Mikey habe ich diesen Sommer auf dem Rock im Daal kennen gelernt. Wie ein echter Rockstar hat er durch Glanzleistungen am Glas geglänzt! Wir haben uns also auf Anhieb gut verstanden. Auch wenn man ihn bisher nicht auf den Platten hören konnte, ist er am zweitlängsten bei den Turbo AC’s. Seine andere Band, die Skinny Millionaires klingen komplett anders, jedoch keinesfalls schlechter.
Nun stellt uns Mikey seine Lieblingsalben vor! In diesem Sinne: 1800 – eat shit!
1Nirvana – In Utero
I think part of what makes a great album is the timing of it’s release. Some albums have the perfect sound at the perfect time. That is the case with Nirvanas ‘Nevermind’. It was exactly what was needed at that time to put the nail in the coffin of the Sunset Strip poodle rock that was dominating the rock charts. I never liked that shit. But ‘In Utero’ was a big FUCK YOU to the corporate shit storm that Nirvana was being forced into. I identified with a lot of what Kurt was dealing with, but in his case, it was on a much larger scale. I felt like I started playing music as an outlet-a way to deal with the depression, a way to scream out what I couldn’t say, a way to get back at the frat boys and wannabe gangsters that made my life hell growing up. I was a small, skinny, skateboarder with long hair, and I hated people. They let me down repeatedly, and still do. I enjoy making music because that’s where I feel like I can be the real me – but I fucking hate the music business. It’s so fake. If you take a whole bunch of different, original people, and stick them in a room together for long enough, eventually they start becoming the same person, but they will keep trying to tell you that they’re different and original. Unfortunately a lot of bands achieve success based on how well they can sell that bullshit lie. I feel like Kurt understood all that, and I have to applaud Nirvana for putting out a completely radio un-friendly album like ‘In Utero’ as the follow up to the biggest rock record of my generation. Also, their live ‘Unplugged’ album is, in my opinion, the best live album ever.
2Bob Dylan – Desire
In reality, I can’t pick a favorite Bob Dylan album. There are so many good ones. Most people could not accomplish in a hundred lifetimes what Dylan has done in his one – and he’s still going. Now, I get it when people don’t like him. I used to hate him. Couldn’t stand him. But I used to date this girl who was always listening to his music. Finally I started to get it. I realized that a guy and an acoustic guitar can be just as heavy as any Slayer song. It can punch you in the gut and make you grit your teeth the same way. Songs like ‘Masters of War’, ‘Positively 4th St’, and ‘Ballad of a Thin Man’ absolutely skewer their ‘victims’, or whoever he’s talking about in the song. My song ‘No Imagination’ off of The Skinny Millionaires’ first album “Sleeping Dogs Lie” is basically my version of “Positively 4th St.” I also stole his use of a violinist from the Desire album. When The Skinny Millionaires started, I was so sick of staying in this punk rock formula and having to be so boxed in. I had more ideas. So I think Dylan is the reason I formed The Skinny Millionaires and did that first Skinnies album. I had to get that out of me. Lately I’m back to the hard rock n’ roll, but having broken out of that box, I feel as though I’m free to play anything I want now, and I don’t really have to care who likes it. I see a lot of bands that care so much about staying within a formula, it’s enough to put me to sleep. I like a challenge. It’s made me so much more of a well rounded musician. It’s fucking scary getting onstage and not being able to hide behind speed and noise, and have to learn about your voice and learn about using silence to your advantage in your songs, and a whole lot of other things. Try it out.
3Queens of the Stoneage – Songs for the Deaf
QOTSA had a lot going for them on this album. Dave Grohl on drums, Mark Lanegan singing some songs, and Nick Oliveri brought the madness and unpredictability to these guys. Basically their first 3 albums are all my favorite. I remember getting their first album when it first came out, having been a big Kyuss fan as a kid. I played it at work and no one else liked it and kinda dismissed them. It’s weird how when you are into a band before they get big, you kinda feel like a proud dad, like you discovered them, and at the same time also kinda feel like “oh wait, jocks and a lot of mainstream people I can’t stand listen to them now, does that mean I should stop liking them”? Fuck that. Like what you like. I also think Miley Cyrus is more punk than a lot of mohawked hardcore punk rock bands – so, it’s all about HOW you say “fuck you”, not just saying it to say it because you think you should. QOTSA invented a formula, and they didn’t stick to it. That’s the mark of a good musician. The songs on ‘Songs for the Deaf’ are all very different – so much so that they had the brilliant idea of making the whole album like a road trip, in that you hear stations switching between songs, and different radio dj’s and things going from station to station, which was a great way to take all the different songs and tie them together (including the album opening with Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves , interestingly, since Blag and Josh Homme later became bitter enemies, and Josh was ordered to attend anger management after breaking a bottle over Blags head after Blag dissed Josh hard in his song ‘Massacre’. Fun!) Also, the video for ‘Go with the Flow’, the best song on the album, is maybe my favorite music video ever.
4Dwarves – The Dwarves are Young and Good Looking
Possibly my favorite album of all time. This hit my ears at the perfect time in my life. I was young and angry. I had heard of these guys, but wasn’t really all that familiar with them. Then one day, it was Cinco de Mayo, I was a kid in the middle of a day drunk with a bunch of older guys, and this album came on. It said all these things in a way that I wanted to say them but didn’t think possible. It was like the album I had been trying to write my whole life but didn’t know it. They blatantly said “Fuck You” to everyone that was in their way, and they were proud of it. But unlike other punk albums, the songwriting was amazing. With his trademark lyrical slight of hand – Blag Dahlia sang songs like “Unrepentant” and “We Must Have Blood” like a mercenary behind enemy lines – the best punk rock voice with the best lyrics to the best songs. It seems like every punk band kind of has their one ‘important’ album that they’re known for in militant punk circles. For The Dwarves is was ‘Blood, Guts, and Pussy’. But ‘Young and Good looking’ came after the band disappeared for awhile and faked the death of their naked guitar player, going as far as to give an address where distraught fans could send flowers, and getting them kicked off of Sub Pop in the process. Like I said before, a lot of punk bands are just a bunch of pussies doing exactly what they’re told and trying to be all things to all people. The Dwarves have committed career suicide over and over and over again, and still do. It’s unpredictable, and it’s fucking awesome. The first time I met Blag was at Grandmaster Studios in Hollywood. It was the first time I’d been in a big studio where big albums by bands like The Foo Fighters Tool were made, and my then musical hero walks in the door to produce our (The Turbo AC’s) record (although I wasn’t technically in the band yet). Not bad. I was pretty nervous. We would later go on to tour with them many times, and I would take on the part of HeWhoCannotBeNamed on occasion – coming out onstage with nothing but a pair of womens undies on and a Mexican wrestling mask. Kevin and I from The Turbo AC’s also did a track on one of Blags solo albums. But I digress. This album is fucking amazing. Rock n’ roll is supposed to be dangerous and unpredictable, and The Dwarves always bring that.
5The Bronx – II
I fucking love these guys. I find that when it comes to album lists, people tend to try to stick with bands from the past, because they think it somehow makes them seem cooler, like “fuck that modern shit, I only listen to the early rock bands, because I’m so fucking cool”. Again, fuck everybody. The Bronx do hardcore punk rock n’ roll in a way that I haven’t heard anyone else do. It’s fucking brutal, and it’s catchy at the same time. Usually the verses have some kind of disjointed strange beat, and then the chorus drops with a straight ahead rock beat that just makes you explode. Plus singer Matt Caughthran can actually sing like a motherfucker. These guys decided to branch out and start a mariachi band called Mariachi El Bronx, and it’s incredibly legit and well done, having earned them opening slots for Foo Fighters and other huge acts. You don’t often find a band of hardcore punks that can actually sing and play astoundingly well. Drummer Jorma Vik has rocketed to the top of my favorite drummers list (and recently rocketed to the bottom when he left The Bronx to join Eagles of Death Metal). Also Matt is a hell of a front man, spending half the show in the middle of the crowd going nuts. We recently played right before them at a festival in Belgium, and it made me want to just start my day over again. He manages to cut through any fake-ness or perceived bullshit with his stage banter. Hell, I’d buy an album of just Matts stage banter – he knows how to get a crowd off their feet like no one I’ve seen. Legend has it that these guys were signed after playing their first show, and Gilby Clarke from Guns n’ Roses produced their record, and they’ve really never looked back. Again, fuck everybody. Just go.
6Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Blossom
This band played their first show only about a year ago in Franks tattoo shop, and since then have gone on to play massive crowds at ginormous festivals. Their debut album is probably my punk album of the year – the recording is fantastic, especially the drum sound. Frank is the original singer of Gallows, who now have a new singer, and suck. But the Rattlesnakes, in my opinion, are better than Gallows ever were. Frank is an incredible front man, who will command crowds to not only form a giant circle pit, but have the pit go in such a large circle that will go, say, out the festival tent, around the back of the sound desk, and back in the other side….or say, out the side of the crowd, up the balcony stairs, across the balcony, and back down the other side. Another one is his trademark ‘wall of death’. Look it up on youtube. These guys sound a lot like The Bronx. Frank can really sing, and is really really fucking angry in his lyrics and delivery. Again, fuck everyone.
7Tom Waits – Alice
Most purists will cite Toms early work as his best, of course, because that’s what people do. ‘Alice’ was the first album of his that I got into. I sometimes find that the first album you hear by a band or artist usually ends up being your favorite. ‘Alice’ is a great winter-time album, with lyrics like “I must be insane to go skating on your name, and by tracing it twice I fell through the ice…of Alice”. I think anyone who knows Toms music will agree that there is absolutely no one like him. He sings like howlin’ wolf if he were a carnival barker boiling nails in his throat, he makes instruments out of things he finds in junkyards, and usually sings about society’s underbelly in a way that is truly, completely original. The song ‘Poor Edward’ for example, is about a guy who has another face on the back of his head-a woman’s face that drove him mad and made him commit suicide. His songs are part jazz (I fucking hate jazz, it sounds like two cats in a bag getting kicked down a flight of stairs while mating…yet Tom makes it listenable), part salvation army band, part vaudeville, part bad acid trip, and much more. He’s been described as writing songs for the angels but singing like the devil. He has many different kinds of songs, like most of my favorite artists. He also acts in many movies and a few years ago he was inducted into the rock n’ roll hall of fame – yet he doesn’t have a single hit – he did his own thing, said fuck everyone, and succeeded at it.
8The Supersuckers – La Mano Cornuda
This was a perfect album at the time it came out, and these guys spawned a million copycats, who, in turn, kinda ruined the country-punk genre – but at the time, these guys were the kings of this kind of rock n’ roll, and I was 14. I begged my parents to go see them, and it was sort of a life changing thing. It was 1994. They were still young and played fast abrasive songs like “she’s my bitch”, but had more slick laid back cool than the loud ‘look at me’ punkers. They went as far as to back up Willie Nelson on The Tonight Show. Later they kind of turned into cartoon characters and gratuitously used the word ‘rock’ in just about every song that wasn’t about middle fingers or how the devil is cool. They still play a million shows a year, and I recently ran into them at a festival we were both playing. They don’t really seem to have fun anymore, I don’t know. But back in the day, they were fantastic, and “La Mano Cornuda” was a great album.
9Nofx – Punk in Drublic
Also released in 1994, when I was 14. What can I say? These guys played so fast and tight and had so much melody and at some point learned to sing harmonies. The ‘aahhhhhs’ in the background always made it sound so sonic. This was their best album. They helped to invent what we now cringe at the thought of – pop punk. But in the early 90’s before pop punk sold millions of records by whiny little kids, there were a handful of bands that were paving the way for super-fast punk rock with great, catchy songs. How could they have known that they would be responsible for Good Charlotte and Sum 41? Nofx spawned not a million, but a billion copycat bands, and this whole genre went to shit, and Nofx went with it for a while, although I think I might like them again. But I have to respect them for saying no to MTV all along, and more or less shunning that kind of mainstream-ism, yet succeeding anyway. I recently read their book, which became a New York Times best seller. Pretty good shit.
10Zeke – Super Sound Racing
When I was about 15, I was hanging out with some 40 something year old guys one night. We went to see The Humpers, and subsequently kidnapped them and took them out of town in the back of a van. I was scared, I don’t know how they weren’t, but the next day I asked them to point me in the direction of some other good rock bands. They said “if you like us, you’ll love this band called Zeke”. Holy shit. These guys play 40 second super fast rock n’ roll. Every song. They don’t go ‘ok, now lets slow it down and jerk off the guitar with some riffy wanker cliché’. They just play it fucking light speed fast, in a way that no one else could ever get right. Part Motorhead, part Nirvana, all rock n’ roll. Dangerous and unpredictable, the way I like it. Blind Marky Felchtone can play the guitar like a motherfucker. How he pulls off those leads over such fast rock, I don’t know. These guys were on a kamikaze suicide mission in their heyday, touring constantly and crawling onstage with a needle still dangling out of their arms. Fucking crazy. I’m not sure what they’re doing lately, but educate yourself and ride with Zeke.