“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”
Music is something that has the power to alter your mood more so than anything else. Just listening to the opening bars of a song can lift you to a state of euphoric bliss or slam you down in to a puddle of despair.
They say that the music we listen to shapes our identities and our lives. By expressing love for a certain band, you can find yourself quickly categorised as fitting in to a particular group. Over the years, my music appreciation has been influenced by a variety of different sources and covered almost every genre, settling in to an eclectic love for anything from 90s indie to the Rat Pack.
My own musical tale started before I was born when it was decided that my dad would choose my name. After much discussion, my mum finally won in her veto of the name Priscilla and instead I was blessed with being a Lisa-Marie. Yes, like the Presley. Brought up in a house where my parents tastes ranged from Daniel O’Donnell to Lee Marvin and back to Elvis, my first musical love was Cliff Richard. In particular: Wired for Sound.
As the years passed and my older siblings musical tastes evolved, I was introduced to more up-to-date auditory pleasures. My sister was a fan of Bon Jovi, Korn, Sepultura and Nirvana. My brother preferred Oasis, Blur, A (How Ace are buildings?) and, oddly, European dance music.
By the time I started secondary school, I was becoming well-versed in the world of “rock”. As well as my continued devotion to Bryan Adams, don’t ask, I now included Bon Jovi, the Offspring and Korn in my musical repertoire.
While most kids my age were crying about Take That splitting up, I was listening to Oasis and Kittie. In 1998, at the age of 14, I discovered Marilyn Manson, or “that scary looking lady” as my mum called him. This led to a foray in to the world of Kerrang! and testing the waters of mild rebellion by trying to find the most obscure black metal bands with which I could upset my parents (Dimmu Borgir were my top choice).
Emo wasn’t a thing that had taken hold when I was a disgruntled teen. Anyone wearing heavy eyeliner was labelled a Goth and I gripped tightly to that, often foolishly choosing my relationships purely on the persons musical tastes.
Like many, I can assign particular bands as the soundtrack to each romantic engagement:
Disturbed remind me of the folly of youth and first love.
Nine Inch Nails transport me back to a bedroom painted orange and purple, of snakes and firsts.
The Pixies remind me of a mattress on a floor, a room filled with the smoke of burnt out candles, late night road trips to Chester and someone who was completely wrong for me.
Iron Maiden of road trips the length of the country with the window down and my feet on the dashboard.
Bruce Springsteen of finally understanding how love should be.
All of these influenced by the people who held my heart, even if only for a brief while.
Now as I’m older, my tastes aren’t as influenced by outside sources. My tastes are simpler. Following the lead of Rob Gordon, can I list my Top 5 Favourite Bands of All Time? No, but it’s getting closer every day.