Tracks Of My Teens: #2 – Waylayers

5 Mar

Tracks Of My Teens

Last week we opened up our soul for public ridicule scrutiny to introduce our new feature, Tracks Of My Teens. This week we get down to the real business of learning what music had a profound effect (and why) on some of our favourite artists when they were younger. Starting us off is one of our (many) blog favourites, Waylayers, who, in a very egalitarian manoeuvre, have chosen to tell us about one song each.


Harry Lee (Vocals/Keys) – The Beatles – “In My Life”

I’m conscious that The Beatles might seem an easy ‘go to’ for something like this. However, the song “In My Life” was such a turning point for me musically when I was growing up that I had to ‘go to it’.
I recall finding it on the Rubber Soul vinyl in the attic as a 14 year old on a bored rainy Saturday morning. Up until that point I had had limited experience of The Beatles’ music (shock – horror). At the time, my mates and I were listening to Sum41, Blink182 and bands to that effect (even more shock – horror), but after I heard “In My Life”, everything changed. It so suddenly and drastically affected my appreciation of music that I recall never consciously choosing to play sum41 or Blink182 (or bands to that effect) ever again.
And so I suppose this is why this song commands such gravitas for me. It was the first record I’d heard that I truly / honestly / and humbly identified with.
It turns out that it also happens to be such a musical song (which I was not aware of at the time). If there is one thing The Beatles brought to my attention, it is that there are forever hidden emotions lurking in the space between melody, harmony (chords) and the way they jostle with each other.
The glimmering melodies and lyrics about fond memories bounce over the chords as if dancing on clouds. Combined with a sentimental delivery by ol’ John, wistful production and a beautifully nostalgic harpsichord middle 8 written by Sir. George Martin, this record I believe could not be more perfect if it tried – all 2:28 seconds of it.

Joe Andrew (Guitar) – The Stone Roses – “This Is The One”

I don’t think I will ever tire of listening to this song. I first heard “This Is The One” as a 17 year old, one of four lads sitting in a smoky haze squeezed into my mates Vauxhall Corsa. It could have been any evening, we certainly weren’t going anywhere in particular.
The opening to this song cannot fail to provoke a reaction, it gets me every time. Ian Browns angelic vocals combined with John Squires washy arpeggiated guitar hook is so euphoric. Some people say that this is a love song, but at the time I appropriated my own meaning to it. To me it was about acceptance and optimism, and about getting away to something more exciting. Like any 17 year old kid figuring stuff out, these themes meant so much to me. We played this song regularly on our habitual smoky drives to nowhere, until we eventually went our separate ways.
I didn’t see them on their tour after they reformed. If I do get to see them eventually, I will definitely be the annoying lout in front of you with my arms outstretched, rather emotional, loudly attempting to harmonise with Ian Brown.

Dave Norman (Bass) – Smashing Pumpkins – “Mayonaise”

Big Muff! Massively Huge Muff! What more is there to say about this song? How about the shrieking feedback break in the chorus? Or maybe the monstrous Billy Corgan guitar solo? Everything in this song just cries anger, optimism and teenage dreams. These days, I can scarcely read the word ‘pumpkin’ without remembering what it was like to be an awkward grungy teenager in the 90s trying to play guitar, impress girls and not be a complete loser. As a kid, I was lucky enough to see one of their last gigs in UK before the original line-up disbanded. I can still remember the eerie hunched figure of Billy Corgan, shrieking through massive walls of ‘Big Muff’ guitar. Definitely a huge influence on my music as well as my choice of guitar pedals.

Waylayers new EP, Fault Lines, is due for release in the spring and they will be showcasing some new material at a free gig at The Paradise in London, on 12 March. Take a listen to “Magnets” below and then get that date in your diary.

Stalk Waylayers: Website / Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud

One Response to “Tracks Of My Teens: #2 – Waylayers”

  1. name not supplied April 14, 2013 at 01:59 #

    interesting choices from them i think 🙂

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