"The Milky Way" is a new My Spilt Milk recurring feature. Today, members of the punk band PEARS share the eight songs that chart their musical universe. This once would have been a nine-song feature, but science 86'ed Pluto as a planet, so we shortened up accordingly. PEARS play Siberia tonight to celebrate the release of their new album, Go to Prison, when they play with A Wilhelm Scream, Red City Radio, and Wishful Thinking.
Zach Quinn (vocals):
1. Failure - "Another Space Song"
When I was 16, my girlfriend at the time lent me Fantastic Planet. I listened, I fell asleep. This track rolled around, and it was the most intense nightmare fuel i'd even been exposed to. It woke me up and I felt as though I was sinking through the bed to somewhere else, terrified that I couldn't get back. That was the moment I knew I loved this band. They're back together, and I just saw them. I don't think I'll ever see anything that good again.
2. Bad Brains - "Don't Bother Me"
There's something really special about the Black Dots recordings. They seemed to capture a sinister element that a lot of bands, and even the later rerecorded versions of these songs fail to capture. This doesn't sound like a punk band; this sounds like boiling over.
Brian Pretus (Guitar/Vocals)
3. Descendents - "Everything Sucks"
The first time I ever heard the Descendents it gave me chills like I'd never had before. They cover my entire musical enjoyment spectrum. Their catchy, pop vocal melodies; angry but silly lyrics; pulsing downstroke guitar playing; their hyper-active songwritting; and anti-laziness attitude are things that influence and inspire me more than just about any other band on the planet. Also, I lost my virginity to this song, and it makes for a pretty funny story considering the lyrical content.
4. Fifteen - "Brian's Song"
Yeah i know, it's got my name in it. What about it? I was 11 years old when i heard this song. This was the first
punk rock song I ever heard. I stumbled across it the day i found out about music downloading software. Like an idiot, I was sitting on Kazaa or Bearshare searching things with my own name in it, and that song popped up. I started downloading it, and I previewed the first 15 seconds of it two hours later while it was still downloading. I was absolutely floored. I had never heard anything so fast in my life. It was like the speed of the song matched the speed of my pulse. The attitude of it matched mine, and it reflected a feeling and a connection with music I still have to this day. It took eight hours to download the song, and every time it gained another percent I would listen to what was complete and rock out so hard my brain should've fallen out through my eyes. This one song completely changed my life, and the best part about it is the song totally sucks. But I love it.
Alex Talbot (Bass)
5. Tortoise - "The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls”
Before I had heard Tortoise, I was a fan of music;. After I really started listening to them, I knew that it was imperative that I do something with music. Very rarely has something entered my life that I immediately knew would define an aspect of my personality for years to come, but I instinctively felt a sense of inspiration upon hearing this band. By far this is one of the most defining songs of both my life and career as a musician.
6. Sunny Day Real Estate - “Guitar and Video Games”
This song reminds me of friends, family, the past, the future, and pretty much everything that has shaped my outlook as of right now. Evoking several memories and personal occurrences in under five sonic minutes is rare. This is something as a musician I vie to achieve and always appreciate when others can do this. Also, nostalgia rules.
John Bourgeois (Drums)7. Link 80 - "Addiction"
Just before I started high school, I got into a variety of punk/ska bands. Link 80 was one of the first bands I checked out, and this is the song that got me hooked on them. Crisp, blaring horn lines, viscious gang vocals, and pounding drums pulled me in. These guys mix hardcore/punk/ska/metal flawlessly and defined my later taste in music for a long time. It was also a huge influnece on my former band, Fatter Than Albert.
8. Suicide Machines - "Islands"
This one's another one of my early favorites. It's super catchy and has damn good drum patterns. Derek Grant is my long-time drumming idol and probably the biggest influence on my "punk" drumming. This record was the introduction for me into the punk/ska genre, and it will never get old.