Posted by Zac Boyd
I’ve grown up around music. Somehow, it has always been a big part of my life. My folks got caught up into the scene that the 70’s had a tendency to produce. Everything was all about the booze, the drugs, and the rock n’ roll. They lived their lives the way you see played out in movies like Almost Famous. Having kids didn’t change that aspect. Up until the time that I was seven years old, there was always some sort of booze, drugs, and all sorts of rock n’ roll records around the house. That was the norm for our family.
Things changed drastically once my Dad decided to change around his focus from all of the latter mentioned vices to religion. He came home one day and dumped the booze down the drain, flushed the drugs, and burned every rock n’ roll album that was in the house. The lifestyle was to change. He felt that he had to replace his life, with a completely new and different life that only involved religion. To him, rock n’ roll was of the devil.
After the change over, my Dad would soon become an ordained minister. He became a Pentecostal pastor for a church and the music in the house went more downhill. Instead of rock n’ roll, we were listened to Praise and Worship music that was to be sung in the church. This of course is not to be confused with Hymnals (although by the time I was out of the house, I pretty much knew all of those like the back of my hand as well).
The problem, though, was that my Dad decided that the churches where he preached needed music to accompany the sermon. To enhance the services he led every Sunday morning, he gave a drum kit to my brother, a guitar to me, and then proceeded to teach us the basics so we could be his band. We caught on pretty quickly to our respective instruments and played the services every Sunday morning.
The problem with handing instruments to us eager children, is that we had a tendency to grasp onto the instruments and their background when it’s something as cool as a drum set or a guitar. Being so enthralled with the guitar and the different sounds that I could make, I started to listen to music that was not allowed in our household. My parents refused to let us listen to anything that had distortion on it, or didn’t play into the Christian scene.
Like any warm blooded child would do, we did exactly the opposite of what our parents wanted. I would snag any sort of record from kids at school that had guitar licks on it. They blew my mind. I was starting to listen to older records like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and was blown away by how amazing the guitar riffs and tones were. It was a great distance away from the typical music I listened to at home.
It wasn’t until after my parents found my hidden stash of records that I decided to start to look into other avenues of music. If they didn’t like the music they confiscated, they were bound to hate the music I brought into the house shortly thereafter. Keeping the records and tapes hidden again, I found myself trying to dig into music that I felt was evoking more emotion than what I was listening to before.
I wanted something that was completely new to me and everyone else at that point. I started picking up CD’s at record stores that none of the other kids at school were listening to yet. I’d pick up CDs they would probably never even hear of. It made me feel like I was scouting out new music. I remember walking into a record shop and buying Korn’s self titled debut, Deftones’ “Adrenaline”, Tool’s “Aenima” and the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.” These were all discs that I wasn’t familiar with and that I knew no one in my school was listening to yet. These albums have become milestones in my youth. I still listen to each individual disc from time to time.
I was never really good at hiding my records, or maybe my parents were just that good at finding them. Once I got out of the house, it was open game for whatever I wanted to listen. Every pay day I would find myself at the CD store. Directly after work I would leave and end up spending hours digging through disc after disc. I picked up obscure CD’s, but would also try to stay up with the latest mainstream music that was on the radio. I always enjoyed finding a band before they became popular on the radio. It always made me feel as though I had discovered them and everyone else jumped onto my bandwagon of enjoyment.
I would pick up anything from pop to the heaviest metal you could find. I loved it all. Even the music that I hated, I loved to hate. The nice part about it, was that I loved or hated it for a reason. It wasn’t because someone was telling me to love it or forcing me to hate it. I don’t segregate when it comes to the music I listen to.
Fumbling through my CD collection these days, you can find music like Alison Krauss & Union Station and discover a Dillinger Escape Plan album directly behind it. I’m in love with music. If it has a great beat, or a crazy guitar riff that sounds more difficult to play than to listen to, I love it.
So to conclude this little history of my musical upbringing, I’ll include the top 10 albums that have made the soundtrack to my life (in no particular order):
1.) Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
2.) Zao - Liberate Te Ex Inferis
3.) Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
4.) Sigur Ros - can’t pick just one album
5.) Deftones - Adrenaline
6.) Dashboard Confessional - Swiss Army Romance
7.) Coheed & Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: III
8.) At the Drive-in - Relationship of Command
9.) Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence
10.) Far - Water & Solutions