Music made me, broke me, and built me again. Here are the top ten albums that made music my life.
10. Pantera – Cowboys From Hell
Dimebag’s riffs, Vinnie Paul’s slamming grooves, Rex Brown holding it down during Dime’s solos, and Phil Anselmo’s larger than life scream made the teenage me want to break down doors and hit things – Luckily, I had my drums to unleash that emotion on.
9. Third Eye Blind – Out of Vein
The lyrical firestorm of wit and romantic novelty from Stephen Jenkins spoke as true poetry to the other end of my musical spectrum. Clever & inspiring songs about love lost and love sparks, in the realm of alternative / pop helped me develop a whimsical sense of going about songwriting. I learned that things didn’t always have to come out aggressive or heavy from me, other avenues were channeled thanks to this album.
8. Pink Floyd – The Wall
The dark twisted mind of Roger Waters spoke very directly to me throughout this rock masterpiece. If an alien race came to Earth and said “show me your music”, this album should be the selection. “Comfortably Numb” will be played at my funeral..and all three of my marriage ceremonies.
7. Killswitch Engage – Alive or Just Breathing / The End of Heartache
These two albums get paired into one spot, because without these two masterpieces I would not have been driven into the new wave of American metal music that spawned from the Boston scene in the early 2000’s. This band has been the musical score through my twenties, and I sync up my own life’s events to the timeliness of their music. When I first heard “My Last Serenade” and “When Darkness Falls” I instantly knew that my time stuck behind the drum kit was over, and my time as a guitar playing / singing front man was before me.
6. Megadeth – The World Needs a Hero
This album taught me three simple lessons: 1. Guitar solos should dominate the world. 2. Simple lead melodies go a long way when played with face melting precision. 3. Songs about ex’s and hatred for the government are pretty rad.
5. Iron Maiden – Powerslave
I would do anything to go back in time and relive the moment that I heard “Aces High” for the first time as a 16 year old. From that moment on, I have not gone a day without listening to this band. My guitar playing style & music theory use is 100% derived from this band’s sound being transfused into my blood stream forever. Oh, and Bruce Dickinson is the greatest male vocalist in the history of planet Earth and probably any other planet which supports life. It's safe to say he had something to do with my vocal style. ;)
4. Metallica – …And Justice For All
Aggression, rebellion, defiance, and holy shit the double kick drums. Lars Ulrich’s history making double bass parts on this album inspired EVERY metal drummer thereafter. This album is the barometer for all metal still to this day in my opinion, chYEAH!
3. Ozzy Osbourne – The Ozzman Cometh
The iron man helped sway me to the darker side along with his always talented band. The man was a hit machine, with Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde creating some of the most memorable riffs in rock history, it was nearly impossible for the 15 year old me to not hop on this train of darkness.
2. Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
The five greatest musicians on Earth in one band, tough to top that. As a young drummer, Mike Portnoy was my hero, and while other kids were out partying and chasing girls on weekends..I was at home learning and perfecting every single note of this album front to back, while sharpening my music theory mind and transitioning from just a drummer to a multiple instrument dude. Then, I chased the girls on week days.
1. Flickerstick – Welcome Home the Astronauts
In my very early teens I knew that I loved music, but when I saw & heard Flickerstick I knew that I wanted to eat, sleep, and breathe music. Their music and live performance made every blood cell in my body inflate with creative explosions that helped realize the greatest love of my life, music. This album harnessed everything that drew me to music; raw energy, emotional rollercoasters of melody, grooving drums, soaring vocals, and pure authenticity. This band was not famous, they didn’t have a tour bus, they were regular guys from Texas that wanted to pour that souls onto anyone that would listen. Every song that I create, every line that I pen, is measured up to this album for me. Without this album I would not have become the person I am.
That's it. That's me. Love it or hate it, we all have a musical journey that defines our lives in some way shape or form. Look out for lists from Brad and Jesse coming soon too!