Hey – my name’s Alan and I’m ½ of a punk rock band called Storyyelling from Glasgow. These are the 3 records that chose me and changed my life.
Blink 182 – Enema Of The State
Green Day’s Dookie was my first introduction to punk rock. My dad had the CD in his car. I want to exclaim how this record made me feel, but I can’t remember enough to do this justice. I do remember excitement. After a summer of blasting it on repeat, I mentioned it to a school friend in 3rd year computing. He came in the next day with a copy of Lit’s ‘My own Worst Enemy’, Sugar Ray’s ’14:59’, & Blink’s ‘Enema of the State’ (Thanks Mark Colligan).
I gravitated towards Blink due to the band members Mark & Tom. Two ‘uncool’ best friends who made fun of everything and everyone, including themselves. The more I learned about them, the more they inspired me. Suddenly it was ok to be weird. To hate everyone. To not understand anything going on in your life. Every adolescent kid that went through this shit could relate, and it was so accessible because they were funny. The music was pop punk perfection – but their personalities were just as important.
Twin Atlantic – Vivarium
All I knew growing up was American music. Its culture had woven itself into the roots of my personality. When I wrote songs with my old friends I sang with an American accent. By this time there was an overabundance of mediocre rock music, and the exciting alternative noughties were drawing to a close.
Biffy Clyro were at the peak of their success, releasing a string of interesting and contemporary rock bangers. Around that time I heard a track called ‘Audience & Audio’ by a small local Glasgow band.
It blew my fucking head back. It was exactly what I needed and I didn’t know it. They had crafted beautifully layered and unpredictable rock songs with a pop sensibility, which were unequivocally Scottish. It was the first time I had heard this accent compliment a punk rock song so well, and I was instantly consumed by jealousy. It motivated me to start searching for my voice for my own punk rock project.
Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling
Within a short space of time, I had lost childhood home, my band, and my first long term girlfriend. Life sucked and I had no idea what to do.
Me and my new flatmate Goldy would spend evenings chatting and listening to music. He was far more eclectic than I was (his 3 albums would be Yeezus, Sgt Pepper & Siamese Dream I think), but I’d still try and hold my ground. He gave me this CD from these guys who lived ‘just up the road’ (I still listened to CDs in my car back then).
Music was a distraction until now. It sounded part neo-classical part post rock, with just enough of the latter to help nudge me onto something new. The songs are beautiful. I was a mess by the time I arrived at work – deconstructing everything in the songs and my past relationship. There’s a line in Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ which reads ‘You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness’. I think maybe this was a good thing, as Mogwai forced me to confront my sadness head on.
The most important thing that music has taught me is to be yourself, no matter what. It’s not always easy, and it’s still a battle I fight with myself every day.
Thank you to Blink 182, Twin Atlantic & Mogwai for getting me through.
(p.s. Goldy’s records were Yeezus, Siamese Dream & Blonde. So close.)
StoryYelling are a pop punk band from Glasgow, Scotland. You can hear their music on their Bandcamp page.