September Morning’s music is a genre-bending mix of dark pop, electronica and modern metal, and the group’s vision goes crosses over into the comic book world as well — the first four chapters of which were recently compiled in a single volume, September Mourning: The Complete Collection. (It’s available now via the Top Cow online store and, in special merchandise bundles, via the band’s label, Sumerian Records.) Considering the wide creative scope of the band, it makes sense that guitarist Riven (a.k.a. Rich Juzwick, formerly of Gemini Syndrome) should have very diverse musical taste. We caught up with him ahead of September Morning’s upcoming dates opening for Flaw, Smile Empty Soul, Kottonmouth Kings and more to find out what albums changed his life.
1. JANE’S ADDICTION – NOTHING’S SHOCKING
There was a mysticism that surrounded Jane’s Addiction for me. They were this weird mix of huge band and underground, urban legend. I discovered them years after they broke up and became fascinated with the story behind the band and the L.A. music scene that spawned them.
2. NO DOUBT – TRAGIC KINGDOM
I was never a fan of punk rock or ska, but there was something different about No Doubt. The songs transcended the style of the band. Gwen’s lyrics and vocal delivery were vulnerable and the band was diversely talented. No Doubt bridged the gap between my favorite rock bands and my guilty love for pop music.
3. SEVENDUST – SEVENDUST
I had been listening to heavier bands for a while, but they only had half of my interest. When I discovered Sevendust, I was sold. They were this perfect blend of heavy guitars and aggression mixed with soulful melodies.
4. GEMINI SYNDROME – LUX
I was hesitant to list this album, but realized that without a doubt, it changed my life and had to be mentioned. My story of developing the music and foundational ideas of Gemini Syndrome began before it was even a band and culminated in the release of LUX. The belief of those that understood my vision and loved those songs hold a special chapter in my life. Often I’m reminded of the impact the album made on other people, which in turn makes a profound impact on me.
5. PERIPHERY – JUGGERNAUT: ALPHA & OMEGA
Although I appreciate the musicianship of technical music, I’ve never been a fan because I felt the musicianship overtook the fundamentals of writing a catchy song. When I first heard Periphery’s double album Juggernaut: Alpha/Juggernaut: Omega, I instantly understood why so many people had been buzzing about the band. To me, they figured out the perfect mix of modern guitar and melodic songwriting.