by J.P. Kallio
When Walter asked me to pick The big five albums that shaped me, I was little bit scared to say the least. Music is like a window to your soul, and sometimes it is the window to the younger version of yourself, now there’s a head trip and a half… I was little bit hesitant as well as it’s hard thing to pick just five. But I will try my best.
So let’s go back to the very beginning when I was young and I mean really young. When I was about five or six years of age a family friend gave me an old cassette player as a birthday present and he also gave me a cassette of The Greatest Hits of Boney M. It was the only cassette I had at the time so I listen to it over and over and over again. I can definitely say that there are elements of that album that has affected my songwriting.
The second album that would have had a big effect on me comes with a bit of a twist. You see, it was an LP. And I only really listen to the first side of the LP. I hardly ever listened to the second side of the album. And the album was The Plastic Ono Band Live in Toronto. The first side was pretty straightforward blues rock and I listen to that over and over and over again.
Then in the early 90’s I got my hands on the Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction. It’s pretty much the only album I ever learned to play every single song from. You could feel the energy of the band. It was that idea of pushing things just that little bit further past trying to achieve perfection on record. It was pure rock n’ roll magic.
When I joined Sliotar, Des introduced me to Tom Waits’ Closing Time. This was an album that was an introduction to Tom Waits for me. And it lead me to discover very much everyone of his albums. Tom Waits is one of those artists who made me realize that music has very few limitations or rules. The only limitation is your own imagination.
Last but not least is The Damien Rice’s O. This album showed that just a songwriter armed with a guitar at some good songs could take on the world. What Damian has gone to achieve since then it’s nothing short of inspiring.