Ever wanted to know what made the artists in your music library tick? What albums inspired their own? Their personal musical history? Wonder no more for Mytacism Music has got your Monday Inspiration to show you the albums that inspired the albums. So, following a little hiatus of these posts, Noah Hoffeld is getting us musically inspired once again with the album that inspired his own work of genius (new LP ‘Play Human’, out now!): ‘Survival’ by Bob Marley And The Wailers.
What made you pick up the album?
I first picked up the album ’cause I’d heard a few tunes on a Bob Marley compilation that blew my mind. At that time I was really branching out from my classical training and looking for ways to open up. Something about the sound of the ‘Survival’ tracks grabbed me – they were so direct.
Where were you when you first heard the album in its entirety?
I was finishing up my stint at Juilliard at the time. After school one day I went to Tower Records, next door. I brought the album home and cranked it. The pressures of the concrete jungle melted away, as they always do with Marley’s music.
Where did the album take you on your first listen?
The eloquence of the songs and band took me deep inside my core, restoring my sense of positivity and optimism. At the same time the lyrics ignited my outrage at the worldwide system that oppresses the many in favor of the few. It’s a magical potion in that way.
Why did it inspire your own work?
I’ve always looked for a way to make a difference in the world, to have a voice. Bob helped me realize that music and particularly pop songs are a perfect vehicle for that. It was about that time that I started to write my own songs. Marley’s combination of political and spiritual messages resonate with my own feeling that working to help the world is an integral part of life. And you could sing of the political and the spiritual side by side, or even at the same time! That’s something I’ve tried to do with my album Play Human.
Are there any lyrics that stuck with you from the record?
“Life is one big road with lots of signs / So when you’re riding through the ruts don’t you complicate your mind / Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy / Don’t bury your thoughts put your vision to reality yeah.”
Do you have a favourite track? What is it and why?
‘Wake up and Live’ is my fave track from the record. I just love how the arrangement makes so much space for the preaching to happen. And that preaching, while coming in the form of a command-wake up and live- still makes you feel so good. Makes you feel more alive. The punchy horn section and great bass line bring the message home. It’s inspiring.
Do you have any particular memories attached to the record?
Funny you should ask! Recently I was out on the water with my surfing teacher. We were paddling out and getting ready for a fresh set of waves. All of a sudden a sea turtle poked her head out of the water to say hi. My teacher starting singing to me – “Life is one big road with lots of signs……”