This week, Gregory Dunn of Moving Mountains talks about five albums that influenced the band's upcoming record, Waves.
Cave In's Jupiter - Aside from being one of my all time favorite bands, Cave In has always had an influence on Moving Mountains in some way or another. There were times in the studio when Frank and I were writing/tracking guitars and would both refer to riffs/ideas as “Cave In” parts. Kinda funny looking back at it now. Also, on a more personal note, singer Stephen Brodsky is definitely a dude I aspire towards vocally. I think a lot of the heavier vocal parts showcased on Waves is a product of listening to older records from these guys. Sonically, this record was big for me.
Underoath's Lost In The Sound Of Separation - This is a band that I didn’t initially love from the beginning, but always
paid close attention to. I’m a huge fan of Matt Goldman (producer/engineer), so I often find myself listening to every record he works on. This album had a huge effect on me, in terms of production, and how powerful their songs were. The album hits so hard, and the songwriting is truly impressive. The more I listened to it, the more I found parts I loved in it. So dense, and so full of emotion and creativity. So huge.
Oceana's Clean Head EP - This record came out of nowhere for me, and it was fantastic. This is the type of record that makes me confused as a songwriter. I’ve listened to it so many times and thought to myself “How do they write this?”. It’s so tastefully complex, and the vocal melodies are so perfect. This was also another Matt Goldman product (which is how I found it), and I think it showcases his strong points as a producer. Capturing the raw, real nature of a band. I think I can speak for the other guys in saying this album was played heavily listened by all of us, and really got stuck in our heads while writing vocal parts, and guitar work.
The National's High Violet - This was one of our favorite releases of the year, and definitely influenced the band all around. The layers, textures, and maturity of their songwriting is so inspiring. Seeing them live also drills this point home - as they’re one of the loudest, and powerful bands I’ve ever seen. The idea of building up with layers, strings, etc, comes a lot from listening to these guys. “Tired Tiger” was tentatively titled National before we had a real name for it. Come to think of it, almost all our songs are named after bands that we think they sound like before they’re given real titles. Hah.
David Bazan's Curse Your Branches - I was always a big Pedro The Lion fan, so appropriately - I’ve always clung to anything David Bazan has worked on. This record influenced me in terms of lyrics, and bare bone song writing. A lot of the songs found on Waves started out acoustic, and way more stripped down. Melodically, I take a lot of influence from his guitar progressions. It’s funny thinking back to when I first had “Where Two Bodies Lie” written to show the band, and it was slow, clean guitars, reverb, etc...I remember playing it a bit faster and then the main riff just clicking in my head. From there, it became a heavier rock song. It really wasn’t until we recorded the songs full band would they find their spot in a Moving Mountains record. I find David’s approach to songwriting, and lyric writing so interesting, and honest. Something I wanted to do when approaching Waves, was write songs and lyrics that weren’t drenched in metaphorical/figurative crypticness. I wanted to say exactly what I wanted to say, and not feel uncomfortable about it.