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All Time Low’s Jack Barakat: The 10 Songs That Changed My Life

All Time Low guitarist Jack Barakat revisits his musical history – from Good Charlotte to Third Eye Blind

Jack Barakat from All Time Low and WhoHurtYou reveals his introduction to punk, and how he nearly quit guitar before he even got started…

The first song that I remember hearing…

Blind Melon – No Rain (1992)

“When I was around six years old it was the mid-’90s and a big time for rock music. My siblings are 10 years older than me, and they were playing stuff like Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam – all those classic ‘90s bands. My brother would blast music from his room all the time, and the song that really stuck with me was No Rain by Blind Melon. I remember the weird music video where this girl is dressed like a bee – that really made an impression on me.”

The song that reminds me of being a teenager…

Green Day – Burnout (1994)

“I’d go into my brother’s room a lot and raid his CD collection. Of all the albums I picked up, Dookie was the one that really stuck out to me. Burnout is the first track, and it was essentially my introduction to punk rock and that whole world. I remember sitting there as a teenager, listening to that song all the time and absolutely loving it.”

The song that made me want to be in a band…

blink-182 – Anthem Part 2 (2001)

blink-182 are the reason I started playing music. Them and Green Day were my first show. blink opened with this song, they had a big curtain drop, and I remember seeing them and being like, ‘Holy shit – that’s what I wanna do.’ Watching blink play is when I decided I wanted to chase that feeling myself and play for thousands of people.”

The first song that I learned to play…

Violent Femmes – Blister In The Sun (1983)

“My brother taught me this song first, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I was playing an acoustic Yamaha, and I was really determined to be a guitar player, but I remember being so young that I was too weak to press down on the frets. He sat with me for an hour and I just couldn’t do it – I felt like quitting there and then. A month later, I was at a friend’s house and picked up their electric guitar, and I found that way easier. Things snowballed from there.”

The song that reminds me of my first festival…

Good Charlotte – Festival Song (2001)

“I went to my first festival with my brother, and I actually ran into Alex [Gaskarth, vocals/guitar] while I was there and we hung out for a bit, but he was with a different group of friends at the time. I recently posted a picture from that festival on my Instagram; it was my first time smelling weed and seeing people get naked. Good Charlotte actually filmed their Festival Song video there. Linkin Park and Staind were playing as well – it was a huge event and a life-changing experience for me.”

The song that reminds me of young love…

The Used – The Taste Of Ink (2002)

“I had a crush on a girl in high school, and we’d listen to The Used together all the time. The Taste Of Ink was a huge song when that band were emerging, and it was a track we’d continually play because we both loved it so much. We went to see The Used live together, too, so in terms of first loves and everything that goes with that, The Taste Of Ink represents that feeling and those emotions best for me.”

My favourite song to play live…

All Time Low – Stella (2009)

“This was one of the older songs we brought back into the set at Slam Dunk last year. It’s a really fun song to play, and the vibe, tempo and chorus mean people always go nuts for it. ”

The song I’d go back and change…

All Time Low – Come One, Come All (2007)

“Everyone in All Time Low would pick this song! It absolutely sucks – it’s just plain boring. The chorus is terrible, so if I could go back in time I’d actually write a proper chorus, rather than the weird bridge thing we wrote. It’s not got a hook to it, and it’s essentially just an odd piece of songwriting. But, hey, you can’t love all your kids – there’s always got to be that one shoved in the corner at the dinner table!”

The song I’m most proud of writing…

WhoHurtYou – Nobody Wins (2019)

“It’s the most personal song I’ve ever been a part of, lyrically. There are loads of All Time Low tracks that are super-emotional, but they’re generally told from Alex’s perspective. This was one of the first times I put myself out there and expressed my feelings, so it’s got a special place in my heart.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral…

Third Eye Blind – Motorcycle Drive By (1997)

“Motorcycle Drive By is an amazing song. Every time I hear this, it reminds me of being in high school, having my first car and driving around the neighbourhood. Third Eye Blind were a big deal for me, and it takes me back to that time when I was starting to grow into the person I’d ultimately become. Above all, it reminds me of my youth and where I came from.”

All Time Low’s new album Wake Up, Sunshine will be released April 3 via Fueled By Ramen.

Posted on February 17th 2020, 3:00pm
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