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What's On The Boxtones Personal Playlists This Month

Before we get into celebrating the 1-year anniversary of our hit single “City of Mirrors” featuring Two Tone, let’s talk influences…

Have you ever wondered what’s on our personal playlists? As musicians, the most common question we get asked is “what do you listen to? And who are your influences?”

Well I decided to ask the guys just what they are tapping their toes to and how they think their personal tastes have influenced their creativity when it comes to playing and writing!

Being the main songwriter, Gary had a lot to say for once!

To elaborate:

The Beatles

My mum and dad were in to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones respectively, and there was always a mini-battle every Saturday morning in my house growing up, on who would be played. Most of the time my mum won, and I grew up mostly on The Beatles and their early work. The more psychedelic material I found more appealing as I got older. If my dad won it would have been the Stones, ZZ Top and Annie Lennox or Roxette and my songwriting may have been very different!

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell’s voice in Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, his later solo career, and Audioslave will always be my favourite. I also look up to other lead singers like Kelly Jones from Stereophonics and Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Chris Cornell’s voice live was amazing when I saw Audioslave in Glasgow, and I admire guys (and girls) who can sing in the studio, but can also pull it off live without a bleeding autotune!

Biffy Clyro

I did a gig with Biffy back in Edinburgh years and years ago, and liked their sound and approach to shows. Now it’s years on and they have made a name for themselves internationally, and despite toning down their progressive alternative sound for a more mainstream approach, Simon is still a terrific songwriter and guitarist. They’re still one of my favourite bands, even after leaving Scotland over 10 years ago now.

Queens of the Stone Age

I’ve seen these guys a lot live, and Josh Homme’s attitude (and playing skills) are second to none. They’re a great band with Rockabilly sounds, dark overtures and one of the few grunge influenced bands left in today’s music scene.

Mumford and Sons

Along with their fans, I really enjoyed the acoustic sound of Mumford before they went electric (Bob Dylan-esque). They are a great Celtic acoustic band and I really enjoy covering their stuff when we perform it from time to time. Good uplifting and emotional lyrics and cracking chord structures. Influenced a few songs on ‘Home’ - our debut album.

Gill, having been brought up in the same household as Gary and no doubt party to the Beatles and Rolling Stones wars, shares Gary’s love of Biffy among others. She had this to say:

“The main things I’m listening to right now are Biffy Clyro’s ‘Ellipsis’, Foo Fighters ‘Concrete and Gold’ and Metallica’s ‘ Self-Destruct’. The three bands influence my playing in very different ways but Taylor and Ben’s rock drumming styles have always inspired me to be better and learn new things. 

Will loves him some Ed Sheeran;

“For music inspiration, I like how Ed Sheeran can write a simple hook, loop it over and over again, add some backing vocals, tap on his acoustic guitar for rhythm and then belt out a catchy chorus line and then he's got a hit! He makes it seem so simple coming from a busker to an international sensation, it gives hope to all songwriters!

Whenever we are popping out our songwriting ideas it’s a known fact within the band that Pat’s work often comes out sounding British and sometimes a little Killers-esque so it’s not surprising that his influences are British too!

“I do enjoy The Killers quite a lot, I think they probably draw from some of the same influences as I do, as I hear original Punk and new-wave elements in their music. Mark Stoermer’s sound is, weirdly enough, what I’ve been going for since my early days without quite nailing it. When I first heard “Somebody Told Me”, I felt I had finally found myself a benchmark.”

When it comes to me I have hugely eclectic taste but being a singer, vocals are always the focus for me. I love me some Soul music, Rock, Motown, some Dance, R & B, you name it! I share a few of the guys choices in so far as I do love Biffy for their alternative – ‘musically – what’s coming next?’ and ‘what the hell is he singing about vibes?”

But for vocals, you can’t beat the classic legends and I just keep going back to them on my playlist time and again – I’m obsessed with Stevie Wonder’s soulful voice and I will die a little inside if I never get to see my hero live at least once. I seriously cannot get enough of Hall and Oates harmonies and I don’t care who knows it, but then I love the Foo Fighters for their song writing and their live energy and enthusiasm for the old school style of creating. Ed Sheeran is also a bit of a machine for his catchy wordy tunes and the sheer amount of hits that he manages to pop out in a year.

So that’s it, if you like any of these suggestions get your iTunes account on search and maybe you can even hear some influences in our music from some of these artists.

Lastly, and in keeping with my promise of a concise blog, we want to celebrate the day that we sprayed ourselves silver and pranced around behind the cameras for our music video shoot and partnered release of our track ‘City of Mirrors’ featuring Two Tone. It was a bit of a wild card on the album but one we had fun stepping out of our comfort zone for. As the only song on the album to feature another artist we loved the whole experience of something a little different.

Once again we’d love to give a huge THANK YOU to all those who helped us create the music video: our good friends at MEI for the equipment, super talented dancer Angelis Karaseva of Diverse Choreography, make up artist Hani Kleib, director Chris Crafford from Lighthouse Studios and of course, our amazing photographer Waleed Shah!

If you need a reminder, check out the song and official Vevo video right here:

Until next time,

Peace Out

The Boxtones