Eighteen Visions' James Hart: The 10 Records That Changed My Life
Eighteen Visions' frontman raids his record collection to reveal some of his favourite albums
Following a 10-year hiatus, Eighteen Visions returned to the world of rock and metal this year with sixth album XVIII. Having been a mainstay of the initial early noughties metalcore boom, the Orange County bruisers are back, still helmed by James Hart. But outside of 18V (and his other band Burn Halo), what music pushes James' buttons? Here we talk to the frontman about his love of Alice In Chains, Quicksand and.. errm.. Kylie Minogue.
My favourite album artwork is...
Tool – Ænima (1996, Zoo Entertainment)
"It had this hologram look to it, at least the CD version did. If you shift the CD a certain way, the cover would move around; I always thought that was cool for the time, nobody was doing anything like that. We never really had much control over the vinyl editions we’ve done, it's always been licensed out, but for the latest album we had full creative control over what we were going to do with the gatefold and how we wanted it to look."
The album that reminds me of school is...
Quicksand – Slip (1993, Polydor)
“My friend would pick me up for school everyday and I remember that was in heavy rotation. I was sophomore junior in high school and this would be on pretty much every day or multiple times a week. I get that nostalgic throwback feeling for certain records, I get it with a few albums I listened to in high school, but this is the one that I feel was the biggest staple on an almost daily basis.”
The album that inspires me the most is...
Earth Crisis – Destroy The Machines (1994, Victory)
“That came out when I was in high school and at the time it was the heaviest, most metal hardcore band that was really big, and I feel like they were doing something different to everyone else. It made me want to play music and it had such a cool message to it as well. It was inspiring for the time it came out for me, personally, and where I was at in my life.”
The first album I bought was...
Skid Row – Skid Row (1989, Atlantic)
“This is the first Skid Row record. The music on rock radio was Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses and stuff, and I just remember going into the local music store and making my first purchase. I heard it on the radio all the time, it got a lot of heavy airplay back in the States. I think 18 And Life was the big song on that album.”
The album I want to be remembered for is...
Eighteen Visions – XVIII (2017, Rise Records)
“Not to take anything away from what we’ve done in the past, but this record really speaks for who we are as a band and who we’ve always really been. Looking back in retrospect, we’ve had to figure out what we did best and what we liked best from each album, and we’ve been able to put it all on the new album. It’s really fun and exciting for us and it really encompasses who we are as songwriters.”
The most underrated album is...
Handsome – Handsome (1997, Sony)
“Another album we had on constant repeat. It was just a really good post-hardcore album in the vein of Quicksand but maybe a little more poppy, heavier, and more commercial. At the time I thought it was going to break through and open the doors for more of those bands. It was one of the first post-hardcore albums on a major label but I don’t think they knew what to do with it or how to market it, and it didn’t get anywhere near the exposure it deserved."
Nobody would believe I own a copy of...
Kylie Minogue – Fever (2001, Parlophone)
“It’s got really good, solid pop tunes. I think I really got exposed to her music on a flight to the UK on one of our early tours, there was a channel on the plane playing music videos, and there was a couple of Kylie Minogue videos that came on once an hour. One of them was for the song Come Into My World, and in the video she’s walking through the streets in and out of all these shops, and there ends up being five or six Kylies at once doing the same thing at different times and I thought that video was really fucking cool. I’ve always been a fan of pop music like Madonna, and this is like a modern version of that. Our old guitar player Ken bought the album and we just listened to it on repeat.”
The album that broke my heart is...
Soundgarden – King Animal (2012, Vertigo)
“I hate to say it. I’ve been a huge Chris Cornell fan my entire life, a huge Soundgarden fan, I love Temple Of The Dog, love Audioslave, love his solo albums. When I heard Soundgarden were getting back together I was super-hyped, and there are a couple of songs on there that I dig, but in general it just didn’t live up to what I expected as a fan.”
The album I wish I'd made is...
Alice In Chains – Dirt (1992, Columbia)
“My favourite album of all time. It’s heavy, it’s emotional, it’s super-personal, and paints great pictures. I’d probably have to have been on a lot of heroin to write it, but it’s my favourite. When it came out I loved how heavy and dark it was, how deep the concept is – it’s genius."
A kid asks me what metal is. I give them a copy of...
Metallica – Ride The Lightning (1984, Megaforce)
“It’s metal enough and it’s not as mainstream as some of the later stuff. If I’m trying to expose somebody to what I feel a metal band is, then it’s a good starting point so they can take it either more commercial or heavier from there – Ride The Lightning is a really good middle-ground.”
Eighteen Visions new album XVIII is out now, via Rise Records.