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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Aaron Beam of Red Fang

James Rexroad

Back in 2005, three Pacific Northwest-based musicians joined forces and formed Red Fang. Since then, the band has shared the stage with everyone from the Melvins to Megadeth and released two studio album. This year’s ‘Murder the Mountains’ was produced by Chris Funk (Decemberists) and was their Relapse Records debut release. Next month Red Fang will join Mastodon and Dillinger Escape Plan on a North American tour that is sure to sell out venues on a nightly basis. Red Fang bassist-vocalist Aaron Beam is the newest musician to take part in Noisecreep’s ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life.’

‘Stay Hungry’
Twisted Sister (1984)

“I remember for my 11th birthday I asked a friend to get me either ‘Stay Hungry or the new Rick Springfield album. He couldn’t find the Springfield album, and thus the first stone in the path to my heavy metal future was laid. I have listened to this record recently, and it is by no means a great album. ‘Burn in Hell’ still rips, though. But who said an album has to be great to change your life? Not too many 11-year-olds, I’ll bet – they don’t know about the “change of life” yet.”

Amazon

‘Physical Graffiti’
Led Zeppelin (1975)

“This is the first band I was truly obsessed with. There was a scene in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ where Damone, giving dating advice to that nerdy kid, says something like, “Just play the 2nd side of Led Zeppelin IV,” but then the music they cut to is ‘Kashmir.’ I was 13 or 14 when I saw the movie, and I spent the next two years buying Zeppelin records from Columbia House, trying to find that song. Of course ‘IV’ was the first one I bought, and somehow I didn’t get ‘Physical Graffiti’ until the very end. But it was all worth it.”

Amazon

‘Kill ‘Em All’
Metalllica (1983)

“Because of Columbia House, I was buying all kinds of metal records, since they were only a dollar apiece. There was a Quiet Riot song on ‘Condition Critical’ called ‘Scream and Shout.’ I loved that, but at the same time, every time I heard it, it just made me imagine a more bad-ass, more quintessential, superlative metal riff. When I first heard the intro to ‘Motorbreath,’ I was like, “What the f—? The riff from my brain actually exists? Holy s—!” I was so f—ing stoked. You cannot deny that riff!”

Amazon

‘Bleach’
Nirvana (1989)

“I bought some magazine with Metallica on the cover. Inside was a list of the top 50 metal albums you’d never heard. One was Soundgarden’s ‘Louder than Love,’ which I bought and loved. But it wasn’t quite what I imagined as the quintessential “grunge” sound. That sound for me was ‘Bleach.’ I remember trying to sell everyone I knew on this record, and everyone hated it. I got an advance copy of ‘Nevermind,’ and the opening riff of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ made me practically puke from excitement. But then suddenly everyone in the entire world (including the people who had hated ‘Bleach’) was asking me, “Have you heard this band ‘Nirvana?” Also, if it hadn’t been for grunge, I probably would not have moved to Portland and single-handedly transformed this city into the number one most desirable place to live in the entire universe.”

Amazon

‘Wrong’
nomeansno (1989)

“Everything about this band is inspirational. They effortlessly combine very serious musicianship and songwriting and some pretty dark subject matter with a – dare I say – whimsical approach to their public performances/personae. Plus, my bass tone is just a cowards reproduction (read: way more distortion) of Rob Wright’s. Plus, ‘Wrong’ came out in 1989, when Rob was I think almost 35-years-old? And he is still completely ruling onstage. I saw them a couple weeks ago at Bumbershoot and it was one of the best shows I have seen in 10 years. I am no spring chicken, and I am not getting and springier, so that is pretty awesome to see. Plus, this album still completely destroys. Listen to it right now!”

Amazon

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