In this initial installment, we will be talking to artists about the music that influenced them, and in so doing, presenting a little taste of what inspired them. For the first installment, I've spoken to Keith Canisius, of the wonderful Danish band Rumskib. You may or may not recall, but it was his band's debut self-titled album that made me want to write about music again. Once you check out his influences, go check out their music, and enjoy what you hear! I'm sure you will.
Howard Jones "Equality" (from the album Human's Lib)
Howard Jones was probably the first artist I was into. At the age of 5, I especially liked the Human's Lib album, which still is an incredible album. I remember watching his videos on TV in the winter of 1984 asking my parents if I could have a Mohawk hair-do like his.
The album has great nostalgic value for me, because it's a major part of my musical childhood. It's hard to choose a favorite song from the album, because I found almost all the songs on the album are wonderful. I still like them.
I think I liked the song Equality best. I simply loved the Synth figure in it. It still sounds awesome. Overall the album has great melodies, great Synth & intelligent pop structure – Great fashion!
I have a brother ten years older than me, so I was lucky to hear a lot of great electro pop bands from that period: Depeche mode, Human league, B52's, Devo, Van Halen, but Howard Jones was probably my favorite in those very early years of my life.
Kraftwerk "Musique Non Stop"
A couple of years ago, I discovered Kraftwerk thru my brother. I remember their first single from the album Cinema Café, "Boing, Boom Tschak" because it was played on TV. The video was very special in 1986, because it was a 3D computer animated video. The music and band were very cool--very different and exotic. It sounded like nothing I had ever heard before, and it was very good. The band had a simple, confident and special style, but still maintaining classic pop elements and melody. And what 8 year old boy doesn't like robots?.
Van Halen "Mean Street"
I started playing Guitar at the age of 13. When I was a teenager, I was listening to a lot of Metallica (Justice for all) & Guns 'n roses (Appetite for destruction). It was probably good old Eddie Van Halen that made guitar interesting for me at that time. I think I was kind of geeky--staying in my room pulling the whammy bar and practicing tapping all day long on the guitar before I even could play a song. I think some family members were glad when I moved my amp to an outside room!
I still like the old Van Halen stuff and listen to it once in a blue moon--like when I'm drinking with the boys!
Sonic Youth "Teenage Riot"
In high school, I started to make new friends who also loved music. I started listening to a lot of indie-rock. I remember listening to Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, and I thought it was fantastic how they used their guitars, tuning them odd, playing noisy and wild, but still creating great songs with good guitar riffs, melodies & atmosphere. I guess the attitude and style they had was appealing as well being in the age we where in (18). A friend played me My bloody valentine, but I didn't like it at the time. Runners up – Early Suede, Mew, The Cure, Blur (Park life)
Cocteau Twins "Frou Frou Foxes In Midsummer Fires" (from the album Heaven or Las Vegas
As the internet started to blossom, I started discovering bands on the Internet. Some sites had links to similar artists, so you could learn about others like them if you found one you liked.
It was wonderful! I used to take what I called "internet trips", where I just went from band to band. One day, I stumbled upon The Cocteau twins.
I think the first song I heard with them was the opener from Heaven or Las Vegas. I remember being totally amazed by it. The melodies and vocals sounded from out if this world, beautiful and exotic. The guitar sounded like something I had been searching for myself, but never had heard before. They sounded so dreamy, but still kind of intense and direct.
Robin Guthrie would just repeat these simple kinds of arpeggio riffs and it sounded totally awesome, I thought!? But the vocals carried it to even much higher places.
I soon had all their albums and ep's and used to play them for myself while drinking wine, sitting by myself listening quietly and thoughtfully to it before going out with friends.
I had just moved to a new and bigger town with some good friends, so it was a special feeling of freedom that summer of 2001, listening to those records and starting a new life.
It was a fun summer!
"Serena Maneesh "Un-Deux"
I don't think I really ever found a band since those days I liked as much. But I still get surprised once in a while. Serena Maneesh are creating some of the best music these days. It's psychedelic, it's dreamy, it's shoegaze, it's in your face noisy rock and yet so sensitive and melodic.
It's strange being compared to bands you never listened to (Curve, Lush, Slowdive ect.) putting out an album. So hopefully there are still lots and lots of music to discover out there, Joseph!!
I could've mentioned lots of bands, but these artists had a great impact at certain ages and periods of my life.
Keith Canisius from Rumskib
Rumskib's self-titled debut is available now on Darla Records
Labels: Darla Records, influences, Rumskib