Greet Death’s Sam Boyhtari: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Michigan-based trio Greet Death dropped their critically acclaimed second album New Hell late last year via Deathwish Inc. The follow-up to their 2017 debut album Dixieland sees the group pushing the boundaries of their sound, full of hooky alt-rock melodies, shoegazing atmospheres and intensely personal lyrics. Later this year, the band will join Deafheaven on the blackgaze leaders’ 10th anniversary tour alongside expansive doom-death outfit Inter Arma. Ahead of that momentous trek, we caught up with Greet Death’s Sam Boyhtari to find out the five albums that changed the bassist-vocalist’s life.

Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism

I bought this record at a bookstore when I was a sophomore in high school. I remembered hearing a song by them that I liked, but I didn’t know what it was. I got the CD hoping it was on there. It wasn’t, and I had a hard time getting into the album initially. But it introduced me to the band, which had a huge influence on my early writing and singing. I [actually] like The Photo Album a lot more than this one.

Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

I can’t think of many moments as impactful as the sequence of “Poor Places” into “Reservations.” Songwriting and dissonance live together. Cinema and pop music. I never connected with any of their other records the way I did this one. I still can’t get into “Kamera” no matter how many times I hear it, though.

Songs: Ohia – Didn’t it Rain

I didn’t know what I was listening to the first time I heard this record. Logan [Gaval, Greet Death guitarist] put it on during a night drive. We were on the way to a movie or something. I had to ask what it was about halfway through “Blue Factory Flame” because I was captivated. The same chord progression for eight minutes. Haunting imagery and storytelling. The whole record is like that, and you feel like you’re there while it’s being made. Like you’re part of it. Desolation and hope intertwined.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

This was one of the first CDs I ever bought, sometime in middle school. I’d heard “1979” and thought it was the best song ever written or something. I started learning guitar because of that song, trying to bring ideas I wrote to the other guys in my pop-punk band. That was a funny contrast.

Blink-182 – Enema of the State

Logan and I were, like, 12 years old or something. We were at his brother’s baseball game, waiting in the car for it to be done. He was like, “Hey, check this band out.” We shared a pair of earbuds and listened to some of this record. I didn’t listen to much music at that point, but I had started playing bass because my dad did. Logan and I would go in his basement, put this record on, and play along to it. We started a pop-punk band with a couple friends soon after because that seemed like the coolest thing we could ever do.