Tune Talk: Willie’s Top 20 Bands

Willie Williams, Staff Writer

20. Panic! At the Disco
Most people are going to be surprised to see that I put Panic! At the Disco at the number 20 spot on my list. I mostly did so simply because I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m a huge Panic! At the Disco fan. They’re more of the pop type now, so they’re honestly kind of slipping out of my area as a hard rock, alternative rock and metal fan. Although, Panic! At the Disco is a very successful and popular band and I’m very happy that I went to see them in Pittsburgh at PPG Arena. At the moment, I’d say my favorite song by Panic! At the Disco is “Sliver Lining.”

19. Foo Fighters
Another very surprising sight to see. The biggest alternative band of this time is all the way at the bottom of the barrel. Hear me out. I’m not saying that this is the top 20 bands of all time. This is just the top 20 bands that I listen to on a daily basis. Although I was on a huge Foo Fighters kick last year, I’ve actually kind of lost touch with the Foo’s. The only main reason I listened to the Foo Fighters was obviously because Nirvana’s former drummer, Dave Grohl, is the lead singer and guitarist of the band. I almost saw the Foo’s live in Pittsburgh instead of seeing Panic! At the Disco, but I decided not to after seeing the price of the tickets. About $120 a ticket. I’d say my favorite song by the Foo Fighters is “The Pretender.”

18. Blink-182
I haven’t exactly showed any interest in this band. I kind of feel disappointed since this band has been one of my favorites ever since I got more into the punk scene. I only own the one Blink-182 shirt and one album. But then again, I hardly listen to Blink-182 anymore. They’re kind of like that band that sits in the back of your head and doesn’t play anything because you forget that they’re a thing. Anyways, besides the fact that I feel bad for not listening to them more often, I love Blink-182. If I had to pick a favorite song, I’d pick “Adam’s Song.” It just has more meaning and depth to it for me than any of their other classics.

17. Paramore
Weird how I’ve never once showed ANY interest in this band, huh? Paramore is one of the bands that I’ve just recently got into over the summer actually. I fell in love with songs like “Emergency,” “That’s What You Get,” “Decode,” and of course, “Misery Business.” But I knew “That’s What You Get,” and “Misery Business” before I got into the band themselves. I’ll definitely be paying much more attention to Paramore. For whatever reason I feel like I have more connection with the female singers of rock bands. Bands like Lacuna Coil and Flyleaf are the ones that really get me pumped. It’s almost as if they’re edgy if you know what I mean.

16. Sonic Youth
I don’t own a single album or a single shirt from this band. In my opinion, this band is MUCH better than any of the others that’re behind it. I just don’t give them enough credit as they deserve. The way that I discovered this band was through another band actually, I managed to discover them through Nirvana. Kurt Cobain’s favorite band was Sonic Youth. Most of Cobain’s inspiration for his music came from Sonic Youth. In fact, Sonic Youth even headlined a tour with Nirvana back in 1992 whenever Nirvana had just come out with the album, “Nevermind.”

15. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Some may be surprised since I show literally no interest what so ever in this band, I actually just got into the Chili Peppers in about August and I bought their CD, “Californication.” Being the outsider that I was, I only really knew two or three songs from the Chili Peppers, “Can’t Stop,” “Californication,” and “Give it Away.” Out of those songs, I like what I was hearing so I decided to buy one of their albums. I went to Wal-Mart, bought their “Californication” album and I fell in love with their style. “Otherside” is the song that really set me straight and the rhythm that they portrayed with the song is really what made me love them more than I already did.

14. Downhere
This Christian rock band was not only my favorite band as a child, but they were also my very first band I’ve ever seen live. I actually attended their last concert in Baltimore, Maryland. This band was one of the greatest Christian rock bands to ever form. At least I thought so in my own opinion. Growing up as a kid, there wasn’t a single song that I didn’t like by these guys, all of their music was very creative and inspirational. I actually learned so many things as a kid with my religion.

13. Jars of Clay
This band was one of the first bands I listened to as a kid. In fact, I think this was the second band I ever listened to and enjoyed as a kid. Downhere being the first of course. Jars of Clay is a Christian Indie Rock band that formed back in 1994 and is known to be one of the greatest indie Christian bands of this time. I don’t think I could ever top anybody over Jars of Clay that’s a Christian band. I love every song that these guys have come out with, their newest album I’d have to say is my favorite by far, “Inland.” This album gave us the REAL indie Jars of Clay, and that’s what I loved so much about it.

12. Soundgarden
The grunge scene. The scene that I will never leave. I can’t tell you how relatable the grunge scene is to my life. Grunge is my area of calm. I don’t even know how to define it exactly. I just straight up love grunge music so much that it became my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t start listening to Soundgarden until around this summer. I actually purchased their album, “Superunknown” over this summer and it’s really grown on me and has become one of my favorite grunge albums. I’d say that my song off the album is “Fell on Black Days,” “The Day I Tried to Live,” “Superunknown,” “Spoonman,” or “Black Hole Sun.”

11. Iron Maiden
Widely known around the globe as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, Iron Maiden only ranks so low on my list simply because I haven’t been listening to them as much as I want to. So, if anything it’s my fault that they’re so low on my list. The only album that I actually own is “Powerslave” which is one of Iron Maiden’s best albums in my opinion. I love every song off that album, and I know a few other songs aside from that album. So, like I said, it’s not Iron Maiden’s fault their so low, it’s mine.

10. MegaDeth
I can definitely say that MegaDeth is one of my top 10 favorites. In fact, if I had to make a top 5 metal list I’d put them in there with Iron Maiden, Metallica, Motorhead and Black Sabbath of course. MegaDeth has been one of my favorites since I was about 7 or 8 years old, mostly because my dad always played their music in his car when we went places. I’d label my favorite song by them either “Hangar 18,” “Lying in State,” “Dystopia,” or “Mechanix.” MegaDeth will always be a classic in my book.

9. AFI
I hardly ever talk about this band. I know. I’m actually quite disappointed that I don’t talk about them as often as I should. But I just recently got into AFI around this summer. Of course, knowing me, we all know that I probably just sat in my room searching for any new emo music I possibly could and stumbled upon people like Pierce the Veil, Black Veil Brides, AFI, and Thirty Seconds to Mars. And you’d be right. I somehow managed to stumble upon a few AFI songs that I knew before I found AFI. There were songs like “Miss Murder,” “Girls Not Grey,” and basically all of their biggest hits of course, so I was surprised that I was practically already a fan of AFI before I knew it. About 3 days after all of this happened, I made a trip out to F.Y.E. to see if I could find and buy their album, “Sing the Sorrow,” since I thought it looked really good.

8. Brand New
Although Brand New is currently not touring or doing any special projects, Brand New is still one of the greatest post punk bands of this time. With the current scandal involving their lead singer, Jesse Lacey, Brand New has been unable to come out with any new albums or project an upcoming tour. Until Jesse Lacey and Brand New get out of this little situation, fans of Brand New, like myself, can still listen and enjoy their newest album as well as their older classics like “The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me,” “Deja Entendu,” “Your Favorite Weapon,” “Daisy,” and their newest album that released in 2017, “Science Fiction.” Brand New’s fame began to rise in the late summer of 2003 with their album, “Deja Entendu.” This album included the classics that all Brand New fans as well as some outsiders who just so happened to hear their music on the radio like “Jaws Theme Swimming,” “Play Crack the Sky,” “Guernica,” “I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light,” and of course their biggest hit of all time, “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows.”

7. Green Day
Why is Green Day so low on my list? One simple answer. I don’t listen to them that much. Sorry to those that I just offended, but I hardly listen to Green Day anymore. Most of their music is just unoriginal. They use the same riff over and over again on every album. I like variety with my band. No offense to Billie Joe Armstrong, I still love “Jesus of Suburbia,” “Whatsername,” and “Holiday.” It just tiring listening to the same riff over and over again. Other than that, great band. I don’t want anyone thinking that I hate Green Day because I really don’t. I’m just pointing out how they’re clearly unoriginal with a good bit of their songs.

6. BlesstheFall
This is another band that I just got into. I actually have been talking about them quite frequently, they’ve slowly risen their way up to the top of my band list as I keep falling in love with every song that I hear from them. It all started with this Facebook post that I found, and it said that a certain band was your birth month band. Of course, I’m frantically looking around to make sure that I got My Chemical Romance or Pierce the Veil, but instead I got this band that I didn’t know. So of course, being the band obsessed expert that I am, I looked into them on YouTube and I listened to their music. I’d say that my favorite song from them at the moment is either “To Hell and Back,” “Hollow Bodies,” or “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted.”

5. Rise Against
Technically speaking, I was into alternative rock music before I ever actually fully got into it. Rise Against was the first ever alternative rock band that I ever listened to that actually wasn’t Christian and I enjoyed them. Unfortunately for me, the only music I listened to at the time was the Black-Eyed Peas “The E.N.D.” album and Maroon 5’s “Hands All Over” album, so I didn’t really get a taste of much of the classics. The only way I heard this song as a 12-year-old boy was whenever I used to play Madden NFL 12 on a daily basis on my PlayStation 2. This song as well as Foo Fighters “Bridges Burning” was included on this soundtrack but unfortunately at the time, I wasn’t into that Foo Fighters song. This song I memorized all the lyrics to and sang along with it every time the game had played it. As I’ve grown I’ve clearly showed even more interest in Rise Against as I grew up and I looked more into them. Now I’m one of their biggest fans and I can’t wait to go out and buy their newest 2017 album, “Wolves.”

4. Metallica
Greatest metal band in history. Hands down. Nobody brings the cake to the stage but Metallica. Nobody is going to be surprised that Metallica is all the way up here on this list, I’ve loved them for years now. Even with the current failure they’ve had with their newest albums, “St. Anger,” “Load,” Reload,” and “Death Magnetic,” I still honestly thought those albums weren’t horrible. And I definitely prefer “Load” over “Reload” to those who are concerned about my taste in Metallica’s disappointing albums.

3. System of a Down
Some may be surprised that the band that I just recently got into is so high up on this list. System of a Down has come up to be one of my absolute number one favorites currently. I already own all their albums and I can’t stop listening to them pretty much every day. Most people think System of a Down is actually talentless band with singers that don’t try and just simply aren’t talented. I don’t think that’s the case. Some of their songs like “Atwa,” “Aerials,” “Lost in Hollywood,” and “Sad Statue” are the songs that lead singer, Serj Tankian, and lead guitarist and backup vocalist, Daron Malakian, share beautiful harmonies and tend to set you in a calm place. I’d highly recommend “Lost in Hollywood” if you don’t know what I mean.

2. My Chemical Romance
Obviously since last year I’ve showed very clearly showed interest in My Chemical Romance. But recently. I’ve listened to literally all of their songs from all of their albums. I’ve went back to their first album, “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love,” which I think is one of their greatest albums they ever released, along with “The Black Parade,” and “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” obviously. I’d definitely label “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” as my favorite. Anyways, there are so many reasons on why I fell in love with this band. Their music makes it feel like they know exactly what you’re going through. I fell in love with songs like “Drowning Lessons,” “Mama,” “Dead!,” “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” and so many others that I just think are so great.

1. Nirvana
Why in the world wouldn’t I put the first rock band I ever listened to on this list. Nirvana is the only reason why I even remotely listened to any of the other bands that’re on this list. If it wasn’t for Nirvana, I wouldn’t have showed any interest in about 90% of this list. Not only did I get a great reference from one of my good friends, Morgan McDermott, to listen to Nirvana and about half of the bands on this list, I also managed to discover a lot of more songs than Morgan had shown me. Of course Morgan mentioned some of Nirvana’s greatest hits like “Lithium,” “Breed,” “Come as You Are,” “On a Plain,” and “Heart-Shaped Box.” I managed to find some of Nirvana’s other biggest hits on their “Nevermind,” “In Utero,” “Insecticide,” and “Bleach” albums.