I’m Max, 25 and play drums in Kent post rock trio, Coldbones.
Playing shows like ArcTanGent 2018 and opening The Heavy Music Awards at London’s KOKO is up there with some of my best moments involving music and best mates. The following albums I feel have contributed to my love and passion for music and playing in a band.
Green Day – American Idiot
My first experience of Green Day was listening to the International Superhits album they released with all the bangers on there. I wasn’t even aware of that until about 2003 where a friend played 10 year old me that album in his bedroom. Was I hooked? No! But I was aware of this band and that was important. Oddly enough, I went home and found out my mum actually had that CD which was cool. It was played every now and then on the Sony HiFi systems but it didn’t do much for me.
Fast forward a year and my life changed forever with the release of the album American Idiot.
I was hooked on everything about that initial single and music video. The colours used in that video, the early 2000 punk rock aesthetic, the way each sonic element played apart mesmerised me and it’s one of the few times I remember that happening.
Lyrically I was too young to understand why that song was important to so many people (not just Green Day fans) but it was enough to get me excited for the album and when it finally arrived, it definitely didn’t disappoint.
I started playing drums around that time and got that standard 4/4 beat within minutes of sitting behind the kit, but I wanted more. This album gave me everything and more!
I learnt all those songs back to front behind the kit with Jesus of Suburbia being my stand out track for drum play-through. It was simple, but it served the song and it’s a motto that myself and the rest of my band stand by when writing music.
I used to pull sickies from Primary school to sit behind my drum kit and play through the songs, lightly pressing the kick pedal and tapping my fingers on the drums and cymbals so my parents didn’t hear me!
The artwork was striking and the progressive story telling was my first introduction to a concept album which has also played a pivotal role in my bands writing and image.
This album made me go back and appreciate all of Green Day’s previous work and demonstrated how a band can evolve and become one of the biggest on the planet.
Shame about the stuff to follow!
Trivium – Ascendancy
My parents have a wide taste in music and they’ve introduced me to some incredible bands which I’m forever grateful for. But other than my dad’s Number of the Beast CD, metal didn’t really exist in my house growing up. It wasn’t frowned upon or deemed inappropriate (saying that, my mum HATED Slipknot’s Duality and the video!) but it just wasn’t their thing.
But on the 21st May 2005, I switched the TV channel from Eurovision to Kerrang and I heard Pull Harder on the Strings by Trivium for the first time. This was my first proper introduction to metal music and thanks to this album came my fascination with Slipknot, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Marilyn Manson etc. It opened up my world to Road Runner Records and something I will be forever grateful for.
The actual drums parts in that song blew my mind. It told me that drums could actually play just as much as a part as guitars. It was heavy, thunderous, and fast and packed a punch. Again, I’ve never heard anything like that before and it introduced me to playing more attention to drummers and the sounds they can get out of kits. Couldn’t play it for shit then and can’t play it now!
Having an album so well produced makes the listening experience 10x better, but at the time, I never really heard anything like this before. The Thin Lizzy style guitar harmonies, gut wrenching screams mixed with clean vocals that has some texture and doesn’t get lost in the mix. An album that makes me tap my feet from start to finish and encouraged me to explore double pedal is something I can’t ignore. It’s nearly 15 years old, it has and will stand the test of time.
HIM – And Love Said No
I know I’ve cheated a bit by picking a greatest hits album but there’s good reason for it.
Love Metal is definitely up there with one of my favourite albums but this one had more of an impact on my life.
For me, Kerrang Magazine kind of put me off of HIM for years. Not that I have anything against Kerrang but it just seemed to be every magazine I bought in 2005 had a fucking poster of Ville Valo in it. I was sick of that band without even giving them a chance.
A terrible thing for me to do and I’ve only myself to blame as I’ve missed out on years of this band and their music.
Their songs are heavy, dark and the sound varies song to song, album to album.
I remember going to and from the studio whilst we were recording our first album and absolutely blasting the Funeral of Hearts and all of us (badly) singing along to it. What started as a bit of a joke quickly turned into a collective obsession, exploring their discography in breaks between our takes. I would go as far to say that the guitar tone we used was definitely influenced by the HIM guitar tone they use in tracks like Sweet Pandemonium and Right Here in These Arms. 2 tracks off of 2 different albums, hence the reason for the greatest hits pick!
Covering tracks like Solitary Man and Wicked Game could pass for original songs they’re that good and they’re executed to perfection.
With age comes understanding and more importantly appreciation for what I used to knock, now I can’t get enough of this band.
Jordy and I were lucky enough to go and see HIM at their final London show. Hearing that sweet baritone voice live is one off the bucket list!
I had a lot of fun writing this and doing so has once again made me fall in love with the albums above and more.
Coldbones is a post-rock band from Kent, England. You can listen to them on Spotify.