Content Note: Some music may contain mentions of bullying, death, mental illness, and addiction
I have been toying with many ideas for my soundtrack. There are just too many musical influences in my life and they are all drastically different that my soundtrack would go on and on.
Instead I chose to share the artists and albums that I have had the most influence in my life and are also a part of my gym playlist. I thought these bands were rather fitting as my workouts push my limits and the “pain” is a good thing. I recall the phrase “it hurts so good” and that’s what I achieve in my workouts. Most of the music/bands in this list are considered Alternative Rock/Metal, Post-grunge, and Heavy Metal. Yes, I’m a child of the early 90s and a product of the 90s grunge and rock music, don’t judge me!
Shinedown is my uplifting band on my playlist. The music they first produced in the early 00’s was a bit dark but in recent years has become more positive and supportive. I’ve used their song Bully in a previous post about my son B. It’s still on my playlist and will remain there as a reminder of my son’s strength. Their album ‘Attention, Attention’ was their wake up call to humanity to stop being sheep and stop relying on technology to do everything for you.
The lead singer Brent Smith said it perfectly in an interview with Cryptic Rock, “Everybody sees things in their own way and they want their opinion voiced. You can do that now with certain social media and what have you. At the end of the day, we are all human beings. We all have feelings, emotions, and drive. We have fears. We have things that concern us.” The songs ‘Get Up’ and ‘Human Radio’ encompass the bands views perfectly.
Breaking Benjamin is my favorite of the “active rock” groups. These groups are in this sub-genre because of their ability to growl and yell, but can also be tender and lyrical. The band has been around since 1999, but didn’t become mainstream until the album ‘Phobia’ hit the charts with their first chart-topping single being ‘The Diary of Jane’.
‘Phobia’ is still my go-to album as Benjamin Burnley (lead singer/writer/guitarist) has many extreme phobias including a fear of flying. The group has only toured outside of the US/Canada by utilizing a ferry in order to tour Europe. Burnley is also a recovered alcoholic. I say recovered as he now has Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome which is caused by excessive drinking, so if he were to continue to drink alcohol he would die. I connected with this band because of Burnley and his ability to show his strength to overcome through the music.
I’m sharing the song ‘Breath” off of Phobia as it is about addiction and the turmoil addicts face when it comes to getting sober.
Disturbed is my aggressive rock band, I listen to their music on my heavy hitting gym days. The group formed in 1994 and is still releasing new music. The songs that most people know from this band are ‘Stupify’ and ‘Down with the Sickness’. The band was part of Ozzfest several times and also toured with Marilyn Manson. I’ve always enjoyed their music for addressing many themes such as domestic abuse, suicide, insanity, relationships, war, and even fantastical themes of vampirism, werewolves and demons.
Many songs are on the darker side of life, but that does not mean I have a death wish or that I am being abused.. I relate to the music because of the power it exudes. Listening to this band when I’m in the weight room gives me that extra boost of energy needed to lift heavier weights.
The lead singer David Draiman has a special place in my heart because of his tribute to the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Both bands hit the scene at the same time but each band offered something slightly different. “Addiction and depression are demons that go hand in hand with one another and it’s been a very difficult past number of years, not just within our community but even for individuals in normal walks of life…I’m tired of being passive about it.”- Draiman
I’m sharing “Hold on to Memories” as Disturbed shows a tribute video in their concerts dedicated to those who have lost their battles. (I have the video from the concert I attended in 2019)
Last but not least… I have to share my longest standing, most favorite band… I’ve written a few posts using their songs: “Leave out all the Rest”, “One More Light”, and “Powerless”…
Linkin Park was the first large concert that I attended. They were just making a name for themselves, just as Disturbed was, in 2000. The concert was one that I will never forget as I was smashed up against the front of the mosh pit and Chester Bennington reached down and shook my hand. (Of course at age 18 I was totally fangirling..haha) This band has influenced me the most as they are not only rock but they encompass rock, rap, hip hop, and electronica in their music.
They are also the only band that I have every album (CD) released, including two international releases. I can apply one of their songs to just about every major event in my adult life. The 20th anniversary of their first album ‘Hybrid Theory’ was 4 days ago and I listened to every song just like it 2000 all over again. I’ve never questioned their ability to make quality music and it shows. They are among the best-selling bands of the 21st century and are world renowned.
The album I connected to the most was ‘Meteora’, released in 2003, as most of the songs played a pivotal role in my mental health. I had been through self-harm, rape, and mental abuse the past 3 years and I clung to the music during my recovery. At the end of the day I just wanted to feel normal again and their music helped me do just that. I wanted to belong somewhere, to someone, I wanted to matter.