While bands seem to really like doing these playlists, there is one theme that has become prevalent over the last 18 months: what gets listened to in the van while on tour. We’ve had the likes of Ufomammut, Intronaut, BATILLUS, Anciients and Kowloon Walled City (Side A of their list being my personal favorite) tell us about what helps them get through endless drives in what I can only imagine are constant tests of patience and endurance. As this week’s guest demonstrates yet again, what gets jammed in the van can sometimes be what you least expect. Fresh off the release of his band’s sophomore record Bloodlines, guitarist Joshua Durocher-Jones of Rhode Island’s Howl filled us in on what (at least musically) helps the quintet cope on the road. Feel free to listen along here.
The Atlas Moth–An Ache For The Distance (2011)
Our buds in The Moth are some of the best tourmates you can ask for and An Ache for the Distance is an utter masterpiece. It is so well written, layered and heavy, with the just the right amount of psych to really let you zone out and melt into the dash while driving through the middle of the country. To paraphrase from the title tack, we follow the open road.
Neil Young–After The Gold Rush (1970)
I am a giant Neil Yong fan and had a hard time picking one of his records because his discography has so many different styles and moods that you can always find one that fits your current state. That being said, there is something truly special about putting this record on first thing in the morning as you are about drive down the highway for hours on end.
The Fucking Champs–VI (2007)
This is another band whose entire catalog I worship. Their songwriting and use of harmonies have been major influences on my guitar playing over the years and their choices in tone and production continue to blow me away. Time flies on the road when you have a Champs anthem up all the way!
Ginuwine–Greatest Hits (2006)
[Vocalist/guitarist] Vincent [Hausman] picked up this CD along with D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar at Earshot Records in Charleston, South Carolina when our iPod tape adapter died. Sometimes you need to unwind after a long metal show and there is no better way to get everyone in the van feeling super smooth and sexy than putting on “Pony” and “In Those Jeans”, which just so happen to be back to back on this compilation. It may be possible that these were the only albums played in the van for the two days straight when we were on the hunt for a new adapter.
At The Gates–Slaughter Of The Soul (1995)
What can anyone possibly say about this album that hasn’t been said before? Without a doubt, the greatest melodic death metal record of all time gets many rotations in the Howl camp.
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats–Blood Lust (2011)
I found out about these guys and their first record not too long before our Spring tour and was excited to share it with the rest of the band. Their creepy vibe and incredibly catchy riff writing won the van over and Blood Lust was requested over and over again. I cannot wait for the new album Mind Control to drop as I’m sure we will be blasting it all summer on tour!
High On Fire–Blessed Black Wings (2005)
Never have we met a HOF album we didn’t like, but for whatever reason Blessed Black Wings is the perfect storm of pure fucking metal. From start to finish Matt Pike destroys his fret board and Steve Albini’s production works so well for this set of songs. When this hits the stereo there is no head left unbanged.
Taylor Swift–Red (2012)
Disposable female pop stars are a huge guilty pleasure of mine and Taylor Swift’s most recent album Red is filled with giant pop hooks. When I’m in the driver’s seat and controlling the iPod, I love to torture the rest of the dudes with a few tracks.
Crowbar–Sever The Wicked Hand (2011)
It was an absolute honor to open for Crowbar on the first Metalliance tour in 2011, and the monster that is Sever the Wicked Hand was brand new at the time. We would be moshing the van to it by day while watching Kirk and the boys blow our minds with jams like “The Cemetery Angels” night after night. It was the last tour we went on before locking ourselves in the basement to write Bloodlines and watching their crushing set for a month definitely impacted the writing sessions in the heaviest way possible.
Judas Priest–Painkiller (1990)
Of course every metal band blasts Priest, Maiden and Sabbath in the van and I don’t need to explain why. But it is also important to be well-versed in the classics because you never know when you might be confronted post-show by a venue’s Heavy Metal Karaoke. After downing a few pitchers, our own Timmy St. Amour has been known to bring the house down with his spot on Halford.
*Order a copy of Bloodlines here.
**We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
All That Remains
A Life Once Lost
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)