Thursday, 21 September 2017

Top Tens: The Doublecross' Top Ten Punk Rock Influences

Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen is the musician I remember most vividly from my childhood. My folks would play their vinyl copies of his earliest albums over and over. I certainly think that his heartfelt mixture of rhythm and blues, rock, folk and country has influenced my songwriting more than any other musician.

Buffalo Tom
The first time I heard Buffalo Tom was their live performance of the song Tree House on the Channel 4 pop culture show The Word, in 1993. I was instantly taken with Bill Janovitz' honest vocals over the jangly 90s guitar sound that I had already grown to love in other bands such as Teenage Fanclub.

The Black Crowes
The Crowes are one of my all-time favourite bands and, despite not having a direct influence on The Doublecross, are one of the reasons I learnt to play guitar. The first time I heard them was on a late night rock music television programme on ITV called Raw Power. It was the song Twice As Hard, a single in 1990.

Having been a lover of hip-hop and rap music since the early 90s, I'd never connected on a personal level lyrically with anything in the genre until Atmosphere came along. I discovered them three albums into their career when the Lucy Ford EP collection was released in the early 2000s, a crazy and important time in my life in terms of learning who I thought I was and understanding my relationships with other people.

The Prodigy
It was The Prodigy that got me into creating my own electronic music during the 90s which has influenced the way I write, compose and almost construct Doublecross songs since. The Prodigy helped me understand the power and importance of repetition in music, treating every instrument and melody in a song as a separate element that may be introduced and reintroduced in a song.

The Wildhearts
I heard The Wildhearts for the first time on Noisy Mothers, ITV's late night replacement for the show Raw Power, when they released Nothing Ever Changes as a single in 1992. That song blew my mind with its mixture of power-pop, punk and metallic riffage and I've loved the band ever since. I cite them as a direct influence on the sound of the latest Doublecross album, Keep Bleeding.

Hot Water Music
After hearing their song Choked And Separated on a compilation, HWM without a doubt became the most influential band for me particularly in my earlier days of making punk rock music. Everything from the chord progressions, lead guitar style and rough yet melodic vocals to the lyrical content helped shape the music I made with my old band This Hidden Switch and the first Doublecross album, Things Will Never Change.

When a friend played the Rebels And Rogues album to me, this was the first time I had heard Lucero and their music struck a nerve. It seemed to tap in to a part of me that had laid dormant since my teenage angst days in the 90s. Except this time I was in my 20s and very much into over analysing everything about my love life. Lucero, as with Atmosphere, gave me the confidence to write honest, personal lyrics of my own.

Rival Schools
Being a fan of Walter Schreifels' band Quicksand, I was nothing less than blown away when I saw the Rival Schools Used For Glue video for the first time. I still don't know how he does it but Schreifels has this way of writing such vague lyrics that seem to mean so much to me and his vocal delivery is nothing short of soulful in my opinion. This coupled with Ian Love's beautiful guitar work will always leave Rival Schools as one of my all-time favourite bands.

Dinosaur Jr
Yet another band I heard for the first time on Channel 4's The Word. The song they performed was Start Choppin' and I was immediately in love with J. Mascis' guitar playing and sound. I've been trying to emulate and play guitar like Mascis ever since, with minimal success. This alone is not why I love Dinosaur Jnr so much, as their songwriting underpins an entire sound that I believe is completely unique.

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