When you load up Spotify, a great big chunk of the time you can’t think what to play, right? You default back to your old favourites, those albums and songs you played on repeat when you first discovered you could make them yours.
This isn’t about guilty pleasures; it’s about those songs you’ll still be listening to when you’re old and in your rocking chair. So, enter Teenage Kicks - a playlist series that sees bands running through the music they listened to in their formative years.
Next up, Jamie Lenman.
I think I was thirteen when this came out, and it was a real turning point for me. I’d listened to the Beatles and Queen before this, but I’d never been obsessed with a song like I was with this one. It was the first single I bought from a shop, and I listened to it over and over and over again.
This one came fairly quickly after Alanis as gradually I got deeper into (then current) rock music. Most of the time listening to this one was spent trying to work out exactly what the drums and bass were doing so we could cover it in our fledgeling band – we failed miserably I’m afraid.
I mean who hasn’t listened to this over and over again? I missed grunge by a few years, but it was still just as exciting when I got round to it circa 95/96… I even wrote about it in my song ‘Crushed Under The Weight Of The Enormous Bullshit’… I’ve been waiting my whole life since then for a song to hit me that hard.
Another track that really dates me - I know technically this track and 'Teen Spirit' came out before the first two but I'm doing these in the order I found them... again I was a little behind on the pop-punk thing, but that doesn’t mean it meant any less to me. I still adore this record – all of these records!
I haven’t just put this one in here because I’m doing a covers album myself – this song was the first song I ever played live as part of a real band, the first song I ever rehearsed with Reuben’s bass player Jon, it goes all through my career. What a way to re-invent a song! Amazing.
My music teacher got this on a sampler CD from some guitar techniques magazine, and he put it on tape for me along with the exercises I was supposed to be learning. I’d never heard screaming on a track, and I was equal parts fascinated and frightened. Needless to say, I didn’t get too far with exercises.
If I’d missed grunge and even pop punk to an extent, I was right on time for nu-metal and Marilyn Manson. Say what you will about him or his act, the richness of the production and the accompanying visuals make this a deep deep well for any teenager to fall down and I still love those early records. I shared a moment with the big man at last year’s Download festival, and he complimented my suit. Imagine!
A new level of heaviness for the kid from the home counties – to this day, almost unfathomably heavy. Wall-to-wall blast beats, barely audible vocals, it’s a masterpiece. I sort of hated it, but something drew me back to it again and again until one day I realised I was quietly praying it would never end. And it never has!
This track, along with records from Glassjaw and Far sort of completed my journey through indie to metal to post-hardcore, where I firmly settled by the time I turned nineteen, and sort of made my stock-in-trade. Long complex song structures, intricate instrumental parts and all that combustible energy seemed the perfect mix to me, and to be honest, it still does!
Taken from the June issue of Upset. Jamie Lenman's album 'Shuffle' is out 5th July.
Featuring Dinosaur Pile-Up, Yonaka, Employed to Serve and more in our 2019 Summer Special.