HAWKING took some time to put together a playlist of songs that influenced their music. Check out the songs from each of the band members and the playlist below.
Protest the Hero – “Drumhead Trial” (Saul)
This band’s guitar duo have been one of the biggest influences on my guitar style. This track showcases the airtight traversal of technique, dynamic range and interlocking melodic layers they’re known for. Not to mention the guest trade off guitar and vocal sections are a treat.
The Contortionist – “Language I & II” (Tom)
Lush, emotive and heavy soundscapes, plus some of the grooviest and most inventive use of polymeter in modern progressive music. This is the album that taught me a hook can be anything, and that hooks can be as subtle or as obvious as you want. Impeccably composed chord progressions and tasteful arrangement as well. This track is inspiring in its sheer excellence.
Plini – “Electric Sunrise” (Chris)
Lately I’ve been listening to instrumental music and finding melodies outside of vocals. Plini has been very creative on that front. This song especially helped me write the bridge for ‘Catalyst’ as it uses a similar guitar tapping technique as this song.
Underoath – “Writing on the Walls” (Chartwell)
One of the first tracks my sister and I got into when we first started listening to heavier music. Hard hitting, very emotive drummer who sings. This is what I aspire to live up to — ask anyone who’s been to one of our shows. Aaron will always be an idol in how he plays live and on record.
Saosin – “It’s So Simple” (Saul)
This track brings me back to where I started with guitar. I’ve always been a fan of Justin’s lead style and this track exemplifies that combination of dissonant and storytelling riffage I aimed to write a chapter of on Diverge.
Crooks – “Above Me” (Tom)
Lyrically, melodically and thematically a huge influence on my writing for Diverge. Genius tempo changes that inspired us to push ourselves on that front as well, and superb vocal technique that encouraged me to excel there.
Intervals – “Sure Shot” (Chris)
Running with my theme of instrumental artists, Intervals made me appreciate the use of seventh chords and other extensions to make progressions more interesting while still keeping the song high energy and listenable. A nice blend between “pop-sounding” chords and melodies with adventurous progressions was a goal I had throughout writing Diverge. Plus from a production POV, their use of reverbs to transition between songs was something I really wanted to try out.
Periphery – “Prayer Position” (Chartwell)
This track was one of my main influences while writing the drum parts in Diverge. Finding that careful balance between being intricate and not overplaying the part. This song embodies my style to a T.
Polyphia – “Ivory” (Saul)
More on the modern end, their newest album Renaissance was a staple in finding instrumental inspiration before the writing sessions for Diverge. This track is infectious throughout and has a great build up and drop to conclude it.
Kaaris – “S.E.V.R.A.N” (Tom)
Sprinkled throughout the album are lots of Trap-inspired beats. American mainstream hip-hop has been a turnoff for me lately, so I actually wound up being inspired by some French artists I found thanks to Spotify. Kaaris has been the main one though; he influenced some of my lyrics on Diverge as well. French can be a very poetic and inspiring language even when the song’s subject matter could be considered un peu ignoble.
Periphery – “Lune” (Chris)
This song influenced the new album in three ways. One, the orchestral arrangements they composed are incredible. I really wanted to experiment with strings and piano after listening to this song. Two, the quality of recording is off the charts. Everything mixes so well together. Three, they end their album with an emotionally epic song. We decided to end with “Leave You Behind” for this album. Even though it doesn’t sound like Periphery, it was still influenced by them heavily with the placement and arrangement.
Death Cab For Cutie – “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” (Chartwell)
This is the track I will always go back to regardless of what musical phase I’m in. I love keeping ghost notes at the forefront of my playing, and Jason McGerr embodies that style. I will always love this band.