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Dinners With Dan # 5 [What's It Mean To Ya]


This week I’m going to be looking at tracks that changed my life and shaped me to become the over drinking man I am today and also just having a chat about life in general and the shit that goes on. This may be a long one – sorry.

I’ll start by saying, picking out songs that changed my life is both easy and hard. I know that makes no sense, but bear with me. There’s been moments in my life when all I could do was sit back and listen to a song to really convey the way I was feeling. These moments come and go like the years I’ve lived, but they always remain, planted deep inside my mind like some kind of fat kid who only leaves his room and video games when there is an offer of food.

I’m getting older now, it’s no lie. I’m almost 30 (cue the laughter from everyone older) but I do feel like the years are going by as quickly as ever. I still remember (kind of) being a freshy 18 year old and being able to go out with my mates Friday, Saturday and Sunday and never once have a hangover. I remember eating fast food almost every day and never putting on one KG of weight (ah the days). I remember discovering new bands that I thought were going to be the next big thing only to have them fade into nothing and leaving me with band shirts that were better off as old rags.

The easiest way for me to write this is by covering off the Five tracks, that I feel changed my life. Now these aren’t my five Favourite tracks, cause that changes depending on what mood I am in. These are the five tracks that came in moments in my life that changed or defied who I am now.

Bob Marley – Redemption Song

Now, I’ll start by saying I was heavily under the influence of Mary Jane when I first sat down and heard Bob (ah the good old days). I guess it’s the only real way to listen to the legend himself, but from that moment my life changed. Growing up I wasn’t really concerned with the outside world and the politics that goes along with it, until I listened to Bob. He opened my eyes to what goes on in the world around me, the world that doesn’t necessarily affect me directly but affects everyone else. He really made me think about the way we treat each other and the way we hurt each other. This song made me much more aware of the evolving world and the impact I had on the people around me. It made me realise ‘Maybe I should stop being a little shit and start trying to work on the issues that are fucking up the world’. Ever since Bob came into my life, I’ve been a lot more outspoken about things I dislike – Religion, Politics and the things that fall under both of them. I believe every single one of us are the same – we all breathe the same air and we all end up at the same place – dead. I put that all down to Bob and the words he sung I even have his face tattooed on my arm so I never forget what he has done for me. Plus, his tunes are as catchy as hell!

Bliss n Eso – Watchdog Water Dragons

This one is a bit of strange one. The song didn’t change the way I viewed life, but it changed my musical taste forever. I hated rap before I heard this song. I always thought it was untalented hacks talking about women, clubs and guns. Admitting, I was an idiot back then (some still say I am now) I didn’t give any rapper a chance. I was on my schoolies cruise trying my best to get some sleep before I started drinking again in the morning. I was listening to one of my mates MP3 players (no, not an iPod) and this track came on. The first thing I connected with was the AUSSIE accent ESO was using. Then the lyrics hit me like no other. I listened to the track about 15 times in a row, I knew the words by the time the morning sun rose and the first beer was drunk. I even wrote my own rap music because of this song, those songs are long gone now (my laptop died and I lost everything) but I will always love this track for opening my musical taste because there are truly some AMAZING artists out there who in my eyes, eclipse most of the non-rap music I enjoy.

The Smith Street Band – Ducks Fly Together

Ah The Smithies, you’ve changed every aspect of my music since I first heard you and I will never be the same again. I first heard the track in a van with the band when we were making our way to a gig. At first I was confused – a Aussie accent that wasn’t Frenzal, what was I to think? Well, I loved it. The words hit me harder than Mike Tyson in his younger days. I was hooked on the lyrics, voice, pounding drums and everything about the track. This track changed how I write music. I used to write music that I thought people wanted to listen to. Music that would follow a set formula of your generic Pop Punk/Post Hardcore bands. But listening to this track and all their tracks after have changed the way I write music and I will never go back.

Underoath – A Boy Brushed Red, Living in Black and White

When this song came out I was beginning my Metal/Emo phase, but this track cemented it. It perfectly encapsulated who I felt at the time, me against the world with a broken heart and no one to talk about it to. Underoath became a massive part of my life, I have their lyrics tattooed on my ribs and I have no regrets because they defined me as a teenager and helped me deal with issues I always hid. I still listen to them every now and then, I’m much more chilled now and I can only take screaming in smaller quantities now, but I still know every single word whenever it does pop up on my playlist.

Matchbox Twenty – Rest Stop

I know right, how left field is this one. To be honest, it’s hard to say a song has impacted me more than this, maybe Bob did but honestly when I first heard this song I was in a life defining spot and this cemented my feelings. I just got home from overseas, ended a long relationship and was trying to tell myself that ending it was the wrong thing to do, but it wasn’t. At times when you end things that have been a part of your life for so long you always second guess yourself, you always think, ‘It’s what I’ve always known so how can I not know it now’ but this song helped me realise what I did, I did for a reason, and that was to make myself truly happy. I’ll always remember the first time my best mate played this song for me, we were again, under the influence of many things but the message was all too clear. Sometimes you just gotta let things go, even though it’s hard at the time, you’ll be thankful for it in the long run.

Well yep, that about sums it all up.

What songs impacted you the most in your life?

Is there one song that changed your whole life completely?

Dan’s Nostalgic Track of the Week: Len // Steal My Sunshine -

Dan’s Local Track of the Week: Speakeasy // Dream boy - Check my review here!

#Underoath #Len #Speakeasy #MatchboxTwenty #TheSmithStreetBand #BlissNEso #BobMarley

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