The Band That Changed Everything: Andrew Cook (A Rocket To The Moon)

A Rocket to the Moon drummer Andrew Cook shares with Naked a little about Boyz II Men, masturbation songs, and the band that changed everything for himGreen Day.

The band that changed everything for me was Green Day. Before I go further, I must say, there are many bands I rank well above them in my list of favorite bands. That is not the point, in my opinion. What I mean when I say Green Day changed everything, is that they’re the band that made me pick up drumsticks.

I bought “Dookie” on cassette (a cassette which I still have… somewhere) when I was 10 years old. By the time the drum solo kicked in halfway through “Burnout,” I was sold. I decided I wanted to play drums so I could learn that solo. At age 11, I started learning to read sheet music for snare drum. I played in the beginner band at my middle school, where I was at first relegated to playing the cymbals. Only the best drummers got to play snare in the parades and ensembles, so I started practicing. A lot.

Although “Burnout” made me want to learn drums, it wasn’t the first song I learned to play. The solo was way too fast. So I started slow. I learned “In Bloom” by Nirvana, and felt incredibly accomplished. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I returned to the drums from a brief hiatus, that I learned the solo from “Burnout.” That was around the time I started a Blink 182/MxPx cover band, but that’s another story.

Something about Green Day just hit me when I heard them for the first time. The energy was unlike anything I’d experienced on record (at the time I was listening to Boyz II Men, Melissa Ethridge, and Our Lady Peace a lot, I begrudgingly admit). They were singing about things like not fitting in, broken hearts, and (earmuffs, children) masturbating. It blew me away. They were the band that opened the door for me to discover dozens of other bands that would define my existence as a high school kid. Bands like Pennywise, Millencolin, Strung Out, Propagandhi, Lagwagon, etc. Not to sound overly dramatic, but they didn’t just open the door, they kicked it down with a pair of Doc Martens, and I shopped accordingly. Punk rock has been a huge part of my life and development, and without Green Day I might have been too late to the party to have fun. Instead, I was right on time, and am forever grateful for it.

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