May 09, 2011 12:00 PM

LED ZEPPELIN, HOUSES OF THE HOLY

It was the first album I ever heard on CD—I could hear John Bonham’s kick-drum pedals squeaking! That’s about when I really started playing drums. This is such a masterpiece with all of Zeppelin’s classic traits. “The Song Remains the Same” is just epic.

THE B-52’S, THE B-52’S

Those songs are practically flawless—raw, human, fun, deep. I saw them on Saturday Night Live [in 1980] at a babysitter’s house, and that moment changed my world forever. They were weird, and I felt weird. I was skinny and geeky, so I immediately connected with them.

HUSKER DU, ZEN ARCADE

The soundtrack to the summer of 1984 for me. All I did was hang out with my friends, go to shows, skateboard and listen to this album. It’s a really wild record. You’ll hear so much Foo Fighters in this music—I have ripped them off mercilessly for 16 years.

BAD BRAINS, ROCK FOR LIGHT

This album is probably America’s finest moment in independent punk-rock—a perfect combination of rock, blues, reggae and punk. And still to this day, they’re the most incredible live band I’ve ever seen in my life. They were just badass rock and roll.

THE BEATLES, ABBEY ROAD

My favorite Beatles record. The Beatles were my first love, the first time I felt taken by music. I started playing guitar when I was 10, and my mother bought me the Beatles songbook. I learned by listening to them—I never took lessons. I don’t know how to read music.

SONIC YOUTH, DIRTY

I don’t know if I’d ever considered feedback and dissonance beautiful until I heard Sonic Youth. They’re underappreciated. They did Dirty with Butch Vig after [he had produced] Nirvana’s Nevermind, and he made it sound like a f—ing atom bomb. Amazing.

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