my clothes from ‘FLIP’. I went to see them at the Carling Academy and got in my first ever mosh pit where I got knocked about and hit my head off the barrier at the front and fainted RAWK \m/. I also met them beforehand and got them to sign my ticket, which I still have and as a result had my first ‘fanboy’ moment.
First Album That Blew Me Away
Fall Out Boy – Tell That Mick…
For anyone who doesn’t know me, I love Fall Out Boy. Love. It’s not even a guilty pleasure. One of my best friends gave me this album when we were in 4th year at school. I was going through the whole Blink 182 pop-punk thing at the time and he thought I’d be into it. I was hooked from the very first song on the record but this was always one of my favourites. It was one of the first times I listened to an album the whole way through without skipping a single track. I wanted to know everything about the band and went through their whole back catalogue, developed a mega man crush on Patrick Stump (a continuing man crush) who’s vocals are so unique and soulful at points. I started going out with my first ‘proper’ girlfriend round about this time as well and remember sitting in my room listening to this absolutely shiteing myself thinking about how to ask her out (I ended up taking the mature approach of doing it over MSN Messanger).
My First Ever Band
Manic Street Preachers – Faster
The first ever band I played in was called ‘ The Centroids’ we played in the school assembly hall at lunchtimes between 4th and 5th year. We were a cover band and played The Strokes, Idlewild, The Cure and loads more but this track and this video in particular is what not only made me love the manic street preachers, but also made me appreciate how important the performance aspect is of a show. The guitarist in the band was real big on the Manics and showed me this video on YouTube and I was instantly hooked. The Holy Bible is still one of my favourite records and I’d say probably one of the most terrifying records I’ve ever listened. We covered ‘Faster’ in the school assembly hall complete with ski masks and homemade t-shirts that one of our pals made with lyrics from the opening of the song ‘Architect, Butcher, Pioneer, Purity. & Perverted’. I can’t remember who got to wear the perverted t-shirt, but I don’t think they were particularly happy about it. Nobody in school had a bloody clue what was going on and I had never felt so badass.
Soundtrack To One Of My Favourite Summers
Teenage Fanclub – Sparkys Dream
Summer of 5th/6th year was by far one of my favourites. It’s when I developed bonds with people that I knew were friends for life, when the first ‘mad’ house parties started and when there’d be a group of 15-20 of us going to pollock park super early in the day and not leaving till it was pitch black, playing frisbee and having barbecues. The same friend who introduced me to the Manics gave me a loan of Grand Prix by Teenage Fanclub to listen to and I fell in love with it. I’d listen to it from start to finish day in, day out. I loved the sound of the guitar tones and the harmonies. The first time I ever saw Teenage Fanclub live was when I was 17, they played ‘Bandwagonesque’ in full at the Barras. Me and my pal made homemade t-shirts for the gig, mines just said ‘Mon The Fannies’ on the back which I soon learned was a big mistake to walk around Glasgow City Centre wearing.
First Song That Made Me Realise How Beautiful Music Can Be
Sigur Ros – Vidra Vel Til Loftárása
When I left school and went to uni my music horizons broadened pretty widely from when I was a wee guy doing my best Tom Delonge impressions in the bathroom mirror. I was starting to appreciate music in different ways. I came across Sigur Rós and was completely blown away. I couldn’t believe a band could produce such an amazing soundscape. I could pick any Sigur Ros track, especially anything off of the ‘()’ album but this was the first Sigur Ros video I ever watched and the message behind the track and video is presented in an incredibly moving way.
Song I Listen To When Everyone Is Annoying The Shit Out Of Me AKA ‘Teenage Angst’
Brand New – Sowing Season
Loads of my friends have been into Brand New for ages, I was a bit of a late bloomer with them and didn’t really start listening to them till I was about 18/19. I gave ‘Deja Entendu’ a listen and I thought it was great but ‘The Devil & God are Raging Inside Me’ was the album that really cemented them as a truly fantastic band for me. The first track off the album is Sowing Season and what a way to open up an album. The thing I love most about this track and the whole album is the total raw emotion you can feel from it, something that Brand New are masters of. I remember listening to it and immediately fell for Jesse Lacey’s ‘tortured soul’ get up, because it is so believable. The music is explosive and Lacey’s lyrics and play on words is genius, ‘I’m not your friend, I’m just a man who knows how to feel. I’m not your friend, I’m not your lover, I’m not your family’ being one of my favourite lines from the song. There seems to be a real community feel at a Brand New show and I have bonded and made quite a few friends through them as a band. They are constantly evolving their sound and are not afraid to try something different, an extremely unique band
Band That Changed It All
Jimmy Eat World – For Me This Is Heaven
Jimmy Eat World were my favourite band, are my favourite band and always will be my favourite band. I could easily have just filled this up with 10 JEW tracks, they have been a total constant in my life from when I started to get into music properly back in school to right now. They’ve soundtracked my first ever experience of falling completely head over heels in love with someone, they’ve soundtracked the horrible experience of breaking up with someone you love and everything in between. Sometimes when you listen to an album by a band it takes a few listens to get into them and then you appreciate them but I just clicked with JEW immediately. They mean a great deal to me on an extremely personal level. This song in particular reminds me of a really happy period of my life were for a year or so, I was really content. I can always relate to Jim Adkins’ lyrics on a personal level and musically they are incredibly diverse. As a band they are a total landmark in the music industry going for over 20 years now. The first band that got me into ‘real’ Emo music,
Song That Destroys Me
Death Cab For Cutie – Brothers On A Hotel Bed
The first time I heard this track I felt a genuine sadness. Ben Gibbard is a crazy talented lyricist and songwriter who’s able to fully put exactly how he’s feeling into a song, no holds barred. Death Cab are a band I did like when I was younger but only really appreciated properly as I got older, there’s something really endearing about the vulnerability and honesty in Gibbard’s vocals that always strikes a chord with me.
The Day I Realised I Was A Big Dirty Emo
American Football- Never Meant
The more I started to play in bands in Glasgow the more I’d speak to folk and I’d constantly hear American Football being brought up. I listened to their only LP the whole way through and couldn’t get enough. The way the guitars flow seamlessly over one another to create a beautiful wall of noise, I could sit and listen to that riff all day. It’s also when my fascination with Mike Kinsella began. Mike writes songs like no one else, he has such a unique and distinct style. Listening to American Football opened me up to other bands such as The Appleseed Cast, Braid, The Promise Ring & Sunny Day Real Estate. Bands that have a direct influence on the type of music I play today.