Daniel Gardner from Seattle's power pop four piece Four Lights give us his top ten punk rock influences. Four Lights have a new album named Death to False Posi out on August 15th.
Writing out your Top Ten anything is hard.. But especially when it comes to my punk rock influences. There are so many things that influenced me throughout the years that it’s hard to nail down 10. So here are my Top Ten (in no specific order) things that inspired my love of punk rock.
Every teenager should listen to Let It Be, Stink and Sorry Ma. My Dad was a HUGE Mats fan so their music was everywhere in my life growing up. There is something about Westerberg’s ability to write clever, honest lyrics with an amazing melody and back it with loud guitars and huge drums.
I ordered some album from Fueled By Ramen and it had an advert for The Impossibles Anthology. It described it as a mix between Operation Ivy and Weezer. Sold. Give it to me now. I preached the gospel of The Impossibles for many years to anyone that would listen. If you were in my car, at my work, in my class, on the bus with me, I told you about this band. Their early stuff was that mix of ska/punk with power pop that just hit all the marks for me. They had the ability to go from bouncy ska verses into massive, loud crunchy chorus like no one else. One of the most underrated bands and really helped mold my songwriting when I was a teenager.
It was summer vacation sometime when I was in grade school and there was a Rock the Casbah video on TV. I called my Dad at his work and asked him which Clash record I should listen to. He asked if I wanted to hear something like the song I just heard or if I wanted to really love the Clash. He told me to go grab London Calling and self-titled out of his massive vinyl collection. He wasn’t wrong. I loved those records. They led to my dad suggesting many more bands to check out.
The Kraken is a bar in the University district of Seattle. If you’ve ever been, you already know. Everyone is family there. I have seen some of the best punk rock of my life at that bar. The amount of amazing bands in Seattle (The Young Go-Hards, Ol Doris, Success, Kids on Fire Amsterdam) is so great that they constantly inspire me to be a better player and a better writer. The Kraken gives all of these great bands a place to play their loud and fast music and probably make some new friends.
I remember when I first heard 2RAK005 on Fat Music for Fat People. I jumped out of my seat to restart the song and grabbed the case to see who was making this magic! Bracket. The harmonies, the melodies, the arrangements. This band lured me in with their fast paced rock and I fell in love the more they experimented with their sound as their albums evolved. They continue to inspire me to this day with every new album they release.
La Escalera Records
La Escalera is a focal point in the punk rock scene on the west coast. A bunch of musicians who help each other out and look out for each other. Will, Ziggy, Shrum all make me want to be a better person and help the scene out however I can because those guys do so damn much for punk rock.
I grew up with Salvation, Time Bomb, Ruby Soho all playing on mainstream radio. What a time to be alive!! Rancid is a combination of so many things I love in music.. Loud guitars, rock and roll guitar solos and great melodies. Falling in love with Rancid led me to other bands in the genre.
Less Than Jake
I wore out my copies of Losing Streak and Hello Rockview. They were so scratched up and skipped in so many parts because I would carry them around with me just in case there was a CD player nearby that I could play them on. If you haven’t noticed, I am a sucker for a catchy melody and these guys have it. Clever lyrics to boot. Once again, with Vinnie starting Fueled By Ramen, I found out about so many more bands and the fact they were constantly on tour, I got to see so many great punk bands come through town with them.
Both of my parents were really into music. Their leather jackets were in the hall closet and my dad still had the t-shirts and my mom had many of the tickets still from their time going to bars in the Midwest to see the bands coming through. We had family outings to see The Sex Pistols, Paul Westerberg, Weezer, Rancid, etc etc etc. I consider myself lucky to have parents who love some amazing music.
I’m sure everyone says them.. But with good reason. Only two types of people don’t like The Ramones; fools and liars. We rented Rock and Roll High School and I once again was pulling records from my parents collection to spin and spin and spin them. One of my earliest love affairs with punk rock.
You can pre-order Death to False Posi here: https://fourlightsrock.bandcamp.com/releases
Stream Death to False Posi here: http://newnoisemagazine.com/stream-four-lights-death-false-posi/
Like Four Lights here: https://www.facebook.com/fourlightsrock/