SPIRITBOX's Courtney LaPlante: How SYSTEM A DOWN's 'Toxicity' changed my life | Revolver

SPIRITBOX's Courtney LaPlante: How SYSTEM A DOWN's 'Toxicity' changed my life

"Such an inspiration to me for never compromising"
spiritbox courtney laplante SHINN 2021, Travis Shinn
photograph by Travis Shinn

Spend any real time listening to Spiritbox's captivating, head-spinning catalog of music and it'll become quickly clear what diverse influences the Canadian rising stars draw on. You can hear strains of the soaring gothic rock of Evanescence and the pummeling djent of Meshuggah, but there are other, more subtle callbacks in there, as well, to Seventies soft rock, Eighties pop and more.

Participating in Metal Hammer's "10 Albums That Changed My Life" series, Spiritbox's powerhouse singer Courtney LaPlante shouted out many of her and the band's wide-ranging influences — including System of a Down, specifically, their 2001 opus, Toxicity.

"[Toxicity] came out in 2001, but it was a few years later when I started really actually listening to how wild that album was," LaPlante said. "It is still to this day one of the strangest albums I've ever heard. The way everything is recorded, it doesn't feel super tight and to a click, it feels wild and like an actual band performance. It started to teach me that you can have all different colours to your voice in one song. You can have beautiful singing, crazy yelling and then aggressive fast talking.

"System of a Down are such an inspiration to me for never compromising on their sound. I first started on the singles and when I was older I heard 'Prison Song,' 'Deer Dance' and that stuff, and that's when I was starting to make my own material. So those songs really inspired me to start toying with heavier music."