At 31, the musical inclinations of wild-haired You Am I frontguy Tim Rogers are pretty much set in stone. "Up until recently all I had was a couple of Replacements records, a couple of Soul Asylum records, some Stones albums and that was it," he freely admits.

Rewind a few years and it turns out that Rogers has two key people to thank for his likes and dislikes: his older brother, Jaimme, and Stephen "Goose" Gray, the late frontman of Sydney art-rockers Box the Jesuit. Rogers recalls how Gray was the king of the compilation tape, "everything from Alice Cooper to Big Star, Lou Reed. Those tapes were some of the most valuble things I've ever recieved. Much of what I am today is because of what he passed along to me, what he stood for.

"I really needed it too, because [at the time] I was trying to be really straight. Goose and Susie [Beauchamp, also of Box the Jesuit] grabbed me and said 'you can give yourself to your art and not be a cocksucker'."

You Am I's upcoming album, their fifth, is called Dress Me Slowly.

Kiss : Dynasty
1979 Casablanca

"The first record I bought was a Kiss record. My big influence on what I was listening to was my brother. I go back to Kiss about once a year. I think 'Strutter' is still an amazing song. Actually I like to make my own compilation of Kiss songs. You'd start of with 'Strutter', then 'Deuce', 'Love 'em Leave 'em', 'Detroit Rock City', 'Shock Me'. I remember when I was about 12 I had this dream I met Ace Frehley. And my brother Jaimme said 'I don't want to meet him, I just like the music.' I'd like to be that person too, but I'm unashamedly star struck."

The Replacements : Pleased To Meet Me
1987 Sire

"It was the first Replacements record I got. A schoolmate of mine played the first song and I thought 'this sounds like Aerosmith'. I thought the Replacements were into Aerosmith or something. Then I saw the video for 'Bastards of Young' on Rage and I thought it was the Residents. I told my brother I wanted a Residents record and he looked at me kinda strangely. That video was my equivalent of 'where were you when Kennedy was shot?'; I wrote down the lyrics and put them on my wall for eight years. It gave me comfort in wanting to be drunk and playing loud. Beforehand I wanted to be a footy player or a cricketer, but I wasn't physically strong, so I felt justified when I heard this. REM were my Beatles and the Replacements were my Stones."

Hoodoo Gurus : Mars Needs Guitars
1985 Chrysalis

"I don't know if it's their best record, but for me it's the most important. It was like, 'oh, they do make these records here'. I wasn't into the Go-Betweens or the Triffids - I just wanted hairy fuckin' rock & roll bands. I just liked the way played and their chords. It makes me feel comfortable and alive."

Rolling Stones : Exile On Main Street
1972 Rolling Stones

"If you've been overseas and you're an hour out of arriving in Sydney Airport and listen to this, you'll cry buckets. There's something really comfortable about it. 1972, in the basement of Keith's place in France, is where my head's been ever since I first read about this record. That's where I reside, fortunately or unfortunately. I like being in that space where you feel like the human riff; that's where I'm comfortable. I don't find any other Stones records as satisfying"

Augie March : Sunset Studies
2000 BMG

"This record detroys me. I read the lyrics and I don't know what he's talking about but it's a place where I want to be. I can't find the words to describe how much I love it."

REM : Chronic Town
1982 IRS

"They were more about Peter Buck's guitar for me - Stipe was very enigmatic and interesting but Buck's guitar spoke volumes. I thought Out of Time was one of the worse records I'd heard in my life."

Steve Earle : I Feel Alright
1996 Warner

"I had the chance to see him in '96 and thought 'no, "Copperhead Road" guy, no thanks'. Now I'd follow him to the end of the world. There was this time in England where I accidentally smashed the sampler of a band called Bis and fucked the gig up for them. I was in the hotel room that night, really suffering. And Steve Earle came on TV, sang three songs and really got me through the night. Little things can set me off and I get very, very down. Now it's happened a couple of times where Steve Earle has really got me out of a hole."

John Prine : John Prine
1971 Atlantic

"There's a lyric on [You Am I's single] 'Damage' where I sing 'old John Prine'; I wanted to change it to 'young John Prine' because I figured if somebody close to him heard it he might let us do a show with him. He mightn't react so well to 'old John Prine'. I heard him through the Flood, this band I saw at the Unity Hall pub in Balmain. I fucking love them, in fact they started the idea of the Twin Set. I saw them and thought 'I want to write songs and get them to be the band'. But I couldn't because [the Flood's] Kevin Bennett is such a great songwriter."

Gillian Welch : Hell Amongs the Yearlings
1998 Almo

"The song 'Morphine', that record is outstanding. It was a record I was listening to when I first moved to Melbourne, living in this one-bedroom place, feeling like a sack of shit."

Caetono Veloso : Prenda Minha
1999 Thump

"He's a Brazillian singer-songwriter. He was part of this Tropicalia movement but he stopped all that and got into these really beautiful love songs. My brother in-in-law bought me this record of beautiful beautiful ballads. There's something about the way he writes about love: it's just so desperate. I wish I understood Portuguese."

By Jeff Apter