Some call it an obsession, some call it an addiction, others, a simple hobby. For me, I lay somewhere between all three when it comes to collecting vinyl. The hunting and discovery is almost as enjoyable as the first time you drop the needle on a new addition. I have been collecting for about a decade now and it was this collection that drove me to want to release my own so badly.
It was not only my desire to release an album on wax, but also to write an album worthy of physical distribution. Now that my own Hazy J & the Wasted Daze record sits perfectly in between George Harrison and Hendrix, I look back on my vinyl journey and pinpoint the top five that paved the way for Gypsy Mountain and Silent Wizard.
Hot off the release of their two new EPs Gypsy Mountain and Silent Wizard, Hazy J & The Wasted Daze share 5 records that helped shape their own.
1. Pink Floyd, The Wall (1972)
This was the first record I ever got to call my own and it came at a time in my young life when I had just discovered the magic of Floyd. Before I even owned a player, I held the mighty gatefold with its amazing illustrations and was awestruck by the energy I could feel from just the packaging. The music and album itself no doubt has had a huge influence on my writing style of concept storytelling. It was the first step into my musical journey and the conceptual inspiration behind almost everything musical I have created for this project.
2. The Sword, Warp Riders (2010)
The Sword are a band that my best mate Matty got me onto, and I can easily say that they, along with this album, have been my biggest constant drive for my own creation. If you look deep enough into this album (honestly, not even that deep) you will find lyrical and story concepts that bleed through almost every one of my songs. From Tres Brujas to The Chronomancer, it doesn’t take long to start drawing connections. The depth of the story that frontman J.D. Cronise presented gave me the urge to create something thematically meaningful and bring it with my own mixup of musical stylings. Mix their cosmic concept with some of the greatest onslaught of riffs that anyone has produced, and you’ve got an album that I’m sure has inspired more than just myself.
3. BEASTWARS, The Death Of All Things (2016)
This album not only inspired me musically, but it was through meeting the band themselves while they toured the record that helped me get mine created. It’s hard to describe BEASTWARS as they sift through various doom, sludge and stoner elements, but seeing them live, especially lead singer Matt Hyde, is almost a religious experience. After the show, we enjoyed a few beers with the band and got talking about these projects of mine. Clayton, their guitarist seemed extremely receptive and offered to help in any way he could. This eventuated in him writing a letter for our grant that got the albums made so I can say for sure without this album, mine may have never been made. You will also hear myself trying to unlock my inner Matt Hyde vocals on some of the heavier tracks on Silent Wizard.
4. Black Sabbath, Master of Reality (1971)
It is damn near impossible to find a record that has as much riff, as much balls and as much purity as Masters. Listen to the Silent Wizard EP and if you can’t draw the connections to this album than you might be musically inept. In the studio we had this record playing a lot and I was constantly checking with the band that we didn’t sound too similar. Into the Void is probably my all-time favourite riff and I attempted to pay homage to it on Destruction. Homage is the key word as I always try to take my own spin on a riff rather than blatantly rip it off, you can be the judge on this one.
5. Neil Young, After the Goldrush (1970)
You wouldn’t pick the influence from Neil Young in my music, but he had a huge impact on me while writing the albums, especially with a particular song from this record. Neil sung “Don’t let it bring you down/It’s only castles burning/Find someone who’s turning/And you will come around.” This line helped me through some dark days and helped me see the light during even the shittiest of times. The record as a whole is beautiful but that line has helped me and is perfectly aligned with the metaphor of the Gypsy Mountain EP. We try to create something we like but also what others will hopefully like. On that journey, self-doubt and obstacles get in the way. When everything seems pointless and like it’s on fire, find someone or something that takes you away and helps you realise that things are never really that bad.
My vinyl journey will continue and hopefully with more of my own but for now, I’m proud that Gypsy Mountain and Silent Wizard have earned their place on my shelf and will hopefully find a way to yours too.
Grab your own vinyl copy of Gypsy Mountain and Silent Wizard here.