Following the release of their new EP ‘Devotion’ on July 28th (you can read the review right here),we had a little chat with This Burning Age‘s frontman Friday about records that inspired them growing up,and still do today! Read below :
– First things first, what was the first record you purchased?
I honestly don’t remember, which a might sound like I’m evading the question but I genuinely don’t! I do however distinctly remember the first record bought for me, ‘The Best of Queen’ on 12″ vinyl (I think there are lost tribes in the Amazon that have that album). My parents are both into Queen, in fact it’s about the only area where their musical tastes overlap, my Mom being a Bob Dylan fan and my Dad more into Hendrix and Jazz, and that record got played a lot when I was younger when we were all together as it was just so much fun – big, bombastic, sing-a-long stuff.
– And the most recent?
I’ve been through a patch of not buying much music at all. It happens every once in a while, generally coinciding with times I’m writing music myself. I guess the last record I bought was Billy Corgan‘s experimental album ‘AEGEA’ on 12″ which, weirdly, I had to order from “Madame ZuZu’s”, the coffee shop he owns in Chicago.
– What record(s) inspired you to make music? Why?
The first time I heard ‘Siamese Dream’, to use a horrendous cliché, it was like someone flicked a switch on in my head. Of course music had moved me before but this was so completely different and way more powerful. I didn’t know music could be like that, that you were “allowed” to have such extremes in songs – soft and melodic one moment and crashing, wailing noise the next. A few weeks afterwards I asked my folks for a guitar for my next birthday. I had no idea how to play the damn thing (some would say I still don’t) but I knew I wanted to make music and that was going to be my way “in”.
– Hard question, we know, but what would you say are your favourite albums of all time?
Yeah, that’s difficult. ‘Generation Terrorist’ by the Manics is up there – the entire album is genius. The songs are fantastic but lyrically it blew me away. Everyone gravitates towards Motorcycle Emptiness but for me it was always Natwest, Barclays, Midlands, Lloyds a track that’s possibly even more pertinent now than it was back then, which is saying something. ‘Mellon Collie’ by the Pumpkins – it showed me that, as an artist, you don’t have to churn out the same thing over and over again and that being creative and pushing your own boundaries is so important. Plus every track is killer. In fact everything I’ve just said could be applied to Scary Monsters a hundred-fold. That album made a big impact on me as a teenager and got me into Bowie in general. I really could go on but it would get obscenely tedious so I’ll wrap it up by saying ‘The Downward Spiral’. I cut my teeth on Pretty Hate Machine and Broken but TDS was the one that really struck a nerve. It’s a concept album, a lot of people forget that, and that in itself appealed to me as a musician who’s also a practising artist. I was always a big fan of darker, edgy synth pop like Depeche Mode and New Order and this album really saw Trent take those influences he explored in PHM and smash them full tilt into industrial rock with elements of techno and heavy metal thrown in for good measure. As a musician who was already moving towards my own interpretation of “Alt-Electro-Rock” it was a complete revelation. He is a sickeningly talented individual.
– And last but not least, do you tend to listen to a lot of music when you’re writing a new EP for inspiration, or not at all?
As I’ve mentioned, I don’t tend to buy much new music when I’m into the writing process and that extends to not really listening to much be it on the radio or in my existing collection as I find it distorts my focus. Music, good music anyway, should provoke some sort of emotional reaction and when I’m writing I’m trying to get to the heart of the track I’m working on, to try and make that same connection. I’ve found I can be easily swayed in my writing if I listen to other music so I choose not to. When I’ve finished though I go nuts – it’s better than binge-drinking, right?