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Musical Influences - Natural or Forced

My names will, I play guitar in the Reckless Riot. My blog is going to be aboutinfluences and how important they are to a successful modern day band. I'm not sat here with loads of experience as our band has only been going just over half a year. What I pick up from from bands I look up to, are successful and make exciting new music, Is that every member brings a different dimension to the table, this is soimportant in creating that unique sound you believe your band has. I'm a big fan of bands that have their “own” sound, even when it gets to the point when other people try to create it again and again.

My favourite band ar The Gaslight Anthem, they're a blue collar, soul punk band, from New Jersey. They’ve been a favourite since 2009 when I saw Bruce “the boss” join them on-stage at Glastonbury. I liked their sound so I thought i'd check them out, on first listen I found them slightly boring, their songs were quite catchy so I kept listening for a bit longer. After a forth listen to the their breakthrough album the 59 sound I was hooked. I started to appreciate front man, Brian Fallons lyrics, there were poetry tales of working class love and heart break. The driving drums and bass, created the sense of hope and happiness, even though the character in the songs is at an all time low. The guitars wrapped round each other like i've never heard before, they were perfect. All they need to do was complement the vocals, too much solo and riff-age would have ruined the song.

As like any band you really love, I checked out some interviews online. Naturally most were all about Bruce joining them on stage, the comparisons between Springsteen and themselves were getting made constantly. I watched Fallon explain in every interview that they are all fans of Bruce but never set out to sound like him. He always said we all have completely different influences and we come together to create this sound, whether we sound like someone else doesn’t matter to us at all.

That got me thinking about how many band set out to sound different and unique and forced a style onto the songwriting just to stand out. Enter Shikari are a band i've never liked (don’t want to upset people) simply cause I dont like their music. They always say “we like to be different and have set out to be different” which is fair enough, but is that the right approach? As you could end up playing music you dislike, also the “unique sound” may become forced in the future. I believe it all comes back to setting out to play music you enjoy to lisen to, rather than perform on-stage. Whether you're influenced by Taylor Swift, or Slayer nothing comes good from hiding it away and being ashamed of it. However adding that style into your own band/song writing it will add a different twist whilst being completely natual at the same time.

Thank you for listening to me rant on. Catch the reckless riot at the drybar on the 24th, supporting The Maddigans, This Is How We Fall, The Vibe and Tell It again.



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