Ben Barlow Neck Deep solo portrait 2020 credit Tom Barnes
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Neck Deep’s Ben Barlow: The 10 songs that changed my life

Neck Deep vocalist Ben Barlow reveals his love of early 00s pop-punk and his hatred of taking a bath

Ready to go deep? We go Neck Deep with vocalist Ben Barlow, gaining insights into his personal hygiene and love of Italian pianists… 

The first song I remember hearing…

Sum 41 – Fat Lip (2001)

When I heard this for the first time I was still so young I was having baths. So I’d get in the bath and listen to it, and let’s face it – no-one has a bath past the age of 12. They are minging because you’re just sat in your own filth. I only have one if I’m ill.”

The song that makes me think of childhood…

New Found Glory – Hit Or Miss (2000)

This reminds me of home. Their second album was the first one me and my brother ever bought. Back then – before my baths – we’d be jumping around and singing the words along when it was on Kerrang! TV. My musical journey developed when I hit high school and discovered MySpace.”

The first song I fell in love with…

City And Colour – Save Your Scissors (2005)

I could have chosen a pop-punk banger because I fall in love with those all the time, but it’s this and it’s still one of my favourite songs to this day. The first time I heard Dallas Green was when my family went to Florida and my brother was listening to Alexisonfire and City And Colour loads. I love both bands, but hearing Save Your Scissors made me decide I only wanted to listen to City And Colour for the rest of the holiday.”

The song that inspired my to be in a band…

blink-182 – Feeling This (2003)

I think every song I’ve ever heard has made me want to be a musician. Hearing this song played a big part, though. It was really inspiring the first time – there’s so much energy within it. I love how they branded themselves at that point in time – Tom DeLonge felt like the coolest guy in the world back then. I just wanted to hold my guitar like him and rock out.”

The first song I learned to play…

Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (1972)

It would have been the single-string version, just like everyone else. Once I got that down, I moved on to chords and stuff like Beauty In The Breakdown by The Scene Aesthetic, which is super simple.”

The first of my songs I heard on the radio…

Neck Deep – Tables Turned (2013)

We were all at [guitarist Matt] West’s house, looking at each other wondering what the fuck was going on and how the fuck we ended up on BBC Radio 1. It was an absolutely huge, wild feeling.”

The first song that I moshed to…

Enter Shikari – Sorry You're Not A Winner (2007)

I remember this one really well – me and my mates got tickets to see Enter Shikari on their first album and it was one of the first rowdy shows I ever went to. It was a local show and all about people packing out a club venue to mosh and go crazy. Sorry You’re Not A Winner was definitely one of those huge moments.”

The song I can’t listen to anymore…

Neck Deep – A Part Of Me (2012)

We still play this at shows because it means a lot to people and I think it’s probably one of the first songs that fans hear when they get into us. But the meaning is completely lost to me now. It’s about a girl I was going out with when I was about 15 or 16 years old, and I’m just so over it now. Also, listening to it reminds me of how horribly shit my vocals were back then. So it’s definitely a painful one for me, and it’s a painful one to try to sing, too.”

The song that picks me up when I’ve been feeling down…

Toots And The Maytals – Pressure Drop (1970)

This is my go-to happy song. What a banger of a tune it is. My brother was a reggae and soul DJ for a bit and he’d play in pubs, doing family gatherings and the likes. He got me into it, but Pressure Drop is one of those songs that everyone knows, even if they don’t know they know it. My girlfriend was feeling down about something and stressing out, so I just stuck this on and it cheered her right up. She loved it.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral…

Ludovico Einaudi – Le Onde (1960)

Thinking about your own funeral is fucking grim. But this is one of my favourite pieces of music ever composed. I just think the melodies are so beautiful. I regularly fall asleep to it, I laugh to it, I cry to it, I even make love to it… and I’d die to it! I think it’s a song that captures an entire range of human emotions in one of the most special ways I’ve ever heard.”

Posted on February 6th 2019, 11:42a.m.
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