Poetic Memory: Barbarian (List)

Photo credit: Chris Maroulakos

Photo credit: Chris Maroulakos

San Diego’s Barbarian are winding up their month-long Soda Bar residency.

The band kicked off the residency on January 7 and have been rocking the place every Monday since. For the final installment of their four-week stint — this Monday, January 28 — the local psych-rockers will be joined by Dirt Dress, Bangladesh, and Slipping Into Darkness.

In anticipation of the show, front man Andrew Mills sent us a list of his inspirations. “The main goal for Barbarian has been to mold a very cohesive sound distinctive to us,” Mills said. “These are the people and things that inspire my writing, sort of as muses that push me to explore my artistic and writing side from a day to day basis.”

Check out Andrew’s Poetic Memory below, and don’t miss Monday’s show.

Music: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, Serge Gainsbourg, Elvis, Scott Walker, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Hot Snakes, The Stooges, The Cramps, Pulp, The Clash, Television, Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Jesus and Mary Chain, Stone Roses, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Patti Smith, Black Flag, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Nancy Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Lee Hazelwood, Radiohead, The Doors, Misfits, Beatles, George Gershwin, Beethoven, FEAR, James Brown, Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Circle Jerks

Writers: Arthur Rimbaud, Jim Thompson, Baudelaire, Bernard Shaw, Nietszche, W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin, Cormac McCarthy, Aleister Crowley, Nietszche

Film: Fellini, Luis Bunuel, Jim Jarmusch, Hitchcock, Jean Luc Godard, John Hillcoat, Terrence Mallick, Marx Brothers, John Waters, Kubrick

Artists: Ed Roth, Frank Frazetta, Skinner, Jay Howell

Random Shit:

  • Jim Henson
  • The women in my life, past, present, and future
  • Pondering time and space…well time, not space…actually, I have no idea what I’m talking about.
  • “University” commercials (like the ones where it’s like, “Follow your dreams of becoming a dental assistant!”).  I am not putting that down because a job is a job — and I’ve had plenty of jobs that I didn’t want to do, but I did them to survive. But after college, I was like, shit, I’m not ready for a 9-5 and honestly I don’t know if I ever am so why not really try to pursue my one true passion in life: music and art. It’s been very cathartic for my mind and soul. I don’t have the social anxiety I once had to follow the proverbial “American Dream.”
  • Taxidermy
  • The occult
  • Ancient aliens
  • Obscure things in general like possums, skunks, and racoons are more cute to me than dogs and cats, because they are the bastards of suburbanization and looked at as pests and a general nuisance, while stray cats and dogs are looked at as helpless and in need of protection. I just think that goes along with what gets accepted as “the social norm,” and any outlier is ugly and bastardized. I think that goes with music also; whatever certain big blogs such as Pitchfork and Stereogum and Rolling Stone say is cool or uncool, is “cool or uncool.” That’s why it’s good to maintain localized music blogs and other media outlets that can hopefully provide unbiased promotion of music and art. Don’t get me wrong, I have found some amazing bands via big blogs that have really touched my life, so I am not saying “Stick it to the man!” They can be just a necessary evil in the music machine. Shit, now I am just rambling on about nothing, haha. It’s hard to list influences and inspirations because you always get too serious. I guess it’s ’cause I am really just a huge music nerd. Ultimately, Barbarian is comprised of lighthearted guys who really just love to play music, drink, socialize, and constantly laugh. We are professional about music but also realize at the same time you can’t take life too seriously or it will swallow up your soul.
  • As a band, we also enjoy word games like mixing up the first letters of people’s last names like for example Billy Joel becomes Jilly Boel (say it out loud it’s fun) or Donald Trump becomes Tronald Dump or Dan Marino becomes Man Darino or Billie Jean becomes Jillie Bean. I could go on and on, but you get the point.


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