Nikos from The Twin Dracula gives us his top ten punk rock influences.
1. THE CLASH They brought a huge legitimacy to punk rock at a time where it was a bit of a parody of itself. No mohawks, no studded leather jackets, no bullshit… just good music. Joe Strummer’s lyrics were insightful and poetic, and he’s truly missed.
2. ALEXISONFIRE Alexis came about when there were so many shit emo bands around. They were a huge breath of fresh air, and every album has been a banger. They managed to fuse modern punk rock with great melody, and great songwriting. Huge influence!
3. ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT I’ve always found RFTC absolutely fascinating. A rock band with a horn section… that don’t play ska (thankfully)! They sound HUGE, have never been afraid to do stuff differently, and have a great DIY ethos. John Reis’ label, Swami Records, is also home to some great bands.
4. FAT WRECK CHORDS I could write 20 bands off the top of my head that are on this label that have been an influence to both our band and to me personally, but I’ll just put them in as a collective. Snuff, Lagwagon & Screeching Weasel were the first punk bands I really heard from watching snowboarding videos as a kid.
5. MISFITS This band needs absolutely no explanation other than to say Earth AD & Walk Among Us are 2 of my favourite punk records ever. If you don’t own them… beg, steal or borrow them.
6. HOT WATER MUSIC There’s a ton of things I love about Hot Water Music, but the dual vocals between Chris Wollard & Chuck Ragan are definitely one of the standouts, the songwriting is next level too. I’d love to see them back together again, if only they’d stop writing terrible country music with their side projects…
7. THE RAMONES Imitated by many, duplicated by none. Before they were a Primark t-shirt design, these four blokes smashed the shit out of music and changed it for the better. The Ramones were the first pop punk band, and they were amazing. They wanted to make great music out of their love of rock n roll and 50’s love songs, and just kinda happened to invent punk rock.
8. BELVEDERE This band absolutely slays! I got into them quite late on, about a month before they split, but luckily got to see them when they reformed at Groezrock. The technical ability of Belvedere makes me salivate. So fast! Totally recommend ‘Fast Forward Eats The Tape’ if you’ve not heard them before.
9. THE FLATLINERS The thing I love about The Flatliners is they constantly improve with every album without sacrificing any of their sound. Their songs are just ridiculously good; the melody, the raw aggression behind the melody, the lyrics… it’s all just fucking flawless! In terms of a band that are an inspiration for me to keep writing songs and playing in my band, you don’t need to look much further than these guys.
10. THE HIVES They sound good, they play good, they look good – for me, they’re one of the best live bands on the planet. No question. I saw The Hives in 2002, and 2 minutes later formed my first ‘proper’ band.