Jon, the drummer in noise-rock band Daughters has written about the three records that changed his life. They are about to embark on a Europe tour so check out the dates at the end of this article! But for now, his three records!…
Sonic Youth – Sister
It was about 1992/1993 when I started actually writing my own music. I had no music teacher, I just learned everything by ear and picked up all my new techniques & ideas from TV or the radio.
This record came along at the perfect time for me… I was teaching myself how to play the guitar, and it was an incredible struggle learning this new instrument since my 12/13 year old hands were too small for most chords, I was too sloppy to play most rock, metal, or punk.. but luckily I was too stubborn to throw in the towel.
This band was so noisy, sometimes sloppy, yet somehow still heavy and incredibly creative.
I immediately related to their songwriting and realized I could actually turn my current sloppy noisy handicap to my advantage. Teaching myself how to play “Schizophrenia” opened up a whole new world of song writing for me. I can still hear Sonic Youth in a lot of my song writing these days. (for the record, I’m in no way saying Thurston Moore or Lee Ranaldo have the ability of a 12/13 year old who’s only been playing for 1 month, they’re incredibly talented in my opinion.)
Minor Threat – Complete Discography
The small town I grew up in wasn’t exactly a portal to any underground music scenes. In 1995 I was 14 or 15 (8th or 9th grade), and there weren’t any record stores, and only a handful of skaters, metalheads, or punk kids who knew actually knew any music beyond popular radio, the mall, or MTV.
Still, sometimes something extraordinary would take a wrong turn and find its way into the suburbs. One day in High School I received a dubbed cassette from a friend… some DC band called Minor Threat.
I was a pretty angry kid, so I was starting to relate a lot more to angrier sounding music. Up to that point the angriest bands I heard might have been Nirvana, Slayer, Pantera, or Metallica etc. Once I put that Minor Threat cassette into my hand-me-down Sony Walkman (missing the cassette door) my world changed. I can even remember the exact spot I was in when I first heard that record.. riding home on the school bus in a bad rain storm. I struggle to remember the password to my email, or PIN for my ATM card, but somehow I cant forget where I was the first time I heard Minor Threat. Must have made an impact on me, eh?
At this point I had started getting much better at guitar, but my next big question was how to properly record my band?
I was too young for a job and certainly didn’t come from a family with money.. though hearing Minor Threat’s rough sounding recording, though kick ass record, showed me you didn’t need to have a huge polished expensive recording to get your songs or vibe across. This started my next obsession, endless boom-box basement demo recordings!
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band – Doc at the Radar Station
I came across this record in my early twenties. At that time my playing was much more metal or punk based, though the music my band was creating was becoming much more experimental. I had to update my take on writing, broaden my horizons. I started digging into much more avant-garde artists to soak up how their drummers would handle their drum duties when the music was seemingly nothing more than chaos. One of the more challenging artists was Captain Beefheart.
On this record John French & Robert Williams played drums on different tracks, though each brought a similar take on how to handle such bizarre music. Though this was an older record, their writing style was all brand new to me. It blew my mind to hear disco hi-hat w/rack toms back beats being favored when the music seemingly called for a standard kick-snare pocket beat or rock approach. The take away for me was learning that a simple back beat and odd accent can serve the music better than overplaying… which I felt I had been doing. I learned how to write drum hooks that didn’t actually involve a typical formula or beat. Not playing was still playing to some extent.
Photo by A.F. Cortes
Daughters are a noise rock band from Providence, RI, USA. Check out their upcoming euro and US tour dates at https://www.daughtersofficial.com/live