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, vocalist/ guitarist Jock Norton from Puppy.
When I was a kid, my Dad would constantly play The Beatles in the car, and they were just the only music I really knew. This track had such an impact because it was so sad and had this whole implied narrative that totally captured my imagination. It was also one of the first things I learnt on a piano when I was about 7 or 8, much to his joy.
After being super into the Beatles, I expanded my musical knowledge to two bands, and 'What’s The Story?' was probably the first album I had on cassette. Again, I learnt it on piano and played it constantly. I was annoyed it didn’t sound exactly like the record but didn’t really understand what a band actually was at that age and that a piano wasn’t the sole instrument used to record it. Still, it was pretty cool at the time.
A family friend a few years older than me played this to me when I was about 10, and I lost my mind. I don’t even think I really liked it, but I thought it was so cool and actually quite scary. I was into Spawn and stuff at the time too, so I loved the Todd McFarlane artwork. It was probably the first time I became aware of the worlds of artwork and clothes and music kind of coexisting in the way you do when you really get into music as a teenager.
After my nu-metal trip, I got really into old classic rock, and AC/DC were my absolute jam. I’d just started playing guitar around that time and got the tablature book for 'Back In Black', so 'Hells Bells' was the first one I started with. When I learnt to play that intro with distortion on I had that real electrifying moment where I realised I could make music that sounded like the music I listened to. It was amazing.
I remember clearly telling my friends with glee that I’d found a band even heavier than Metallica (which seemed insane at the time). I think I had their best of, and this was track two. Me and my friend spent ages trying to work out the solo, and now he plays guitar for Frank Ocean, so needless to say he nailed it first. In fact, I have still not nailed it. Super hard.
After trying to be a tough metal dude who secretly painted Warhammer in his bedroom, hearing Weezer’s first album totally changed my worldview. Here was a band who were playing rock guitar and not trying to pretend they were anything more than dorks. It’s pretty on the nose lyrically on this track, but it made me feel it was ok to try and write music that was honest, and that celebrated who you were rather than trying to aspire to be something you’re not.
This was a big song for me in helping expand my interests out from being purely rock and metal and into more general alternative music territory. It still had distorted guitars and stuff, but it was a lot sweeter and more gentle in its delivery, which I really connected with. Jason Lytle was and is a huge influence on me from a songwriting perspective, and also someone I really tried to emulate when I started singing in bands too. I briefly even tried playing synth as well, but that sort of fell by the wayside.
Taken from the December 2018 / January 2019 issue of Upset. Puppy's debut album 'The Goat' is out 25th January.
Featuring Black Peaks, Boston Manor, Creeper, Idles, Dream Wife and loads more.