RECORDS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE: Matt Jatkola of The Bynars

by | Mar 9, 2015 | Interviews and Features


Which records inspired you to become a musician? Let us know and you can be featured in a future column. Email [email protected]  for more info. 

People of Earth: How Are You? My name is Matt Jatkola. I’m the guitarist/vocalist/songwriter of synthpop band The Bynars from Boston. We’re currently working on writing and recording new material – two projects simultaneously, actually – which is so daunting that I often drift off in thought instead of actually working on music. What thoughts come to me as I’m in this depressive procrastination haze? Making lists of albums that changed my life, of course! These mostly come from the time I was in 4th–12th grade, which is probably where your life-changing albums come from, too.

Aerosmith: Get A Grip (1993)


This album and Ace of Base’s The Sign were the first CDs I owned. Every song rocks. I think “Cryin’” is fantastic. “Boogie Man,” the instrumental at the end, is one of my favorites. Christmas ’93 was very good. I got a Discman, too. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Nirvana: From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah (1996)


Someone asked me recently what made me want to be a musician or be in a band. Michael J. Fox’s guitar solo in Back to the Future made me want to be a musician. The front cover of Wishkah made me want to be in a band. The music is pretty good, too. Love “Spank Thru.”

The Get Up Kids: Something To Write Home About (1999)


Before this album, no music existed in my world except what was on the radio and MTV. My friend Andy liked this band, so I checked them out. I bought this CD and the second I popped it in my mind was blown. Emotionally, it stirred up so much in me. “Holiday” is one of the most exciting openers I’ve ever heard. I still get chills.

The Lot Six: GWYLO (2002)

lot six gwylo

Speaking of exciting openers, “Anita De” is badass-ery at its finest! I love how weird this album is, but still kind of straight-up like a punk record…they were just the coolest band ever [and former Performer cover stars – Ed.]. Amazing live as well. And “Shit for Brains” is gorgeous and heart-wrenching in the midst of it all.

Prince: Sign O’ The Times (1987)


I was way late to the Prince game. I first heard the 1999 b-side “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” in 2011 and thought it was beautiful. Then I got into the 1999 album, but Sign O’ The Times is my favorite. It makes me feel like anything is possible.

Follow on Twitter at @thebynars

photo by Emilee Barnett