MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK:
(Chris) – MCS are one of my all time favourite bands. The way Justin Pierre writes really dark lyrics over super catchy pop-punk songs has always been one of those things I've wanted to do. The subject matters of alcoholism and pushing away those closest to you are really honest and bleak, whilst having these big pop hooks and fun energetic songs, create a contrast that I've always been amazed by. I've always wanted to approach my songwriting in a similar way. The drums are insanely good, some of the most creative drumming I've ever heard. And, although I prefer the earlier albums, I don't think I dislike anything they've released. RIP MCS.
(Chris) – "Is A Real Boy" has to be up there in my top ten all time favourite albums. Such a creative masterpiece. I don't think I heard it or got into Say Anything until 2012 – very late to the party – but lyrically I've always aspired to try and write like them. I also love how they don't exactly stick to the conventional song structures and mess around with time signatures, tempos etc. Me and James have always tried to put little bits of "weird" in the songs and I feel like Say Anything have a big part in that. Seeing them at Slam Dunk this year was a dream come true.
(Chris) – I've been a huge Paramore fan from their first album, I remember seeing them in Kerrang Magazine's "Introducing" feature and I was obsessed with them around the time I started playing in bands and writing. Despite all of their line ups and changes in sound, there's not one Paramore album I don't love. Hayley Williams' vocals are incredible and they're just one of those solid bands that I don't think I'll ever get bored of. I've actually done a couple of acoustic Paramore cover sets!
(James) – I have always loved Blink. From a drummer's point of view, Travis Barker is truly phenomenal. Ever since Enema of The State, this band went from strength to strength. From a young drummer, Blink have always inspired me to be in a crappy pop punk band and write music about drunk parties and generally being immature. Both Chris and I haven't grown up completely and we will endeavour to continue this trend. Take Off Your Pants and Jacket has to be up there as one of my favourite albums of theirs, closely followed by their self-titled album.
(Chris) – I came across these guys when they were "The Hotel Year" via some blog post years ago – awesome band. Their albums were really refreshing to me and it always seemed like they were trying to go for something a bit different. I saw them in London a year or two ago and their live sound was incredible. I can't deny that they've been a huge influence on H_ngm_n's music, I'd probably say they're one of the biggest influences, especially in our newer stuff.
(Chris) – I gotta include Stereophonics, probably the first band I got into when I was learning guitar. My older sister was a huge fan and I used to steal her CDs when we were kids. I loved the fact they were a three piece, as was my first band, and the way their songs lyrically told a story. "Word Gets Around" has to be up there in my top albums of all time. I was really into learning full guitar chords rather than just power chords and yeah I don't think I'd write songs in the style I do now if it wasn't for Stereophonics! I know James hates them, hahaha.
(James) – I have a always been a huge fan of UnderOath. I'm generally a fan of a lot of hardcore music, but was introduced to them by a friend at school, way back in 2004 with the track Reinventing Your Exit. The cross between singing and screaming really appeals to me. The blend of intricate drum parts, weird time signature parts and heavy hitting is something I try to emulate. I enjoy their open minimalistic middle 8 sections, back into heavy full on choruses. Great for a long drive! I'm not a fan of their latest album, but after having all members changed and Aaron Gillespie leaving, their sound changed dramatically.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY :
(Chris) – Hugely into Taking Back Sunday , another one of those bands that despite various line-up changes, I'm a massive fan of every release. I wouldn't be able to choose a favourite album. The whole dual vocals thing was really influential in mine and James' old band and musically they're just bang on. The first time I heard of them was through mates in bands when we were in school who covered "Cute Without The E" and I guess the EMO phase (that I never grew out of) started from there.
(Chris) – Bert McCracken is one of my heroes. Amazing songwriter and vocalist, still to this day absolutely smashing it. Another one of those emo bands discovered in school. "Maybe Memories" and "In Love & Death" are amazing records. If you're not familiar with these two records then you need to get on it. Such a great band.
(Chris) – Not exactly a direct influence on our songs, but Michael Jackson has to be the first music I remember being into as a kid and have always been hugely into pop music since. For someone to have so many great songs is nuts. I remember having some plastic Fisher Price walkman thing as a kid and stealing my mum's MJ tapes from the car. I mean, there were others – David Bowie, David Essex, David Cassidy, all the "David's" in music apparently – but MJ was the one that stuck with me. Cheers mum, I had to listen to something other than The Smurfs album (not hating – that was also sick).
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