Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Music makes the World Go Round.

I have always been a big fan of music. But recently I have become that which all people hate; a hipster. Ok, I don't have the silly haircut or the glasses or the permanent sneer, but I do seem to have developed the taste in music. I feel I should explain a little.

When I say I've always been into music, I kind of mean it. I have stories from my mum of me dancing in utero.Which is weird. I'm guessing my genuine appreciation of music didn't start until later. Much later, since I distinctly remember the first CD I ever owned being a Boyzone album. There were cassette tapes before that, Disney and the Black Lace Party tape, but they were owned by my parents. The Boyzone album was the first that was actually mine. I had a brief fling with the Backstreet Boys before developing a debilitating obsession with Westlife. I mean, it actually got me bullied, despite the fact they were the most popular band in Britain at that time.

I don't really remember when, but sometime during my first year at secondary school I fell out with Westlife, and pop music as a whole. Over the course of a summer holiday, I went from the country's biggest Westlife fan to being a metalhead, or 'mosher' as we called them when I was young. The only step in between was a breif fling with the Gorillaz, which doesn't have much in common with either genre of music. People were understandably shocked, some people laughed, a whole bunch of people said I'd grow out of it. Well, I've been listening to metal for the last twelve years and I've not grown out of it yet.

In fact the only thing that's happened to my taste in music as I've aged is that it's gotten broader. I used to be such a music snob; I refused to listen to anything that wasn't made with 'real' instruments. Which is kind of sad, because there's a lot of very good electronic music out there. I used to have utterly contemptible views on country music, until I found a whole bunch of country pop that I liked. One of my current favourite albums is a country album. Likewise I used to hate rap, but I've recently found someone who makes excellent rap that is relevant to my interests. Yet despite adding these things to my repertoire, I remain a steadfast fan of all things metal.

My new favouritist thing in the world is instrumental metal. Something I blame Jeph Jacques for entirely. I've tried for a long time to appreciate the more extreme forms of metal and failed. Turns out what was putting me off is the screaming vocals; I can appreciate extremely heavy guitars and drums as long as there's no vocals. Instrumental metal of any variety makes me happy.

Which actually brings me nicely back to what I said at the start, about being a hipster. The reason I lay claim to that label is because I'm having tremendous fun discovering and listening to bands you've probably never heard of. I spend hours trawling through bandcamp and soundcloud, trying to find new and exciting music by smaller, oft ignored artists. And I find stuff, free a lot of the time. Amazing music that lots of people will never hear. This is what makes me a bit of a hipster, the intentional search for music that is lesser known.

I've started using 8 track to build mixes of my new found favourite music, and putting these playlists together has made me realise how much I want to make music myself. I fear it would just end up another one of  those many hobbies of mine, that get pushed aside in favour of doing crap all. Maybe it's something I'll actually stick with, I certainly have the means to do it.

Maybe I'll just stick to listening to music.


  1. I can't imagine you listening to and loving Westlife, though I remember you telling Mark and I about that. Got to say, Metal is KING. There is nothing on this planet like going around in your car with a dog-collar on whilst listening to Rammstein (which at the moment I can't get enough of!)

    1. Yeah,can't really stand any of the stuff I listened to in my boyband phase. Except Boyzone for some reason. Still like to listen to them every once in a while.

      You'd probably like a lot of the instrumental metal I've been listening to, some of which can be found here:

      And if you've not listened to Black Stone Cherry you need to!