Greg Puciato: The 10 songs that changed my life

The Black Queen and Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato relives his life through music, song by song.

Greg Puciato: The 10 songs that changed my life
Jonathan Weiner

Greg Puciato takes a musical trip down memory lane, one song at a time. When he can narrow it down to one…

The first song that I remember hearing...Joey Scarbury – Believe It Or Not (Theme From The Greatest American Hero)

“It’s gotta be this. I’m not gonna pretend I knew this guy’s name – I had to look it up – but he sang the theme song to this ancient TV show here in the U.S. called The Greatest American Hero. It was on a lot around the time I was born. It’s a completely forgettable show, but a great theme song, maybe even the greatest television theme song ever. After that it was probably Neil Diamond. My grandfather loved his song Sweet Caroline. I heard that a lot before volume and distortion took over my young life.”

The first song I ever fell in love with...Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle (1987)

“Loved? More like obsessed. What’s the difference between those two when it’s not a person on the receiving end anyway? I guess obsession is all you’re really capable of at seven years old. If that’s the case, then welcome to the fucking jungle, bitch!”

The song that made me want to be in a band...Metallica – Harvester Of Sorrow (1988)

“Until I heard Metallica, I only really liked music as a listener. Once I picked up on their vibe, it’s all I wanted to do. I knew then that I wanted to be in a gang with my friends and make shit and travel; explore creativity, explore the world, and explore the human condition. It felt correct instantly and it still does.”

The song I can’t listen to anymore...The Dillinger Escape Plan – Sunshine The Werewolf (2004)

“Anything I’ve ever loved I pretty much still throw on at least occasionally. The only songs that I’ve ever liked that I can’t listen to anymore are the ones I’ve made. No thanks. And that doesn’t mean I definitely liked them when I made them, or had a hand in making them. They just happen and I put them out. Liking them isn’t really the point. Sometimes you do, but I don’t wanna listen to them. There’s no point in doing so either. With that said, since you need one, let’s go with this.”

The song that’s picked me up when I’ve been down...Lionel Richie – All Night Long (1983)

“Recently, it’s been Luther Vandross’ Never Too Much. You can’t be in too bad of a mood when that’s on. I’m gonna give you more than one song for this one, though – deal with it. Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart. The Human League’s Human, Alexander O’Neal’s Criticize (Remix). And finally, Lionel Richie’s All Night Long. I mean, seriously, how can you be bummed when this is on? You’re at a rippin’ outdoor party on a damn island at night the second that comes on.”

My favourite song to play live...The Black Queen – Secret Scream (2016)

“I love singing so much and I love playing shows so much. I love feeling on top of my game vocally, and being in the right groove with the band and the audience and the song. So again, there are so many. They’re all exciting to me. I know these are non-answers. What else did you expect from me? Let’s say Secret Scream.”

The song that’s got me into the most trouble...Cannibal Corpse – Entrails Ripped From A Virgin’s C*nt (1992)

“How can you be in trouble as an adult, besides almost dying? Besides that horrifying pit, which I’ve thankfully managed to walk up to the edge of multiple times without falling in, I guess I’ve gotten in what other people would consider trouble: going to jail, getting speeding tickets, being yelled at by a romantic partner and shit like that. But not from a song. Maybe my parents were bummed at Cannibal Corpse when I was a kid.”

The song that I wish I had written...Burt Bacharach – Alfie (1966)

“Right this instant, it’s this. But honestly, I don’t wish I’d written anyone else’s songs. You can’t write songs without living your life, and I don’t want their lives. I’ve got my own, and it’s one that continues to surprise and keep me going, so I have my own songs to write. That’s enough for me.”

The song I’d most like to be remembered for...Billy Ocean – Love Zone (1986)

“There’s not one standout song that eclipses the rest, but Billy Ocean’s Love Zone is stuck in my head. ‘When he died, Billy Ocean was playing.’”

The song I’d like played at my funeral...Greg Puciato – Holy Shit, I’m Fucking Dead, How Did This Happen?! (N/A)

“Mate, I’ve already got it written and recorded, with instructions on when and where I want it played and everything. The only drag is I’ll not be around to see it get deployed.”

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