Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

12. The BodyNo One Deserves Happiness

My friend Anthea used to work for Thrill Jockey and I used to be lucky in that she would send me CDs and promos to listen to. I remember listening to The Body and it was just like nothing I’d ever heard. It’s this incredibly heavy, slow music, but when Chip [King, vocalist] starts to sing, the screeching vocals are like a dog being or a cat being strangled or something.

Sometimes with heavy music it almost becomes a little bit formulaic. What I really felt with The Body is that there was an authentic pain there, you could really feel that from the music. In terms of Chip’s vocals, I just never heard anything like it. It took me back to being a teen and listening to bands like Eyehategod. When you’re younger, there’s something very healing about having that organised violence in a way. Having a mosh pit or being able to throw your fists in the air, it’s an agreed violence and everyone’s knows you’ll pick other people up from the pit and things like that. It’s a way of kind of getting out that teenage angst but for many of us that doesn’t really go away, does it? Although I wouldn’t be in a pit these days, listening to a band like The Body still resonates with me.

In between songs, Chip is just a comic genius, very, very funny, and then goes into these painful, painful songs. I also think everything about them, their aesthetic, the designs of their T shirts, and the records are really beautifully done, and they’re serial collaborators. They’ve collaborated with Big Brave and Thou and Full of Hell. One of the best sets I’ve ever seen was when they played with Thou at Roadburn Festival and they did a cover of Shellac’s ‘Prayer to God’. It was just utterly amazing. I remember turning to the side and there was this woman who had obviously been brought by her partner and was not interested in the music, even though it was like the loudest thing I think I’ve ever heard. She was just watching cooking recipes on YouTube. Meanwhile, Thou and The Body are playing, there’s double drumming and these screeching vocals and everyone around her just going absolutely ballistic to this music, and then there’s this woman reading recipes on our phone. That was a moment that stayed with me.

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