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27 Massive Artists On The Records That Made Them Want To Be In A Band

If the old saying is to be believed, then genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration but hey... that little bit of inspiration certainly doesn't hurt. Here are a host of indie's finest - from Billy Corgan to St. Vincent to Justin Young of The Vaccines - on the tracks that made them want to be musicians...

  • St Vincent - ‘All Along the Watchtower’, Jimi Hendrix: “[My friend's] dad was a massive Hendrix fan and had an old ’60s Stratocaster that he was really proud of. His kids didn’t care about music; he saw that I was excited about Hendrix and said, ‘If you want to learn how to play, I can show you that riff.’ He taught me the beginning of ‘Purple Haze’.”

    Photo: Shamil Tanna/NME

    Added: 12 Feb 2014

  • Dan Auerbach, The Black Keys - ‘Angel Band’, The Stanley Brothers: “My family would play this and it made me want to pick up the guitar and join in. I was probably about 12. It was a family tradition; they would all sing it in three-part harmonies because they knew it so well.”

    Photo: Press/Alysse Gafkjen

    Added: 09 Jun 2015

  • Emily Kokal, Warpaint - ‘Dramamine’, Modest Mouse: “I don’t really feel like I ever thought I would be in a band, but Modest Mouse were one of the first bands I found where I heard music being transferred into the context of a band without compromising the intimacy.”

    Photo: Wunmi Onibudo /NME

    Added: 23 Aug 2014

  • Brett Anderson - ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’, The Smiths: "When times were tough for Suede, this would give me hope. I was a teenager when The Smiths were at their creative peak, so the themes of shyness and torpor and failure resonated with me. I still recognise the music as wonderful, but a silly press scuffle with Morrissey in the ’90s soured it for me, unfortunately."

    Photo: Press

    Added: 16 Sep 2011

  • Danger Mouse - ‘Wish You Were Here’, Pink Floyd: “I didn’t grow up listening to classic rock, but I heard it in a bar when I was 19 and the guitar solo made me want to investigate. I remember asking the bartender, ‘Who is this?’ He went, ‘Are you kidding? You don’t know who this is?’ I felt so stupid. It was so beautiful and sad that it made me want to make music with those emotions.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 24 Mar 2014

  • Tom McFarland, Jungle - ‘Bull on Parade’, Rage Against the Machine: “Or the whole of ‘Evil Empire’ really. My brother played it to me when I was 11 or 2 and I was like, ‘That is massive.’ I probably tried to reproduce it but I didn’t have a good enough guitar amp.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 10 Aug 2015

  • Conor Oberst - ‘Wave of Mutilation’, Pixies: “The Pixies had a really big effect on me wanting to play rock music. Just the exuberance of the music and the kind of cryptic poetry they use. It was a lot more interesting than a lot of things that I’d heard up until that point. There’s a strangeness, a mystery there that I found alluring.”

    Photo: Press/Butch Hogan

    Added: 01 May 2014

  • Shirley Manson, Garbage - ‘Stray Cat Strut’, Stray Cats: “I have real memories of air guitaring and singing into a canister of deodorant and I remember feeling strongly that I was a member of the Stray Cats. One of the elder sisters of my friends was this glamourous rockabilly girl. I was kind of obsessed with her and therefore fell into loving rockabilly music.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 27 Jul 2015

  • Joe Mount - The White Album, The Beatles: “Before I heard it, I’d only listened to ‘Please Please Me’, ‘Help!’ and ‘Revolver’. To hear the same band who sang ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ play ‘Helter Skelter’ was very exciting. From that point on, the idea of being in ‘a band’ took on a whole new meaning; a band could grow up while its members grew up.”

    Photo: Roger Sargent/NME

    Added: 12 Feb 2014

  • Rou Reynolds, Enter Shikari - ‘Whatever’, Oasis: “I was mad on Oasis. ‘Whatever’ always stuck out because it was slightly more immediate. The string section grabbed me and I liked their larger-than-life characters as well. I thought they were so cool with their shades and the guitars.”

    Photo: Tom Martin/NME

    Added: 28 Jun 2013

  • Billy Corgan - ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’, Ramones “You listen to a song like that and think, ‘I could do that’. And that’s the beauty of something like the Ramones – you think, ‘If they can do that, I can do that,’ and it opens the magic doorway to rock’n’roll.”

    Photo: Press

    Added: 27 Jan 2015

  • Tricky - ‘My Melody’, Eric B & Rakim: “The song that changed my life was ‘My Melody’. Eric B & Rakim took old school into the new school. I remember hearing it in my friend’s car as a kid when we were driving to Cardiff to sneak into clubs. I nearly pissed myself.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 24 Oct 2014

  • Nikki Sixx, Motley Crue - Nursery rhymes “It wasn’t one song, it was all the songs. Before I was in a band I was making up nursery rhymes. I left Idaho to live with my mum, and there was this acoustic guitar at her house that I started to write songs on. I was a songwriter before I was a musician.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 15 Aug 2014

  • Harry Koisser, Peace - ‘I Can’t Explain’, The Who: “It was the first song on an old Who compilation. It got really scratched before computers were a thing. I loved it. I think it was the general spikiness and loud guitars. I didn’t really realise what bands were, but then I was like, ‘What are these guys doing? Why are they so loud?’ It was cool.”

    Photo: Jordan Hughes/NME

    Added: 27 Feb 2015

  • Billy Bragg - ‘All The Young Dudes’, Mott The Hoople: “It’s a classic, all-guys-together song. It came out around the same time as the film A Clockwork Orange and it has that same, dangerous vibe to it. David Bowie [who penned the song] was always on that Clockwork Orange tip; there are a few quotes in some of his songs that make me think of that period.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 20 Oct 2014

  • Thurston Moore - ‘Beat on the Brat’, The Ramones: “I bought that Ramones album [their self-titled debut, released 1976] when it came out and by the time it got to this song I had a complete realisation that I needed to move to New York and be in a band immediately, like right now.The singer of the band was tall and geeky as I was.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 28 May 2015

  • Ice Cube - ‘Run-DMC’, Run-DMC: “I had all the singles they’d released off ‘Run-DMC’ but I just had to buy the full album. The problem was that I didn’t have the money, so in the end me and one of my friends went halves on it. I got it Thursday, Friday and Saturday, he had it the rest of the time. I couldn’t believe how every song was so dope – song after song, all amazing.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 27 Oct 2014

  • Tom DeLonge, Blink-182 - ‘Automatic’, The Jesus and Mary Chain: “It’s a great album that almost sounded pop punk. I remember taking it back into the record store and going, ‘I want anything else that sounds like this.’ I was in the seventh grade and trying to find my way. At my school, it was only me and two anti-racist skinheads that were into alternative music out of 3,000 kids.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 27 Jan 2015

  • Ian McCulloch, Echo and the Bunnymen - ‘Starman’, David Bowie: “It made me want to be heard. When I saw Bowie on Top Of The Pops, I thought, ‘I want to wear his kecks too.’ I stared at his groin thinking, ‘I’ve got a lot of puberty to do’.”

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 05 Sep 2014

  • Justin Young, The Vaccines - ‘Hound Dog’, Elvis Presley “I would perform a capella versions of Elvis songs to my class when was six or seven. The whole package appealed to me. He was very seductive, not just as a musician, but as a character. It was aspirational. If I compared that to the more contemporary stuff I was listening to at the time, it felt like he’d beamed down from space.”

    Photo: Jenn Five/NME

    Added: 20 Jul 2015

  • James Dean Bradfield, Manic Street Preachers - ‘V2’, That Petrol Emotion: “There was a handful of songs where it felt like I was being caught in their undertow and they were pointing me towards one direction, such as ‘Shot By Both Sides’ by Magazine – songs where I just thought ‘I can do it’. ‘V2’ was another and it was just such a rush.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 18 Feb 2015

  • Van McCann, Catfish and the Bottlemen - ‘Lyla’, Oasis “That’s a massive song. When they play that it’s ‘here comes the chorus, get on me shoulders, it’s time, tops off, everything’. I love that song, there’s a lyric in it that says ‘she’s the queen of all I’ve seen’, and I like big powerful one-liners like that.”

    Photo: Shamil Tanna/NME

    Added: 13 May 2015

  • Father John Misty - ‘My Generation’, The Who: “That was the first rock song I heard. We had this Muppets record player and my dad had a lot of novelty seven-inches, but there at the back of his collection was ‘My Generation’ on 45. I had zero context for who The Who was and what rock was. Very quickly it was like, (adopts panicked parental voice) ‘No No No!’ – but it was too late.”

    Photo: Derek Bremner/NME

    Added: 27 Jun 2015

  • Tim Burgess - ‘Blue Monday’, New Order: “There was an aloofness to New Order that really struck a chord with me – they were like anti-pop stars, down to the fact they didn’t put their name on their records. They gave New York disco a Macclesfield/Salford twist. I still play ‘Blue Monday’ when I DJ and it sounds as fresh as ever even though it’s over 30 years old.”

    Photo: Emilie Bailey

    Added: 24 Apr 2012

  • Andy Bell, Ride - ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’, The Rolling Stones: “While my folks were out at church, I used to stay home playing The Rolling Stones’ ‘Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)’ album very loud on the family radiogram. Something about ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ – maybe the overloaded guitar and bass riffs – got me really excited and made me feel like I needed to make records.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 05 May 2015

  • Joe Goddard, Hot Chip - ‘Candy Says’, The Velvet Underground: “I got into them very young – my dad’s obsessed – and Alexis [Taylor] and me used to cover ‘Candy Says’ when Hot Chip first started, as 16-year-olds. Lou Reed loved pop and doo-wop, girl groups, and you can tell there’s a history there. It’s an enduring passion, that delicate, hushed sound.”

    Photo: Getty

    Added: 10 Aug 2015

  • Ryan Jarman, The Cribs - ‘About a Girl’, Nirvana: “It was just so easy to play. You learnt that and then you were in a band. It’s a rite of passage for kids even now.”

    Photo: Pooneh Ghana/NME

    Added: 14 Apr 2015