Ahead of the release of Ventenner’s new album Invidia on 20th January we caught up with vocalist Charlie Dawe who curated a themed guest playlist for us. Check out his eclectic inspirations.
Ok, so let’s start off by saying that this list is not who I consider to be the top 10 vocalists of all time. That would be insane. And If it was I would deserve to whipped. Obviously that list would include the soaring pipes of Robert Plant, the power of Freddy Mercury and the seemingly endless octaves of Aretha Franklin, to name just a few.
There are also the singers who to be honest aren’t that great, but make great vocalists. Take Iggy Pop, he’s not exactly pitch perfect with a pleasant voice. Not many people listen to Smashing Pumpkins because of Billy’s soothing tone. But they are still amazing at what they do respectively. That’s another list for another day though.
Instead, this is a list of the ones who inspired me to pick up a mic. Who I learnt from, who’s every word I hang off in a song or who I wish I could sound like. To be honest a lot of my favourite bands aren’t even on this list, but this for me is the top 10 vocalists.
3D – From the first time I heard Robert Del Naja’s vocals on Inertia Creeps I was utterly mesmerised with his hypnotic style. Softly spoken yet sinsister, rhythmic and expertly sung. He was a huge influence on me and the way I approach the softer moments in Ventenner.
Massive Attack – Inertia Creeps
Richard Patrick – He basically taught me how to scream. When I made the shift from wailing cat to being able to hold my own with a mic, it was down to me learning to scream the chorus of Hey Man Nice Shot. It’s still one of my favourite songs ever and his voice is just massive. Filter’s album are always on at Ventenner HQ.
Filter – Hey Man Nice Shot
Marilyn Manson – The reason I started a band is basically this guy, and the album Antichrist Superstar. In my mind my whole career has and always will be trying to make a record as good as that. Chasing a unicorn somewhat, but it’s good to have a hobby.
Marilyn Manson – Reflecting God
Keith Buckley – I found Every Time I Die quite a few years in to their career, and straight off the bat I was blown away by not only his whiskey soaked scream, but his word play is unrivalled. A true master of his craft and he constantly sets the bar incredibly high.
Every Time I Die – Decayin’ With The Boys
Beth Gibbons – The soundtrack to most of my evenings in the 90’s. She sounds like she has seen some things, but has a really pure no frills voice. Portishead’s Live At Roseland NYC is one of my favourite things to watch and she sounds flawless live.
Portishead – Over
Chino Moreno – He’s an odd one Chino. Really unique voice, so many interesting elements to it. And to my surprise he sounds the exact same way live. I always presumed it was heavily effected in the studio, but no that’s just him. A really ballsy scream and pitch perfect high notes.
Deftones – Rocket Skates
Jim Morrison – The crooning poet, full time ladies man and drug enthusiast. Jim Morrison pretty much had it all as a frontman. With a mastery of the English language and piercing intellect, his lyrics were amazing and songs like The End and Riders On The Storm really show what he’s made of.
The Doors – Riders On The Storm
Maynard James Keenan – Maynard really is the full spectrum. Not only are all his bands amazing, but he hits everything from horrific screams to powerful singing to softly spoken lullaby tones. He’s what other singers call ‘a git’. Add to that he apparently has eight lungs he doesn’t really have any limits.
Tool – The Grudge
Courtney Love – Love or hate her, she’s made her mark. Hole’s album Live Through This is one of my all-time favourites, and she belts out the screams like the angriest person I’ve ever heard. There’s so much venom, hate and emotion in her singing it’s impossible for me not to put her on this list.
Hole – Violet
Tricky – If a chimney had a mouth. If a pile of rocks could talk. Tricky has the most gravelly voice I’ve ever heard. It’s like Tom Waits with a cough. His albums Maxinquaye and Pre Millenium Tension were huge for me in the 90’s and also the first time I’d come across hip hop with a truly dark soul.
Tricky – Christiansands
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