14 August 2011

Milestones: Will Grant

Milestones is a feature looking to gain an insight into the tastes of a particular character of the music 'industry'. We ask them a few questions and they kindly answer.

Will runs his own music PR company in Two Tap Digital and is also a writer for The Line Of Best Fit and Drowned in Sound. Affectionately known as G-Grant, and also part of the Lost Lost Lost clan, Will is an annoyingly-bloody-good writer (his review of Antlers' most recent album is good evidence of that) and is also doing a bloody good job at representing the artists he does (he was behind the latest Acid Glasses single, which received mass-blog coverage and also featured in the NME). He also supports Nottingham Forest, so go and tweet "Schteeeeeve" at him - he could do with some sympathy. Check his responses to the same old Milestones questions below.

The album that first got you into music:

There are a few actually, all for very different reasons but each pretty much essential in forming my tastes and opinions of music during different times in my life. I don't think I would have reached a semblance of understanding musical sophistication without having gone through it's pre-pubescent bretheren first - things like The Offspring's 'Americana' (yes, their 'sellout' album - urgh) and Blink182's 'Enema Of The State' kind of sated my need for snottiness when I was younger.

But there's no doubt the most important, for me, is At The Drive-In's 'Relationship of Command'. It was something that I'd never quite realised the potency of when I was first exposed to them - I have the disgust of hindsight that I saw two songs of their Reading Festival set back in 2000 when they were just hitting that point of being 'The Saviours of Rock'n'Roll'. What a horrible tag that is, as well.

I don't think there will ever be as potent or perfect statement of intent from a rock band ever again, to be honest. It's an album that could quite easily have its artwork alongside 'catharsis' in the dictionary - it's just so unrelenting in its power and putirty. Going back now and watching all of the live videos and interviews with them, you can still sense that dramatic urgency about what they were doing, knowing that they were on their final breaths of life as a band and not giving a fuck. It's just so powerful. Cedric was at his frontman finest, Omar a driving force of guitar virtuosity; they were just an encapsulation of everything a band should be. For me, no band again will come close to being as good or as vital as them at that time.

At The Drive-In - Cosmonaut

Nowadays, there's actually few bands that I've gone out of my way to listen to - I don't know why that is, apart from maybe how my head was turned by some incredible electronic stuff that was passed my way during university. That was all pretty much bred through following Warp Records - Chris Clark's Ceramics Is The Bomb and Empty The Bones Of You were especially essential in helping me to discover and explore that world further. Haven't looked back since, and Clark's still going strong to this day. I still always get incredibly excited when he does anything new.

Chris Clark - Shonny

Oh, and Daft Punk's Discovery. Sampled or not, they have a peerless sense of melody and that album is up there with my favourites of all time.

Daft Punk - Veridis Quo

The band that dominated your teenage years:

Again there were a couple - Green Day probably the most. Whilst they may be all stadium rock gods not with their rock operas and all that, I really caught on when I was handed Nimrod at like twelve or thirteen. Then I went backwards to find Dookie and ended up convincing myself that Insomniac was the best album ever made. Definitely not the case, especially given my little ATDI rant above, but it's still a wickedly cynical and abrasive piece of pop-rock.

Green Day - 86

Deftones were another. For me White Pony is still a staggering album and it still kind of grates on me (let alone them) how much they got lumped into the nu-metal thing. They completely transcended any of that with 'White Pony', I think - there's such a brilliant balance between absolutely pummelling heaviness and really jaw-dropping, spaced out beauty.

Deftones - Korea

The album in your parents' collection that made a lasting impression:

I actually made a pretty concerted effort to avoid dipping into my parent's collection. I still have jokey arguments with my dad to this day comparing saying that nothing by The Beatles could even come close to the obvious genius of Oasis (obviously, I was and still am taking the piss - I mean, Beady Eye?!).

I think my dad's quite happy to see me dipping back in now though - going straight for things like Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Elton John's Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road. But if there was any album that had the most influence it was The Beatles' Yellow Submarine. My dad used to put that on for me and my sister when we were really young, and I remember feeling unbelievably sad every time Nowhere Man came on. I still do to this day, although am a bit more aware of the wanton psychedelic references in the video.

The Beatles - Nowhere Man

The album that has dominated your last 12 months listening:

As with everything else, there's never just one. Caribou's Swim from last year was an incredible record. It really was amazing to see him come to an absolute musical fruition and find his feet with a more dance driven sound. The talent's has always been there, it just always seemed a bit more deliberately confused and psychedelic, especially on Andorra. But Swim was just so special, it had such an amazing romanticism to it. The final track, 'Jamelia', was probably my favourite song from last year too - Luke Lalonde's vocals on it are heartbreaking.

Caribou - Jamelia

Then there's the inevitable runners for this year already. I don't know if it's possible to burn out digital streams of stuff, but I'm doing my damnedest to bleed everything I can out of The Field's new one at the moment, Looping State of Mind. The Antler's Burst Apart was incredible too - had the pleasure of waxing lyrical on that for The Line of Best Fit. But I don't think I can look past the Bon Iver album this year - it's just so magical. It sounds so liberated. I imagine Justin Vernon wanted it to be that way considering all the jibes about 'Hipster Boy from The Cabin' and all that. But it's a really, really beautiful album. I got it on 12" I loved it that much, going as far as to having those ridiculously cheesy High Fidelity moments of emotion when I put the headphones on for it.

Bon Iver - Holocene

The most exciting new band you've heard recently:

I have the absolute pleasure of working with some great new artists, so I can't help but be MASSIVELY biased. I love Halls so, so much. I think what Sam's doing is insanely beautiful - it's wonderfully honest and really moving. He'll probably cringe his balls off if he were to read this, but I'm really excited to see where things go for him next. Those first couple of releases were really fantastic, and to see his remix on Gold Panda's Marriage EP was something amazing as well. Not to mention the Theme Park remix too - they're another band to keep an eye out for. Definitely going to go very far.

Halls - Chakra Drums

Beyond that, I really love what Cascine are doing and am a huge fan of Jensen Sportag. They just have this incredible ability to write universally infectious pop music - I don't think there's a cynic out there that can deny what they do. It's just too good. They've released the Pure Wet EP on Cascine, and I saw they'd released things like 'Jackie' (which I put on Lostx3) as well, but I can't help but feel their next step is going to be something special above special.

Jensen Sportag - Everything Good

And the one song that best represents what it is that you do:

Check out more from Will's Two Tap Digital, or follow him on Twitter for regular excitement about music, 'vibes', or groans about his football club.

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