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, Jeremy Bolm from Touché Amoré.
Deftones - Around the Fur
I never knew if it was just a California (Deftones being from Sacramento) thing, but there was a deeper love and pride for Deftones than there was for other bands of their ilk at the time. For example, when say Limp Bizkit's 'Three Dollar Bill Y'all' (same year as 'Around the Fur') came out, loads of people liked it, but it felt like a trend as opposed to a lifestyle. I remembering buying Adrenaline after seeing the music video for '7 Words', but when 'Around the Fur' came out, they were IT. The lyrics were all of a sudden at the forefront in a way they weren't before.
FAR - Boring Life
If you were a fanatic for music, you had to find everything your favourite bands loved. If you did the most minimal of research on Deftones, you found FAR. They're the second corner in the Sacramento, CA Trifecta of bands. 'Tin Cans With Strings To You' was produced by Brad Wood (who we would later recorded 'Is Survived By / Stage Four' with) and it has the snare sound of the era. This record dipped closer to what we'd come to know as emo as but some no doubt aggressive moments. Far quickly became my favourite band because they weren't commercially popular and felt like a secret. It was cemented with their follow up album Water and Solutions.
Will Haven - I've Seen My Fate
Here we have it, the Sacramento trifecta. This, without me knowing, was my first toe-dip into hardcore. Deftones sound was the meeting ground between Far and Will Haven. This record came out on Revelation, which has always been fascinating to me. A lot of the material on this record all kinda sounds the same, but oddly that's the charm. They're songs that make you want to stomp the ground so hard to that you'll no doubt bust your heel. I was sold the first time I heard the words "I inherit hell, I inherit the world", as if Travis Bickle himself was fronting this band.
System of a Down - Suite Pee
I was a latchkey kid, raised by a single mom who worked to keep food on the table and a roof over our head, so with that came a lack of attention on my social life. As long as I told my mom I was doing my homework and going to school every day, I had freedom. The legendary venue The Troubadour in West Hollywood, would have $3 shows if you were under 21 on Monday nights that were all the local nu-metal local bands. I had a crew of friends that would go every week to see bands like System of a Down, Hybrid Theory (later Linkin Park), Static-X, Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm, and more. It was fascinating watching which bands broke and which ones didn't. System of a Down had a lot of pride behind them in my area because they're an all-Armenian band from Glendale, CA, which is the neighbouring city to Burbank, where I'm from. When the self-titled album came out, it was as if they were handed out to any resident of the surrounding area. Watching their career explode was incredible, and they still remain a band you can't help but give a thumbs up to. Serj ran a label that put out power violence, and his vocals were on the Jello Biafra spectrum. They're the only band to get on Top 40 rock radio with blast beats. Give props where they're due.
Slipknot - Surfacing
If you were 15 and ever loved Korn, there was no way you were going to escape Slipknot's reach. The gimmick worked perfectly. On paper, this shouldn't have worked, but holy shit, it did. 9 members and they wear masks and have aliases. I saw them open the small stage at Ozzfest in 99 and was hooked. The lyrics perfectly spoke to an angsty adolescent kid. This song in particular's chorus was the prime example of "don't play this loud when Mom's home". This album is where my love for nu-metal tapered off because I never owned a copy of 'Iowa'; soon thereafter, I found hardcore and emo officially and learned they had a name and a scene attached to them.
Earth Crisis - Gomorrah's Season Ends
I found Earth Crisis throughout the Ozzfest 96 VHS tape, which I purchased because it had Sepultura, Fear Factory, Coal Chamber, Slayer and more on it. When I watched Earth Crisis, I remember being blown away by the fact they were arguably heavier and more "real" than other acts on the compilation tape, and they were just dressed like normal dudes aside from X's on their hands. I bought Gomorrah's Season Ends on CD and learned about straight-edge and soon thereafter started claiming it. I slowly started purchasing albums off Victory Records (which was a credible label at the time), which led me to Strife (you can imagine my excitement seeing Chino guest on a track and learning this band was from Los Angeles), Deadguy, Snapcase etc.
Vision Of Disorder - Element
During my metal phase, I would buy any used CD I could find on Roadrunner Records, assuming it was all going to sound like Demanufacture or Roots. I was often let down (very let down), but sometimes I would strike gold. This didn't sound anywhere near either of those albums but connected to me more than either of those records did. This is another instance like Will Haven, where I had no idea I was listening to a hardcore band. I went to see VOD in the late 90s, and it, unbeknownst to me, was my first hardcore show. To this day, I know every word off this record and seeing that audience was the first time I was ever SCARED at a show. Funny side note, Buried Alive (Scott Vogel of Terror's previous band) opened, and I later got to tell Scott this story, and it was a sweet little moment.
Glassjaw - Convectuoso
Talk about a life-changing band. I was working at a street team company during the summers while I was in high school, packing posters and stickers for people to pass out after shows or put up in record stores in their communities. My bosses would get sent all the advance copies of albums, and they'd often give them to me. I'll never forget playing Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence for the first time and not understanding how a band could mix every sound I ever was attracted to into one precise album. This felt like mine. Glassjaw became my favourite band in the world. I saw them not long after this release open for the Deftones at the Palladium here in Los Angeles, and I left after their set (with no fear of possibly missing Deftones if the staff wouldn't let me back in) to stand around in the parking lot in hopes to meet Daryl Palumbo and tell him how much his band means to me. I was successful, and he was very sweet. Months later, they would headline at the Whiskey a-go-go with Earth Crisis, Strife and Drowningman and pull me aside when he saw me to say hi. Those interactions taught me so much about performer / audience relationships, and that bands are normal people, which I don't think I had realised yet. We stayed friendly forever, and even now when we cross paths it's always a wonderful catch up. I chose Convectuoso because it's a B-side from the album, and it shows that when you're an incredible band, even the B-sides resonate as hard much as the chosen tracks. This song in the right moment can get me glassy-eyed. "We are okay."
It'd be silly not to mention that Ross Robinson (who we just worked with on 'Lament') produced this record (and the follow-up 'Worship & Tribute') as well as the Slipknot albums mentioned previously. Some people start bands in hopes to have as many fans as possible and be "famous" or whatever. The more I have time to think on these things, I think my motivation has always been to work as hard as possible so I can step into the shoes of the artists who changed my life to see what's possible. Getting to record with Brad Wood and Ross Robinson are top tier achievements I'll never take for granted.
Taken from the April issue of Upset. Touché Amoré's album 'Lament' is out now.
Featuring Meet Me @ The Altar, Electric Century, Citizen and loads more.