Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Musical upbringing and influences

Suppose most of you will know me as a purveyor of heavier music. Which strictly speaking is true. I do listen to a lot of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, though I tend to splash that with healthy amount of Classical FM and BBC Radio 3, along with Johnny Cash and Townes Van Zandt. So yeah, I would say that I have got a fairly broad taste in music with a heavy centre of metal. But couple of days back I was listening to The Beatles. I hadn't listened to them for quite some time and I did not realise how much they've influenced my musical choices. And in turn it made me think of WHERE my musical influences came from. My brothers obviously were strong influences. My second oldest gave me The Ultimate Classical Collection, "So you'll stop listening to this heavy metal shit!". I still got that collection, love it to this day and all it did was to expand my horizons. Then the following year he gave me CD's by Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck. Þórður gave me a Ministry(No not the Techno-Dance shit, the REAL ministry) "So you'll stop listening to the Herbert shit!". And again all it did was expand my musical horizons.

But, yeah THE musical influence in my life have been mum and grandma. She had(and hopefully still HAS) the biggest vinyl collection I have come across. And in that collection she had the entire collection of The Beatles, some The Kinks, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, BB King, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and many many more, including The Muppet Show Album(which is still a bit of a favourite, especially the songs 'Time in A Bottle' and 'Lydia The Tattooed Lady'(Every time I listen that first song I tend to shed a tear while thinking of grandma)). So from my mum I got a very strong basis in rock 'n roll, along with progressive tendencies and blues and traditional jazz. Mum still has the ability to surprise me with her musical choices as I still remember her tapping her feet to Diablo Swing Orchestra and then recommending The Tiger Lillies to me! I used to spend a lot of time at my grandmas and she would always have at least two radios on, both with different stations on. Radio 1 would generally play classical music amongst other things where as Radio 2 had talk shows and slightly more in the now music, but she herself would also teach me(and others of course) about traditional Icelandic music and poetry. So there came my folky influences.

But my heavy metal journey started when I came across a VHS tape(remember them folks?!) called Kerrang Video Kompilation, which had such superstars as Iron Maiden, Mama's Boys, WASP, KISS, Helix, Armored Saint, Motorhead, Twisted Sister, Queensryche and Madam X! Iron Maiden is still my favourite band, along with Queensryche. And for many many years I would and could not listen to anything but the Melodic side of Heavy metal, couldn't stand growls and such like. But the past few years I have found that my musical tastes have actually gone towards the heavy, darker, murkier side of things. And in some cases it collides into things like Septic Flesh, who play very symphonic death metal and Sear Bliss who play Black Metal with brass instruments. So yeah, thanks for that John.

I am forgetting one element that is a very strong one as well. Musicals. Jesus Christ Superstar still blows me away when I listen to it, and Rocky Horror Picture Show. I like albums that play as concept albums and have either a running theme or a whole story. One of the best one's I've come across was album called Christ.O by Vanden Plas which apparently is based on Count of Monte Christo.

All in all, as can be seen. I love music. So thank you to everyone, especially mum and grandma. It is a journey that is still full of wonderful surprises and delights.
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