Rammstein – Mutter
A gateway album into metal for me. My dad purchased Mutter in 2001, and it ignited an ongoing love affair with this band. The sound is huge. The songs are memorable. It somehow takes itself completely seriously, yet not at seriously at all. Not only do Rammstein not give a fuck, but they’ll take the fucks you give and use them against you, as if to intentionally make you squirm. A masterclass in less is more. Camp yet confidently masculine. Provocative in all the right ways. This band’s influence on my own approach to music and song writing only seems to grow with time. I intentionally try to keep my guitarwork from being too busy, opting for more simplistic riffs to use as a base on which to layer vocals and synths. I try to allow everything to breathe and have its place within the structure of a song.
King 810 – La Petite Mort
Although this influence isn’t reflected in my music sonically, King 810 and their sophomore record really struck a chord with me and affected my approach to music going into Lowtech, and what we do altogether. Love them or hate them, King 810 show a blatant disregard for genre norms in favour of completely unrestricted artistic expression. This resonated with me because I feel like there are a lot of different things I want to do with music and don’t want to compromise for the sake of playing it safe. It reinforced the idea of going with my gut and doing it how I wanted to with no concern as to how others might perceive it and not being afraid to put myself out there and go outside my comfort zone. This impacted my song writing and helped me overcome any reservations I had about trying something different.
Fear Factory – Obsolete
Upon digging deeper below the surface of the more mainstream metal gateway bands, the first band I really became a fan of were Fear Factory and their 1998 concept album Obsolete. It captured my imagination and really played on my love of sci-fi with its post-apocalyptic man vs. machine narrative. I heard the track ‘Resurrection’ and I was hooked, and its industrial cinematic delivery has played a huge part in my own writing. I’m very visually motivated when it comes to song writing, and most of my music is usually inspired by, dictated or accompanied by a certain visual I have in my head and I think that’s a big reason as to why this album and band clicked with me instantly.
Pendulum – Immersion
Although I’ve always been a casual listener of electronic music, it was drum & bass that I really found a connection with. For me it had a very similar energy to what I was listening to on the metal side of things. It was heavy, aggressive and inspired rich imagery. However one of the downfalls of electronic music for me is its focus on production over song writing. Enter Pendulum. Managing to bridge the gap between an underground genre and commercial success, Pendulum tunes such as ‘Crush’ and ‘Witchcraft’ bring drum & bass into the mainstream eye with huge vocal hooks and untouchable production. I try to capture the same energy in a lot of my works, adopting synth bass and heavily processed drum samples into my songs.
Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
There’s not a lot to say about this iconic album that hasn’t been said before. I remember when ‘One Step Closer’ came out, even at the age of 12 I thought the lyrics were a bit on the nose, despite digging the instrumentation. But I managed to hear more of the album and was sucked in. Just as interchangeable with Limp Bizkit’s Chocolate Starfish, this album was the soundtrack of my incoming teen hood. It’s blend of rap and rock still holds up today, surviving the nu metal movement completely intact and as revered as ever. It was followed up with Reanimation, a remix album that was also hugely influential to me. Strangely enough, these two albums had me diving deeper into hip-hop territory, which ended with the purchase of my first instrument; the turntable. Years before I picked up a guitar, I was a turntablist. To this day I look back and can’t quite figure out why that little detour happened, but it did.
Lowtech is out now. Catch SETMEONFIRE on tour with Isotopes in May.
Thursday May 9 – Crowbar, Brisbane
Saturday May 11 – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Saturday May 18 – The Basement, Canberra
Sunday May 19 – Crowbar, Sydney