Thursday, 12 November 2015

Top Tens: Roo Pescod from Bangers Top Ten Punk Rock Influences

Roo Pescod is the guitarist and lead singer of Cornish punk band Bangers. Recently he was kind enough to tell me his top ten punk rock influences.

Alkaline Trio
I fell in love with Alkaline Trio when I heard their split with Hot Water Music. There’s really nothing new or interesting I can say about the band, but I like their songs a whole bunch and they were a pretty direct influence on me writing songs for Bangers. In my mind they are forever entwined with port because that’s what I mainly used to drink whilst listening to From Here to Infirmary. Because it was a bit like blood.

We Are The Only Friends That We Have is one of those albums that I have listened to so many times that I probably know every word. It was a real revelation to me that music could be so poppy and hooky whilst existing in weird different time signatures. Travis also comes across as such a weird guy when he’s singing, which really pushes my buttons.

So Challenger are the band that I always wanted Bangers to be. They have amazing pop songs which exist within this slightly demented world of mixed metaphors and ancient historical references that Al Burian shouts about as if he doesn’t give a shit about life. I never much liked Milemarker, but Give People What They Want In Lethal Doses and When Friends Turn Against You are two perfect records that have been over-played to death in every Bangers tour van. Al Burian also wrote some of my favourite fanzines.

NOFX are the band that got me into punk music more than any other. I had discovered Greenday previously, but NOFX made sure that my relationship with punk was pretty much exclusive for the best part of the following decade. As a teenager, everything that Fat Mike sang about seemed like the best shit in the world, and all the songs seemed like the best songs in the world. They gave me something to believe in which has shaped my world view forever since and pretty much ruined every chance I had of being a successful human being. I don’t listen to them much anymore, but there would be a huge gaping hole inside me if they were to be retroactively wiped out of history.

The Lawrence Arms
I don’t even know what to say about The Lawrence Arms. I think they write great songs. One night at university I drank a bottle of whiskey and rolled around on the kitchen floor phoning people I knew trying to make a phone bee-line to Brendan Kelly so I could tell him I liked his band. Bangers supported them on a UK tour last year and it felt like I’d really achieved something with music, which I don’t often feel.

I love the way Lemuria put songs together and I feel like I’ve learned so much musically from listening to their songs. I think I was originally entranced by them because they had a girl singing quite bluntly but poetically about sex, which I thought was amazing. Since then they’re one of few bands who I’m always giddily excited about hearing a new album from, and they haven’t disappointed me yet.

I believe that there is nothing not to like about Propagandhi. They are hugely inspiring individuals and they seem hilariously goofy as fuck to boot. I still regularly listen to them whilst working in the library and it always makes me feel good. They sometimes remind me that you can say important things with songs whilst remaining untouchably cool.

Archers of Loaf
I like how discordant and grotty their records sound. My brother lent me their live album Seconds Before The Accident and I listened to it for years before checking anything else of theirs out. It has such an amazingly strange sound to it, and they have so many great songs. White Trash Heroes is one of those songs that makes me want to give up writing songs because it’s so good.

It took me ages to listen all the way through ONSIND’s last album Anaesthesiology because I’d always put it on, listen to a couple of songs and then run off to play my guitar and write something because I felt so inspired. Nathan and Daniel are so maddeningly talented and righteous and nerdy and I love them to death.

These guys have been friends of mine for ages in various bands, and Bangers toured with them at the start of 2014. I find the interaction between Tim and Wherly (on guitar and drums) really inspiring, and I love their use of dynamics and how technically proficient they are. More than their ability itself, I love the fact that they’ll always play to the peak of it and get really angry at themselves if they don’t give everything that they’ve got. Such a great and engaging band regardless of whether their songs are any good or not. Also their songs are so fucking great and are always stuck in my head. One of the songs on the new Bangers album was my attempt to play guitar like Tim, which I failed at pretty solidly.

Bangers recently released a new album titled Bird which you can buy here:

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