It took a kick in the ass for me to record my first song, and that footprint came from the following bands who inspired me to do so.
These guys are pretty much other worldly in my book. They are beyond any musicians I have ever heard, and will never be outdone when it comes to pure talent. The great thing about DT, was their ability to teach their listeners. They became individual music teachers for each respective instrument. The first song I ever learned on guitar was “Pull Me Under”, and I never needed a lesson because of it. Their sound was something I wanted to achieve myself, so I pursued it. I ended up learning 4 albums worth of DT songs on Guitar, Drums, Keys, and Bass. The most important thing I learned from them wasn’t about how many notes I could play, and how fast I could play them. It was when not to play all the notes, and let the music breathe for itself.
Heavy Metal 101, pure and simple. Its no question Pantera is one of the (if not, THE) heaviest band to ever exist. They are also the only band who can trigger a physical reaction from me. Years ago I had some friends over to drink beers and hang out in the garage. Pantera came on the radio, and out of sheer instinct (and drunken stupidity) I guzzled my beer, smashed the bottle, and proceeded to scoop up the broken glass in my left hand and squeeze it in front of everyone. I don’t exactly know why, but I do know that would not have happened if Neil Diamond was on the radio.
Type O Negative
If I had to pick a favorite band, these jerks from Brooklyn would take the cake. They showed me that you can maintain a dark image, and portray your own twisted sense of humor at the same time. Something you never saw, especially with metal bands. Everyone took themselves way too seriously, and TON completely mocked that behavior. I’ll never forget the day I met the band, and Peter Steele took a look at my Autumns Eyes shirt and commented on how he heard of me before. He said “You’re the guy who does all that stuff himself right? Ive heard you before, good stuff man. Hey how about we trade logos?”. Even though they were down to earth, and I was able to joke around with them, I remember leaving the venue in awe as if I just spoke face to face with gods. To this day I still remain in contact with Johnny Kelly, which is a great example of how the band is so down to earth. They don’t perceive themselves as better than anyone else, and always stay within reach to their fans.
I know a lot of people my age who grew up on Iron Maiden, and loved them for that signature sound. While I loved Maiden, they didn’t quite do it for me. I loved the “fantasy” aspect to their sound, but it didn’t have enough to hold my attention. Then came a couple guys from Sweden who completely changed my musical direction. They had that same sounding style of Maiden, but juiced up on distorted steroids. Their guitar parts are that of heavy metal glory, and have inspired me to find my own sound in the heavy metal realm. If you’re a guitar player and try playing In Flames parts on their own, you might think you’re playing it wrong. Its not until the two guitar parts are married when that signature Swedish sound merges into harmonic greatness.
Faith No More
I’ll admit when I was a kid I too associated this band with their smash hit “Epic” which Id always see on MTV. It wasn’t until I actually got the album “The Real Thing” when I realized how mind blowing this band was. With each of their releases, they made it harder and harder to pin point exactly what genre to group them in. From jazz to country, they completely threw out the rulebook when it came to songwriting. FNM inspired me to let go of myself during a performance. Something their frontman exemplified with astonishing ease and unbridled chaos. Even though they are no longer recording music, their back catalogue is enough to inspire for decades to come. To say they were ahead of their time is an obvious understatement.
So there you have it! Five bands who completely shaped my musical direction, and are responsible for inspiring the Autumns Eyes sound you hear today. Everyone has their own influences when it comes to music, so feel free to share yours in the comments below!