10 Tracks That Changed My Life By James Spence From Rolo Tomassi

It’s great to get James from Rolo Tomassi to contribute to our ever popular 10 Tracks That Changed My Life

Here’s his top 10 Tracks and it’s great to see Das Oath in the list too!

  • 1. Oasis – Look Back In Anger 

I would credit this as being the song that started my interest in music past what my parents listened to. I can remember seeing the video for the song on whatever program used to play music videos on ITV and immediately feeling some sort of connection with it. My Mum bought me (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? on CD soon after. I wrote Oasis off when I was a teenager getting into more alternative music but I’ve recently revisited it and still have all the words ingrained in my memory. Its brilliant, still.

  • 2. Blink 182 – All The Small Things 
I heard this for the first time on an evening show on Radio 2, so it was far past being cool by that point but immediately, I wanted to start playing electric guitar. I would have been maybe 12 and I’d been having guitar lessons acoustically. I was losing interest but this clicked with me at a crucial point.
  • 3. Hundred Reasons – Find You  
Technically, Hundred Reasons were the first band I ever saw live. Me and a group of friends went to see Muse at Doncaster Dome when they were touring Origin Of Symmetry in 2001. Hundred Reasons opened and following the gig I became obsessed. I followed them fanatically and, other than bands we’ve toured with, I’m fairly sure they’re still the band I’ve seen most over the years. This song was on ‘EP3’ which was the first release I got of theirs after that gig.
  • 4. At The Drive-In – One Armed Scissor 
By the time I had discovered this band they’d broken up. All the music magazines I was reading kept drawing comparisons between Hundred Reasons and ATDI so naturally I was interested. Other than maybe the live energy and afros, they’re little alike but I was blown away when I heard Relationship Of Command. Nothing else I was listening to at the time was anywhere near as complex (to my ears at the time), aggressive and intriguing. I know its an obvious song from that record to choose but it was important for me at that time in my life and really opened me up to a lot of other music.
  • 5. Converge – Concubine 
I bought Rock Sound monthly and their cover mount CDs were largely responsible for getting me into countless bands, pre-Broadband Internet. I heard the track Homewrecker from Jane Doe and was immediately hooked in. This song particularly stood out, being the opener and just because I don’t think I’d ever heard drumming like it. Jane Doe remains firmly in my favourite albums of all time!
  • 6. Dillinger Escape Plan – 43% Burnt
Its an obvious choice from their back catalogue but was the first track of theirs to really resonate with me. I remember going to Leeds Festival for the first time in 2002 and seeing them open the main stage. I had gone specifically to see Hundred Reasons and at this point what DEP did was totally lost on me other than the furious energy the played with. Two years later they were probably my favourite band! I’d kill to see the set they would’ve done at that show again.
  • 7. Das Oath – Leeches On The Beaches
When I was 16, me, our old drummer Ed and our friend Dan went to Ieperfest in Belgium. Dan was a big influence on getting me into bands, giving me albums to listen to and was always really keen to go to gigs. I can’t remember who we specifically went to see at this festival but a lot of really great bands played. I had never heard of Das Oath but they headlined the final night and it was stunning. I hadn’t ever really seen a band play like that. When I went through to the merch tent afterwards, I had no idea which record to buy and was recommended the Korperkultur 9″ that this track is from. It remains my favourite release of theirs and is definitely worth seeking out.
  • 8. M83 – Teen Angst
Despite playing keyboards basically since the band started, I never really had much of an interest in the equipment I was using or what synthesizers could do until I heard Before The Dawn Heals Us. I went away with I Was A Cub Scout for a few days on tour maybe in 2007 or 2008 and Todd played me this album and it really opened me up to a lot of electronic music. We used Moonchild as our intro music for a couple of years too!
  • 9. Grouper – Vital 
I think I first heard Grouper when I was shopping in Resident Music in Brighton. It was exactly the sort of music I needed to hear at the time. I’ve spent a lot of time listening through all of her albums. Beautiful headphone music, perfect for long drives and when you need a bit of space generally. This was the first song that really clicked with me and turned me on to a lot more ambient music.
  • 10. Nils Frahm – Says 
The absolute master! Seeing him from the front row at The Barbican was one of, if not, the best concert experience I’ve ever had. The track is the perfect balance between stunning virtuoso ability as a pianist and his electronic leanings. Go see him play. He has been an endless such of inspiration for me over the last few years and I constantly go back to his albums. Can’t wait for the next one.
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