We’re coming to your house tonight. What new music are you most excited to introduce us to? What are you making everyone listen to at the moment?
My newest finding is quite an old band by all accounts. I've just got into a US band called Dope. Really struggling to tie them to any other acts and they seem to follow quite a number of influences. Other wise I'm listening to Romeo Must Die, The Haunted and HIM most of the time.
Five hours later we’ll still be there and, politely, you’ll be wanting to get rid of us – what goes on the stereo to clear the house?
Morrissey, without a doubt. Everyone I know hates this guy, he's always sure to clear a room. Morrissey is probably my biggest vice, I absolutely love the guy. Theres something about his music, melodies and lyrical content that speaks to my very soul. Trouble is, those who don't 'listen' to his stuff; don't get it. He gets shrugged off as depressive and boring by most people, especially in the metal world. People are ignorant I guess.
What was the first record you can remember hearing at home? Did it have any effect on where you are today?
It was Made in Japan by Deep Purple. I was nine years old and suddenly I took notice of my what my Dad had been listening to the whole time I was growing up. That one moment shaped my life, I was hooked on music. Guitar players have always appealed to me in a massive way since I heard the awesome force and tone of Ritchie Blackmore on that record. I still have the original 12 inch double LP handed down from my dad.
And what was the first record you bought with your own money? And why?
Appetite for Destruction, Guns n Roses. I bought this on vinyl the day it was released in the UK in 1988. I had seen the band on TV playing live at the Ritz in New York and man, what a sound. They had such attitude, almost violence in that sleazy sound. I still remember the way I felt when i heard Slash's guitar tone playing the intro for Outta Get Me. its so crunchy, heavy and just basically.. rock and fuckin roll. I still have the LP, and it still smells of leather jackets, I don't why.
Any records in the collection you bought because you liked the cover, only to get them home and realize you’d made a terrible, terrible error?
Quite recently actually, I bought Savage Messiah's Plague of Conscience. The artwork is amazing and the main writer is really into all this conspiracy stuff about the government, money, lizards and a new world order. The cover for this album is packed with pretty much everything you can think of in this field, which intrigued me. Sadly the record was.. er.. just not my thing I guess.
If you didn’t answer this in question (3) what was the first record to make you think you might like to try your hand at rock n’roll yourself?
Probably Nevermind by Nirvana. I was at that age by then, trying to be cool, trying to fit in. I'd had a bash on the drums and was blown away by the 'not quite out of reach' style of the grunge movement. I started a band doing Nirvana covers as a drummer when I was 14.
And what record is so good it makes you feel like giving the whole game away every time you hear it?
From a singing point of view, Slave to the Grind by Skid Row. Sebastian is so out of this world on that record he beats any rock singer… EVER. I don't know how the hell he got some of those takes, he's amazing. Every time I hear that album (which is quite often), I feel like punching shit, and just packing it all in. There's no way in a billion years I would ever sing like that. But then again, nobody will!!
What record for you most fits the term ‘Metal as Fuck’
Either A New Darkness Upon Us by Stampin Ground, or the classic metal enigma that is Countdown to Extinction, by Megadeth. They are two of my favourite albums and both carry that Metal as Fuck statement for me. Stampin Ground is brutal throughout, and it carries thrash, hardcore, punk, and straight edge metal on an hour long Journey. You don't get a break from the adrenaline rush. Megadeth is such a classic for me, I hold them as the most metal band in the world. No one does just straight up 'Metal' better than Megadave. I love this album from front to back and I think the grass roots of modern day metal is written all over it.
What decade is most represented in your record collection?
Very hard to say. I have such a diverse taste in music, I like everything from country to death metal.. and of course Morrissey. I grew up on 70's music, which I'm still really fond of. I love the balls out factor of the 80's. The 90's is probably my favourite musical era, and the 00's brought some real classic bands and opened my horizons. I have a massive record collection… I have no Idea.
What would you recommend to unbelievers as the best ‘entry level’ metal record in your collection?
Countdown to Extinction. I've said before it sums up metal in one album. If you don't like that record then metal isn't for you.
And what album from your collection should be in every other home in the land, apart from one of your own?
Live and Dangerous, Thin Lizzy. It's a classic, and one of the best live albums ever recorded. Its a double LP so you get loads of songs. Lizzy are one of those bands that do feel good, as well as heavy stuff, Twin guitar lines that have still never been rivalled, and basically just killer songs. I can't think of a better album.
What’s the vinyl/CD split of your collection?
About 100 Vinyls, about 3000 CD's, and around 5000 albums on iTunes.
And finally, what record would you take with you to the next world, if such as thing exists?
Wow, thats a tough question. I think I would have to flip a coin cause I have several essential records that I couldn't live without. I'll List and let you choose, I'm totally happy to substitute any of these for one another. Or in fact substitute a limb or two for more than one record.
Live and Dangerous - Thin Lizzy
The Foundation - Zac Brown
Blues Alive - Gary Moore
Slave to The Grind - Skid Row
1987 - Whitesnake
Countdown to Extinction - Megadeth
A New Darkness Upon Us - Stamping Ground
Vauxhall And I - Morrissey
Dark Light - HIM
Revolver - The Haunted