|Midnite Mixtape Massacre - Lord Zion - Spit Like This|
|Written by Lord Zion|
|Sunday, 22 April 2012 05:00|
Is it my imagination...or is it time to read the last words of the next victim of the Midnite Mixtape Massacre? Spit Like This are set to release their new, Chris Tsangarides produced, album, 'Normalityville Horror', in a couple of weeks so what better time to catch up with frontman Lord Zion and try to pry the ultimate list of songs from his cold, dead hands? Read on to discover the devil's dozen of songs that make up his Midnite Mixtape.....
1.) 'Stand And Deliver' - Adam and the Ants (from the album 'Prince Charming')
Quite possibly the most important song of my life. It was this song that changed it. I wanted to be Adam Ant so much, it hurt. This was one of the first singles I ever got and I played it to death. Even the B-side ('Beat My Guest') was amazing. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to make music my life and enjoy the fantasy that surrounds such a life. I have endeavoured to do this ever since, with varying degrees of success.
2.) 'Dragula' - Rob Zombie (from the album 'Hellbilly Deluxe')
I credit the discovery of Rob Zombie being the final catalyst for me to work out what the hell my own band was about. Not that we are Rob Zombie clones in any way, but hearing the music and seeing the visuals made me realise that I absolutely had to FOCUS. Early carnations of my band covered many different musical territories, which confused people. Getting into RZ and sorting my band-head out meant that our 2nd album became a more cohesive piece of work - as you will discover this May. Why this song in particular? Well, as anyone that knows me knows, I do love a chug.
3.) 'Creep' - TLC (from the album 'CrazySexyCool')
Eh? Yep, you read that right. Thankfully, I am not someone with buckets of street cred because I know, if I was, this list o' mine would soon rob me of every last shred of it. Instead, I am a man of many musical tastes. A sonic sponge, ready, willing and able to absorb all music. I don't like genres, I like songs. Of course, it wasn't always that way. As a yoof, I only liked HEAVY METAL and, to prove it, grew my hair as long as possible and wore studs a lot. I got older though and, even though I still have long hair, it is because it makes me look fabulous, not for any other reason. As I grew (up), I found myself liking - gasp - pop songs; it took me a long time to admit this to myself though. I'm sure we are all the same. I believe this song by TLC was a turning-point for me; a watershed moment. I could no longer deny myself music that turned me on, just because it wasn't played by men with electric guitars. To make matters worse for you, dear reader, the album this is from ('CrazySexyCool') is one of my all-time favourites. Is anyone still reading? There are several reasons I picked this song: the melodies, the harmonies, the production and T-Boz's chocolate-covered-husky-man voice. Love it.
4.) '(Welcome Home) Sanitarium' - Metallica (from the album 'Master Of Puppets')
Best song off the best album by the best band of the 1980s, in my humble opinion. I first discovered Metallica at school, walking past the 6th Form Common Room one evening. I heard a right royal racket coming out of the room, glanced in and witnessed a Nutter (I believe that is the correct term), leaping around all over the place. I said "What is that?" and he said "Metallica." So, I got on my bike (literally) and rode into town, buying the first Metallica album I saw which just happened to be 'Master Of Puppets'. And, as I played it for the first time, I knew my life would never be the same again. I have always been a rhythmic beast and James's guitar playing rocked my tiny mind, as did Lars's drumming. Scoff all you will, but it takes a lot of imagination to be a melodic drummer and Lars is one of the best. Such a shame he appears to be a bit of a bell-end. From here I moved onto Megadeth and Slayer and Pantera, Machine Head, Sepultura and so on. I was big on thrash and still am, despite looking a bit like a girl. Careful listeners to our new album, 'Normalityville Horror', will see just the tiniest bit of thrash influence every now and again.
5.) 'I'm A Tree' - Imani Coppola (from the album 'Chupacabra')
Nope, I haven't just made that up. Imagine a female Beck, if you will, at his greatest and this is kind of what Imani Coppola is about. Her debut album was released when she was only 19 and garnered one hit you may have heard of, 'Legend Of A Cowgirl'. I heard this, dug it (under my new-found rule of liking songs, not leather) so bought the album. It touched me in a way I had never been touched by music before - and not in that creepy Uncle way. She obviously wasn't entirely right in her head and I had a sneaking suspicion she wasn't right in the way I wasn't right. Without wanting to sound like a Tweenage Goth Girl, I've had various head problems in my life, one of them being Schizophrenia. 'I'm A Tree', as far as I'm concerned, is a song about that.
6.) 'Misunderstood' - Mötley Crüe (from the self-titled album)
I've admitted demons above and 'Misunderstood' is another song that reminds me of them. I had a day - we'll call it a bleak day - when all the head troubles culminated in something moving toward a suicide attempt. Around the same time, this album was out (the VERY underrated 'Motley Crue') and some of the lines in this song really touched a nerve. "Little old man contemplates suicide every day" - I was no little old man, but that was me all over. Thankfully, the Samaritans stepped in but, whenever I hear this song, it takes me right back. Not my fave Crue track ('Looks That Kill'), but the most meaningful to me.
7.) 'Tender' - Blur (from the album '13')
Up until this song, Blur were, along with Oasis, things I heard in the background of my life and couldn't relate to. At all. I wasn't into Brit Pop and didn't want to be best mates with Tony Blair. So I presumed that Blur were all about girls who like boys to be boys who like girls to be girls ad infinitum. Then I heard this. And it was glorious. And then a tear appeared in my eye and I wondered what the bloody hell was going on. I bought the album and didn't really like the rest of it, but I was intrigued enough to buy an earlier one. Lo and behold, the sneaking notion I had that this Damon fella might be a bit clever was confirmed. It wasn't all Feeling Heavy Metal, there were songs of real craft, insight, melody and musicianship. I was hooked, lined and sinkered but it was this song that started it all. It also marks the end of one part of my life...
8.) 'Bawitdaba' - Kid Rock (from the album 'Devil Without A Cause')
...and this song marks the beginning of another. Blur was Pre-Vikki, Kid Rock Post-Vikki. For those that do not know, Vikki is my significant other and my partner-in-crime in SLT and our tee company SMELLYOURMUM.COM. God damn, I love this Kid Rock album. I know early rappers mixed up the rock and the rap but, for me, no-one did it quite like the Rock. I could hear that he was a man of many (Pimp) hats, not limiting his musical tastes, so he brought them all to the fore. It opened my ears to how exciting and inventive music could be. Alas, subsequent releases have gone downhill as he seems to have settled into the Country Music vibe (a genre, incidentally, I'm not a fan of) but, this break through album and the next one, 'Cocky', are great. 'Devil Without A Cause' would be in my Top 5 albums, easy. The influence carried on into our first ever EP, 'The Pop Shot!'. When I didn't know what to do next in a track, I thought "What Would Kid Rock Do?" and it greased the wheels nicely. I guess, with most music, I understand how it is written, how it is put together, how it is produced. Those couple of Kid Rock albums though, NO fucking idea. I wouldn't even know where to begin. So that both intrigues me and frustrates me. Unfortunately, Kid Rock seems to fall into the same "bit of a bell-end" category as Lars Ulrich, which is a shame as I think he deserves to me liked and respected more in the UK than he is.
9.) 'It's Late' - Queen (from the album 'News of The World')
From the 'News Of The World' album. Queen started slow, got amazing and then went downhill with the pop stuff. Now, Brian May should be lined up against a wall and shot at, for all he is doing to piss over the Queen legacy. But enough of that, Freddie was a God to me and I learnt to sing from Queen albums. It took me a while - I confess - to "get" them. 'Bicycle Race' was probably the first I heard of them and it was a WTF? moment more than anything. Luckily, I had two friends who persevered and, before long, I wanted a moustache, curly hair and cool shades. And I met Brian May once (before he started his legacy pissing) and he was a really nice bloke. There are rockier tunes I could have picked and moments that I should have picked (intro to 'Ogre Battle' gives me the horn) but 'It's Late' is the one. Freddie's vocal is astonishing. Not over-the-top and diva-ish, just passionate and raw. There is (almost) none better...
10.) 'Darling Nikki' - Prince (from the album 'Purple Rain')
...just this chap. If I was a bit more grown-up when I was into Queen and first heard Prince, I would have bowed down at his purple feet. But I wasn't, so I ignored him. Fast forward a bit and I realise what a complete and utter total, undeniable genius the man is. He makes any musician want to give up and become a dustman. He is ridiculous. He has more talent in his little finger than the combined cast of all X-Factor finals combined. Ever. He makes me sick, in a glorious fashion. The song 'Seven' makes me cry. 'Jughead' (wug-wugga-wug) makes me want to dance but 'Darling Nikki' makes me want to live twice, just so I can spend one lifetime listening to this song and this song alone. It is one of the few I can play over and over and over again. Perhaps more famous for being one of the songs Tipper Gore cited as being potentially destructive to all humanity on her "Parental Guidance" campaign, it should be most famous for simply being one of the Best Songs Ever. Stop reading this right now and go and (legally) download it. Fucking awesome.
11.) 'Rock Of Ages' - Def Leppard (from the album 'Pyromania')
There are several bands that I got in to when I discovered rock. All at the same sort of time: Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Whitesnake, LA Guns, Love/Hate, Ratt and so on. But Def Leppard were my first love. Intrigued by the notion of a one-armed drummer, I just had to give it a listen. So I got 'Hysteria' and that damn album didn't let anything else go on my stereo for about 6 months. Being an anal-completist-collectormania kind of fellow, I went out and bought anything that had any connection to Def Leppard (this included a Dokken single for a reason I now forget). In that was 'Pyromania'. Now, 'Hysteria' may have been the first but 'Pyromania' was the best. What a great, GREAT rock album that is. No pretence, just rock. Proper, portly-bellied, curly-haired English rock. With a silly accent (I still cringe whenever Joe Elliot sings "lurve" instead of "luv" - being from the South, it quite rankles with me). So a big nod to the Lepps for flying the English flag and making me realise a Brit band could do something proper in the USA.
12.) 'Greetings From Shitsville' - The Wildhearts (from the album 'Earth Vs The Wildhearts')
Is Ginger the Geordie Prince? Maybe - he's prolific enough! Alas, not quite purple enough. But this song, on this album... Damn, it was exciting when I first heard it. All big riffs and rythms and harmonies. Everything I love about music. I grew up listening to Prog Rock thanks to my parents, so do like early Genesis and things like that. I like when a song twists and turns like a twisty-turny thing, taking you in unexpected places. For my money, there are two albums that do this brilliantly: '...And Justice For All' by 'tallica and 'Earth Vs' by The Wildhearts. Nothing produced since has matched up to this release for me, but Ginger is an undeniable force, one I hugely respect. I was fortunate enough to have AAA passes for Download when The Wildhearts took to the stage. Even more fortunate because I was able to stand on the side stage and witness the whole event from their point-of view. Believe me, when they are on, they are on and, that day, they were ON.
13.) 'Relax' - Frankie Goes To Hollywood (from the album 'Welcome To The Pleasuredome')
When Gaz first asked me to compile my 13 track mixtape thing, I knew it would be hard. I actually have compiled this final 13 from a short-list of 45. There are many that have failed to get a mention: Hardcore Superstar have a place in my heart as it was at one of their shows that I decided to form SLT with Vikki (anything from their first album); my penchant for musicals (Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Chicago); rap and hip hop (Eminem, Dr Dre, Xzibit); my further forays into pop from various decades. So, in compiling list final list, I decided it had to be made up of songs that were either pivotal in my life or in my musical career, for whatever reason. So, my final choice, ladies and gentlemen, is this '80s classic. It was the first banned record I ever bought. I bought it BECAUSE it was banned. I'd not heard it so was relieved that it was a great song. Frankie Goes To Hollywood taught me several things: 1) The power of controversy in music and 2) Branding. They were the first band that I noticed, from a branding perspective. And I love all that branding and marketing stuff. They - or rather the brains behind them - were incredibly savvy. Little equations on their albums explaining how their music was made; hard-lined bold graphics that I could draw on my school books; T-shirts with slogans on that I could wear with pride. Any look at SLT with that skew now in place and you can see the influence.
So, thank you Frankie, and thank you Gaz and Uber Rock for letting me do this list. I have enlightened myself!
To pre-order your copy of 'Normalityville Horror' - CLICK HERE