The Amity Affliction’s Ahren Stringer: The 10 songs that changed my life

The Amity Affliction’s Ahren Stringer talks Kerrang! through his record collection…

The Amity Affliction’s Ahren Stringer: The 10 songs that changed my life
Jamie ‘Pees’ Lehman

The Amity Affliction bassist and vocalist Ahren Stringer shares the soundtrack to his life’s key moments. Watch out, Green Day…

The first song I remember hearing...Joe Cocker – Unchain My Heart (1987)

“I think it was this one. My parents were always playing music when I was a kid. I remember my sister and I playing games and drawing pictures to the lyrics and I have a distinct memory of doing that with this, so it must’ve been the first song I heard.”

The song that reminds me of high school...Green Day – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) (1997)

“Jeez, this horrible Green Day song was played at assembly every year when the seniors graduated from my school. I was actually a fan of Green Day before that. Dookie was an incredible record, but I’d moved on to heavier stuff by the time this came out. This song makes me cringe, even now.”

The first song I learned to play...Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (1972)

“When I was growing up, I wanted to learn how to play guitar. My dad showed me how to play this riff first. I think it’s probably the first song anyone learns on guitar, because it’s so easy and fun to play. When I learned how to play it, I thought I was destined to be a rock star. There was no other way about it, this was my career path. I ended up getting some lessons from a guy down the road and I’d tell him which songs I wanted to learn and he’d figure them out for me. Not long after that, I quickly learned how to play them myself.”

The first song I ever fell in love with...Silverchair – Tomorrow (1995)

“I was maybe 10 or 11 when I first heard Silverchair. I bought their debut album Frogstomp and loved every single song on that record. They were such a huge influence on me as a young kid and it introduced me to rock’n’roll. They were super-young at the time and I think that put stars in my eyes and made me think, ‘Wow, if they can do it, maybe I could do it too.’ We did a cover of this song a couple of years ago for a tribute album called Spawn (Again). I’m not really a big fan anymore, but at the time they were huge for me.”

The song that gets me up in the morning...Trippie Red – Taking A Walk (2018)

“I always obsess over certain songs, and at the moment I’m really into this one by Trippie Redd, of all people. I don’t know why. It’s only two minutes long – it seems all rappers are putting out short songs now. I put music on first thing most days. I’ve got a Sonos set up, so I’ll pick a song and play a random mix of that artist’s music. It’s a great way to discover new stuff too. I’ll be like, ‘Oh, what’s this?’ and screenshot it to play later.”

The song that made me want to play bass...Primus – Shake Hands With Beef (1997)

“I’m a huge Primus fan and Shake Hands With Beef made me want to learn how to play bass. But honestly, I only moved to bass because we had a really good guitarist who was playing bass. We switched because it was easier for me to sing and play bass. Les Claypool is the greatest bassist of all time, in my opinion.”

The first of our songs I heard on the radio...The Amity Affliction – Fruity Lexia (2008)

“It would have been from our first album and it must have been the first single, so it would have been Fruity Lexia. I remember doing an interview on [radio station] Triple J and I was so nervous, I had a few long necks, which are big beers. I was super stoked and relieved afterwards. To hear our band on the radio was an amazing feeling.”

My favourite song to play live...The Amity Affliction – Drag The Lake (2018)

“At the moment, it would have to be this song from our new album. It’s challenging for me to sing. But honestly, all the new stuff [from recent album Misery] is super-fun to play live, because it’s all so new and fresh for us, and people are reacting to it really well. Actually, all the singles off the new album are my favourites.”

The song that picks me up when I’m down...Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life (1997)

“This song can put even the most depressed or angry of men in a good mood. It’s from their [self-titled] debut album and it’s got the catchiest hook of all time. I’d recommend it to anyone. It’ll put a smile on your dial.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral...Movements – Third Degree (2017)

“I’d double down on Semi-Charmed Life if I could, but if I had to choose another one let’s go with something nice. I’ve been listening to their record Feel Something a lot recently. I’m a huge fan of Movements and there’s something about that song in particular. It’s very catchy. I think it would cheer everyone at the funeral up. Or it would make them sadder.”

The Amity Affliction's latest album Misery is out now on Roadrunner.

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