In the beginning
Growing up with great parents, I took a lot of my early tastes in music from them – my Dad specifically. But through growing up and exploring new styles, my taste in music has grown significantly.
I started by hearing bands like Fleetwood Mac; Supertramp; Meat Loaf; Whitesnake; to name a few, and I still have a place for them. In fact just this week I have been listening to Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell 2 again.
One of my favourite songwriters of all time is Jim Steinman – the composer behind Meat Loaf’s early music as well as many other theatre shows, films and varying other bands.
On leaving school and going to work in London I was about 18 years old and was getting into heavy metal and gothic rock. Bands like Marilyn Manson; Korn; Slipknot; Linkin Park often did the rounds on my little CD player – much to the annoyance of my co-workers.
Later on at college I would find myself being introduced to more rock bands – this time older bands like Iron Maiden; Judas Priest; Ozzy Osbourne.
When I moved out of my parents’ house I moved in with a friend and her then-boyfriend, who was a DJ and producer. I would often hear him playing dance music and, although it never grew on me that much, still found it interesting to hear this new style. Alhtough saying that I did once go with him and some other friends to hear James Zabiela live, which was fucking insane. Also I did get introduced to Aphex Twin through him. He did also play older, more indie types of music too – like The Stone Roses and The Smiths which then turned me on to that style.
When I first moved out of my parents was also when I started teaching myself to play guitar. Because of this I inevitably started listening to more guitar orientated music. My taste in music grew to include Joe Satriani; Steve Vai; Paul Gilbert; and Buckethead big time. In fact I was pretty obsessed with these guys. I would also learn finger-picking folk music too. Artists like Joan Baez; Janis Ian; and Lindsey Buckingham were very inspiring to my learning.
When I was first learning the guitar and was looking for inspiring artists I became a bit of a music snob. If someone had suggested Taylor Swift back then I’d have laughed in their face. But things do change. I have since gotten into lots of female-led artists/bands. One of my all-time favourite artists now is Lana Del Rey. I also love people like Ladyhawke; Grimes; and yes, even Taylor Swift.
Also in recent years, in fact in the past 12 months or so, I have gotten really into Grime music – rap music mainly out of London, although it can be performed anywhere. Artists like JME; Big Narstie; Kano; Giggs. All these guys I love listening to. And often enjoy watching the BBC Radio One Fire In The Booth and the 60 Minute Takeovers.
As I go forwards I’ll continue to try and widen my taste in music. I probably wont like it all, but you don’t know until you explore. What I can say is that this past week I have been getting heavily into this whole Retro New Wave genre I’m hearing. I re-emergence of 80’s-inspired music. But the good, synth-led music; none of that bloody Culture Club stuff.