Best known for his role in the legendary LaFaro, Alan Lynn returned with new project Exhalers earlier last year. A one man band, he delivered his first album in May 2021 and by Christmas had released its follow up. TOLERATOR builds on that first album, there’s a little more depth and a little more scope across the second album’s ten tracks without moving away from the nineties inspired hard rock that Lynn has made his goal. Lead single ‘Impersonal Relations’ encapsulates this best, a riff filled four minutes that rarely lets up. Lynn has spent time drumming for the likes of Ash and Therapy? on top of his days in LaFaro, and that taste for the heavy shines through.
We asked Lynn to give us an insight into the sound behind Exhalers in our latest Influences Mixtape.
Nirvana – Something in the Way
When I was a kid, Nirvana pretty much changed my life. They were the first “real” band that I felt I discovered pretty much myself and the reason I wanted to be a drummer. I’ve always loved how raw this track is, everything from the cheap sounding guitar to the volume and delicacy of Kurt’s vocals. This delicacy is something I wanted to try to capture on “Barriers.
Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds
I pretty much wanted “Delhi St 1am” to sound like a knock off NIN track. I have always absolutely loved how Trent Reznor continually merges rock and dance music to make something that sounds aggressive yet accessible. The hand that feeds is the perfect example of what NIN are like at their best. I definitely tried to channel my inner Reznor for the vocals on Delhi St.
Radiohead – Pyramid Song
This song never fails to grab my full attention every time I hear it. The ambience and reverb on the piano and the close in the mix vocals just chill me up big time. I always love tunes that paint a picture and I feel this one paints a pure Bob Ross. “All that you left behind” was my little ode to this particular style of song.
Queens of the Stone Age – Go With The Flow
These lads know how to make a punk rock song. This particular track gets straight to the point and blasts at you from start to finish. The perfect single. This song was definitely in my mind when I wrote “til death do you part” when I finished the tune, I was a little worried that it had no change or middle 8, then I thought well, if Queens can do it, why can’t I.
Tomahawk – Rape This Day
This track is rough and ruthless. From the huge drums, the fingers down a blackboard guitar sound and Mike Pattons vocals. This whole album is full of tracks that are hard hitting but beautiful. Patton is undoubtedly a musical hero, never mind a vocal one. “Hell hole” doesn’t sound anything like this track but I feel it has similar moments of the rough and smooth.
Foo Fighters – Exhausted
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that what Dave Grohl did with the first Foos album, wasn’t the inspiration for giving this Exhalers thing a go. Exhausted is for me, a perfect album closer that really captures the sound of the 90’s punk rock aftermath. I love the fuzz, the melody and the bashing drums. That was something I wanted to aim for with “Tolerator.”
Earthtone9 – Vitriolic HSF2000
This tune is a punch in the face! A dig in the bake if you will. This sort of song makes me want to drive really fast. I love the riffs, the loud drums and the guitar line harmonies. “Starlight” has elements of all of this. A great band of the noughties that came and went fairly unbeknownst to the masses.
Don Henley – New York Minute
As far as singing drummers go, Henley is one of the best. This tune has resonated with me since I was very young. I absolutely love his voice on this track. The harmonies and the chorus melody is just fantastic. Say no more.
Faith No More – Caffeine
This track and indeed this band, are one of the biggest influences for me as a musician. Mike Bordin was a huge influence as a drummer and Pattons vocals and dark melodies made me a fan from a very young age. Harmonies are a big part of what I do vocally in Exhalers. I think this track is a perfect example of when FNM got it perfectly right.
Iron Maiden – The Evil That Men Do
Iron maiden would probably be the first band whom I really really loved. My big brother used to listen to them and it all bled into my subconscious since I was 8 years old. In terms of drumming, vocal prowess and guitar work, Maiden at their best can’t be matched. I wouldn’t be the musician I am if it weren’t for these guys. Up the Irons.