This Friday (2/3), Kvelertak members Vidar Landa (guitar) and Marvin Nygaard (bass) are further exploring their power pop side with the self-titled debut album from their power pop side project Beachheads. To get to know more about their power pop, indie rock, and general non-metal influences, Vidar and Marvin made us a playlist with commentary on some songs that influenced them. It includes Husker Du, The Saints, Wipers, Johnny Thunders, Rory Gallagher, The Replacements, and more. Check it out:
Husker Du - "Makes No Sense At All"
Bob Mould, both as a solo artist and as a member of Husker Du has been a huge inspiration to me. He makes it sound easy to write great pop songs and is the reason why I started to write songs of my own. The first time I heard this song was at an after party at my local bar, one of my friends put it on and I was hooked.
The Saints - "I'm Stranded"
I was stranded, alienated and heartbroken when I heard this song for the first time. My girlfriend at the time had just broken up with me, and it might sound like a cliche, but this song helped me get through it. Instead of drowning in self pity this song would make me want to stand in front of the mirror and play air guitar. It is the perfect mix of great songwriting and attitude, with the spirit of rock n roll and a super catchy hook. A life saver.
Wipers - "Over The Edge"
On one of our first US tours with Kvelertak, probably on our way to Portland, our driver, tour manager and merchguy (Hi Erik Trammel!) put this song on. I instantly fell in love, and I remember thinking that this is everything I love about music in one band. The sound is so timeless and perfect. I find a lot of inspiration in Greg Sage's songwriting. His guitar sound and playing is unique and raw. It's perfect!
Johnny Thunders - "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory"
I was introduced to a lot of music through listening to GnR at a very early age. I had an older cousin who gave me and my brother cassettes and mixtapes of the band, and I was probably only 7-8 years old, or younger, when I was blown away by the combination of punk rock, heavy metal and glam rock. It was also my gateway drug into metal. Their cover album "The Spaghetti Incident?" wasn’t exactly critically acclaimed when it came out but it made me aware of a bunch of cool bands that I had never heard of before. The Dead Boys, The Damned and Johnny Thunders are all bands and artists that have inspired the punk side of Beachheads. This song by Johnny Thunders is pure gold. His vocals, the guitar sound and the raw production makes it sound like punk rock, but if you cut the production to the bone, what's left is a perfect pop song.
Any Trouble - "Playing Bogart"
Marvin played me this record a couple of summers ago and I had this song on repeat for the rest of the year. Like every good pop song it pulls you in immediately, before it suddenly finishes in a way that almost feels to soon. I love the simplicity of the production, and how they get massive energy out of a dry drum sound and an acoustic guitar. I know very little about this band, but I know that more people should listen to them.
Sweden - "Hey C'mon"
Sweden (the band) are actually from Norway. Their debut album Under the Cycamore Tree came out of nowhere in 2012 and we have been listening to this record ever since. Their guitarist Fredrik Gretland has been very enthusiastic and supportive towards Beachheads since he heard our first songs, and he joined us on guitar on a couple of album tracks, most noticeably on "Reverberations" and "Moment of Truth." Sweden's bass player Øystein Frantzvåg has co-produced our album together with Børge Fjordheim, and plays guitar with us live and in the studio. I could have chosen any song from this record, they are all good, but "Hey C'mon" sums it up pretty well with great melodies, backing vocals and Christian Spros melancholic vocals.
Rory Gallagher - "I Fall Apart"
Some years back, at an afterparty during the festival season, I was talking with Rikard who played bass in the Swedish band Graveyard. Although the Norwegian and Swedish language are pretty similar it can be hard to keep up a drunken conversation at a noisy festival site late at night. But the day after I found my notebook full of new musical recommendations. We'd been discussing our favorite artists and bands, and he was surprised that I had never listened to Rory Gallagher before. So I did. I put a bunch of Rory albums in offline mode in my Spotify playlist for the next long flight and listened through them. When hearing "I Fall Apart" from the 1971 self titled album I was sold. It was one of those musical moments that are few and far between, when a song suddenly feels like the most important thing in the world. Not the most obvious inspiration for Beachheads, but beautifully written songs like this and the grooviness of a song like Philby from the album Top Priority have been very important and inspiring to me the last couple of years.
The Replacements - "Alex Chilton"
It is hard to pick a favorite Replacements song. In general this band has been a big inspiration for us with their high quality songs, production and varied catalogue. They are unpretentious and fun, but there is also a depth to their music and lyrics. I first discovered them when I heard "Unsatisfied" from Let It Be. That song, especially because of Paul Westerberg's vocals, sounded so heartfelt and the record has been one of my musical cornerstones. But "Alex Chilton," their Big Star tribute from Pleased To Meet Me, is probably the song that has inspired our own album the most. It has this perfect nostalgic feeling to it and is one of the best songs ever written. Period.