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Bands That Truly Influenced You

posted on #1
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Following on from the 'Favourite Guitarists' thread, instead of asking about favourite drummers, I thought I'd ask about the bands who truly shaped you musically. These are the bands that you didn't just listen to because you loved them but also slavishly copied and learned from.

There are three bands who truly shaped the drummer I am. There are many other bands who contributed, but these three are the bedrock of the drummer I became in my early years. These days, if I'm honest, I don't listen to a lot of music beyond Wikiloops, mostly because I don't have time for it any more but also partly because the only time I have - when I'm driving - I just don't like music playing!!

So here are the three which truly influenced me but were also bands that I loved anyway.

- Dream Theater When a drummer friend sat me down one lunchtime when we were at sixth form college (for international users, that's higher education from age 16 - 18) and got out Dream Theater's debut album (on vinyl, of course - this was 1989!) 'When Dream And Day Unite' my jaw hit the floor. Never before had I heard such immense technical ability combine with such good musicianship - to the point I thought such playing was borderline impossible! To this day, my loops are filled with ideas and licks I've stolen from Mike Portnoy. An extraordinary player in a, frankly, extraordinary band. There are many technical/prog bands out there but none came close to DT's amazing combination of sheer skill and accessible and catchy songwriting. Technical, yes, accessible, yes. Few prog bands achieve that.

- Simple Minds One of the best stadium rock/pop bands of all time, certainly of the 1980s and '90s, for me. Great songs, great band and one Mel Gaynor at the back in the driving seat. His and the band's influence on my playing cannot be understated. I wore out several VHS copies of their Live In Verona tape. Mel Gaynor had immense power, he had chops but my God did he know exactly when to deploy them. Simple Minds taught me the drummer's 'place' in the band; backing good songs with power and taste. One of my albums on here - https://www.wikiloops.com/album/6373-wikitemplates.php - is a photo of the very kit Mel Gaynor used on that tour which I found for sale. I would've bought it there and then but there was a small issue of not having £2500 in my back pocket.

- Van Halen This band very, very heavily shaped my musical youth. For me, one of the very best rock bands of all time - at least until Dave Lee Roth left (basically up to 1984). Listen to their early albums: unlike so many other rock bands, the musical common sense behind it gave them a unique rock sound (which, in those days I nicknamed 'party rock'). They combined traditional rock attitudes with an astounding and subtle musical awareness and cleverness. And a brilliant sense of humour. Everything they did in the early years had its tongue firmly in its cheek. I spent countless hours trying to play along to practically every Van Halen album available. But it also - and without me realising it at the time - taught me the relationship of the drummer with the rest of the band. Listen to practically any early Van Halen and hear how Alex, Eddie and Mike are right on the job, phrasing with each other.

Examples include 'Mean Streets' and 'Unchained' from 'Fair Warning'. Listen to how the bass, guitar and drums are all accenting and phrasing together. It's so very musical and that awareness of how to pick out the key dynamics and pushes in a track I indirectly learned listening to VH.

Enough from me...
Edited by mpointon on August 26 2018 13:22
posted on #2
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Hahaha nice thread :) so only bands, no solo artists??

The first Band that I was a fan was The Sweet, and then it was Queen, Thin Lizzy, Steve Miller Band, 10cc. I cannot say that they shaped my playing, but defiantly these bands knew how to write a catchy pop song, and their music is always with me.

King Crimsons "In the Court of the Crimson King" - I started listening to it as a teenager, and it is still in my car playlist...BIG BIG Influence. If you listen to our "Herring King" Wiki album - you can hear the influence, from the name to song number 02 "In the school of the Herring King" :D :D :D.

Pink Floyd war really big on my mind when the Wall came out, I am a big fan of David Gilmours playing. I love that style and when I don't get carried away with playing too many notes the influence is there.

Then I discovered the blues and I think Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac stayed favourite for a long time. Again occasionally when I play some phrases of Peter Green come into it, I suppose I am the only one that can hear it, but I swear they are there :)

Then one day in 81 or 82 I discovered The Allmann brothers, live at the Filmore east, which changed my life in a way. I wanted to play this music, and I wanted to look like them... I am not sure if there is any AB in me, I wish it was but I listen to them all the time for years, so it might be somewhere. I just wish. What a band...RIP.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Mothers of Invention came later, I think at the moment the Mothers is what I listen to more than anything. Obviously it is impossible for me to play like Zappa, but I try to get some feel of it.

Rock on!!!
posted on #3
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Interesting thread.

I remember the first band I had a longplay record of, that was T.Rex.

Later then, I played with a guitarist who was a great fan of Rory Gallagher, Ten Years After, and so I also listened to Woodstock.

Then, in another band already, it was Deep Purple, Yes, Genesis, and later also Santana and a few more influences which came from South America (like Airto, Flora Purim, and so on).

Then by chance I discovered Jean-Luc Ponty, and with him came many Jazz Rock influences, Zappa, Weather Report, Stanley Clarke, and Jaco. Jaco was the greatest (and that was probably true for about every bass player of my generation).

And so I finally discovered Jazz. And life is too short to hear it all, but I'm so glad I did.

And now, Wikiloops. The greatest "band" of all times. :)

Thanks for asking, and cheers,
Edited by wjl on August 26 2018 21:33
posted on #4
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This is an interesting question - bands that influenced you as contrasted with bands you like but were not as much of an influence. For me as a bass player, my goals are to get a groove going and to knit the song together (rhythm and melody). So here are a few bands that inspired me to try to do what I think bass players are supposed to do:

Aerosmith - Tom Hamilton is the glue that holds this band together. His grooves on Sweet Emotion, Mama Kin, Toys on the Attic etc. are most memorable.

Sly and the Family Stone - yes Larry Graham is a great technical player (esp. as shown in his later work w Graham Central Station), but it's the simple grooves on Dance to the Music, Thank You Falletin Me Be Mice Elf, and Sing a Simple Song that make the Family Stone's music so memorable.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - great grooves by Leon Wilkeson and Ed King - Gimme Three Steps, I Ain't the One, and I Know a Little are so groovy and surprisingly complex and difficult to master.

I think it's helped me to listen to and appreciate different genres of music, but the bassics of bass to me are constant - get a groove going and hold the tune together :) I do that with varying degrees of success, but I continue to be inspired by the great players I have listened to.
Edited by bhunt1 on August 26 2018 22:02
posted on #5
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Wikiloops !!!!
Not influenced me but obviously revealed music is in me
Edited by Tofzegrit on August 27 2018 13:14
posted on #6
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Tofzegrit wrote:
Wikiloops !!!! Not influenced me but obviously revealed music is in me

You are a thread hijacker :D

The question was specific: What BAND? Not what solo artist. Not what girl. Not what food. Not what car. Not what guitar. Not what shoe. Not what animal. Not what toothbrush. Not what book. Not what not not not not whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :O :D :D :D
posted on #7
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Easy question for me, the best group of all time, the group with the best selling album ever...THE EAGLES!
They were one of the first (if not the first) groups to legitimize the mixed genre marriage of Country and Rock and make vocal harmony and shredding guitar riffs cool together! :W
Edited by bluvation on August 27 2018 17:03
posted on #8
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I can safely say The Beatles were my first music love at a very early age. I remember playing their records over and over as a child.
At around age 8 my father took me to see them in concert at Cincinnati Gardens. That would have been around 1965.
They inspired me to take up drums as my first instrument.

Going forward from there with guitar it would be:
Chet Atkins, The Ventures and the Allman Brothers.
posted on #9
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OK TeeGee is right!

I think UZEB is the one.
Because of the modern killer sound/tones from all instruments (midi support), many colors/styles in their compositions and amazing music men.
I don’t especially love all solos from Michel Cusson (gtr) but have a listen of their version of Blue And Green.
The first time you hear a flute solo from a big fretless bass... you never forget :)
Edited by Tofzegrit on August 28 2018 00:15
posted on #10
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FrankieJ wrote:
I can safely say The Beatles were my first music love at a very early age. I remember playing their records over and over as a child.
At around age 8 my father took me to see them in concert at Cincinnati Gardens. That would have been around 1965.
They inspired me to take up drums as my first instrument.

Going forward from there with guitar it would be:
Chet Atkins, The Ventures and the Allman Brothers.

Yes the Beatles influenced a lot of people, I was a teenager in London when they first came on the scene along with so many other UK groups at the time like, The Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Rolling Stones, Billy J Cramer etc. but what set The Beatles apart from the rest from the start was their original songs and not just covers of American songs at that time. Every Saturday morning on BBC Radio most of these groups would play live, I remember recording them on an old Grundig reel to reel tape recorder each week! Wish I still had them! :)
posted on #11
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Blood sweat and Tears, first album only (I do not care for the others as the band became much different without Al Kooper) Child is Father to the Man, 1968
Big band horns in a rock/jazz band


Check out the solos beginning about 3:10

Tower of Power and Chicago were in a similar vein
posted on #12
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Agreed about the Beatles - a friend of mine at early age could play any Beatles song on the piano, long before I dared to touch an instrument.

Was that an influence? Of course. Even in later years I liked them lots more than for instance the Stones...
posted on #13
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Good discussion :)

For me bands that were a true influence was about elements of their music but also image, because part of the band scene was also about checking out the clothing, and the style at the time my band life kick started in the early 90s was based on the 60s mods.

So definitely "the big four" - The Who, The Kinks, Stones Beatles. The Jam and The Police also were big for me.

U2 & Simple Minds, particularly Mel Gaynor (mentioned by MP) whos playing on the albums New Gold Dream/Sparkle in the Rain/Once Upon a Time made a big impact on me.

All of the above except The Beatles and Kinks, I've seen live at least once, and that made a further impact.

There a few others Floyd, F Mac, and some of the Britpop bands.....I wont bore you all, but lastly, I have to mention The Dave Brubeck Quartet and Joe Morello as Im a huge Jazz nut.. I have all his books and dvds, and that really got me into approaching the drums with a different mindset with regards to whats out there in terms of techniques, odd time, etc etc :D
posted on #14
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As a band,Night Verses really opened my eyes.They do so much crazy stuff that I never heard before.As a solo artist,Aric Improta,who is the drummer of Night Verses,influenced me soooo much about drumming.Go check them out and you'll see what I mean.
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