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Baker's Dozen

The Old Country: Steve Von Till’s Baker’s Dozen
John Doran , December 16th, 2020 10:06

The long-serving Neurosis guitarist and singer shares his deep dive favourites; 13 albums which have shaped the way he looks at music and informed his writing and solo work as Harvestman and Steve Von Till


Hawkwind - Space Ritual
There is no American equivalent to Hawkwind and they never really broke through over here. My doorway into discovering them was through Motörhead. When I was a young guy in my late teens, I was always looking for the heaviest, most intense music I could find. So when I discovered Motörhead - being the music nerd that I am - I found out that Lemmy had been in another band beforehand; and when I heard Hawkwind it was a case of, ‘Wow, what is this all about?!’ It’s heavy psychedelic space rock like nobody else has ever done - they were the masters of it. What they played was gritty, it was dirty, it was crusty, so I was surprised to learn that in England some people look down on them. It’s almost like how punk rock looks down on the Grateful Dead here. A case of, ‘Ahhhh, stupid hippies’, y'know? Which is funny because if you listen to the Grateful Dead's music and consider the fact that they have been awarded the title of psychedelic kings of rock - and I’m not one to judge anybody else’s artistic output - I just don't hear it. I hear bluegrass influences and musicians' music from a certain period in history. But when I heard Hawkwind - to my young American mind - I heard people having revelatory hallucinatory experiences, losing their mind around Stonehenge. [laughs] Which is completely different to a bunch of hippies selling mushrooms in the parking lot outside a football arena before they go and watch the Grateful Dead.