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Musicians - Who Influenced You?

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I just wondered who each of you would attribute as being your key musical influences?

For me, family aside:

Writers: David Bowie, Thom York, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dave Gilmore, Beethoven

Guitar: Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Bert Jansch, Adrian Legg, Angus Young, Tony Iomi

Piano/Keyboards: Daniel Barenboim, Rick Wright, Jon Lord

Singers: David Crosby, David Bowie, Otis Redding, Sandy Denny, Robert Plant, Paul Rogers

If I think on more, specially as I think of the other instruments I play, I will come back and add them :)



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For me, principally the style of Green Day, Blink 182, and Three Days Grace, in that order. I am also very impressed by the dual guitar line harmony of Breaking Benjamin, but it's hard to mimic that without a band.

Lyrically, I don't have any real influences. For vocal style... eh, a combination of Billie Joe Armstrong and Adam Gontier, although I have been told my voice sounds a lot like Chester Bennington.

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Hmm...I would say that a lot of what I do is influenced by Kina Grannis, John Mayer, Jason Mraz. I recently looked into a band called Ks Choice which is quite similar to the previous.

Other influences for me would be Avril Lavigne,Gregory and The Hawk, and the Hush Sound.

But my main influence is my dad cause I want to be like him one day. A great musician.

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The Offspring inspire me to do music stuff in general, as do Terrorvision.

More specifically Tom Morello is a big inspiration guitar-wise, tho not for the soloing, more the fat groovy riffs... (I'm not really a solo guitarist...) Crispian Mills of Kula Shaker is also in there.

Bass inspiration would mainly be Tim Com - again it's a lot of fat groovy riffs... I would say Peter McCullough from Streetlight Manifesto, but I'm not even going to get a long way from that kinda skill and style, fast sweet flowing lines all the way... :)

Songwriting (and lyrics mostly) wise I'd have to stick The Beatles in first, then Flipron, Feeder, Presidents of the United States of America, and most of the people already mentioned! I think I should throw in Damon Albarn too...

I'm never quite sure what bands and musicians are influencing my sound, and which I just like to listen to... I love Mark Lanegan's voice, but I will NEVER sound like that, and System of a Down are a perennial favourite, but I'd never write music like that. Those are just the easy ones, there's a whole host of bands in between that I'm not sure about... Like Space (listening at the mo) - I almost certainly wouldn't sound very overtly like them, they have more techno type sounds than I would use, but there are times I find myself sliding towards their sound in odd ways...

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Some of my biggest influences (not that you could tell by my tunes) are a rather diverse group, but I love and need all of them in my mental toolbox. None mean any more, nor any less than the others.. I hold them as equals.

Cab Calloway, his humor and approach to his craft still floors me. Timeless brilliance.

Chet Atkins, Andres Segovia and Jimi Hendrix. For the guitar player in me. They may seem miles apart but to me they give me enough space between them to cover just about anything.

For the Horn player in me, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker and Eric Dolphy sum up my tastes in horn. Now if I could just play like any of them I would have it made. Bloody brilliant, all of them.

Ray Charles, taught me a lot about not being hyper as I am inclined to be. WHen I am playing piano I often think of Ray, how would Ray play this..

Charlie Mingus and Paul McCartney. Many people forget Paul was a Pop bass player and a pretty good and interesting one too, toss in Mingus on top and between them I have extraced quite a bit of ground in my own Bass playing.

George Martin, this guy brings out the producer in me. When mixing my musical nonsense I often reference Martin.

Billy Holiday and Bing Crosby. The vocalist in me references them time and time again more than any others. Both absolutly wonderful. Bings crooning was as good as it gets, and Billys raw emotions is so genuine we can all take a lot from these two.

Tom Waits and Capt Beefheart. Both of these cats appeal to the inner human in me. Reminding me that it's more than just music, it is story telling and lifes experience.

Tiny Tim. Don't laugh.. the guy was a parody of himself, but he was not only fairly genius, he single handedly revived a musical form that had been absent since Rudy Valee left the building. He was a consumate conisuer of vintage music and was instrumental in building great archives of it. Tiny ALWAYS reminds me to remember our roots, and as a Uke player I am delighted he took it as far as he did. While not the best uke player, he certainly kept the lil fleas alive and to this day when you think of Uke, you might be inclined to think of Tiny,

Gene Krupa.. I started out as a drummer.. and I fell in love with Krupa right away. What is there not to like. He inspires me greatly.

Beatles and Pink Floyd. They were Rock bands.. They both influenced me in the rock band vein incredibly.

Arti Shaw ... Makes the clarinet player in me come out. I can't play like him, but I would sure like to.

Mario Lanza.. Of all the players I mention I try and emulate, there is nothing in Marios bag of tricks I can borrow from, except that his dedication to craft was crazy inspiring. I love the guy.

Thats me in a nutshell..

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  • 7 months later...

Interesting thread. For me:

WRITERS: Steve Goodman, Bob Dylan, and John Prine at the top, followed by a bunch of 'em--Leonard Cohen, Buck Owens, Avril Lavigne, Dottie West, and more. Mostly people who couldn't sing or play guitar very well, but who could write, and had to depend on their words alone to get attention. I figure I'm in the same boat.

GUITARISTS: Keith Richards and John Lennon. Richards was the master of the musical hook--simple, recurring riffs you just can't get out of your head. Lennon was a competent rhythm guitarist who could sometimes play lead, and who could write. I'd like to be like that.

SINGERS: Frank Sinatra, Avril Lavigne, Ernest Tubbs. Sinatra, as he got older, had to work hard at being able to sing his earlier stuff. Lavigne sings at the very bottom end of her voice range. And Tubbs is just living proof you can make it in country music without being able to sing at all.

PERFORMERS: Bill Monroe. His Bluegrass Boys were the most professional bunch of performers I have ever run into, and I've picked up a lot of their tricks.

All good folks to emulate.


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Jim Morrison was my first and still is my primary inspiration. He understood that music and performance is a portal to the infinite, to "the other side", and its roots are enmeshed with the gnarled spiralings of shamanism, archaic ritual, and ancient mythology. He showed that there are no limits to how far you can push the borders of reality. I think every good performer knows this instinctively, like a kind of body-knowing.

I love "black" gospel. When I was young, my dad took me to a baptist church in Compton, to record the gospel music that was played there. If you've ever seen the Blues Brothers, there's that scene where James Brown plays a preacher. Man! It was just like that! So much different than a whitey church. LOL!

And then that high-powered old-fashioned rock and roll, like Little Richard, and Paul McCartney singing Twist and Shout. I would love to sing like that without annihilating my throat.

And then LOTS and LOTS more: from Portishead to Tom Waits to electronic music like trance and house to T-Rex to Dead Can Dance, etc etc etc etc

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The biggest influence for me at the moment is most definitely the English progressive rock movement of the 70s.

Genesis is probably the single most influential band for me - musically. I love both the playing style of Steve Hackett and the brilliant compositions of Tony Banks.

From playing wise, my idol - also from that era and genre - is Keith Emerson in his prime. One of(or THE) the best rock keyboardists ever.

From classical composers I take influences from Renaissance music and then of course J.S.Bach and a few others like Debussy, Grieg, Erki-Sven Tüür, Bartok and Holst.

Also, deserving a honorary mention is the very unknown band Egg. Largely keyboard oriented they have affected my way in thinking about music in both playing and composing- wise.

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  • 6 months later...

Bob Dylan is they number one influence in my song writing, acoustic guitar playing, and my singing style.

When I play electric guitar I like to focus on the Riff based style of Keith Richards.

With drums my undeniable influence is Keith Moon, it's just like going mental on the drum kit, it sounds amazing and it's so fun to play.

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A huge example is set for me by Frank Zappa. He was a lead guitarist, singer, band leader, songwriter, composer!, performer - he had it all going. But mainly of course it is his awesome ability to write complex, engaging pieces of music. One simply cannot get past him when interested in beat music - he was a higher standard.

Another musical influence for me is early Genesis - from them I learned the wonders of pedal point in harmonies.

Gentle Giant comes to mind when one speaks of arrangement for the rock band.

Brendan Perry from Dead Can Dance is probably the best example of someone who is strictly a songwriter and has really inspired me.

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... talk of the devil ...

Writing - Genesis, obviously. Then Yes, Gabriel, Saga, Pink Floyd, Sting/Police, Queen, Supertramp, Manfred Mann, ELO, Kate Bush, Kansas, 10CC, Marillion, Suzanne Vega, Stravinsky, Korsakow, Steely Dan, Mezzoforte, Level 42, Clapton, Jarre, Zeppelin ...

Singing - very influenced by Collins/Gabriel, obviously.

Guitar - Steve Hackett, obviously - allthough I never got as good - Steve Howe, Trevor Horn, Segiovia, guitarists in bands above and some jazz guitarists I forget ...

Keyboard - Banks, Wakeman - see bands above.

Bass - Squire, Rutherford - again ... bands above.

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