Five Heavy Albums that Changed My Life with David Schellenberg of Tunic

Winnipeg noise-rockers Tunic (thought we were gonna say KEN mode, didn’t ya?) are about to drop their second album, Quitter, out October 15 on Artoffact Records. To celebrate the release of this chaotic, clanging, recommended record, we caught up with guitarist/vocalist David Schellenberg to find out what five heavy records changed his life.

Alexisonfire – Alexisonfire (2003)

This band blew my mind when I was 12 years old. The first heavy album I ever bought was this one, and I listened to it religiously. I discovered Alexis because I saw the video for “Pulmonary Archery” on The Wedge, which is MuchMusic’s (Canada’s MTV) alternative hour that was on on Friday nights. The reason I gravitated so heavily to the band was that it was the first time I saw regular-looking people playing heavy music. My 12-year old brain had no idea you could create heavy music and be in a heavy band without wearing masks, or having a weird haircut and wearing contact lenses. The record fascinated me; I never knew that music like this existed and it opened the door to all this other amazing music throughout the years.

Converge – Jane Doe (2001)

To be completely honest, I was aware of this band and this record for a long time and showed no interest in it for a long time. I was being a stubborn indie/hipster brat listening to Wolf Parade and bands like that instead. I can’t recall what it was, but in my mid-20s, as I was rediscovering heavy music and had recently given up on indie rock, I put this record on and I couldn’t believe that I wrote it off before. There is nothing new for me to say about this album that hasn’t been said. It’s the metalcore album for a reason. It’s been 20 years of this record and bands are still ripping it off, and for good reason.

Condominium – Barricade 7-inch (2009)

Condominium is easily the band who has had the most influence on me. I love this band. Pure noisy arty hardcore. Condo was doing their own thing and there isn’t another band like them. Sam Neal, the original drummer of Tunic, introduced me to them back in 2010 and I’ve been hooked ever since. This 7″ particularly showcases their sonic palette. If I’m being honest, I very much wanted Tunic to sound just like Condominium at the start of the band; of course we don’t, but this band really opened me up to the world of underground hardcore. We actually recorded the Disappointment 7″ with Matt from Condominium because of how much I loved the sound of the recordings.

AIDS Wolf – Cities of Glass (2008)

This is very Myspace-era noise music. When I was a teenager I would spend hours cruising Myspace looking for bands and I very much remember coming across AIDS Wolf, one because of the name and two because of how distant the music sounded from what I thought music was supposed to sound like. I had never heard experimentation like this before—no structure, improvised and powerful, I didn’t know if I was supposed to like it or hate it. I was very much into all the more conventional sounding bands from the Montreal scene at this time, but AIDS Wolf really stuck with me and opened my eyes to acts like The Locust, Wolf Eyes and The Chinese Stars and now I consume music like this all the time.

Hella – Hold Your Horse Is (2002)

A friend of mine in junior high had an older brother who was diving in on some—to preteen brains—pretty obscure music, and at lunch hours we’d go over to his parents’ house and his older brother would show us some of the fucked up music he’d been listening to. He showed us At the Drive In, The Mars Volta and eventually Hella. This is the first time I ever heard the term “math rock” thrown around. I was a brand-new musician at the time and the idea that two people were able to create music that was so full and attention-grabbing without traditional hooks or vocals was unbelievable to me; such a full sound, and what sounds like multiple guitars and drummers is just two amazing musicians.