When Ryan Immegart isn’t busy as one of the driving forces behind Volcom (where he helped break bands like Riverboat Gamblers, Valient Thorr and Torche to name but a few), he is back to making music with theLINE, the art punk band he started in the early 90s. Even though they sounded more like a ‘high tempo’ed RUSH 2112 or an early Iron Maiden record’, they got lumped in with all the other pop-punk bands before calling it day in 2001.
Fast forward to today when the band released ‘Sour To Punker’, a brand new EP they released on their own label, ImageArt Records.
We caught up with Ryan who was kind enough to list some of his biggest songwriting influences. Check it out below. You are guaranteed to find some surprising choices in the list.
Quiet Riot - 'Metal health'
I can’t say that I rock this album often lately, but it was the first cassette I ever bought based on the metal mask. I wanted one so bad. And I remember singing every word to Metal Health in lunch line in like first grade to the disgust of the lunch lady!!! So every time I get asked this type of question I have to mention it. Great rock record!!!!
D.I. - 'Horse Bites, Dog Cries'
I got a dubbed tape of this album from my older sister in 7th grade along with The Exploited' 'Punks Not Dead' and Suicidal's 'Institutionalized'. As much as I love all three of those records, Horse Bites was my introduction into more of a melodic punk style that had a lot of hooks and melodies! I still love this record and I love when punk was still offensive
John Prine - 'S/T'
I love a great song with a story more than anything else. After being into music for some years, I realized my favorite songwriter was John Prine and soon found out why. Amazing songs. Spanish Pipedream, Sam Stone, Donald and Lydia. Every song takes you out of your own world for a few minutes at a time. Absolutely genius!!! Plus I’m a sucker for a lot of pedal steel guitar.
Avail - 'Over The James'
Hard for me to pick one Avail record. But like with John Prine, the stories get to me every time. Songs about jumping trains and hobo life and being from Richmond, VA set to a hardcore tempo. My obsession with Avail led me to all the great southern fried punk bands.
N.W.A. - 'N.W.A. and the Posse'
I guess this would be the original demo type release for NWA. It has a similar track list to the masterpiece that is 'Straight Outta Compton', but I had this cassette first and love all the “license to Ill” samples. I don’t think people now getting into music can understand hearing music like NWA for the first time. Knocks your head off your shoulders!!!!
Chokebore - 'Anything near water'
There are so many great bands that never get the credit they deserve. This is one of them. I wanted to pick something that I knew had a true influence on theLINE. When we first started, we discovered this band on a acme skateboard video soundtrack under the name “Dana Lynn”. Some of our first jams were actually covers of that soundtrack. Part punk, part sludge, part pop, part noise and a lot of goth. These guys were so unique and once you give this album a few spins, it will become clear it’s a masterpiece.
Albert King - 'Born Under A Bad Sign'
I love the blues and Albert king is my guy!!! Played a Flying V upside down strung backwards and his own tuning that people still haven’t really figured out. Great tone and huge influence to the British blues movement that would later reinvent the style and sell it back to aspiring pentatonic wire benders in the United States.
Steely Dan - 'Aja'
This is a record I never get tired of. Perfect musicianship and timeless. 'Deacon blues' is the perfect song and arrangement of the times for me, The phrasing still blows my mind.
Fugazi - '7 Songs'
As a massive Minor Threat fan, of course I didn’t know what to think of Ian’s new what I think we were already calling “emo” band. But what’s not to love! Huge influence on theLINE, which has always been somewhat of an art punk band. Especially on our later records.
Van Morrison - 'Caravan'
Again getting back to songs that takes you somewhere. This album and its baritone-sounding horn section calms me down more than 3 xanys bars as soon as the music starts. I can’t get enough of the horn section. Mind blowing stuff that’s timeless,