U.K. heavy alt-rock trio Black Orchid Empire recently released their new sci-fi concept album and third full-length overall, Semaphore, via Long Branch Records. The band — comprised of vocalist-guitarist Paul Visser, vocalist-bassist David Ferguson and drummer Billy Freedom — offer up a mix of bulldozing riffery and hooky melody not far flung from the more headbanging output of Royal Blood or Queens of the Stone Age. Considering their hydra-headed sound, it’s perhaps not surprising that Black Orchid Empire draw on a wide range of musical influences. With that mind, we hit up the group’s Paul Visser to find out what five albums have most shaped him — he had some great picks.
1. Slipknot – Slipknot
When I first heard this I was already into fairly heavy music, but I remember being stunned. I mean, how are you even allowed to make shit like that? It felt crazy as hell.
2. Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine
The only band to ever feel like they actually might change the world, whether it liked it or not.
3. Tool – Lateralus
I remember this being the deepest, most complex experience I’d ever had listening to a band. I hated it. Then I saw them live and it changed it completely. Now it’s one of my favorite albums of all time.
4. Radiohead – The Bends
Such an important album for me. It arrived in my world just after I started learning to play guitar, and the blend of edgy rock with stunning songwriting was amazing to me.
5. Alice In Chains – Alice In Chains
I have a running theory that 1994 and 1995 was the pinnacle of all human existence. This album is one of my examples. The others are Superunknown, Grace, Ill Communication, Nirvana Unplugged, Music for the Jilted Generation, Dummy, The Division Bell, Smash, Korn, Protection, The Bends, Elliot Smith, Foo Fighters, HIStory, Post. Thats just in music. If you want movies, you’ve got Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, The Mask, Natural Born Killers, Leon, Toy Story, Apollo 13, Seven, Braveheart, Goldeneye, Bad Boys, The Usual Suspects, 12 Monkeys. Oh and the Playstation came out. What the HELL was going on? But yeah, I’m a huge AIC fan and I heard this one first for some reason. So, so cool.