This week's "Albums That Changed My Life" contributor is Touché Amoré frontman Jeremy Bolm!
The band are currently touring in support of their 2011 album "Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me". All upcoming dates and ticket information can be found here.
Nirvana - In Utero
My first two favorite bands when I was about 8 years old were Pearl Jam and Nirvana. This was about 1991 or so. When In Utero dropped in September of 93 I was fully in. Even at ten years old, though I didn't understand a lot of the lyrics and references, I understood the passion. It scared me. I became obsessed. "Milk It" is the kind of song that can never be covered. The little laugh he does during the last chorus makes the whole album for me. It's the little things. When Kurt [Cobain] passed away the next year the day before my birthday, I remember taking it personally. Nirvana will forever be the band who had the biggest impact on my life.
When Green Day released Dookie in '94 we all wanted to dye our hair and call ourselves punk rock. "We" being young kids with MTV soaked minds who were too young to find independent music yet. So when I hit Junior High in 1995 I made friends with an older kid who showed me NOFX. Knowing this record came out only months after Dookie but with the complete opposite approach (I remember hearing that Fat Mike called KROQ in Los Angeles to demand they never play "Leave it Alone" on the air again after it was requested) I became enthralled with that "fuck the radio" attitude that adolescent kids seem to attach themselves to. Punk In Drublic had all the hooks that Green Day had but with more angst and it was faster. I was in. This is how I found punk rock.
I admittedly became a huge metal head. I loved it all. From Metallica to Black Sabbath to Sepultura. So around 1998 I remember picking up the Ozzfest 96 live compilation CD which featured Neurosis, Fear Factory, Earth Crisis, and more. I remember being taken back by how the Earth Crisis song was aggressive in a much different way than all the other songs featured. I picked up the record that shared the same name, "Gomorrahs Season Ends". At this point I was a freshman in High school which is right about the time when your peers are starting to smoke cigarettes and drink their parents booze. I was never interested in these things. No real reason why or why not. I just didn't want to get in trouble and the idea of it never thrilled me. So when I read into what Earth Crisis was about (Straightedge) I felt a sense of belonging. This record is responsible for why I'm still Straight Edge today. From this record I found Strife, Bloodlet, Deadguy, Snapcase, and more. It was my gateway to hardcore.
Okay, so I loved KoRn. That self titled record should have made this list. I debated it. But I decided to just talk about it here. If you found KoRn in the early 90s, you also loved Deftones. All that shit came together. It was just so heavy and pissed that as a suburban youth you couldn't stay away. So before there was the internet to find bands, you had to do it the old fashioned way (which I miss)... Reading a bands thank you list / buying albums from the same label. KoRn was on Immortal Records. Around that time that included Incubus and Far. I bought the Far album "Tin Cans with Strings to You". It had all the heavy elements I craved but with this layer of melody that Deftones shared but with a more heartfelt voice, one that I couldn't even comprehend. I fell in love. In 1998 they released "Water and Solutions". This album was much cleaner. Not as heavy by any means. But I appreciated it on so many levels that I called Far my all time favorite band. I dare you to listen to the song "Wear It So Well" and not lose your mind. I was lucky enough to see them twice that year before they broke up (the last one I saw Snapcase did a surprise set). In 2009 TA got to open for Far and Thursday in LA. At that moment I knew I had personally achieved everything I ever wanted to. I've gained a personal relationship with Jonah Matranga and Shaun Lopez of the band it's one of the most rewarding ties I've bowed. That album changed me forever. It still holds up next to anything coming out today.