When you load up Spotify, a great big chunk of the time you can’t think what to play, right? You default back to your old favourites, those albums and songs you played on repeat when you first discovered you could make them yours.
This isn’t about guilty pleasures; it’s about those songs you’ll still be listening to when you’re old and in your rocking chair. So, enter Teenage Kicks – a playlist series that sees bands running through the music they listened to in their formative years.
Next up, Drew York from Stray From The Path.
The first time I heard Green Day, I was seven years old. The first time I saw Green Day live, I was seven years old. This band is for sure the reason and the gateway into discovering myself and what I wanted to do with my life. My mom decided it would be a good idea to pack up the car and take me, my brother, and my cousin to Woodstock 1994. We didn’t have tickets to the event, we ended up sneaking in through a fence that some locals told us about. I ended up falling in love with punk rock music and culture, I even sang ‘When I Come Around’ at my third-grade talent show. My mom dyed my hair green and put safety pins all over my brown button-up shirt because I wanted to look like Billie Joe Armstrong… true story!
I was always into different styles of music growing up, from Smokey Robinson and Rod Stewart to Usher and blink-182. As I got a little older and started getting into skateboarding and its culture, I was introduced to rap/hip-hop. Most of the songs and artists I discovered were either from MTV or skate videos. My friends and I would exchange VHS videos and mixtapes. I would carry a walkman on me at all times and just skate around Long Island and different parts of New York. When I heard ‘The Heist’ by Big L, I thought it was the HARDEST rap song I had ever heard. I still bump that shit in my car, it is my go-to hype song. Big L is and will always be one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time, RIP.
It’s safe to say that Glassjaw has had the biggest influence on me as a whole. My guitar player Tom Williams actually introduced Glassjaw to me at a sleepover we had when were like 14 years old. I had never heard anything like them before. It was punk, it was hardcore, and it had so much raw emotion. The whole aesthetic of this band is perfect. ‘Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Silence’ is one of my favourite records of all time, it’s hard to just pick one song. I think I own like four copies, haha. Glassjaw is also from Long Island, NY, so I was very fortunate to see them play many live shows and secret shows growing up. This band can fart into a microphone, and I would think it was great.
When I was in the ninth grade, my friend handed me a gold CD that just said “Terror” on it. This was the most pissed off and aggressive band I had ever heard. I remember walking around the hallways as a pissed off angsty teenager just blasting this record into my ears. I must have listened to ‘Push It Away’ like two hundred times that year. Stray has had the pleasure of touring with them a handful of times. Scott Vogel has taught me so much about being a frontman and enjoying things in the moment. I love hardcore, and I love Terror.
As you can see, the early two-thousands were a very influential time for metalcore, punk, and hardcore. Every Time I Die are one of those bands that when you hear them, you know that it’s them. They are one of the most innovative bands in this culture. Keith Buckley’s voice really helped me learn how to scream. I never tried to sound like anyone, but Keith’s voice and his lyrics are a good guideline on how to not suck. I remember seeing ETID in small VFW halls on Long Island growing up and losing my mind. Fast forward to 2014 when we got the opportunity to do Warped Tour together. Andy Williams and some friends took me out to dinner on my birthday. This was right when Uber popped off, and our driver was drinking a 32 oz big gulp cup full of milk. Funny how things work out, haha.
When I was about sixteen years old, I was introduced to Alkaline Trio. This was around the same time that I got my first knock-off Gibson guitar. Something about the dark vibe of this band really intrigued me. They were a pop-punk band similar to blink and Green Day, but they had this dark and goth vibe to them. I thought that was so cool. Matt Skiba and Dan Adriano are two great songwriters. I remembering really engulfing myself into this band. I would just watch my Fight Club VHS and learn Alkaline Trio songs. One of my buddies always tells me that I disappeared for like three months, came back, and actually knew how to write songs after this time period. Kids at shows come up to me and say, “I studied some of Stray’s lyrics or songs for a school project or book report”. I definitely studied Alkaline Trio lyrics and used some of their songs for creative writing projects. I think that’s awesome how it’s come full circle.
Third Eye Blind will forever be “the gods of summer”. They just have that summertime sound that makes you want to drive into the sunset with your best friends and sing these pop anthems as loud as you can. The first car I ever owned was a blue mercury sable, It was a decent piece of shit, drove like a boat, but I loved that car. I would blast ‘Blinded’ as loud as those piece of shit speakers could handle. I grew up my whole life a few miles from the beach, and Third Eye Blind was always there to make me feel good, to make me something different. I have a little side project with some friends called Afterparty. I play guitar and sing and do most of the songwriting. Without Third Eye Blind, I probably would have never had the motivation to create and write these types of songs.
My stockings on Christmas Eve night consisted of candy and other bullshit like any other middle-class kid growing up until I was about 11 or 12. My mom would hang my stocking up on my bedroom door in the middle of the night, so I could open it before we opened our gifts. One Christmas Eve she put a VHS titled ‘The Urethra Chronicles’ in my stocking. Man, I must have watched that fucking thing like one thousand times. I thought blink-182 was the funniest and coolest band of all time. At the end of the VHS, they had all their music videos to date, which at the time was only ‘Dammit’ and ‘Josie’, both on my favourite blink album, ‘Dude Ranch’. The premise of the video was them in highschool skateboarding around, playing their instruments in the bathrooms and hallways. The video is so sick. At one point there is this huge food fight, and everyone is annihilating each other and laughing. This band, this song, and this memory take me back to a time where I would fall in love with records. They way they looked, from the artwork to the way they smelt. Kinda like a new pair of shoes or a new car smell. I miss Tom Delonge, haha.
Stray From The Path’s album ‘Internal Atomics’ is out 1st November.