Edinburgh based heavy rockers Hair of the Dog are coming back to Roadburn Festival again this year, playing at the Cul de Sac, which is the ideal venue for their brand of catchy and sweaty rock, which is full of melodies, hooks and riffs. In 2016 the band played a great set at Extase, which despite the late timing went down great with the audience. They will release this 2016 live set this year on vinyl through their record label Kozmik Artifactz. If you are going to Roadburn this year then make sure you’ll catch their set at the Cul de Sac on Saturday April 20th.
So it was about time we asked the band about the releases that have influenced them the most, and singer/guitarist Adam Holt replied with 3 classic albums.
Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
Zeppelin, as they are for so many, have long been my biggest influence. When I started playing the guitar, aged 8, my teacher taught me two things: how to improvise the blues, and Led Zeppelin. As a fan, I love the vast majority of the Zeppelin catalogue, but for me Physical Graffiti stands out as the album that captured me the most, lighting a fire within me to write music that echoed the innovation, experimentation and balls that Zeppelin displayed on that record.
From ‘The Rover’ to ‘In My Time of Dying’, to ‘The Wanton Song’ and ‘Kashmir’ – Physical Graffiti pushed the Zeppelin sound to new a new level. Each song as bold and confident as the next, it is a record that, for me, stands as the jewel in the Zeppelin crown. My favourite Zeppelin song of all time ‘Ten Years Gone’ sits right in the middle, a song that has it all, and truly resonates with me.
Jeff Buckley – Grace
I remember the first time I heard Jeff Buckley’s Grace. I was being driven home from a party by one of my brother’s friends. I had had far too much to drink and was on the verge of a whitey, trying hard to focus on the zipping lines of the road ahead to keep my head from spinning out of control. Perhaps sensing I needed calm in my life, he stuck in a tape, that tape was Grace. As the chiming guitars of ‘Mojo Pin’ echoed all around me, I found that calm.
Grace is a masterpiece, there are no two ways about it. It’s a deeply passionate, romantic and haunting album, not just because of the music; but because of Buckley’s tragic fate, the missed acceptance, recognition and global success the album has gained since.
Grace taught me how to take my emotions and feelings and transform them into lyrics that people can relate to. I like honest, truthful lyrics. I like people who wear their heart on their sleeve, bare all, accept their faults and weakness and allow for that human connection – that is what I feel when I listen to Grace.
Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill
In the same vein as how Grace taught me to open myself, Pantera taught me how to vent my demons. My whole adult life I have been plagued with depression and anxiety, anger and pain. You can let that stuff eat you up and stop you living, or you can use it.
When I listen to The Great Southern Trendkill I hear someone letting out their demons. It’s such a raw and aggressive album, but it’s honest and true. As an artist, that is the end goal – to create something that connects.
At the time in my life when I discovered The Great Southern Trendkill, I had just lost a friend to suicide, I was angry and confused and my depression and anxiety were just beginning to manifest – not quite in my life yet, not yet weighing me down, but definitely bubbling away in the background waiting. I was on holiday in San Sebastian, I remember one day just sitting alone on some rocks by the sea, I had my personal CD player with me and I put that album on – and it was like someone turning releasing the valve of a pressure cooker. The sharp, rage filled riffs coupled with the agonising screams of Anselmo just connected with me.
Although Hair of the Dog aren’t metal, I still like to nod to my metal influences as much as I can and never stray away from adding in that raw aggression and pain via the lyrics.