I’m Jake LeDrew and I’m a vocalist and guitar player in the Orlando based Punk/Pop Punk band, Dial Drive.
Three records that have changed my life… That’s a tough one. My oldest brother introduced me to Punk Rock when I was a kid, and that’s had a huge impact on my life. If I have to narrow it down to three, here they are.
Alkaline Trio – Good Mourning
Honestly I could make all three choices Alkaline Trio records. They’ve been my favorite band since the first time I heard them. When I was 12 years old, so probably around 2004 or 2005, my brother came home to my small town in Indiana to visit from Colorado. He was really into this band called Alkaline Trio. Their record, Crimson, had just come out at this point, but he was mainly playing songs from Good Mourning. I’m not sure what it was, but I was immediately obsessed. Alkaline Trio has a very unique way of making extremely cathartic music, especially their earlier stuff. The tone of the record, Matt Skiba’s lyrics, the awesomely anthemic instrumentals, it just all stood out to me. It was Punk music, but it had an edge to it that I’m still to this day fascinated with.
I think Good Mourning will always be my favorite because it not only introduced me to the band, but it also showed me that Punk Rock could have darker themes and deeper meanings behind it. This record is still a huge inspiration in my own songwriting, and is a huge reason why I’m a musician today.
Pennywise – Unknown Road
I also got into Pennywise because of my brother. Unknown Road was the first Punk Rock record I can remember listening to from front to back. The title track, which is also the first song on the record, immediately pulled me in. I mean, I was only in elementary school but I somehow understood the frustration the band was trying to convey. Pennywise has always had a strong message of anti-authority and freedom. I thought that was so cool. My Mom and my teachers probably hated it, but it is what it is. My Mom actually took the CD from me after she heard me shouting the lyrics in my room, but I stole it back just like any good little shit kid would do.
This was also around the time I got my first skateboard. Unknown Road was my go-to skate music. I’ll always remember popping that CD into my portable CD player and having songs continually skip while I was learning how to ollie.
Blink 182 – Cheshire Cat
This was the first CD I ever bought myself. I remember Cheshire Cat was so much fun to listen to, because it had comical lyrics and an overall fun vibe. You got to remember that at this point (when i was around 10 or 11) I was only listening to bands like Black Flag, early AFI, Pennywise, etc., so it was cool to be exposed to a lighter pop punk sound. Blink was already a super established band at this point, I think Take Off Your Pants and Jacket had just come out, but I wasn’t really a fan.
I remember I was with my oldest brother (see the pattern here?) at a record store in Boulder, CO. We were looking through different CD’s, and I chose Cheshire Cat. I think he gave me shit for it, but sure enough I bought it and it’s still one of my favorite records.