Most of us became interested in music at a very young age. Some of us (the most talented ones, I guess) go even farther and learn to play an instrument, form a band or become a solo artist and dream of fame and fortune. It's a shame that only a small minority have the chance to be a part of a popular band and tour all over the world while putting bread and butter on the table. This road may be tough and rocky, that's for sure.
Tons of music was probably lying around when we were all kids, being your parents' vinyl albums or your beloved aunt's cassettes or some random music that you liked on the radio, and we fell instantly in love with it.
We here at the shiny ivory tower of The Metal Crypt are always willing to dig a little deeper and we contacted a bunch of musicians and asked what were their favorite and influential bands and albums from their childhoods (a so-called "soundtrack of youth") that eventually took them on a long journey in their career.
This is the second part... enjoy!
Thanks to Vincent Crowley of Vincent Crowley Band, Admiral Nobeard of Swashbuckle, Bobby Franklin of Medieval Steel, Kristian Havard of Xentrix, Freddy of Necronomicon, Martin Missy of Protector, Ralf W. Garcia and V.O. Pulver of Poltergeist, Joe of Evil Invaders, Vladimir Korg of The Mist, Howard H Smith of Acid Reign, Heavy Kevy of Insanity Alert, Jukka Kolehmainen of Abhorrence, Christopher Appleton of Absolva, Romeo Promos Promopoulos of Schizophrenia, Guido Gevels of Cyclone and Joachim Kremer of Assassin and R.B. "Brögi" Broggi of Messiah for their awesome contribution for this second part of the series.
Here are the five main albums that helped me decide to become a musician and the reasons why.
ALICE COOPER - Killer (1971)
When I was about six years old, I had a cousin named Gina who used to babysit my younger brother and me. She was totally obsessed with Mr. Cooper. She used to play his music all the time around us. When I was around 10 years old, she moved away and left a few of her albums with my aunt, who said I could have them. The one that stood out was Killer! A snake on the cover and a crazy photo of Alice hanging himself on the inside of the album. Every song on that album was perfect. And being a kid, I felt like I was listening to something wrong, but I liked it! The songs "Halo of Flies" and "Dead Babies" have always been favorites of mine.
KISS - Alive! (1975)
Among the albums I received from my aunt was this gem. The cover and aesthetics were everything a kid could want. Fire breathing, blood spitting and a huge stage show. The music was raw, and the live setting made the album even more exciting. Gene Simmons was the character I wanted to be on Halloween. I continued to be a KISS fan and, of course, joined the KISS Army.
BLACK SABBATH - Vol. 4 (1972)
Even though I had heard Sabbath throughout the years, Vol. 4 was the first album I bought. For me, this album captured utter perfection. The sound was so heavy, the song writing amazing and the production raw. Iommi's guitar tone hypnotized me, Geezer's bass playing is so unique, Ward's drums are so powerful and that classic Ozzy vocal attack. The lyrics to "Laguna Sunrise" really resonated with me as a rebellious pre-teen. From the time I bought this album, Black Sabbath has been my all-time favorite band and biggest musical influence.
VENOM - Black Metal (1982)
This album was a game changer! Just seeing the big Baphomet on the cover showed this band didn't give a fuck about holding back the evil antics. The music had an extreme metal feel with a Punk-like aggression. The production was gritty and dirty with Devilish themes that had never been taken to that level before. "Leave Me in Hell" is filled with demonic energy, "Buried Alive" is a slower dark tune, and "Countess Bathory", one of the catchiest underground songs based on our favorite blood bather. When I heard Venom, I knew then I wanted to be in a band just like that.
MERCYFUL FATE - Melissa (1983)
I never thought I'd hear a band that could sound darker than Black Sabbath or be more Satanic than Venom. I was wrong! This album had everything! Great song writing, incredible musicians and one of the most original vocalists of all-time! The whole vibe of this album is completely haunting. Then when I found out that King Diamond was an actual Satanist, who was very open about his beliefs, that was the icing on the cake. To say this album helped influence me to want to become an outspoken Satanic musician is an understatement.
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC - Even Worse (1988)
This was the first tape I ever bought as a kid and I remember just wearing it out by playing it repeatedly. I just loved the stupidity of it and the dumbness, and as I got older and started playing instruments, I noticed how good Weird Al's band was. They're all killer players and their original songs are catchy as hell and it just hit me extra hard. It also shaped some of my humor and idiocy over the years. I fucking love Weird Al.
PRIMUS - Pork Soda (1993)
My neighbor let me borrow this record when I started learning how to play bass and it blew my mind. Bass was the focus and there was so much going on with it while the guitar was just so minimal. Les Claypool is a huge influence on my playing and my humor, so diving into this record made me seek out their other albums and I fell down the rabbit hole. I tried to learn "DMV" when I was first starting out and just getting completely frustrated and blown away with how he was doing all the tapping, slapping and flamenco finger style. It made me want to practice daily and I would just lock myself in my room and try to figure all that shit out. Primus contributed to me being the anti-social idiot I am today.
METALLICA - Kill 'Em All (1983) / Ride the Lightning (1984) / Master of Puppets (1986)
These three records were the be all, end all for me as a kid. The riffs, the ferocity, just the overall aggression hit me hard. Cliff Burton was the one bassist that I completely would rip off all the time. The way that dude would shred and compose parts was the complete package. Hetfield was the ultimate front man and riff machine. Metallica was the reason I started bands and wrote songs. Huge influence on me.
NOFX - Punk in Drublic (1994)
I like how fast and riffy this band was. They had that "fuck you" attitude and gave no fucks what anyone thought. They wrote catchy songs and were fun. Big influence on me and why I would mash punk and metal together.
SUPERTRAMP - Breakfast in America (1979)
My dad would play this record all the time when we were in the car or in the house. "The Logical Song" lives in my head rent free. It's just such a great album and these guys were super talented. Supertramp is more metal than any band you can think of.
I don't know the albums, but the artist are Elvis, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.
I started singing gospel music in church when I was nine years old. Then my mom brought Elvis records home and that was it, I was hooked on rock. Then I started listening to Deep Purple, Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Priest.
Five albums from my youth.
RAINBOW - Rising (1976)
This was the album that introduced me to rock and metal. The power of Ronnie James Dio's voice was amazing to me at age 12 and is still sounds amazing to me now. Ritchie Blackmore's riff writing and guitar playing made me want to pick up the instrument and try to learn how to play his stuff. I still can't.
AC/DC - Back in Black (1980)
This was one of the first albums I bought, and I played it to death. I would put this record on and just keep turning it over when it finished playing one side. Everything about this record is Killer! It made me realize that it's not just about how well you can play your instrument it's about groove and the vibe you get from playing as a band. The sound of this record is timeless, everything about it sounds great even today.
OZZY OSBOURNE - Blizzard of Ozz (1980)
When I first heard this record, I had just started to play guitar and it upset me how good Randy's playing sounded. It sounded so brilliant that I felt as though it was unattainable, and I'd never get close to playing that good. The riffs sounded really heavy and had that neoclassical vibe that I loved and first discovered with Rainbow.
IRON MAIDEN - Killers (1981)
Killers was my introduction to Maiden and as soon as I heard the guitar harmony part in "Ides of March" I was hooked. "Wrathchild", "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and the title track "Killers" are benchmark Maiden tunes, and I can't believe that album is 40 years old. If you turn up the volume on any of these albums in my list, they all hold their own and sound full and heavy even now.
JUDAS PRIEST - Defenders of the Faith (1984)
Priest always just seemed that bit more metal than anyone else, more dangerous. I've always loved the guitar playing of Glenn and KK, the harmonies, sound and the style of riffing was definitely my thing. I heard "Freewheel Burning" for the first time when I bought the 12-inch single version and it started with this harmony guitar part at the start of the song that isn't on the album version, it's amazing. This whole album is great from start to finish. "Rock Hard Ride Free", "The Sentinel" and "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" are some of my favorites.
Obviously, I have many other albums that influenced me, but these are the one that I think of from when I was 11-15.
I grew up with KISS, Van Halen and Motörhead before I also discovered my love for punk and thrash metal at the age of 17. Some of my favorite KISS albums are KISS Alive! (1975) and Alive II (1977).
Also, the legendary Motörhead album Ace of Spades (1980) kicked my brain and the ultimate Van Halen song from 1978, "Runnin' with the Devil", which is just AMAZING in my opinion!!!
Discharge's Hear Nothing Say Nothing See Nothing (1982) is one of my favorite killer albums as far as punk albums are concerned.
And, of course, Metallica's Ride the Lighting (1984) and Master of Puppets (1986) and Slayer with their debut album, Show No Mercy (1983), they all had an influence me one way or the other.
These albums above all shaped my course as a musician when I was younger and about to get started with my own band.
It is probably difficult for most metalheads to name only five albums that had a huge impact during their childhood/teenage days, but I will give it a try anyway.
AC/DC - Highway to Hell (1979)
The album that got me into hard rock and metal. I heard it at the home of the son of friends of my parent's, when we were on our way back from the summer holidays in Sweden in August 1980. In the following months/years, I added all of AC/DC's albums to my collection. In the years 1980-1983, AC/DC were my absolute favorite band.
MOTÖRHEAD - No Sleep 'til Hammersmith (1981) and VENOM - Black Metal (1982)
Sometime in 1983, I borrowed these two records from a friend who lived in the same apartment building as me. As far as I can remember, I loved both albums right away, and both bands became personal favorites up to this day.
EXODUS - Bonded by Blood (1985) and CELTIC FROST - Morbid Tales (1984)
After this, and especially from 1985 onwards, it becomes harder and harder to name special album favorites, because my hard rock horizon widened week by week with new and exciting bands. If I must mention two recordings from the mid '80s, it would probably be my favorite thrash album and this EP. The latter recording was probably my first acquaintance with extreme metal, and the first time I listened to the record I didn't understand anything at all. I simply did not like it. A few weeks later I gave it another chance, and then it was suddenly one of the best things I had heard so far.
Around this time, I also started to sing in bands, and all the bands mentioned above, as well as a bunch of others like Slayer, Possessed, Sodom and Destruction, were big influences regarding my wish to be part of a metal band.
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave (1984)
Where to begin. The cover artwork is mesmerizing to start with. I remember hearing the first few chords of the opener "Aces High" and everything was said and done, even though my favorite Maiden album of all time will always be Killers (1981). I consider Powerslave a big influence due to the fact that I heard it first. I'm a bassist since 1986 when I worked a full summer in order to be able to buy my first instrument. One of the reasons was this album, I guess.
KREATOR - Terrible Certainty (1987)
It's the first real thrash album I bought with my own money when it came out. I had heard other thrash albums at friends' houses before but the songs on Terrible Certainty impressed the hell out of me. I discovered Kreator when I saw the "Toxic Trace" video clip on an independent German TV channel back then. The songs reflected my state of mind and my emotions back then. This album in particular was like a vent for my teen frustrations.
RUSH - Moving Pictures (1981)
It's an odd one and stands out from the rest of the list but I still love this album to this day. An older brother of one of my school friends gave me a tape with Moving Pictures on it. Unfortunately, I can't remember what was on the B side. Anyway, great songs, all killer no filler, great progressive songwriting, which I didn't identify as such back then. I only discovered much later that these songs were indeed very tricky to play and required highly skilled craftsmanship to pull off.
2112 will always be my favorite Rush album but Moving Pictures will always have a very special place in my heart because I heard it first. Almost the same story as with Iron Maiden.
KISS - Creatures of the Night (1982)
I saw the video for "I Love It Loud" on German television when it was released and oh boy did it have an impact on me as a child. I was almost hypnotized by the massive drum production and the very cheesy (that's what I think nowadays) singalong opening line. But it did the trick for me and pulled me into rock, metal, thrash, death etc. and everything that came after that. I begged my parents to buy me that album but obviously they weren't very amused by that. Somehow, I got my hands on the original tape and played it to death. It must have been in 1982, I think. It was the end of the "masked era" for them, but I still consider it a very good album in comparison to their work after that even though I meanwhile prefer the classic 1970s KISS albums.
CRO-MAGS - The Age of Quarrel (1986)
Another one that stands out a little. I grew up in a scene without musical boundaries so it was quite common that metal and thrash bands and punk and hardcore bands would play our local youth club once or twice a month. Due to lack of alternatives, all underground subculture people would go to the same shows. There wasn't a clear separation of styles and genres back then. Therefore, it was perfectly normal to listen to metal and hard rock but also punk and hardcore. Black Flag, The Exploited, etc. were right next to Metallica's Kill 'Em All or Accept's Balls to the Wall. Very open-minded times. Again, a friend from school who was older than me gave me a tape with that album. Massive energy, catchy short songs with an attitude and message. Another all killer no filler album deeply rooted in the punk style but with and edge and raw power that stood its ground right next to all the classic thrash bands.
KISS - Alive! (1975)
I remember vividly how my friends and I rocked to this album, standing on my bed with tennis rackets and acting like we were the real deal... ah, childhood memories... ;-)
JUDAS PRIEST - Screaming for Vengeance (1982)
Back in my teenage years, my best friend and I played chess marathons while listening to this wonderful album. The majesty of it somehow helped me find the right moves on the chessboard.
BLACK SABBATH - Vol. 4 (1972)
I really love all the old Sabbath records but this one holds a special spot in my heart because of the sheer heaviness of the guitar sound! The riff change in "Wheels of Confusion" is just soooo heavy and godlike!
SLAYER - Show No Mercy (1983)
The first time I heard Shown No Mercy at my local record store I was blown away by the speed and evilness of this then "new" kind of metal! I was instantly hooked and my love for speed/thrash metal was set for life.
EXODUS - Bonded by Blood (1985)
Together with Metallica's Kill 'Em All, Bonded by Blood was the epitome for genius thrash riffing. And the solos were just godlike! These two records were for sure the most influential on my guitar playing.
UNANIMATED - Ancient God of Evil (1995)
When I was just 7 years old, I got a tape with "metal" written on it from one of my older brother's classmates. I had never heard anything like it. I didn't know which band it was but I listened to this tape in a loop every day for over a year. It took me 12 years to figure out which band and record it was.
This album definitely had a huge impact on my musical taste.
OBITUARY - Back from the Dead (1997)
This was the first CD I ever owned. And to this day Obituary is still my favorite death metal band. I must have listened to this one almost every day for at least a year...
BLACK SABBATH - Master of Reality (1971)
This was my first introduction to vinyl. My cousin and I (with whom I founded Evil Invaders) used to listen to my uncle's vinyl albums when we were kids. Master of Reality was some of the coolest shit I'd ever heard. High-pitched vocals, superfast guitar riffing and insane drum fills. Little did we know the record player was going at 78 RPM instead of 33 1/3. I bet that's where my love for speed metal started. From time to time, I still listen to that record at high speed. Those were the days, man... hehe!!
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)
When I was about 12 years old, I was addicted to AC/DC. I had all their records and not a day would pass without Angus' solos blasting through my bedroom.
>Dirty Deeds... always struck me as one of the most badass songs in the rock 'n' roll history.
EXODUS - Tempo of the Damned (2004)
My first real introduction to thrash metal. This album is a fucking masterpiece. I had never heard a band that sounded so fucking mean and catchy at the same time. Exodus up to this day is still one of my all-time favorite bands.
VOÏVOD - War and Pain (1984)
Amazing, grotesque and atmospheric.
DESTRUCTION - Infernal Overkill (1985)
Total thrash metal masterpiece.
SLAYER - Reign in Blood (1986)
ANTHRAX - Among the Living (1987)
Very nice crossover, funny but honest.
SEPULTURA - Morbid Visions (1986)
Rude, cruel and blasphemic.
MARILLION - Script for a Jester's Tear (1983)
The first album and the first band I truly fell in love with. Also, the first band I ever saw live. Fish's lyrics were already an influence, but his live performance made a huge impact too.
BLACK SABBATH - Greatest Hits (1977)
The first album I ever bought and thus began my journey into heavy metal.
SLAYER - Reign in Blood (1986)
As soon as I heard it, I knew that Slayer had gone to the next level.
METALLICA - Master of Puppets (1986)
As soon as I heard it, I knew that thrash was going to the next level.
DEAD KENNEDYS - Bedtime for Democracy (1986)
My love affair with punk, political lyrics and Jello began with this album.
PANTERA - Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
The first time I heard something so brutal and angry. It opened the door to many metal, punk and hardcore bands for me.
NOFX - White Thrash, Two Heebs and a Bean (1992)
Fast, funny, witty, fuck you, exactly what I was looking for as a teenager in a small farmer town.
DINOSAUR JR. - Green Mind (1991)
Killer melodies, one of the best bands to ever do it. J Mascis was a legend in the '90s and still is today.
THE BEATLES - 1962-1966 (1973)
My dad taped both best of albums by The Beatles and thanks to these tapes, music has become a huge part of my life.
THE RAMONES - First four albums
The Ramones showed me that everyone can play rock 'n' roll and start a band.
STRAY CATS - Stray Cats (1981)
Around 1981, nine-year-old me got a mix tape from an older kid in my neighborhood which had some rock 'n' roll, but the rockabilly tracks really hit home. I looked up to the dude and it was important that he even wanted to talk to me, so I treasured the tape. The tape also had some Crazy Cavan ("My Little Sister Got a Motorbike") and Matchbox ("Rockabilly Rebel"), but Stray Cats ("Runaway Boys", "Rock This Town") was the best. I later got the full LP for myself. I, in fact, still have it.
KISS - Hotter Than Hell (1974)
I really fell into KISS hard, probably around '82 or '83, along with my friends, so when my cousin got Creatures of the Night, I dubbed it right away. My friends and I combined had the full KISS discography on tapes between us, but just a few original LPs. This was the first band I became obsessed with, just like a dedicated young fan can get, so my room had loads of posters and clippings on the walls. We even made a few "KISS booklets", sort of a 'zine if you will, but mostly an arts and crafts type deal with pictures cut from magazines, plus our own writing and art. I think the first LP of my own was Hotter Than Hell or Dynasty. I still own both LPs.
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)
Quite soon after KISS, I was introduced to "heavy metal" by that same neighborhood dude who gave me the rockabilly tape. I had loads of mix tapes with Nazareth, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and all that good stuff, but AC/DC really struck a chord with me. I listened to Dirty Deeds... on repeat, initially disliking the track "Big Balls", but later found it hilarious and started calling it the "Benny Hill song". It was weird hearing Back in Black later, with some other guy on vocals and while I eventually grew to like Johnson's vocals, he is still the new guy to me. I still own this LP (1982 German reissue).
LAMA - Lama (1982) / ...ja Mikään Ei Muuttunut (1983)
Somewhere, I really got into punk and hardcore, but I have no idea when this was (maybe '85-'86). For a brief moment, I only listened to a 60-minute tape that had Lama on it. I suspect it was either their self-titled and some EPs and singles or their '83 compilation or combination of all of those. I also listened to a lot of G.B.H. and few other bands, but Lama is still a favorite. I bought the Svart Records pink vinyl reissue of ...Ja Mikään Ei Muuttunut around 2015.
VENOM - Black Metal (1982)
I can't remember how I found my way to Venom, maybe Metal Hammer or from band pictures with them wearing Venom shirts, which was one of the ways we would spot new bands. I have a strong recollection that Black Metal was the first LP I bought by myself at the same time as KISS' Hotter than Hell, but that really doesn't line up with the timeline. I'm sure I was already listening to Metallica (Ride the Lightning) at this point but Venom with their rough sound and even rougher production did something to me. I think Venom and Slayer (another important band) paved the way to death metal. I still own this LP (a 1984 Banzai Records reissue).
Five albums I grew up with. This is such a great question because I do feel when I was growing up and in my younger years discovering music and certain bands for the first time, it was the most exciting time. When I heard my now favorite legendary bands on vinyl or going to the local music store for my first CD purchases, they were all moments that would for sure craft my musical taste and style as a person and musician. So here we go...
AC/DC - Highway to Hell (1979)
This was a big album for me. This was my first introduction to AC/DC and pretty much as soon as I heard it, I fell in love with this band. My parents put this CD on the Hi-Fi system in the living room when I must have been about 9 or 10 years old. I was already playing guitar but at this point just strumming chords and blues scales along with Bad Company songs and "Johnny B Goode." Then I heard "Highway to Hell" and my life would never be the same again. The first thing that struck me was this insane voice! Is this a girl or a guy singing? Whoever it is, it sounds incredible. The effortless vocals of Bon Scott. Then this guitar sound. What the hell is this? So sharp and crunchy. Angus Young and Malcolm Young with their wall of guitars. And then this huge backing vocals on the chorus. What a way to open an album. I picked up my acoustic guitar and started strumming to this song almost immediately. "Girls Got Rhythm", "Shot Down in Flames", and "Night Prowler" are all worthy mentions along with the title track. Great sounding album and an album that put me on to my favorite band AC/DC.
BLACK SABBATH - Heaven and Hell (1980) / Mob Rules (1981)
I think I may have been 11 or 12 when I first heard these albums. A friend of my dad's, Mark Jones, a Welsh electrician, was a huge Black Sabbath fan. This was in the '90s and a lot of people were buying their favorite albums on CD. They were selling their vinyl they bought in the '80s and buying them on CD (this is interesting to look back on as now everyone is buying their favorite albums on vinyl again). My dad had Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules on vinyl but then his mate Mark Jones brought us a copy of Heaven and Hell on CD. This was probably my first introduction to Ronnie James Dio. I had already Black Sabbath with Ozzy, but I thought, "Who the hell is this guy on vocals?" I love this album. Every song is a masterpiece. "Neon Knights", "Children of the Sea", "Heaven and Hell", "Die Young". I was listening to this album a lot and began to do my research on Mob Rules. This time I dug out the vinyl buried in my dad's wardrobe. This album was just as good. "Mob Rules", "Turn Up the Night", "Sign of the Southern Cross" and "Country Girl". This is when I began to play and write some darker songs from a heavy diet of Dio-era Sabbath. I still listen to Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules now. It probably is my most listened to album and in all of my bands over the years I have performed a cover of the track "Heaven and Hell.
DEEP PURPLE - Stormbringer (1974)
This album has a slightly different story but is just as remarkable to me. I used to work at a local guitar shop and to cut a long story short my boss's best friend Brian sadly passed away. I had only met him a few times and we all used to eat fish & chips together in the cellar of the guitar shop. He was such a gentleman and a massive music fan. After he died, friends and family were sorting through Brian's belongings and I'm not sure how true this is but after the family and my boss had taken what CDs and vinyl they wanted out of Brian's collection, apparently Brian had said in "the will" that he was leaving the remainder of the music collection to me. This was a big deal and I felt very honored.
So, one day I brought home from work a stack of vinyl and from the collection I pulled out a Deep Purple album. I remember the cover had some white horse with wings (guessing some kind of a unicorn type thing, and a huge hurricane coming down) and the title Stormbringer sounded really cool. I put this album on and bang, I loved it. I was already into a bit of Whitesnake and Glenn Hughes, so to hear the voices of Coverdale and Hughes together was huge. "Gypsy", "Soldier of Fortune", "Lady Double Dealer", and the title track. Fantastic. Thank you, Brian.
IRON MAIDEN - The Number of the Beast (1982)
I had a friend in High School called George and he was from Russia. One day we got to talking about music and at that time in the '90s I was the only kid with long hair and into rock/metal. Everyone loved the boy and girl pop groups or the gangster rap and then there was me with my denim jacket covered in AC/DC and Motörhead patches. George said to me, ''do you like heavy metal?'' At this point I thought I was a heavy rocker. George said he had two Iron Maiden CDs at home (I think they were his brother's or father's). He would bring them into school the next day and he said keep them for as long as you want. One of the albums was Live After Death, but unfortunately it was heavily scratched, so I didn't persevere with that. The other was Number of the Beast. Wow...! I never really heard Maiden before as it wasn't a band my dad had any releases by. I remember "Invaders" being the opening song and thought great, this is a fast band. How loud is that bass guitar? Wow, this guy can bloody sing!!! Throughout this album you have the creepy voices on the title track "Number of the Beast", "The Prisoner", ''I am not a number, I am a free man...''. "Run to the Hills" was on there which I had already heard but I thought there was some much better songs like "Children of the Damned" and "22 Accacia Avenue". This was my first introduction to Maiden so thank you, George. Haha!!
GARY MOORE - Still Got the Blues (1980)
Perhaps my favorite guitar player?
My father, Mark Appleton, is a big guitar player. He wasn't in any huge bands or anything, but he was in a great pub covers band. When I was growing up, I always used to see the Vox amp and his Strat, smelling of smoke from the pubs. Occasionally there would be small parties where the cover band would play in the drummer's conservatory or the front room. I must have been eight or nine years old and whilst all the other kids were playing with water pistols or bounding around on the mini bouncy castle, I was mesmerized by my dad's cover band but most of all by my dad's guitar playing. He was doing all this fast stuff, and everyone would be clapping at the end of the song and cheering my dad. They were playing a lot of blues/rock stuff. Cream, Clapton, Hendrix, Zappa, Rory Gallagher, Walter Trout and of course, Gary Moore. My dad would be doing cover songs of "Walking by Myself", "Moving on (with this steel thing on his finger... a "slide")", "King of the Blues", "Still Got the Blues", all from the Still Got the Blues album. This was the moment I wanted to know more about this kind of music, but it was probably only shortly after this day that I decided I wanted to become a guitarist and a musician. I listened to this Gary Moore album a lot, his guitar playing is just mind-blowing. This album has absolutely no frills, it's just straight-ahead blues rock and Gary Moore is on fire! Shortly after playing this album so much and learning my first few licks and chords from my dad, we went to see Gary Moore perform live at Manchester Academy, 22 October 1999. Again, Gary Moore was on fire! Magnificent guitar player and I still think there is no one quite like him. The closest is probably my dad. Haha!!
If I go back to my childhood the albums that made me say, "FUCK... That's what I wanna do!!", were Led Zeppelin's self-titled album (1969), the "Paint it Black" single (1968) from the Rolling Stones, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Electric Ladyland (1968). But I also listened to classical music since that's what was played around the house most of the time such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. All that music really intrigued me as to how they could write such heavy dramatic music filled with emotion. It gives me chills thinking about it. I was always looking for something heavier and harder and I was 13 years old when I got my hands on some classic thrash albums Kill 'Em All (1983), Peace Sells... (1986), Reign in Blood (1986), Nuclear Assault albums, etc. One day one of my school buddies handed me an old long sleeve from Unleashed that was completely worn out and I was like "What the fuck is that!!?" It looked so fucking evil and since I couldn't read the logo back, that made it even more mysterious to me. That's when I discovered the world of old school death metal and I just fell in love with the whole death metal movement. I could go on writing about this for a while but for the sake of not boring people to much I'll stop here, haha!!
This didn't turn out to be a top five albums that made me wanna start playing music. But hey it wouldn't be possible for me to pick five albums or five artists I love. Except for Morbid Angel...
HOLOCAUST - The Nightcomers (1981)
Holocaust was one of those bands that had a heavy influence on us as a band with the heavy riffing and especially the down-picking style of guitar playing. When we first heard the Heavy Metal Mania 12" (1980) prior to this album, we were hooked...!
TYGERS OF PAN TANG - Wild Cat (1980)
Kinda the same with this album with the heavy riffing and killer leads. Everybody in the band was fan of this album. Ss with Gary Lettice from Holocaust, Jess Cox's voice is my kind of thing. Both singers have that raw edge and it had a serious influence on my singing.
RIOT - Fire Down Under (1981)
Everybody in the band loved this album. It has the perfect mix of heavy and melodic riffing, great vocals and killer leads. I consider it the best metal album ever.
ANGEL WITCH - Angel Witch (1980)
Classic, cult stuff and everybody in the band was crazy about the Witch. The killer, doomy heavy riffing had a major influence on our playing. Tracks like "Angel of Death" were far ahead of their time.
DIAMOND HEAD - Lightning to the Nations (1980)
I remember when I first heard "Am I Evil" on Dutch radio on one Wednesday afternoon heavy metal program called Stampij. It completely knocked me out of my socks! What a riff. The album was only available from the band directly at that time, so I went on a search to find it and finally saw an ad in Sounds magazine. I wrote the band and a week later I received it. It has remained one of my all-time favorite albums and it had a huge influence on our songwriting and riffing.
AC/DC - Let There Be Rock (1977)
Because it's pure rock 'n' roll at its best and my father guaranteed I would go insane if I continued listening to it.
FRANK ZAPPA / THE MOTHERS - Roxy and Elsewhere (1974)
Zappa is an endless inspiration for me. I steal so many ideas from him for my music and nobody notices.
THE BEATLES - Beatles for Sale (1964)
It was my first record as a 10th birthday present and I still have it.
EXODUS - Exhibit B: The Human Condition (2010)
Great sound, great songwriting, great guitarist!
METALLICA - Kill 'Em All (1983)
My entrance to thrash metal.
I came in contact with music through what my parents listened to and I started to be interested in music. That was about 1974-75 and it was the Les Humphries Singers. (Sorry, haha...).
I listened to records my parents owned again and again like Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong. Then I discovered Ricky King, a German guitarist, and I was hooked. At the age of 10 I had a tape of his music which I listened to over and over again.
I bought my very first album at the age of 11 with money from my parents which was Status Quo - Live!, released in 1977.
Then I bought Rocka Rolla (1974) by Judas Priest.
My godmother gave me the album Mob Rules (1981) by Black Sabbath, then I bought the Black Sabbath albums Technical Ecstasy (1976) and Heaven and Hell (1980).
At the age of 14 I started to play the guitar, initially only acoustic. Then my mother bought me my first cheap electric guitar, amusingly enough with the brand name "Remo".
After many more albums (the first Iron Maiden album in 1980 was also very important for me) I discovered Manilla Road at the age of 18, which is still my favorite band.
Well, that's my story regarding the bands and albums that have influenced me in my childhood/youth. Well, the majority of them did not necessarily influence me with the kind of music style that I started to play with Messiah, but still...
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