Here are London based ska punk Millie Manders top ten punk rock influences.
I went to see the Glen Miller Orchestra when I was maybe 12 years old. I was a clarinet player at the time but this experience pushed me to play saxophone. The richness of the layers of Big Band Jazz resonated with me in such a huge way. It inspires the way I think about horn lines and composition even now. I still have vinyls and CDs signed by the band.
I was brought up in a house that had walls of CDs in classical, RnB and contemporary music. Aretha Franklin, in particular her performance of "Think" in the movie Blues Brothers, made my heart hurt. She has the most amazing vocal range and control. All old school RnB and ragtime are favourites but Aretha tops the bill of awesome.
The minute I heard "Stoosh" front to back I was hooked. I earned every nuance of that album. Skin's unique tone and the ability to scream as well as sing through three octaves still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The band's unique sound is flawless, and at that time was completely unrivalled. They had managed to create this whole new brand of rock music that was fervent and feverish and I wanted to do something like that so badly.
Another vocal legend, another band that created a new niche in rock music. The influences of Ska and rock were clear, but the introduction of electro and pop made them stand out fully. Gwen's unique style and idiosyncratic vocals coupled with her beauty made her desirable in so many ways. The days I spent daydreaming wishing I was her!
Time for a couple of real old school influences! Along with Madness and other Two Tone legends, some of my early music memories are hanging on to my Dad's belt with my sisters dancing around the living room to The Specials. Ska is still a huge influence on the music I write, and they have written some of the best, most iconic songs in that genre.
It might have been contrived, engineered by McClaren and taken up by a bunch of crazy, fame hungry junkies, but Sex Pistols’ manic sound and scratchy, scathing vocals resonate with me. I love the pure anarchy of the sound.
Just... How cool are they? Their manic style, the ska-core frantic energy and the demo-esque quality to their records... Jake and his incredible, scratchy vocals and lightning fast sax playing... I got likened to Capdown recently after a show and I very nearly kissed the person who said it out of sheer gratitude for such high praise.
Live hiphop. LIVE HIPHOP! With wo drum kits, huge brass section, vocalists, guitars, bass. They are funky, super cool, pull out some of the best horn hooks and lyrical licks ever and are all really, REALLY lovely people.
My Dad started listening to them in 1991 when Black Sunday came out. He bought it the week it was released. It was my first taste of hiphop and I loved it. I remember dancing round the lounge and learning the words. I didn't know what half of them meant but thought it was infinitely funny that the lyrics "toss that ham in the frying pan" would end up in a song. They had this dark and dangerous sound and I still can't get enough. Still one of my favourite hiphop albums ever.
Rage Against The Machine
I was in high school when I first heard Rage. I was just getting into Nu Metal - Limp Bizkit and the likes. The political energy, Zac's infinitely amazing vocal performances and the out-of-the-box instrument use from the band captured my imagination. Every bassist wanted to learn the bass lines. Every guitarist wanted to take their jack out and make cray noises on the plec plate. Every vocalist wanted to be able to spit and sing and scream. They were a musical revolution. Ground breaking and awesome!
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