12 Step Program: Travoltas

The 12 Step Program – we asked all our bands to give us 12 songs that influence them, inspire them or that they just really love – and if possible give us a little story to go with it.
This week it’s time to check upon Travoltas’ playlist.

We all know the Travoltas for their catchy upbeat poppy punk tunes. The band are legends, and we were very pleased when we got to release their comeback album “Until We Hit The Shore” last year. A re-release on vinyl of the classic Baja California album was another highlight in our label’s history.

We asked Travoltas about the twelve songs that influenced them. They all weighed in and together they came to an awesome list. Suprising here and there, but very Travoltas!

Check out their story below, and listen to the playlist here or at the bottom of this post! (And yes, they selected fourteen tracks. And do not care.)

Erik (Bass/Vocals)
01 – Bad Religion  – Competition
Erik’s first encounter with this terrific band, which was, surely during the period when we just began playing, of immense influence. The fast, catchy, melodic riffs proof that. The “Suffer” album, which contains “Land of Competition” didn’t leave my CD-player for a long time. And sometimes it still doesn’t. Each time the energetic songs make me smile and make me want to play again. The band still manage to maintain the same concept and it still works brilliantly: every album they make is simply great.

02 – SNFU – Painful Reminder
SNFU was the first “famous” band we were allowed to tour with. I learned a lot from these guys. Rob Johnson’s basslines inspired me enormously (read: I stole every note as good as I could). Their best song remains “Painful Reminder”. It’s a kind of a punkrock ballad. I know, that doesn’t sound very promising, but it is. A long time ago, we even covered this song. That must mean something, doesn’t it?

Mikk (Guitar/Vocals)
03 – Prong – Rude Awakening

Tommy Victor seemed to be hurting a lot while writing this album as every track deals with relationship-breakup-pain.
Mickey was dealing with the same pain at that time so he could relate. A lot.
Anger and sadness man. Rage and tears. Raw energy and all. Just let Tommy handle it.
Apart from the lyrics, there are Tommies unique voice, ultra tight riffing and signature popmetal songwriting.

04 – Grandaddy – Miner At The Dial-A-View
Melancholy. It gets Mickey every time, and no one hits me harder with the ‘memorylane hammer-of-reflection’ than these guys. Beautiful and authentic.  Jason’s voice is something else. Grandaddies sound can be big and noisy, but also small and fragile. This song falls in the latter category.

Skokie (Keys/Vocals)
05 – When The Lady Smiles – Golden Earring

It’s no secret. Skokie is a big 80s fan. This song (1984) is probably one of the best songs ever recorded by a Dutch band. The guitar riff together with the lead vocal line is so exciting. Even now and I must have heard it over 10.000 times already. I was 10 years old when I first saw the video. A minute ago I watched it again, and I’m still as intruiged as I was then! Wow, I love every second. For me the ultimate of the 80s combined in music and video. And I never realised it before, but it must have cost a fortune to make this video.

06 – 99 Luftballons – Nena
Although Skokie likes a lot of other music and eras as well, I chose to stay in the 80s for now. This song combines rock and guitars with the best of synthesizers. Hell yeah! As a keyboard player this has always been pretty influential to me. And let’s not forget the enchanting voice of Nena. The song has been rereleased in English for the international market. The german version is so much better though. And yes, I must admit.. I had a little bit of a crush on Nena. Turns out.. about 30 years later I even named on of my daughters after her.  How’s that for influence!

Daan (Guitar)
07 – Fountains of Wayne – Radation Vibe

Well, we could have easily picked a random song from this band’s song collection because they wrote so many amazing tunes. This song is the first song of their first record and was Danny’s introduction with Fountains of Wayne. Ever since, we have been a big fan and never get tired of playing this song.

08 – Arch Enemy – Nemesis
Another piece of great song writing. Wonderful way of combining melody, brutality, powerful riffs and skills.

Woody (Drums)
09 – Weezer – No One Else

Although they barely write a proper tune nowadays, this band has been a huge influence on us. For Woody, this is the best track of their best album.

10 – Descendents – I’m The One
Raw sound, high energy, great song, awesome drumming… What’s not to like?

Perry (Vocals)
11 – The Exploited – Dead Cities

I can put this song on repeat for hours and not get bored. Pure, raw, nasty street punk that makes you want to smash things.

12 – Oasis – What’s The Story Morning Glory
One of Oasis’ punkiest songs, this one gets me going in the early morning, setting up the attitude for the rest of the day.

13 – Ramones – Sheena Is A Punkrocker
Classic. We could have picked any other song by Ramones but this one kinda has it all. Our biggest inpiration, together with:

14 – Beach Boys – God Only Knows
Even more classic. Simply the most beautiful song ever written.