Greyhaven's Brent Mills: 5 Albums That Made Me | Revolver

Greyhaven's Brent Mills: 5 Albums That Made Me

From Nirvana to System of a Down, post-hardcore singer looks back on life-changing records
greyhaven brent mills 2021 danny council, Danny Council
Greyhaven's Brent Mills
photograph by Danny Council

Revolver has teamed with Greyhaven for an exclusive yellow vinyl variant of their new album, This Bright and Beautiful World. It's limited to 200 — order yours now!

Louisville, Kentucky post-hardcore crew Greyhaven made a name for themselves with the swaggering mix of hard-hitting Every Time I Die–esque chaos heard on their first two kick-ass albums 2014's Cult America and 2018's Empty Black. But singer Brent Mills reports they're about to "bring something different to the table" with their forthcoming third record, This Bright and Beautiful World (due April 15th via Equal Vision Records).

The band first teased their new direction last fall with the release of This Bright and Beautiful World's lead single "All Candy" — an emotive, vibey cut that finds the quartet leaning into their most poppy and melodic tendencies yet.

Considering the band's creative range and ambitions, it's not surprising that Greyhaven draw inspiration from a mix of musicians that push the boundaries of musical and emotional heaviness. We recently caught up with singer Brent Mills to talk about the five albums that most influenced his own artistic expressions. Read the stories behind his picks below.

Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)

Nevermind was the first record I remember listening to growing up. As a kid I just remember Nirvana being that band that embodied how I felt: alone, angry, misunderstood and all that cliché angsty kid stuff. But that really was how I felt a lot of the time growing up and this record connected with me. Purely based on how it sounded — I didn't pay much attention to the lyrics until later — just the noise coming out of the speakers made me want to make that happen myself. I think everyone has that moment where music first becomes truly important to them, and this album gave me that. It made me want to make music and luckily for me, and probably a lot of other kids, learning their songs was accessible and the barrier of entry into this incredible, mystical world suddenly became not so high. 

System of a Down - Mezmerize / Hypnotize (2005)

There isn't another band like System of a Down. There just isn't. They're so fucking amazing. I'm counting these records as one because you cannot mention one without the other. And the best thing about this record — and this band in general — is that they do whatever they want: They aren't defined by anything other than being themselves. A lot of bands will venture into other genres and experiment with different directions here and there but none to the level that System of a Down does, and Mezmerize / Hypnotize is the watermark for them. It just doesn't get better in my opinion.


These records came out when I was just starting to learn how to think for myself. I looked up to how vocal and critical they were of the world around them and while also writing absolutely batshit-crazy lyrics about dicks and baseball. As wild as their lyrics can get, it feels like there's something deeper going on under the surface: some joke we're not in on. I don't know how you make a song about baseball "feel" existential but, somehow, they figure it out. 

Dance Gavin Dance - Dance Gavin Dance (2008)

If you say the word "Death Star" around me, my mind is jumping to Dance Gavin Dance immediately. [Their self-titled album is commonly known as Death Star because of its cover art.] This record was enormous for me in high school when I was just finding out what it felt like to discover something new, something "mine." Prior to high school I was just finding out about music through the radio or MTV or my parents. But by high school MySpace and local shows and everything within that subculture had entered my life and then I'm introduced to Dance Gavin Dance. Groovy riffs, spastic screaming and incredible melody, what's not to love? There's something that separates Death Star from the rest of their albums though, and it's really because of what [clean singer] Kurt Travis brings to it. [On 2009's] Happiness we lose [unclean vocalist] Jon Mess and Will Swan starts screaming — and that's a lot fun. But with Death Star it's this perfect storm of all those core guys with Travis and it only happens once. This record was the first I'd heard of them, and I still think it's not only their best but easily one of my top ten favorite records of all time. Because when I found it, I listened to it all the time. I mean I played this to death. It impacted me a lot at the time because the whole clean chorus / heavy breakdown thing was still new, but had already formulated a sort template for how to do that and Dance Gavin Dance really didn't abide by that. They very much did their own thing and I just fell in love with it. Flawless record.

The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us Is the Killer

I think the first time anyone is introduced to the Dillinger Escape Plan they are forever changed. Now they can be absolutely certain they live in a dangerous world. This was a hugely influential record for me. Greg [Puciato's] vocals on this album sound like he's being ripped apart with every word that comes out of his mouth. The fucking music behind him? Equally as terrifying. Somehow though they manage to take this cathartic energy and morph it into these incredibly melodic parts. Listen, if it sounds like your record is tearing through the speakers and then you give me a good chorus, I'm hooked. I can't deny it. The single off this record, the title track, was the first thing I had heard from them and I immediately needed to hear everything in the world this band had touched because I knew I was late to the party. I didn't understand how they pulled it off but one listen through "One of Us Is the Killer" and I'm full of anxiety, excitement, and I'm in awe at what I had just heard. I hadn't been that excited about a band for a while at the point I heard this record, and it just struck a nerve with me. 

Artifex Pereo - Ailments & Antidotes (2011)

I love this album so much. I really can't give it enough praise or even begin to unpack the gravity of influence it's had on me over the years. I looked at this record as my guiding light for what to aspire towards when it came to making great music. I can hear so many different things within it, but it retains its own voice. It's heavy and urgent, beautiful and melodic, and all while expressing something recognizably Louisvillian in its DNA. This was a record from a band in my hometown. I could go see these shows, I could experience these songs, I had a direct line of support for this band, and I used it. I think that's a hugely impactful thing in itself. To be close to something you really believe in for the first time. This record changed my life because this record didn't feel like a "local band," this was one of those truly great records and it was written by people I knew. That was so exciting to me because it was evidence to me that real people make art, and that I could too.