Hive Five: Our daily listicle of musical musings.
On Japandroids’ sophomore set Celebration Rock, the Vancouver duo aimed to make a record that reflected their voracious live show. And it’s clear to us from the first moments of opener “The Nights of Wine and Roses” that they indeed bring a raw, emotive energy to the studio. Last week, Japandroids’ Brian King (guitar/vocals) and David Prowse (drums) stopped by Hive’s offices and shared the five albums they celebrated most during the writing and recording of Celebration Rock.
1. The Stooges, Fun House
Brian: That record was recorded live. They’re a band that’s similar to us in this one way — every other way, they’re superior to us.They were a live band, a touring force on the stage. They felt that recording in the studio in a traditional manner couldn’t possibly capture what they were capable of on stage. It seemed like a dumbed-down version of what they were. So when it came time to make Fun House, they insisted to make a live record. The energy and the wildness and the chaos. That record is extremely influential because that’s how we see our band: a live band, and it’s incredibly difficult to capture what we do on stage in a studio.
2. Constantines, Constantines
David: They were more popular in Canada than they seemed to get in the U.S. They’re one of the bands that we’ve seen the most live. We’ve been very devoted fans throughout their entire career. That first record means a lot to us now. The first tour that we did was about a six-week run of the U.S. and Canada. It was exciting, but pretty exhausting. We found out that the Constantines were playing in Vancouver the night we got home from our tour. We dropped our stuff off and went to see them. That’s proof of how much we love that band. That record was the only one, where you could tell that they are a young, hungry band with not a lot of time to make a record. It sounds really loose, really raw and sounds like a band really going for it. It’s the most Japandroids-esque record they ever made.
3. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Live Seeds
Brian: It’s rare as a music fan to prefer a band’s live album over a studio album. At the time it came out, you could view it as a “greatest hits.” That live record culled from the start of the catalog to the end. When I heard that record, there was a rawness and primalness and heaviness that I thought didn’t exist in the studio recordings. Capturing a live sound on record is challenging, and that’s one of those rare live records that I feel like they captured something with those performances that you never could have captured by walking in the studio and recording those songs. We did a cover of “Jack the Ripper” — but we covered the live one off the live record.
4. The Kills, Keep on Your Mean Side
David: Obviously we get compared to two-pieces a lot, but the Kills is one that’s never come-up. Not that we’re trying to sound like them, but when we were recording Celebration Rock and mixing it, I was listening to that record a lot as a reference. That record to me is so simple in its instrumentation, but everything is so perfectly placed. It sounds like it’s so well thought out.
5. Dream Syndicate, The Complete Live at Raji’s
Brian: This is quite possibly the record I listened to the most while making Celebration Rock. It was recorded towards the end of their career when they were at their peak. You can almost consider it a “greatest hits.” Our song “The Nights of Wine and Roses” is an homage to their song “The Days of Wine and Roses.” I thought about that record a lot — they’re a band that used a lot of classic blues allusions and imagery in their songwriting and it’s something I like to do and try to do in our music.