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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


Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii
When I was younger I found a VHS copy of the movie, Live At Pompeii, and I still have that videotape. I'd kinda given up on Pink Floyd at a certain point. When I was growing up, I related certain bands with certain things, so it took me a while to come back around to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. It’s probably because in high school, all the people that thought my music was ‘just noise’ or garbage, and all the idiots in the corner who were listening to the old dinosaur arena rock, they were the ones into Pink Floyd, and at time I knew them mainly for The Wall and Dark Side Of The Moon. But I came back around to them and discovered their psychedelic pre-Dark Side-era. As much as I love the mythology of the very early days with Syd Barrett, I don't think that's their best music. I think their best music came after David Gilmour joined, and that's why I chose Live At Pompeii. That collection of tracks are the best from all the previous records up to that point and the exact performances of those tracks are better than they are on the studio albums. There's way more passion, way more intensity, and they're not even playing to an audience, they're playing into architecture, they're playing into these ruins of an ancient theatre. The film is beautiful and well shot - it’s incredible to see their gear and, y'know, David Gilmour with no shoes on and no shirt on, sitting in the dirt, with his slide and his echo machine making these crazy space noises. It all comes together as an incredibly dark space rock journey, really. I mean, how many bands owe their entire existence to ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’?