The Used The Used
I first discovered The Used after a friend showed me ‘Box Full of Sharp Objects’ and I absolutely hated it. I thought the screaming sounded ridiculous, and it just didn’t sit well with me. Eventually it began to grow on me and soon I couldn’t get enough.
Hearing songs like ‘Buried Myself Alive’ and ‘Blue and Yellow’ showed me how good the songwriting actually was. The choruses are huge, and the vocal harmonies really elevate the impact of the melodies. Quinn, being the only guitarist in the band, showed me how to be smarter with my guitar parts and fill out the songs while keeping it interesting.
I could have easily put Underoath’s They’re Only Chasing Safety here instead though. They both had a massive impact on our songwriting, but The Used came to us first and totally hijacked our attention.
This album really has stood the test of time and still continues to influence us. I constantly find myself recommending it to my guitar students as it has so many good examples of writing both lead and rhythm parts. ‘Music Box’ was the first song I heard and it completely blew my socks off. It was familiar yet unique, and the intro is absolutely crushing. ‘The Earth Will Shake’ showed us that we could indeed infuse our blues influences with the alt-rock sound and it’s still one of the coolest songs ever.
Then there’s the tapping riff in ‘Of Dust and Nations’. This was definitely one of those times where everything just stopped and I was totally absorbed in the song. It was so creative and Teppei [Teranishi, guitarist] really nailed that tone. Just beautiful.
Coldplay Viva La Vida
This was an enormous influence on our sound and easily one of my most played albums. The track listing makes it such an easy listen; once you get started, it’s really hard to stop. The opening track ‘Life In Technicolour’ still sounds as fresh as ever, and the way it just dumps you into ‘Cemeteries of London’ is genius.
‘Death And All His Friends’ would easily make my top ten songs of all time. I can’t describe how much I adore this song, and the transition into the lead guitar part still gives me shivers. I’m a massive fan of U2, and Jonny Buckland’s guitar parts sound like an extension of what The Edge created. As far as guitar sounds go, this album was the biggest influence for my writing in The Getaway Plan. I studied the reverb sound at the beginning of ‘Lovers In Japan’ and it’s now one of my staples when I layer my guitar tracks. It’s an absolutely massive album for me.
I really wish I could go back and hear this record for the first time again. David Bottrill produced this album and I still can’t believe we got to work with him. The success of Lateralus enabled David to purchase his own private island. On our down time he took us out to his island and we’d sit on the end of the pier asking him what it was like to work with Tool. He’d entertain our curiosity and tell us all about how certain parts came to be. It made this album even more special for us and really shaped our approach to music.
‘Parabol’ into ‘Parabola’ was a massive influence on my lead playing. When I first heard this monster of a song take off, my ears just lit up. It’s just such a good build into a simple yet massive riff.
The other big highlight is the title track – once I learned this on guitar, I made sure everybody that was at our sound checks knew it!
Radiohead In Rainbows
Radiohead have been a massive influence on the Getaway Plan. I could have chosen any of their records (besides Pablo Honey), but the brilliance on this record is so subtle that it makes every listen a new experience. It just gets better and better. I don’t throw around the “perfect record” label often, but this really is. Every member is firing on this record and it’s inspiring to all of us on our respective instruments. Matthew [Wright, vocalist] is a big Thom Yorke fan and I couldn’t be happier about that.
A definite highlight would be ‘BodySnatchers’; the drop it takes midway through the song is exhilarating and the guitar writing is flawless. ‘Nude’ has one of the most beautiful endings to any song ever. It just takes me and I have to stop whatever I’m doing every time I hear it. I think a part of the appeal for me is the overall sound. All the vocals and instrumental parts are luscious yet sit so well with the dry drum sound. It bounces around your head when listening with headphones, and makes for a great experience.
The Getaway Plan will embark on a national tour featuring Dream On Dreamer from Friday February 1 to Saturday March 16. Tickets are available via the band’s website.