irl im very shy and timid. im like a small animal. approach me calmly with a snack
Hearing Sonic Youth for the first time completely changed my perspective on music. I had ignored the advice of my local record shop to wait until they had ‘Goo’ or ‘Dirty’ and bought ‘Sister’, so eager was I to finally listen to the band I had seen mentioned so many times. The cover was this weird cryptic collage and pages in the lyric book had a gold-leaf effect, I remember thinking it looked kind of shoddy. With the opening bars of ‘Schizophrenia’, the album started innocently enough, but then quickly took a left turn into unknown territory. I simply didn’t realise music could sound like this. Flipping between aggressive bursts of noise, abstract harmony and surreal soundscapes it made everything I had heard before seem tame — here was something that actually felt dangerous. I had always liked music, but as I listened to the album it felt I had found something I truly loved.
Digging deeper, it was not long ’til I had the ‘No New York’ compilation and was listening to bands like Mars and DNA, or being blown away by compositions by Steve Reich. My friends at the time generally didn’t like this new world of music that had been opened up to me, so discovering new things would be a rather solitary task, but Sonic Youth would always be there as a guide. If their name was mentioned in the same sentence as someone else’s, or they had been on tour with a band, then I knew it was worth checking out.
They inspired the purchase of my first real guitar, which started my love/hate relationship with the Fender Offset range. Tuning all the strings to the same note brought about the kind of wonder normally reserved for seeing ice for the first time: I could make noises similar to those I heard on their records, those unfathomable sounds that were like no other. To this day it’s rare that any of my guitars are in standard tuning, it simply makes them feel boring. At a time when innovation was mainly coming from electronic music, they managed to produce new exciting sounds without the use of new instruments, but by modifying what they had. I learnt feedback was a musical tool, not just something that happens at the end of gigs, and that you can play guitars with a variety of implements, from drumsticks to electric drills. It’s this complete re-approach to the instrument that I find particularly inspiring; they never felt the need to follow anyone and could always equal or better them on their own terms.
I don’t think I’m alone in thinking they are truly a great band not only for the records they made, but also for everything they have introduced me to.
Writing isn’t the same as speaking, I struggle with conversation.
I’m pretty sure I’ll fail my exam cause I feel too bad to concentrate :’(
I couldn’t sleep last night, my body hurts and if I don’t get to rest I won’t feel better by tomorrow.