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The First Album I Ever Bought: Walter Schreifels, Vanishing Life

Walter Schreifels – also of Quicksand, Rival Schools and Gorilla Biscuits – reveals why he picked up this Blondie classic when we was a little kid

I believe the first album I bought was Parallel Lines by Blondie. I think I bought that and their album Eat To The Beat on the same day, but I guess I’ll talk about Parallel Lines.

I was a little kid when I’d heard Heart Of Glass on the radio. I’d heard the band name Blondie; I’d maybe seen a video and I was just in love with the singer, Debbie Harry. This record just had everything. It had these five cool-looking guys that looked like they were having fun and this beautiful girl who I must’ve been in love with in an Olivia Newton-John kinda way, but she was hotter than that.I’m just trying to frame this as it was from my child mind!

Blondie was pop music, but within that was a rock band. If you listen to Clem Burke play, he’s a very powerful rock drummer. There’s a lot of diversity and dynamics within the band; lyrically, it’s dope and the cover is amazing. Parallel Lines was just the whole package for me.

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When I was 10 or 11, I think I got into music a little bit more than some of my friends. I was looking to buy records, while most of my friends were probably listening to their parents’ or their older siblings’ records – but I was the older sibling. I’m sure some of my friends were into music as much as I was, but I don’t really remember hanging out with my male friends talking about how cool Blondie were. They were fucking cool, though!

I just really picked up on how rock'n'roll the band were – they were cool and they were punk, but they were popular. They were kind of a sensation at that time. When I first got into music, it would’ve been through seeing films of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones and stuff like that. Anyway, the hysteria in the ‘60s surrounding these bands was kinda like Blondie; it wasn’t like Beatlemania or anything, but everyone was into it and it was good to be a part of it all.

Looking back, Parallel Lines doesn’t hit me in the same way. There’s a bit of a pop lightness to them, but they have their moments, stuff like X Offender. They have some really deep songs that have a heaviness that maintains. Still, I love Blondie and Debbie Harry is one of the coolest humans ever.


Vanishing Life's Surveillance will be released on November 25. The band are on tour throughout November.

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