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Your journey through different genres and bands

Started by Zydar, January 05, 2023, 07:22:45 AM

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We all have a different musical upbringing and background. We started with a particular band and later on discovered other genres and bands/artists. What does your particular journey look like and how did you find other bands and types of music? How did you end up where you are today?

For me it all started with my dad's vinyl collection from the 60s (his teen years) when I was about 8-9 years old. That's what I grew up with and it's still the kind of music that is the closest to my heart. Stuff like The Beatles (my favourite band), Rolling Stones, The Who, Beach Boys, Kinks, and many more. Even some stuff from the 70s/80s like Dire Straits and Status Quo.

Then in my teens I started listening to heavier stuff. Kiss, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Metallica - that kind of older rock/metal. I even dabbled in some power metal for a while, but it didn't really take hold for long. Kiss and Maiden are still the big favourites from this period. I also listened to Britpop (this was in the mid 90s) so Oasis and Supergrass are big ones for me.

In my mid twenties I took an interest in progressive rock. I remember buying 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Dark Side Of The Moon' by Pink Floyd. That was my first taste of prog. It led to stuff like early Genesis, and Yes (Rush didn't come until 10 years later though). Then I discovered Dream Theater, and my mind was blown. It opened the floodgates to other progressive stuff too, reading about their influences. It led me here to DTF, where I've discovered acts like Haken, Queensryche, Big Big Train, Opeth, Neal Morse, TFK, and countless others.

Now I've recently turned 41 and I am still discovering great bands every year, and I love that feeling. I wonder what my big discoveries will be from 2023? I'm excited to find out.


Good topic; I grew up around music; we would listen in the car, and Saturday nights, my aunt - my mom's sister - would come over and bring records and we would listen.  It was all country; I grew up listening to Big John Cash, George Jones, Elvis, Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Pride... my aunt gave me my first country album (Hank Williams Jr., "The Pressure Is On").  She had thousands of records.

We would listen to a lot of Barry Manilow, too, and for some reason, my dad loved the Steve Miller album "Fly Like An Eagle" (though the song freaked me out because for the longest time I thought Miller sang "SHOOT the children, with no shoes on their feet"; it is, of course, "SHOE the children, with no shoes on their feet").

Then my mom got me a couple records she thought "essential":   The Beatles, the Red and Blue compilations (I also saw "Beatlemania" twice around that time), the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks, and somewhere along the way I got Billy Joel's The Stranger. 

Then, of course, I saw a copy of the album "Love Gun" at school, and saw "Kiss Alive II" in the store; that cover screamed BUY ME, M------F-----!  And my world changed.

Then I got into Iron Maiden (my first concert), and Priest and Sabbath.  Prog came around the same time, when we got cable and I saw a snippet of Genesis "In Concert" and thought "this is very different than "Misunderstanding!"   Yes was in there too; I got a cassette of Fragile at some point, then I went to a party with my friend who went to another high school.  The dude whose party it was needed cash for drugs, and sold me all his Yes records for like $20 (there was at least Drama, Yesshows, Classic Yes, and Going For The One; I think Yesterdays might have been in there too). 



So I got 4 older brothers, and when I was 7 years old, my oldest brother was a Dj at his high school radio station, so I had a full introduction to the best of that era of 70s hard rock. I have specific memories of playing rock band to Yes-Yessongs, and going into high school had excellent tastes if I do say so, main loves being Yes, The Who, Rush, Styx, The Kinks, Floyd and Zeppelin. This remained till that fateful moment in 87 when another brother brought home a copy of Misplaced Childhood, and later a copy of IQ- Are You Sitting Comfortably. I think I always had an affinity for having different tastes, and these checked those boxes perfectly. It went that way until that fateful day in '92 when I heard Pull Me Under on the radio, and did the deep dive there. My listening pretty much hyperfocused on those, I was neck deep in my alcoholism by this time, and would remain that way until around 2010 when I met all you assholes.

Even though I didn't get sober till 2011, DTF showed me a monstrous musical world to explore, all of it fit nicely into my Marillion/IQ/DT wheelhouse. This expanded exponentially when I was writing for Lady Obscure and was recieving 10 albums a week at a minimum for review. I enjoyed this bonanza until the pandemic.

I had come across drummer Senri Kawaguchi in '15, and just enjoyed her pure joy and talent for some years, adding on other 'novelty' Japanese artists such as young drummer Yoyoka and Babymetal, not realized the world that was just one click away. In the height of the pandemic, I came across a video of Yoyoka with drummer Tamu Murata. She intrigued me, so I dug deeper. She had her own cover channel with a few DT covers (yay!), but when i came across the video of her new  band Nemophila- Raitei, I was absolutely blown away in one song. So began a deep dive into J-metal that has me finding new bands weekly, all of them solid as fuck. Somewhere in this part a friend introduced me to Allegaeon, adding that heavy as fuck flavor to my soundtrack. Who knows where the next step will take me, but I'm pretty happy with my journey.


I started getting interested in music when I was a teenager and iI kinda avoided what my parents listened to initially because I wanted to carve out my own path I suppose.

For me it all started with the nu-metal of the early 00's, Hybrid Theory and Meteora (Linkin Park) were HUGE albums for me and from there on I got into other similar bands whether it was System of a Down, Slipknot, Korn, Deftones or Disturbed. Nu-metal seemed to share some similarities with Metalcore (some harsh vocals but also some clean melodies) so I got into bands like Trivium and Killswitch Engage, and other bands that were kinda big in that time. But my growing interest in Metal also got me into some of the classics like Maiden and Metallica, and this is where I found DT who seemed to take parts of Maiden/Metallica and fuse it with Prog.

After that I really got into Prog big time. Through DT I got into bands like Opeth, Tool and then I found Porcupine Tree through SW's collaboration with Opeth. PT really became another key band for me because they were really the first band I got obsessed with that wasn't fully a metal band. Sure they had elements in some songs but they were more of a progressive/alternative rock band to me, and through them I was able to expand into more 'mellow' prog, or rock bands like Anathema, Riverside, The Pineapple Thief, Pure Reason Revolution, Oceansize, Amplifier, The Dear Hunter and so on. The more bands I got into the more bands I started to find and getting into bands like Radiohead or an artist like Björk really widened my horizons and I was now listening to music I never thought I would like before such as Electronic music.

Through Prog I also got into Jazz as it also had a jam/improvisational/long songs element and as I got older and more mature I also started branching more and more into older music as well, discovering some of the greats from the past whether it was The Beatles, Neil Young or Pink Floyd and the bigger the branches grew outwards, the more different bands and artists I got into. Today I appreciate most different music styles, though there's still a couple I don't care for (like Opera music) but I try to explore new genres and bands to find new things.


I got my musical start on early 70's easy pop radio (carpenters, the association, probably some motown etc) I fondly recall that type of music as "back of the station wagon with Mom driving" music. Which is odd because..
From there it was my Brother and I listening to his stereo and the new Beatles Red/Blue albums he had surprisingly got from our aunt for Christmas. I say surprising because rock roll was pretty much the Devils music in our strict religious household. ( but what about the radio in the wagon?) From there it was new stuff my brother would introduce me to. First Tom Petty album, The Cars, The Knack, Boston, Styx, Foreigner. Any time I hear anything from Grand Illusion or Foreigner's first album I am transported back to the summer of '77 (I would have just turned 10). I would say that this was when I started sensing that music wasn't a frivolous thing that you heard or sang in church or played in music class, but rather to me it was something more. I needed to dive deeper into it and discover and try to figure out what was going on.
My first music purchase experience was to ride my bike about 5 miles to the Village Mall and purchase The Who albums (vinyl of course) Meaty,Beaty,Big And Bouncy and what I guess was brand new, Who Are You. I also discovered The Doors at this time.
My world started changing when an older kid at Youth Group turned me on to a cassette tape of a live radio simulcast of some band called....RUSH. I believe it was a King Biscuit Flower Hour  broadcast of the Permanent Waves tour. They stayed in the back ground until Signals came out when I heard Digital Man on the radio I was all in. 25 times seeing them live and all these years later I am still all in! Around this time I was uprooted and moved to Florida when Pop got transferred. Not knowing a soul, music was my escape. Rush, Triumph, Saga, Night Ranger, VH etc. These were all part of that time. Also slot of what was on the radio Billy Idol, The police, Huey Lewis, Hall and Pages etc as well as MTV. After a summer of isolation, a new kid moved into the neighborhood and we used to hang out in his garage while he played his drums along to records. Mike was only 14 but he was a really solid drummer that was able to play real songs, not drum rudiments out of a book. He also had an awesome double bass Tama kit. Thanks Mikey for turning me on to drums, I still play at least once a week on one of my own Tama kit(s) and I am into it more than ever!! This is also the time I started going to live shows ( well actually probably a year or two later. The first being Grace Under Pressure tour.
Fast forward through all the hair bands and grunge I also liked to hearing DT and Pull Me Under on head bangers ball and seeing the IW tour. from then on I was all in on DT. They hold a special place in my shrine of music along with Rush. I've seen them probably 10 or 15 times. Along with Dream Theater I discovered Mike Portnoy, who has become far and away my favorite musician. I have probably seen MP live 50 or so times when I count all the different bands and projects. I have also been able to meet him a few times and that makes it a bit different in my appreciation of him compared to my other music heroes who I have only seen from afar.
Through Mike's work and through his MP forum I found so many great bands as well as some of my favorites such as the whole Spocks Beard family tree, SW and Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Haken etc.
I shake my head when I hear people say " there's no more good music being made" or they limit themselves to the same old comfortable music they have always listened to. If anything, there is too much new good music to listen to,  its sometimes hard to keep up! Sadly the MP forum is a thing long in the past but this place,DTF,  has taken it's place as my music place and I thank you. For example, going along with Dragon Attack's Queen thread has been like taking a free class in Queen knowledge. Where else are you gonna find info like that?!


Wee lad, late 80s early 90s - radio, whatever parents and brother listened to. I was a big fan of Tom Petty. I hated grunge.

Early teens, the rest of the 90s - The Offspring. Kind of an obsession. Radio still. My brother was a big Metallica and Megadeth fan so that was basically my first exposure to Metal, but they were also heavily played on the radio, along with Queensryche.

High school, 2001 to 2004 - I bought Disturbed's The Sickness after watching Jurassic Park 3 on opening night. After the movie we went to K Mart and they became my new obsession. I was a big wrestling fan too, so my next venture into metal was Chris Jericho's band Fozzy.

College, 2004 to 2006 - I wasn't in college very long, my fault, but during that time I walked into a comic shop and the owner was playing Iced Earth's new album The Glorious Burden. I asked if it was Iron Maiden because I hadn't really listened to them yet besides checking out the original Where Eagles Dare after being introduced to the song by Fozzy. I didn't really care for it and just listened to the cover and didn't delve anymore into Maiden. Fast forward back to 2004, the owner recommended Iron Maiden's new album Dance of Death. I bought that too, but never really got into it. Although after my Iced Earth obsession began, I started giving Maiden another shot, so I think I bought Rock in Rio first, and then Brave New World. I believe my next album was Somewhere in Time around Christmas.

2005 to 2006 - this is when I really started discovering the underground metal scene. Mainly power metal, bands like Iced Earth. Kamelot, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Blind Guardian and Demons & Wizards we're among the bands I was listening to. Then I discovered Symphony X, which led to discovering Dream Theater and this forum, well and the rest is kinda history. Live in Budokan was the first DT album I bought which I actually returned because I couldn't get into it. That soon changed when I downloaded Images and Words. Although, the only working download had a disclaimer that the first song cuts off, so I faded it out... I still have that CD-R. I would also search for other bands in the style of DT like Circus Maximus.

Modern times - I still listen to all of those bands and still consider DT my favorite band, but lately I've taken a liking to some pop music. Chvrches, Hana, some Taylor Swift, Allie X. Ava Max has a pretty good album. A lot of shit to sift through though. This genre is still mostly garbage.


I have a 50+ page version of this in document form I started a couple decades ago and periodically update (way overdue for some additions now I'm sure).  I've posted substantially abbreviated versions of some of it from time to time at various places, so let's see how it comes out this time.

I guess I feel like a somewhat late bloomer to music obsession, it wasn't until late elementary school that I really started exploring music on my own.  Before then I mostly just listened to whatever my parents had on and in their small collection, and a handful of those stuck with me, particularly the Little River Band, Elton John, and Amy Grant, to name a few.  Things exploded around the time I was 11-13, when I started learning piano and guitar, got into classical (Beethoven, for example), became fascinated with the local smooth jazz station (Sade and Kenny G were favorites at the time, yes, that Kenny G), found the Descent II redbook soundtrack (which exposed me to doom/gothic metal from Type O Negative and industrial rock/metal and electro-industrial from Skinny Puppy), and very gradually the music I was getting into was becoming harder, heavier, faster, darker, and more complex. 

My early-mid teen years were mostly devoted to finding the coolest and fastest guitarists possible, and that meant a lot of shred and prog/power metal (Joe Satriani, Dream Theater and such).  I kept a bit of a pulse on the alternative rock, post-grunge, nu-metal and the like that was trendy at the time too though (Linkin Park and such).  By the end of my teens my jam was melodic death metal (In Flames and others, it seemed like everything I was listening to was European for awhile, particularly from Sweden), and my late childhood interest in smooth jazz had drifted towards "the real thing" as I was going into college, particularly John Coltrane. 

My early 20s was mostly about expansion of variety.  I was always more or less open to a wide variety of genres, but it became a much more conscious focus at this point, trying out everything I could get my hands on (hip-hop, bluegrass, punk, various more regional subgenres, etc.), some of it much more productive and fruitful than others.  In particular, I developed a fascination with Indian music and reggae, which went well with being on a very multicultural campus.  I saw Ravi Shankar live, and I was a big fan of artists like Black Uhuru.  By my mid-20s I had gotten really deep into electronic music (Imogen Heap, VNV Nation, countless others), and that mostly dominated my listening rather than metal for probably a decade of my life. 

Over the past near decade my newer musical discoveries have tended to be on the slower, gloomier, and atmospheric side, everything from Triptykon to Chelsea Wolfe.  Production and instrumental and vocal texture has become as if not more important than the notes themselves in some cases.

This leaves off hundreds of side trails (the Arjen-verse has to be one of the most important, the connections to other artists I like seem endless, and exposed me to how many great Dutch artists in particular there are, Autumn and Kingfisher Sky for two connected examples, though I found both independently of Arjen), but at least it paints a broad picture of the gist of it.  I'm not one of those types that gets into a new style of music and abandons what I liked before, it's almost all additive, and I return to old favorites on occasion, just not always as often. 


Very interesting posts, guys. Thanks for sharing your musical journey.


Great thread idea

It started when I was a young child with bands like Green day, bush and offspring since that's what my friends were listening to.

Then from age 9 to 11, I was obsessed with Nirvana

Around 11 to 12 was Red hot chili peppers, and then I got HUGE into A perfect circle as well as Tool. It was around this time where fierce and angry music became to dominate for my teenage years.

Then Dream theater came into the picture and was the MAIN band I listened to in my "prog phase" which lasted pretty much from like age 13 (2001) up until 2009 I guess and involved me exploring like every prog band I could get my hands on.

Then from 2009 onward I started branching out. Rap, Hip hop, Jazz, R & B and electronic, classic rock, jam bands

The past year or so, its been almost only electronic stuff like Deep house, Chillwave, Synthwave and Lofi. At age 35, I am tired and weary of this world and chill music helps keep the train rolling.


Started writing something really long but decided to see if I could give you the cliff notes version instead (it's still long):

Ages 0-7ish  I remember hearing a bunch of 80s pop with my family in the car mostly. It didn't necessarily become a thing for me until I was an adult, but I think it's a big part of why I really love the 80s art pop scene now (Collins, Gabriel, Tears for Fears, The Blue Nile, Talk Talk, Prefab Sprout, Kate Bush, etc.).

Ages 7-10 or so I remember catching the tail end of the hair metal era as well as being exposed to classic rock right around the time that Nirvana and Pearl Jam started taking off. So I kind of got exposed to all of that stuff at once.

Ages 11-14 was spent listening to grunge and alt rock stuff, but I remember always missing hair metal and that era of hard rock when it disappeared from the radio. A lot of those 90s bands were pretty influential for me though. Stuff like Gin Blossoms, Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Toad the Wet Sprocket, etc. have been pretty much life long favorites. Towards the end of this period I remember getting kind of bored with the mainstream alt rock stuff and started listening to a lot of classic rock again, especially Journey who became a big favorite.

Age 15-25: I got my first CD player at 15 and I remember raiding my older brothers' collections which were largely hard rock and metal related, so that really kind of pushed me towards metal and hair metal again. One of those bands was Dream Theater, and for about the next 5 years they were my absolute favorite band. Another was Winger which lead to Kip's solo albums which were huge albums for me. Around that time I also started kicking around the internet and various DT related message boards. I mostly landed at the MP Forum, and that exposed me to the broader prog world. Basically most of the bands I got into during this period were bands that MP or people at the Forum recommended. Getting into the Transatlantic albums as a freshman in college was huge, as it opened me up to more progressive music that wasn't in the prog-metal sphere. I was big into Spock's Beard, Genesis, Porcupine Tree, and Enchant in those years. But Marillion and Peter Gabriel solo were kind of the the two next big things to come along around then. I also kind of started losing interest in DT in those years, with TOT and 8V being kind of disappointing. I was listening to less and less metal as time went on. Soon after college I also started really getting into Rush for the first time beyond the stuff I knew from the radio. By about age 23 or 24 my favorite bands were pretty firmly set as Marillion, Genesis, and Rush, and it's mostly stayed that way since.

I'd say those were the formative years, and ever since I've kind of just been sponging up whatever sounds good to me. In the last 10 years though the two areas I've mostly gotten into are more of the classic progressive rock era (fueled by discovering Big Big Train) and then more of art pop kind of stuff (fueled by discovering The Blue Nile). I'm also trying to catch up with just some of the classic bands and albums I've never heard because I just wasn't there at the right time to get into them or whatever. Basically, as I've gotten into my middle age with more disposable income, I'm filling in gaps in my collection. I've probably bought more music over the last 5-10 years than I collected all the years before then. Finding Discogs in the last few years has helped a lot since record stores aren't a thing anymore. And of course now you can just stream whatever, so it's easy to preview stuff now and I spend a good amount of time doing that.

Here and there at different times I've gotten into the occasional classical or jazz album, and I remember even having a brief rap period in the 90s and a brief country period in the early 00s (those were mostly fueled by boredom I think). But I can't say I've ever strayed too far afield from the rock/prog/pop areas beyond the occasional album here and there. I do tend to like rock and prog artists who are able to incorporate musical styles I wouldn't listen to much on their own though.


I feel like I've gone over this 100 times over the years, one particular time recently was on a Rant I had On YouTube Here from a couple of years ago.

In a nutshell my music tastes took this path:

80's Pop -> Classic Rock -> Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal -> Modern progressive Art Rock -> Extreme Prog and Technical Metal


This thread/idea instantly reminded me of the thread 5 Albums that changed Your Life.....

So I'll start by quoting myself from that thread - as this all still holds true, 11 years later.

Quote from: jingle.boy on June 09, 2011, 02:55:22 PM
1)  Zeppelin IV (and more specifically Black Dog).  It was '86, and my older brother had just bought a new stereo with a CD player (those were brand new at the time).  He pops in Black Dog, and I'm like wtf with the little wah wah wah wah opening.  Then Bobby Plant chimes in and I'm like  :omg:.  Changed my musical tastes forever.  Up to that point, I was a wussy little teenager listening to Madonna, Wham, and all that poppy crap.  Zeppelin is still, and always will be, my favorite band.  Have the four symbols on my left shoulder which makes it so forever.

2)  Rush - Chronicles.  It's '90, and I knew the radio friendly Rush tunes (Tom Sawyer, Closer to the Heart, Spirit of Radio etc ...).   I was working a night shift where I could blast music all night long, so I needed to get some new music in my library.  Grabbed this since they were a good Canadian band, and I liked their music (at least, what I knew of it).  Man was I completely blown away - I'd never really known their earlier, harder, more progressive stuff.  Anthem and Bastille Day blew my mind (plus, I was probably high as a kite when I listened to it).  Within the next few months, I had their discography, and haven`t missed a disc or tour since.

3)  Images & Words.  It's early '97, and this guy I was working with was a pretty big DT fan.  It was actually A Fortune in Lies that piqued my interest.  I couldn't believe the musicianship - crazy time signatures, talent, speed, structure.... everything was unlike what I was used to.  The CD store I went to didn't have WDADU, so I had to grab I&W.  Really glad I did.  Grabbed the rest of the discography by the end of that week, and have been hooked on them since. 

(no DT or Rush tattoo yet, but I will get the Starman/Majesty logo that is Setlist Scotty's avatar someday) <2023: edit... I got it shortly after as a 40th b-day gift to myself>

4)  Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet.  Hard to say which 'glam' album really got me first (could've been Look What the Cat Dragged In), but from from the time between `86 and `97, Classic Rock and Glam Rock were the only styles of music that appealed to me.  There were a few smatterings of metal (Maiden, Queensryche, Ozzy), but not much.  I had a Columbia Record club subscription (who remembers those?) and filled my CD collection with Glam discs with everything from Aldo Nova to Winger)

5)  Nightwish - Once (and more specifically, Planet Hell).  I was listening to some online streaming service back in '04, and this popped on.  Wow... combination of operatic vocals + Marco`s coarse (but not grunge or death) vocals, pounding metal and symphonic keyboards was something I'd never experienced before.  It was also the realization that fantastic music wasn't only produced by US/Canadian/UK bands.  With that, my tastes started expanding to non North American bands - Ayreon, Circus Maximus, Blind Guardian, Angra, Freedom Call, Frost*, Vanden Plas etc...

Honorable mentions go to The Wall (intro to concept albums), Operation:Mindcrime (really, my first exposure to prog-metal) and The Human Equation (my first exposure to Arjen).

Other than the Bon Jovi comment at #4, this is largely a chronological progression, as well as a progression of my tastes into different (yet similar) genres and styles.  I'm  not terribly varied - I know what I like, and I largely stick to it.  I have no problem staying in my swim lane.

Of course, I have to throw a shoutout to DTF - the number of albums I've bought/saved (on Spotify) recommended from you fuckers numbers in the hundreds.  While my tastes haven't expanded much in the last 15 years, the depth of what I've discovered continues to expand and bloom.  I try to limit myself to sampling only 100 albums/year, purchasing only 25, and saving another 25 - but for 2022, I sampled 170-ish, bought 28 and have saved another 40 on Spotify - all of the Rock/Metal/Prog variety.

Quote from: frogprog on January 05, 2023, 06:45:48 PM
I shake my head when I hear people say " there's no more good music being made" or they limit themselves to the same old comfortable music they have always listened to. If anything, there is too much new good music to listen to, its sometimes hard to keep up!

Preach, brother.


Quote from: frogprog on January 05, 2023, 06:45:48 PM
Through Mike's work and through his MP forum I found so many great bands as well as some of my favorites such as the whole Spocks Beard family tree, SW and Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Haken etc.
I shake my head when I hear people say " there's no more good music being made" or they limit themselves to the same old comfortable music they have always listened to. If anything, there is too much new good music to listen to,  its sometimes hard to keep up! Sadly the MP forum is a thing long in the past but this place,DTF,  has taken it's place as my music place and I thank you.

Yeah, I think most people become set in their musical preferences by like age 20-25 or so, and beyond that anything new is less likely to connect with them. But time moves on and you have to be willing to go looking for stuff if you want to find good music. It's still out there.

Also, heck yeah on the MP Forum! As I mentioned as well, that place was a huge part of my musical education.


As far as I can remember, when I was a kid the first thing I heard regarding music was mainly boy bands due to my older sister playing them on the regular through CDs and cassettes and the likes.  Then, nu-metal came when she bought stuff like Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot-Dog flavored water.

Years later, as I got back into following wrestling, around 2006 or so, that's when I discovered bands like Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Seether, Daughtry, Skillet, etc. when WWE was plugging those songs as PPV theme songs for their major events.  Then I eventually listened to more stuff on the Active Rock Radio format through iHeartRadio or Sirius XM Octane and that's where I heard stuff like Breaking Benjamin, Halestorm, A7X, etc.

Time passes more and as things gotten a bit more stagnant with the journey as there's only so many generic Active Rock bands that Octane likes to plug but few has intrigued me. I got into a band called Zac Brown Band as they were co-headlining a concert with the Foo Fighters during a Super Bowl weekend event and that was enough for me to dive into their catalog and tolerate country enough to take a chance into getting into Brad Paisley.  Both acts I like enough and enjoyed the shows I saw last year.

Somewhere along the way, as I was watching anime, I really enjoyed the opening and ending tracks of various series and I want to see whose the person singing it and composing those songs and that led me getting into JRock/Jpop acts like Aimer, SawanoHiroyuki[nZk], One Ok Rock, etc.

That's basically it for me.  Don't know what other grounds the journey will bring as I go into my 30s, but I'm sure there's bound to be something new that can still wow me.


I've kind of given an overview of the development of my tastes, and musical journey many times, but why not go again!

So as with many of us, my musical influences came from my family. I'm one of 5 kids, and am the middle child. I have an older brother and sister, as well as a younger brother and sister. Growing up, and being one of 5, my parents were always busy and often stressed, and their love for music wasn't as apparent as it was as we all started to become more independent, and life was a little more relaxed.

My only early memories of listening to my parents music was in the car. My Mum liked Randy Travis and my Dad loved The Beatles. My Dad would always pull out his Beatles mix tapes for long car rides, or holidays, and me and my siblings loved singing to certain songs. That stuff started to lay the ground work, but my other influences came from my other siblings. Ironically (with how obsessed I am with music now) I was completely uninterested in music growing up. My main interests were computer games, football, and just hanging out with my mates.

My older brother was my biggest influence as he was born in '75 and got into hip hop in the mid 80s and then metal by the late 80s/early 90s. I wasn't actively interested in anything he was playing around that time, but he did have an Atari ST, that I was VERY interested in playing computer games on! Whenever we were gaming in my brothers room he'd have music on, by this time (late 80s) it was mainly metal. He started with thrash then moved onto all the death metal greats. My soundtrack (unbeknownst to me) was heavily Metallica, Slayer, Obituary, Morbid Angel etc. The music was seeping into my DNA even if I wasn't aware of it. I remember showing interest in the album art, as art was something else and my older brother had in common. My other memories of him, and music are from around '94/'95. I was 11/12 then and we'd sit at the dining room table most evenings drawing fantasy art and listening to music. He was picking the soundtrack as I didn't really care what was playing. The soundtrack to this period was heavy on Metallica's Black Album, Nirvana's Nevermind, Led Zeppelin I and Dummy by Portishead (which was actually my older sisters CD but my brother became obsessed with it). Those albums (excluding Nevermind) have always been top all time albums for me, but not at the time.

Moving on to my older sister, she was born in '79 and very much into the grunge and britpop scene, as she was 15 in '94. I remember she got a CD player for her 15th birthday, along with her only CD, Parklife by Blur. Again, I wasn't interested in any of the music she was into at that time but she loved Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Suede etc, as well assome other eclectic music coming out at that time. She also started to pick up on some of my Dad's influences at that time as well, such as Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan. My Dad was starting to share that love of music with her as well, and was all in the background of my journey.

My younger sister was into all the pop music at this time, mainly boy/girl bands, so still like Take That, Spice Girls etc.

The final influence from my early years was the music from my favourite films. Being a kid who grew up in the 80s/90s I had a passion for all the great 80s films, especially the sci fi. I love Star Wars, and anything with a John Williams soundtrack (ET is one of my all time favourites, and I still play the soundtrack regularly) as well as films like Wayne's World and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Again, these films sowed the seeds for my love of rock and metal. I particularly loved the Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne's World and the Play With Me scene in Bill and Ted, I'd watch them over and over!

The next influence for me came from my beloved computer games. With the release of the PlayStation, which I got in '97, you final were able to have real music on games. For anyone who remembers games like Wipeout, you'll remember how big a deal the soundtrack was. My older brother helped me come to appreciate babds like The Prodigy around this time. It's weird that looking back, none of my friends were really into music either. This era of video games exposed me to two of my greatest loves. First is the music of composer Nobuo Uematsu, who composed all the music for the early Final Fantasy games. I got Final Fantasy VII when I was 14, and that game changed my world, and perception of what a computer game could be. I don't specifically remember loving every part of the soundtrack at the time, it was mainly the various battle music scores I loved, but it was all shaping what I look for in music. Fast forward a bit to the late 2000s and the moment I discovered the live orchestral versions of Final Fantasy music (Distant Worlds Orchestra) it brought together the world of Final Fantasy and the world of John Williams, bliss.

The other big influence came from the Tony Hawks Pro Skater computer game, and shortly after the Crazy Taxi game. Both these games had outstanding punk rock soundtracks and helped develop my other great love, which is punk rock. Goldfingers Superman was pretty monumental to me, abd the Crazy Taxi soundtrack was heavy on the Offspring and Bad Religion, which became huge bands for me. I actually purchased my first CD (Americana by The Offspring) shortly after, at the very late age of 17.

Around this time I also got really into Eminem, and some other rap from that time. This was again courtesy of my older brother who put the first album on cassette tape for me. I have vivid memories of listening to the Slim Shady LP daily on my way to college.

So, all of this laid the groundwork for what my tastes would become. Now I was starting to actively get into music and discover stuff on my own. This coincided with a big change on my life as I moved to live with my Dad (my parents had divorced 4 years earlier and I'd moved up north with my mum and two younger siblings). This period, from 2001 - 2003, I was mainly listening to a lot of hip hop (Dr Dre's 2001 was a big album for me at the time). I was also big into wrestling, and me and a few buddies used to watch Raw/Smackdown every weekend. This led to me getting into stuff like Creed, Rob Zombie, Kid Rock etc.

Mid 2002 I fell in with a group of friends who ended up becoming, and forming my solid friendship group since then. A big part of what we all had in common was music. Everyone in that friendship group was into alternative music, mainly metal and punk rock. One friend in particular was obsessed with Green Day at this time, which ended up with them also being my favourite punk band for a few years. I also discovered (or rediscovered) Metallica at this point, which led to a long period of listening to just them.

By 2003 I'd started to branch out with punk, and metal, and the core group of bands I was listening to was expanding all the time. I'd also turned my back on rap and hip hop. I remember turning to my older brother in 2004, and asking him to recommend me some other bands that could scratch that Metallica itch. He sent me the following albums in the post (for which I was eternally grateful). Megadeth - Rust in Peace, Slayer - Reign in Blood, Sepultura - Arise, Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power and Danzig - Danzig II: Lucifuge. I mean, what a set of albums for a budding metal head to get into. I know he also gave me a burnt CD, maybe the following year, that just had Machine Head scrawled on it (I didn't know if that was the band, or the album, or what).

These helped expand my metal repertoire, and get into slightly more aggressive vocal styles. The first really extreme band I fell for was Children of Bodom. I can still recall the moment when a friend stuck one earphone in my ear and said I HAD to check this band out. His cousin had recommended them to him and sent him the mp3, he only knew the band was called 'children something'. The song he played me was the Tokyo Warhearts version of Lake Bodom. That shit blew my mind and was the first time where I had to kinda push past the vocals as the music was just too good, I had to work out a way to be able to enjoy this.

By 2005 I was getting into melodeath, more extreme metal, loads more punk rock and subgenres. The big metal albums coming out at that time were great and I've often said 2005 was the best year I music for me. I discovered Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, Dream Theater, NOFX among so many others. The rest is all history from there on out really, and my obsession and thirst for new bands has just grown kind of out of control.

Wow, it's nice to get that all out. I'll definitely be referring back to this in the future when it inevitably comes up again!