I grew up in a town called Hemford in Rural Nova Scotia which was near New Germany and Bridgewater. Grade 7 is when I really started to get into music. I started to play the saxophone and took on the school radio playing music before school started and during special events at the school. Part way through grade 7 I was invited to play sax with the senior high band which played a lot of fun 50’s / 60’s rock songs. Around the same time I started to play a bit of guitar which I really took more of an interest in throughout Grade 8 and 9. It was the mid 90’s and I started listening to a lot of punk rock and alt rock music. We had a lot of jam session parties and I started playing with a few different bands throughout high school. I also started organizing parties and concerts at the same time. If it wasn’t for my parents support in all of this craziness I probably wouldn’t be in the same place I am today and I definitely wouldn’t be the same person.
Here are the top 5 bands that inspired and influenced me to get into music while I was in high school.
5) NOFX – This band was raw and real, they had catchy punk rock guitar riffs and lyrics. For a punk rock kid who loved to play guitar and just knew basic chords and power chords these songs were fun and easy to jam out with friends.
4) Barenaked Ladies – I know this is a bit of an odd one for this list and most of my friends didn’t like or listen to them either. The Gordon album was one of the first cassette tapes that I owned myself and wasn’t my parents. The songs were goofy, poppy and catchy and I continued to listen to them throughout high school and went to see them in concert a few times.
3) Goldfinger – There’s a lot of things I don’t remember well from when I was younger but I still clearly remember the first time I heard Goldfinger. I was driving my first car (Cavalier) and we just left the record store in Bridgewater. Jason bought the Goldfinger Self Titled CD and we were blasting it in the car stereo… We got about 3 or 4 songs in, turned around and I bought the same tape. Since then I’ve owned a couple more of the tapes and at least 2 of the same CD’s. This album was so well put together and I clicked with it right away, I still love it today.
2) Ramones – Along the same lines of NOFX, Ramones were a bit more poppy but still were punk rock. Their songs were short, simple and energetic. We played Ramones songs at quite a few Battle of the Bands and shows that we played at. No one ever complained if the band was playing a Ramones song or if we threw on a whole Ramones tape at a party.
1) Weezer – From the first time I heard the Blue Album I loved it and had to go out and buy it right away. The sound was exactly what I loved to listen to and play. Say It Ain’t So and The Sweater Song were anthems and the blue album definitely was a staple for me throughout High School and even still today.
There are so many others that could have and probably should have made this list… I could have easily made this a Top 20. Some other notables that I should mention also include:
Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Presidents of the United States of America
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Nine Inch Nails
There were also lots of local bands that I listened to a lot of and looked up to including MadHat (now Air Traffic Control), Arlibido, Presidents Choice and many others.
Looking back at high school… it wasn’t the easiest time but music really was the one thing that I loved and got me through it. Whether it was listening to it or playing it music was the one thing I loved and partying of course which went along with that. Music was something I was good at (sort of any way), I made some really great friends through it and ultimately it gave me direction to what I wanted to do when I finished school. After high school I made the moved to Toronto to study Audio Engineering at Trebas Institute. While I was in school I started up my own entertainment company, started working with local bands, organizing shows, doing live sound and started DJ’ing as well. Throughout the years my company has evolved and has been my full time career for quite a few years now with a focus on Event Production and Entertainment Services. If you want to see more about my business, check out Scotia Events Inc.