There are some songs I never would have heard if my kids didn’t play them around the house once upon a time. I wouldn’t say I became fans of these bands because of that but I dug these tunes.
You all know Foo Fighters but I doubt I would have paid much attention to them initially if my son wasn’t such a big Nirvana fan. So naturally he gravitated over to the Foos and even saw them at Fenway a year or two back, pronouncing them both ‘sick’ and ‘rad.’ (I’m pretty sure this was the tour where Grohl broke his leg.)
Anyway, these guys need no introduction. “All My Life” is just a great tune. If they had more like this, I would be going to see them too and likely pronouncing them “far out” and “groovy.”
Evanescence is a band from Arkansas that has been around since the mid-90’s. According to singer Amy Lee’s Wikipedia page: “Lee co-founded the rock band Evanescence with guitarist Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp after Moody heard Lee playing Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” on the piano. Within a month, the pair were playing acoustic sets at Arkansas book stores and coffee houses.
AllMusic describes their sound as “a heavy guitar crunch plus the moody atmospheres and electronic flavorings of goth rock.” Amy Lee says the song “Bring Me To Life”* was inspired by “an incident in a restaurant, open-mindedness, and waking up to the things which are missing in the protagonist’s life.”
She explains the incident in the restaurant: “I was in a relationship and I was completely unhappy. But I was hiding it. I was being completely abused and I was trying to cover it up; I wouldn’t even admit it to myself, So then I had spoken maybe 10 or 15 words to this guy, who was a friend of a friend. We were waiting for everyone else to show up, and we went into a restaurant and got a table.
And he looked at me and said, ‘Are you happy?’ And I felt my heart leap, and I was like, he totally knows what I’m thinking. And I lied, I said I was fine.”
My Chemical Romance were labeled as alternative, emo, pop punk, post-hardcore, punk and hard rock. Near as I can tell they were wildly popular during their life span (2001 – 2013.)
In 2006, they released an album called The Black Parade. Per Wikipedia it is a “rock opera centering on a dying character with cancer known as “The Patient.” The album tells the story of his apparent death, experiences in the afterlife, and subsequent reflections on his life.” Now that’s some heavy shit.
The song “Welcome to the Black Parade” is a crazy good song with a killer chorus and the band here sounds for all the world like they did some heavy Queen listening. Love the chunka-chunka rhythm guitars in this:
Alice in Chains is another of the seemingly endless number of bands that came out of Seattle in the late 80’s. Less “grunge,” more metal and hard rock, they had something in common with Nirvana in that they lost their lead singer at a young age. Layne Staley – who sings on this tune “Rooster,” – died at the age of 34 of a drug overdose, 8 years to the day after Kurt Cobain’s death.
Per Wikipedia, “Rooster,” was written by guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell for his father who served with the U.S Army during the Vietnam War. “Rooster” was a childhood nickname given to Cantrell Sr. by his great-grandfather, because of his perceived cocky attitude and his hair, which used to stick up on top of his head like a rooster’s comb.
Per Cantrell: “It was the start of the healing process between my Dad and I from all that damage that Vietnam caused. This was all my perception of his experiences out there. That experience in Vietnam changed him [his father] forever, and it certainly had an effect on our family, so I guess it was a defining moment in my life, too.
On Rooster, I was trying to think about his side of it – what he might have gone through. When I first played it to my father, I asked him if I’d got close to where he might have been emotionally or mentally in that situation. And he told me: ‘You got too close – you hit it on the head’. It meant a lot to him that I wrote it. It brought us closer. It was good for me in the long-run and it was good for him, too.”
Evanescence has another really good, moving song called “My Immortal.” The lyrics of the song refer to a “spirit that haunts the memory of a grieving loved one.” One writer says “My Immortal” is a song of pain and despair caused by the loss of a family member or very close friend and how it drove her [Lee] to the edge of insanity.”
I’m so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
‘Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won’t leave me alone
*”Bring Me to Life” owes much of its hit status to its inclusion in the soundtrack of the Daredevil film