Thursday, 4 February 2016

Top Tens: Luke Daniels of Geistfight Top Ten Punk Rock Influences

Geistfight as a band are made up of eclectic tastes (as I'm guessing most bands are) with the majority favouring metal styles, techy mathy type stuff, garage rock and a whole load of other tangents that would take an hour just to define the genres. But when I started advertising for Geistfight I set out a clear directive of wanting to form a skacore/punk band with light influences of funk and a hint to the techy elements of melodic hardcore and metal.

Looking only to punk/ska/rock, these bands are the ones that provide inspiration to a section of a song, an entire track, but mostly create the desire to want to make music in general. These are the bands who make me forget the shit gigs, tour aids and empty bank account, bands that make you dream of doing something with your life that has some meaning and value.

RX Bandits: First name on the list for so many reasons, the main one being that when Nick (our lead guitarist), my wife and I went to see "The Resignation" played in full, my wife said she had never seen us act so like quivering schoolgirls at a Bieber concert. She was worried she may have to find her own way home and she wasn't far off! Every member of that band is awesome especially the Matt Embree/Steve Choi combo. Every album is great in its own way and there have been regular little hints to their influence on the band. They are the soundtrack to many trips to/from gigs.

Matt Reynolds (Howards Alias/Thinkpol/Skylar/Big Fin): In the crowd at that RXB gig was this man: and the orgy continues. There is love for pretty much everything that Matt does, from taking a ska/punk band through its proggy changes to be an all out rock beast, to his recent album as Big Fin of serene and uplifting chilled beauty. His voice is massive and the impression he makes on the work he does is very individual. Also Thinkpol is possibly the best band I never got to see.

Strung Out: Somewhere around the melodic hardcore/skate punk sound we aspire to include in our writing, Strung Out are epic. And still working hard and clearly loving it. Gotta say that the heavier tech based songs are better than the pop element, but they cover a pretty wide spectrum and that is another goal of ours.

Mad Caddies: Another voice to make you swoon, Caddies were an entry level band that at 13yo were like unlocking the door to a whole world of other music and bands. So many different styles in there, something for everyone. Seen them so many times but have never seen them play "Falling Down" so they didn't get first shout spot XD

Incubus: Possibly the best voice of the lot, combining funk, metal, rock and general great musicianship is really indicative of the Geistfight taste. Their more recent stuff is a bit off the radar, but up to "Morning View" they are one of the most listened to bands on the list.

Capdown: For people who ask "Oh, you're in a band, what sort of stuff do you play?" The answer is "kinda like Capdown, with other stuff added in". Stylistically they are near the centre of our spectrum and have a similar personnel set up. They were the first heavy ska/skacore band I heard and they have stayed with me since I first started dreaming of being on stage and making music. Basically the litmus test of how music should sound. And MV4 is teabag-ingly good.

Adequate Seven: SKA CAN BE FUNK! Or something like that. AD7 were epic live. Adding funk to the scene we love was just brilliant. "Songs of innocence and experience" will forever be the soundtrack to driving around Amsterdam in a manner that can only be described as underage and very dicey.

No Comply: Alongside "The Storm" by The JB Conspiracy, No Comply have the only album I would call perfect, no weak songs, amazing style and one of the most inspiring guitarists for writing "for the song" and not just the riff. Also Kelly Kemp is up on a pedestal for everything she has done and I can imagine is a real role model for girls in a majority male scene. Would love to see them reform for a one off, so much respect for this band.

Sonic Boom Six: Another female role model and actually the band that gave me the motivation to start my first, Abstract Genius, with Nick in 2007/8 (Send the complaints direct to Barney Boom :D). Their mix of styles is best portrayed through "Ruff Guide..." and made me put down the bass and try doing vocals and learn sax. If you ask another band about SB6 the first thing they will say is "great people, really friendly and helpful". I can't imagine wanting a better reputation as people and although they went a different way after Ben Childs left for the USA, they remain a big part of the scene and rightly so.

Faintest Idea: Putting a band you are sometimes in on this list would seem just a little bit weird without explanation. The latter half of 2014 and early part of 2015 was one of the worst times in my life. A career I couldn't carry on with and a severe phase of my bi-polar and addictions meant I should have been in hospital or dead. So when I got asked to fill in for Lil' Dan on sax for what would be my first Europe tour, I had something to inspire me out of my funk. What I didn't expect was that I would learn how a band could be successful, a collection of people unified in their love of gigging, all pulling in the same direction with equal passion for it. There is no need for a stand out leader and if there is, there is no need for anyone to heavily manage the others. Couple this attitude and effort with great songs that are so much fun to play, a morality and consciousness entrenched in their music without some of the hypocrisy found elsewhere in alternative genres, Faintest Idea are what any UK based band should aspire to be like. I became a better musician working out and learning their tracks, I became a better organiser of Geistfight especially throughout our recent recording and I can't wait for the gigs I have coming up with them. If someone asks me what I do, I no longer say my job; I say I'm a musician. I probably wouldn't have found that outlook without what I gained from FI and the support of my wife, Cat.

There are so many honourable mentions like Farse, The JB Conspiracy, Claypigeon, Bad Religion, the list could go on forever, but if you have to choose ten then the above wouldn't get old or stop being inspirational! Also imagine that line up for one weekender, best gig ever.

Written by Luke Daniels

Geistfight have the single and video "The Fine Line" available on youtube and bandcamp. We will be releasing our debut EP at the end of March 2016 in Guildford. Follow at and