Last week, Junius helped celebrate the upcoming release of its excellent new EP, Days of the Fallen Sun, by having half of the band–namely, frontman/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez and bassist Joel Munguia–tell us about eight records that they were listening to back when things started in 2004. Now that everyone has (hopefully) had a chance to get his or her grubby hands on the record, guitarist Mike Repasch-Nieves and drummer Dana Filloon are here to close the loop on the quartet’s trip down memory lane. You can pick up a copy of Days of the Fallen Sun here and be sure to check them out live in the near future if you can (dates below).
Hum–Downward Is Heavenward (1998) (favorite song: “Afternoon With The Axolotls”)
When the song “Stars” was on the radio, I thought this band was badass (even saw them on Conan O’Brien, which was so sick!), but somehow it wasn’t until this album that I really realized how amazing Hum was. They seemed like the nerdiest dudes and yet I still have not heard such heart-wrenchingly huge guitars done like this. The huge sound and overall melancholy on this album still gets me every time. I remember when I first met Joe (Martinez, Junius singer/guitarist), the two bands we geeked out about right off the bat were Hum and Failure, and both bands continue to influence us hugely. We almost recorded The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist with Matt Talbot [Hum guitarist/vocalist], and although it didn’t work out at the time, he is still one of my heroes who I hope to work with one day.
ISIS–Oceanic (2002) (favorite song: “Carry”)
Living in Boston in the late ’90s and early 2000s, I was fortunate enough to witness firsthand so many amazing bands as they came up in the local scene, and seeing ISIS as they developed was inspiring for sure. One of the best shows I can remember from back then was ISIS, 27, Pelican and Gregor Samsa at the Middle East in 2003. They definitely set the bar for me in a lot of ways. I remember the first time I heard this album…Will Benoit (of Constants, our first bassist, and longtime producer) was working at Hydra Head Records and had a burned CD-R and played it for me in his car. The first time just floored me, and years of listening to this album haven’t diminished its effect very much. Of course they took a sort of formula that bands like Neurosis and Godflesh established, but with this album I really felt like they came into their own and brought what I guess you would now call “post-metal” to a new level (although I hate the term “post”-ANYTHING at this point).
Cursive–The Ugly Organ (2003) (favorite song: “The Recluse”)
Between Domestica and The Ugly Organ, this band created two of the most emotionally powerful albums I’ve ever heard. Everything about this record lyrically spoke to me at the time, from relationships to the artistic and creative struggle…on top of the fact that the music is so amazing. I’ve always wished I could write an album like this, but there was some sort of convergence of emotion, energy, talent and perhaps desperation that brought this masterpiece out of them. It’s timeless to me.
The Mars Volta–De-Loused In The Comatorium (2003) (favorite song: “Drunkship of Lanterns”)
As a half Latino dude who spent a large part of my childhood growing up in Puerto Rico, Panama, and the Bronx, I was always inspired by Cedric and Omar, going back to the At The Drive-In days. Then when they came out with this, my mind was blown. Hearing these guys put a Latin spin on punk/classic prog was so cool to me and a strange conglomeration of so many disparate things that I loved but wouldn’t have had the idea or balls to put together. Omar’s guitar playing drove me and probably every other guitarist I knew at the time to spend more money on pedals and push the boundaries of what sounds we could make on our instruments.
Sunny Day Real Estate–Diary (1994) (favorite track: “The Blankets Were The Stairs”)
This album changed my life. These songs opened my eyes and changed the way I viewed songwriting. William Goldsmith’s drums on this record have so much of their own melody.
Deftones–Deftones (2003) (favorite track: “Minerva”)
Abe Cunningham was and remains my favorite drummer. So much of my style is derived from Deftones records.
Hot Water Music–Caution (2002) (favorite track: “Trusty Chords”)
One of the main reasons I started playing drums was this band. This record is still in daily rotation and a huge part of my drumming style.
Poison the Well–Tear From The Red (2002) (favorite track: “Moments Over Exaggerate”)
This was is a kind of bridge record for me. In the elements in this record I can find all things I love about music. Beautiful. Aggressive.
*Photo by Alysse Gafkjen
*Order Days of the Fallen Sun here.
2/25 York, PA – The Depot #
2/26 Columbus, OH – Kobo #
2/27 Chicago, IL – Reggies Rock Club#
2/28 Erie, PA – Crooked I #
3/1 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Night Bazaar #*
3/2 Cambridge, MA – Middle East*
# with A Storm of Light
* with Caspian
***Past entries include:
East Of The Wall
Drugs Of Faith
SubRosa (Part 1) (Part 2)
God Is An Astronaut
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
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)