Hey! I’m Nathan Daniel and I’m 19 (not Daniels. I know, I’m a weirdo and I have a first name for a last name). As far as Infectious goes, I’m a bit of a rare breed: I’m the only contributor from the UK. Due to which, part of this may be less familiar for a lot of you Americans! I come from Nottingham (Robin Hood country), but currently live in the Cathedral City, Lincoln, where I study Media Production at university (or college, for you guys). I’m in my second year here and currently study in the fields of Film and Photography and I hope to carve out a career path in either of which following leaving here. In mid-2014, a group of people from my course and I decided to start Meltdown Magazine. Although it had a promising start and there were a large team of contributors, a lack of dedication and communication meant that there were only a select few of us left to contribute regularly. Following which, we decided to call it a day and I started looking for experience with more established online publications. That’s what brought me to Infectious.
I’ve been a huge music lover since a very young age, mainly deriving from my Dad’s passion for it. At home, there was very rarely a time that he and my Mum wouldn’t have Radio 1 on in the kitchen or a new CD/record playing in the lounge. There was always a collection of hundreds of CDs and records, alongside a fluctuation of new pieces of equipment to play them on. I was seven years old when I had bought my first few CDs: Sum 41 – All Killer No Filler, Eminem – The Eminem Show and Supercharged (a UK Rock compilation album from 2002 featuring the likes of Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and Marilyn Manson. Cool seven-year-old, I know. Full track list here.) two years later i found myself at my first ever gig, a Busted show at Nottingham’s then Trent FM Arena. Not quite so cool. Next was a show off of The Prodigy‘s 2009 UK arena tour, which was bloody brilliant and unlike anything I’d ever seen before. That sparked off my love for live music, which has taken me to almost 100 different gigs and festivals and to see over 200 different artists (some of which I’ve seen over 10 times now).
So, it’s my avid gig-going and love of writing that have brought me here… amongst reading through hundreds of issues of Kerrang! magazine, looking through every single post my favourite bands have ever made on social media and getting ridiculously excited over every tour and festival announcement known to man. Due to which, I now find myself with the opportunity to photograph, interview and write about an array of absolutely amazing bands.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the fact that in the space of less than two years, I have accumulated six music-related tattoos – some of which cover half of each arm. Anyway, time for a look through a bunch of songs that might not necessarily be my favourite, but are all significant to me for one reason or another.
1. Eminem – “Lose Yourself”
I absolutely loved Eminem as a kid, and whilst a lot of his newer material is pretty poor, i still kind of do. I say ‘kind of’ because after seeing his lacklustre live performance at Leeds Festival 2013, I lost some respect for him and felt let down after wanting to watch him play for over 10 years. I’m pretty sure that every single person on the planet, Eminem fan or not, loves this song anyway, right?
2. The Prodigy – “Firestarter”
Again, an absolute classic that the whole world has probably heard at least 50 times over. This one is here partly because I regard The Prodigy as the first ‘proper’ band I ever saw, but also because they’re still one of the best bands I have seen. They were the first of their kind to break the boundaries of Rock and Dance music styles and have been hugely influential since the 1990s because of that.
3. Bullet For My Valentine – “Tears Don’t Fall”
Everybody has that one song or band that got them into the type of music they listen to today. For me, that’s this exact song. They were the band that changed my opinion about that ‘horrible screamo music’ and that firmly put Rock music (in its many different forms) at the forefront of my musical taste.
4. Kids In Glass House – “Sunshine”
These were the first band that I ever saw without my parents at the tender age of 14 and unfortunately left us in September 2014 as they decided to part ways. It was also the first gig I’d been to with my girlfriend (who I’m still with now), so they always remind me of her, which is nice. They’re responsible for the first band breakup that I really cared about and are probably the catalyst for the ridiculous amount of gig tickets I bought after seeing them at a sold out Rock City (Nottingham) back in 2010.
5. System of a Down – “Chop Suey”
System are probably one of the first band’s I can remember my Dad listening to over and over and over again. They’re another shining example of a hugely influential band that were doing something very different at their prime, too. Toxicity is the first album of theirs that I had heard and definitely falls into the shortlist of ‘Nathan’s favourite albums of all time’. They were also one of the main reasons for going to Download Festival 2011, which was the first festival I had ever been to. I’m also going to see them in Holland next month with my Dad, who has still never seen them.
6. Deaf Havana – “Friends Like These”
This is the song that introduced me to my favourite band. I remember being a little dubious at the time because of how much screaming the song had in, and it was the first time I’d ever heard of Deaf Havana. Five years down the line and they sound nothing like they do here and their frontman is now the guy who plays guitar and sings the clean vocals in this song. I also know for a fact that all of the guys in the band really dislike this song now, but I still it love for introducing me to them.
7. Deaf Havana – “Saved”
I couldn’t resist putting another of their songs in here, just in case you’ve never heard of them. This is what they sound like now and in my opinion, this is one of the best songs they have ever written. I’ve seen them 14 times now and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
8. Foo Fighters – “Best of You”
Its pretty self-explanatory why this is here, isn’t it? Dave Grohl, one third of Nirvana and the frontman of another one of the most successful Rock bands the world has ever seen. Not only him, but the four other exceptionally talented musicians that play alongside him. This song is also a serious contender for the best song I have ever seen live. It was at Leeds Festival 2012 and there was a sea of 70,000 people that I swear screamed the “woah-oh” part back at the Foos for two minutes straight.
9. Slipknot – “Duality”
This one is here for mostly the same reasons as my last pick. Slipknot are hugely divisive for a number of reasons and are the stable band that all people that aren’t into Rock music will probably say they hate. Admittedly, I used to say the same, but they are now one of my favourite bands and I actually have a big portrait of Corey Taylor on my left arm. Their live show is another one of the best I have ever seen and not just for the music (anyone that knows anything about their live show will know what I mean). The video I included is what I believe to be one of the best live performances ever and whilst I was unfortunate not to have been there, I saw them in the same spot 4 years later.
10. Papa Roach – “Face Everything and Rise”
This comes from their recent full length release and is by no means my favourite Papa Roach song. For a band that have significantly lost popularity since their peak over 10 years ago and that have come from a now dead music genre, its so, so good, though. Its also been stuck in my head for the past week and I’m off to see them again in a few days. They’re one of the handful of bands that I still love to listen to at 19 years old that I also used to love at seven years old, too.
I’ll call it a day there before this short list turns into a ridiculous catalogue that documents over half of my music library. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Over and out.
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