This week's serving of "Albums That Changed My Life" goodness comes from Balance and Composure frontman, Jon Simmons!
The band are currently touring across the country alongside La Dispute with All Get Out and Sainthood Reps. The full tour routing can be found here.
Saves the Day - Stay What You Are
This is the first record to blow my mind. I remember the day I bought it after I saw their music video for "At Your Funeral". I was 11 or 12 and my sister and I would drive around back roads listening to it almost every afternoon. I loved how dark and morbid the lyrics were while the melodies were some of the catchiest to exist. At that time in my life i had never heard anything like that and it really stuck with me. The way Chris [Conley] writes lyrics is so unique and perfect; it inspired me as a young lad to start a band and try and do that in my own way. With every record I make I want people to feel the same way I felt when I first heard "Stay What You Are".
I got this CD as a gift from my middle school choir teacher and it was one of the best gifts that has ever been given to me. When i was 14 I unfortunately only cared about pop punk...until i gave this record a listen. "Clarity" floored me as soon as I heard "Table For Glasses". I remember running into my mom's room and saying "Mom come here you have to hear this song right now. You'll love it!" This record showed me a band can still rock and be melodic at the same time. I was never open to soft, melodic music beforehand and this changed my whole view on everything. I realized there are so many different things you can do to a song to make it powerful and beautiful. This is the album that made me want to start Balance and Composure.
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
I was late to hearing this record because I was so young when they were in their prime. But when I was 15 my friend was playing it in his car and I remember thinking that this was the most perfect band. I didn't know any of the songs yet but i was so entertained on my first listen. This record also changed my view on music because I realized how they just did whatever they wanted and it was still so powerful. The melodies and lyrics are amazing and they changed the way i approach songwriting. Jeff Mangum paints a picture with his words and his voice and it inspired me to try and do the same. This is my absolute favorite album.
This record is so cool in all categories. The music is driving, its impossible not to bang your head. The riffs are right up my alley and it really inspired me musically. I was shocked at first listen because of how different their sound is but it hit me hard. I love the lyrics because of Aaron Weiss's honesty mostly. He just speaks what he feels and I have so much respect for that, when people put themselves out there. It's amazing how even if you don't believe in what he is singing about, you still feel it and its real. This record did a lot for me and still does to this day.