Metal’s Muse: Outside The Genre

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As a music writer and photographer in Washington State, I see many shows and have met so many awesome people over the years. I mainly shoot in the metal/rock community and it’s full of talented and multifaceted individuals. They also draw inspiration from various  artists outside their own genre of music. After a show, many occasions, everyone is hanging out and listening to music different from metal or rock and roll. I’ve heard such a variety played from Phil Collins, Charlie Daniels, to Cypress Hill. It’s so unexpected to hear it being played after they just put on a metal show. Many outsiders wouldn’t think they had interest in those artists.

This brings me to my next point. Elitism is a very real and alive thing in the music industry. It plagues all music communities. The music community is small, but wide. Everyone is linked in some way. You can read the hate in the comment sections from people tearing down other bands and other styles of music. They try to make people feel uncomfortable about what they’re listening too. Why? Who cares? Let it be. It’s ok to not like every band or artist. We all have artists that we don’t care for. It came to me that it would be a great idea to showcase that even the most brutal artists love what’s outside their own genre. It breaks down the barriers, creates bonds, and gets people talking about music.  People groove and move to all kinds of kind. Music is powerful. Music is not exclusive.

I’ve asked a few of my friends to give me their thoughts and lists of artists they like in music genre’s different from their own. While these lists are small, they do not cover the wide array of other musicians they love. But I had to keep it in perspective or we would be here all day.  I hope you enjoy and learn. I know I did. I’m playing music I wouldn’t have known about had it not been for my friends educating me.

In no particular order:

Mallika Sundaramurthy- Abnormality

Chelsea Wolfe, Lana Del Rey, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Townes Van Zandt, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Ravi Shankar, (older) Joan Baez, First Aid Kit

Abnormality

Nick Bedrosian- Stitched Up Heart

Bob Seger, John Williams, No Doubt, Pink, Panic! At The Disco, Blink 182, Avenged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance

Stitched Up Heart

Andrew Baird- Fallujah

Perturbator, FM-84, The Beatles, A Tribe Called Quest, Marvin Gaye

Fallujah

Eli Santana- Holy Grail

Lenny Kravitz, Best Coast, Tom Jones, Depeche Mode, Del and The Funky Homo Sapien, Bjork, Richard Marx, War, Steel Pulse, Bright Eyes

Holy Grail

Angel Vivaldi

Carmen Miranda, Preston Reed, Ella Fitzgerald, Flying Lotus, Jean Luc Ponty, Invalids, Tennyson, Busta Rhymes

Angel Vivaldi

Elize Ryd- Amaranthe 

Aretha Franklin, Shirley Bassey, Madonna, Cher, Lana Del Rey, Celine Dion, Die Antwoord, One Republic, Enya, Eminem, The Weeknd, Sarah McLachlan, Dido, Destiny’s Child, Tupac, Britney Spears, Spice Girls

Amaranthe

Kobra Paige- Kobra and The Lotus

Type O Negative, Laleh, Lars Winnerbäck, The Spoons, the Pogues, Depeche Mode, Muse, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Ariana Grande, N.W.A., The Weeknd, Krishna Das

Kobra and The Lotus

Neal Tiemann- Devildriver

Peter Gabriel, Bjork, Lana Del Rey, David Bowie, Queens of The Stone Age, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Sam Cooke, Big Wreck, Sting

DevilDriver

Jeff Cummings- Sworn Enemy

Faith No More, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Blind Melon, Bob Seger, Wheeler Walker Jr.

Sworn Enemy

Jay Tarantino- Angel Vivaldi, Oraculum 

The Temptations, Otis Redding, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke

Angel Vivaldi

Oraculum

Sam Kirsch- Abnormality 

Lady Gaga, Busta Rhymes, Immortal Technique, Peter Gabriel, Journey, Parliament, Sly and The Family Stone, Prince, Michael Jackson

Abnormality

Tim Charles- Ne Obliviscaris 

Sigur Ros, John Coltrane, D’Angelo, Keith Jarrett, Explosions In The Sky, Pink Floyd, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, A Tribe Called Quest

Ne Obliviscaris

Steve Unger- Metal Church

Elvis Presley, Little River Band, Fleetwood Mac, Electric Light Orchestra, Sin Circus, Brooks N Dunn

Metal Church

Shaun Andruchuk- Starkill 

M83, Muse, Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Schoolboy Q, Bruno Mars, AFI, Aerosmith, Christmas Music 🙂

Starkill

Wynn Cicalo- Wrench

Four Tops, The Supremes, Booker T, Blues Brothers, Ray Charles, Sam and Dave, Wagner, Beethoven

Wrench

James Decker- Stitched Up Heart

Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Bela Fleck, Phish, BT, Deadmau5, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Nine Inch Nails

Stitched Up Heart

Raymond Sanchez- Thrown Into Exile 

Passenger, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tony Bennett, Chris Stapleton, Travis Tritt, Keith Whitley, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, Alice In Chains

Thrown Into Exile

Eric J. Morgan- A Pale Horse Named Death

Steely Dan, Meat Beat Manifesto, Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, The Beatles, Ricky Nelson, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cult, Massive Attack, Midnight Oil

A Pale Horse Named Death

Rob Castoria- Maniac Rise

Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale, N. W. A., Nas, Beethoven

Maniac Rise

Scott Roberts- Biohazard, The Spudmonsters, Bloodclot 

Toots and The Maytals, Desmond Dekker, Devo, Faith No More, The Rolling Stones, Cock Sparrer, Black Sabbath, David Lee Roth, Madness, Hub City Stompers, Jimmy Cliff

Georges Octobous- Source 

Maroon 5, Michael Jackson, Tipper, Eminem, No Doubt

Source

Greg Burgess- Allegaeon

Yanni, Poets of the Fall, Oscar Lopez, Prince, Paula Cole, Kate Rusby, Lady Gaga

Allegaeon

Marek “Ashtok” Šmerda- Cradle Of Filth

Van Halen, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Toto, Michael Jackson, Whitesnake, Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel, Sade, KISS, Genesis

Cradle Of Filth

Jeffrey McCormick- Q5

Billy Joel, Gyra, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Dave Brubeck, Robben Ford, David Bowie, Cardiknox, Dan Reed Network, Steely Dan, Level 42

Q5

Niclas Engelin- In Flames

The Tea Party, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, Grand Central Station, The Bar-Kays, Jeff Buckley, Tom Petty, Rag N’ Bone Man, Johnny Cash

In Flames

Austin D’Amond- DevilDriver

Sublime, 311, R. Kelly, Three 6 Mafia, West Side Connection, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Borgore, Steve Miller Band

DevilDriver

Sal LoCoco- Sworn Enemy

The Eagles, Hall and Oates, Bon Jovi, Phil Collins, Blondie, The Ramones, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Deftones

Sworn Enemy

Adam Cody- Wretched

Aesop Rock, Sigur Ros, Silverchair, Charles Bradley, James Brown, Michael Jackson, He Is Legend, EL-P, Say Anything, Fun, Jon Connor, Bjork, The Beatles, Duran Duran, Run The Jewels, Bus Driver

Wretched

Scott Shelko- Thrown Into Exile

Michael Jackson, Madonna, Sade, Duran Duran, Elvis, Otis Redding, Righteous Brothers, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Chris Stapleton

Thrown Into Exile

Bradley Bills- CHANT

Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mazzy Star, Prince, DJ Tiesto, Sting

CHANT

Brian Smith- Hemlock 

Neil Diamond, Huey Lewis & The News, Veruca Salt, Def Leppard, Faith No More, 2 Live Crew, HIM, Kenny Chesney, Rancid, Dangerous Toys

Hemlock

Ari Mihalopoulos- OTEP

Hans Zimmer, John Carpenter, Bear McCreary, John Williams, James Horner, Vince DiCola, The Prodigy, Pendulum, Journey, Johnny Cash

OTEP

Santeri Kallio- Amorphis

Bohemian Rhapsody, Space Oddity, Scatman John, Vesa-Matti Loiri, Mike Oldfield, 5 Miles Out, David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, Liekki, Jean Luc Ponty, Mikko Joensuu

Amorphis

John Strickland- Lullwater

Billy Joel, Umphrey’s McGee, My Morning Jacket, Jason Isbell, 80’s Synth Pop

Lullwater

Jessie Sanchez- Warbringer

Fleetwood Mac, Eek- A- Mouse, Kings Of Leon, Michael Jackson, Prince, Elvis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and The Family Stone

Warbringer

Lindsay Matheson- Cradle Of Filth 

Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, Ronit, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Bjork, Portishead, Sneaker Pimps, Dead Can Dance, Saltillo, The Cure, Sarah McLachlan, Celine Dion, Fleetwood Mac, Sia

Cradle Of Filth

Lu Badu- Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, Jonny Sonic

Psapp, Bonobo, RJD2, Laura Veirs, Minus The Bear, Thundercat, Arctic Monkeys, Shovels and Rope, G-Love

Chaotic Noise

Jonny Sonic

Scott Bloom- Chaotic Noise Marching Corps- Jonny Sonic

Vince Guaraldi, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea

Jonny Sonic

Chaotic Noise

James “Roto” Rotondi- Hundred Hounds, Mr. Bungle, The Cringe, Air

David Sylvian, The Jungle Brothers, Steve Tibbetts, TuPac shakur, Trent D’Arby

Hundred Hounds

The Cringe

Louis Beateaux- Carnivore

Bob Marley, Al Di Meola, Dave Weckl, Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Buddy Rich, Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri

Carnivore

Floyd McFeely- Super Geek League

Radiohead, Amon Tobin, Explosions In The Sky, Pharcyde, Aphex Twins

Super Geek League

Jadran Gonzalez- Exmortus

The Doors, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, ELO, Michael Jackson, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Paganini, Tchaikovsky

Exmortus

BN, JB, ML, MvS- The Shiva Hypothesis

Albert Kuvezin, Yat-Kha, David Bowie, Switch Technique, Biosphere, Gustav Mahler, No. 5, Shpongle, Contemporary Noise Quintet, Michael Manring, Ronnie Drew, Midlake

The Shiva Hypothesis

Charlie Errigo- Suffocation, The Merciless Concept

Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Mr. Bungle, Onyx, Mobb Deep, Chon, Anthony Hamilton

Suffocation

The Merciless Concept

Henry Derek- Thrown Into Exile, Act Of Defiance

John, Coltrane, Waylon Jennings, Otis Redding, Arab Strap, Merzbow, Wire, Dwight Yoakam, The Dream, Kendrick Lamar

Thrown Into Exile

Act Of Defiance

Tom Lorenzo- Blood Feast

Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Kansas, ELP, The Police, Blondie, Kelly Clarkson, The Cars, The Killers

Blood Feast

Alex Lee- Holy Grail

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Yoshida Brothers, Koji Kondo

Holy Grail

Hiran Deraniyagala- Battlecross

Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, James Brown, Jedi Mind Tricks, Hank Williams III, Rick James, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Angelo Debarre, Chuck Berry, Otis Rush

Battlecross

Mike Palmeri- Wrench, Life Of Agony

Duran Duran, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Adele, Train, Daughtry, Mumford & Sons

Wrench

David Rivera- Exmortus

George Clinton, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield

Exmortus

Micah Electric- 9 Electric

Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega, Meg Myers, Tracy Chapman, Rodrigo and Gabriela, Ani DiFranco, Lady Gaga, Depeche Mode, Journey, Delirium, Enigma, Phuture, Primative, Skrillex, Deadmau5, Pendulum, Duran Duran, Knife Party, Infected Mushroom, Nero, Calvin Harris, Kaskade, Daft Punk

9 Electric

Tony Abreu- Windowpane

Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Sting, Janis Joplin, Loreena McKennitt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gary Clark, Beethoven, Tom Petty, Mozart

Windowpane

James McClellan Dorton III- Black Crown Initiate

Wardruna, Active Child, Dead Man’s Bones, Hans Zimmer, Yat- Kha, Seu Jorge, Bon Iver, Murder By Death, Chelsea Wolfe, Scott Walker

Black Crown Initiate

Francesco Ferrini- Fleshgod Apocalypse

Depeche Mode, Muse, Keith Jarrett, Yes, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Justice, Franz Liszt, Sergei Prokofiev

Fleshgod Apocalypse

Allen Mattila- After The Fallout

Devin Townsend, Pink Floyd, Muse, Gorillaz, Disneyland After Dark

After The Fallout

Parker Jameson- Starkill

M83, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, Streetlight Manifesto, Ellie Goulding, Muse, Kesha, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Smash Mouth, Hans Zimmer

Starkill

Luke Hosking- Azreal

Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Curse, Frank Zappa, Dire Straits, Hank Williams III, The Who, Australian Crawl

Azreal

Dave Corsile- Thrown Into Exile

Thin Lizzy, Portishead, Neko Case, Billie Holiday, Calabrese, Etta James, Pat Benatar, Sweet, The Police, Edith Piaf

Thrown Into Exile

Tomasz Piłasiewicz- Corphagy, Road’s End

Depeche Mode, Phil Collins, Enya, Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd, Jean- Michel Jarre, Leonard Cohen, Alice In Chains, Ulver

Corphagy

Road’s End

Juuso Raatikainen- Swallow The Sun

Ozric Tentacles, Yes, Virgil Donati, Allan Holdsworth, Bill Evans

Swallow The Sun

Jocke Wallgren- Amon Amarth

Zero Project- Greece. Very epic, modern, instrumental, ambient and atmospheric. All albums tells a different story, and you feel it. I love to dream away with this. Great for relaxation and/or getting ready for a show. Recommended track: Letter to a Princess

First Aid Kit- Swedish girl duo. Very atmospheric and their music makes me very relaxed and happy. If angels existed and had a voice, this would be it. Recommended track: Emmylou

Hans Zimmer – Germany. The mastermind behind most of the great soundtracks out there; Pirates of the Caribbean, The DaVinci Code, Gladiator, Pearl Harbour etc. Recommended track: Chevaliers De Sangreal (The DaVinci Code)

Classical music, mainly Baroque era. Composers like Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach but also later classical composers like Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven and Wagner. Favourite instrument: Harpsichord.

Enigma- Germany/Romania. Childhood memories and amazing ambience, with feeling. I love the way pop and other (easy going) genres are mixed here. Recommended track: Return of Innocence

Alcest – France. I don’t know how describe this band. Super atmospheric and what ever mood you’re in, you’ll be happy and warm. I love this band. I won’t recommend a track here, just listen to the album “Les voyages de l’âme”.

Blackmore’s Night – UK/US. This is my “welcome home after the tour” music. Nothing beats coming home, putting the album “Fires at midnight” on the stereo, get comfortable in my favourite chair and have a good whiskey. Perfect campfire and/or relax music. Recommended track: Fires at Midnight

Mother Nature – There’s an old ruin from a castle close to where I live. It’s located 30/40 metres above sea level and has a great view over the waters. It was used as a watch point way back in the days when this certain spot was critical to the daily trade and safety in Stockholm. I like to sit here and just listen to Mother Nature and her creations. It’s beautiful.

Amon Amarth

Mikko Kotamaki- Swallow The Sun

Nick Cave, huge inspiration for me. Great storyteller and absolutely fucking dark yet beautiful music.

Nina Persson/ The Cardigans, my favorite female singer of all time. Great pop music.

Duran Duran, I heard a lot of Duran Duran when I was a kid and still love it. Greatest pop music of the 80’s!

Kent, dark pop from Sweden. They finished their career last year. So happy I got to see them many times. Not very famous band outside Scandinavia but everybody should check them out if you’re not allergic to Swedish language.

Ville Valo/Him, one of the greatest clean voices. Inspired me alot when I started to practice more clean singing.

Phil Collins, a man who doesn’t make mistakes in music! Land of Confusion!

Swallow The Sun

Roy Beatty- Lullwater

Imogen Heap, Mac Miller, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, Rittz, Mac Lethal, Eminem, Passafire, Kendrick Lamar

Lullwater

Robert “Toxic Bob” Deacy- Wrench, Toximia

Gordon Lightfoot, Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mack, NWA, Steve Earle, Molly Hatchet, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Wheeler Walker Jr ( you must listen!!!), Go Go’s , Barry White, Berlin, Beastie Boys

Wrench

Rick Kowal- Jonny Sonic

1) Lewis Del Mar, I can’t stop listening to their album, so fuckin amazing, by far my favorite album out last year.
2) Bishop Briggs: super rad, like whitney houston’s voice with courtney love’s darkness over modernized trent reznor beats.
3) Tuneyards: she’s so fuckin amazing, unreal.
4) Glass Animals: super neat clean songs, real fun lyrical point of view, their story is fun. 5) Lianne La Havas: her voice is goddess, pure and expressive with zero ego or show-off, her songs are deep and mature, way beyond her years.
6) Son Lux: the most talented electronic pop musician I’ve ever heard, so rich and thick and beautiful
7) Koi Child: ugh, I wanna tour with Jonny Sonic with them.
8) Royal canoe: guilty pop pleasure, really inspiring complex but sparse arrangements, real fun.
Timo Somers- Delain
Ronald Bruner Jr., Paulo Mendonca, tingsek, Eric Gales, Lyle workman, Don Broco, Anderson Paak, Christian Scott, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar

Matt Garzilli- Sworn Enemy

Rory Gallagher – A killer guitarist who didn’t get the credit he deserved. When people bring up Clapton, I always mention Rory.  His album Tattoo is one of the  best classic rock albums you’ll find.  Total diversity in every song.  There’s country, blues, rock folk and more.
Roy Buchanan – Another great guitar player.  This guy played melody based solos that are so simple sounding but they just rip you apart when you hear them.  I recommend a “best of” album for anyone who wants to check him out.  There is a reason why Scorsese ended the departed with one of best songs.
Skip James – I love rural delta blues players.  There’s some type of magic to these old blues players, be it Robert Johnson, Tommy McClennan, or any of the other amazing blues artists from the 1920’s & 1930’s.  Skip James sings with a super high falsetto voice most of the time, and some of his songs like “Hard time Killin’ Floor” are some of the darkest songs you will ever find.  There’s an eerie feel to his material that I just love.
The Eagles – This band wrote so many hits.  I love just driving and listening to their stuff.  Such incredible songwriters.  When I hear people dis them, I just don’t get it.  Don Henley could sing nursery rhymes and I’d buy the album!
Stevie Ray Vaughan – My all time favorite guitar player.  Stevie could knock you on your ass with a song like “Scuttle Buttin'”, or he could make you want to cry with songs like “Lenny” or “Riviera Paradise.”  Anytime I play a lead, there is some Stevie influence in there.  I cannot say enough about his tone, style or skill. He changed the game for me when I first heard him as a teenager.
Jackson Browne – Another killer songwriter.  Sometimes his albums suffer from that “over produced” sound.  But his solo stuff is incredible.  He has a double album named “solo acoustic Vol 1 & 2.”  I listen to it constantly. Most of his songs are sad songs. But they are all beautifully written. I love music like this…It couldn’t be further from what I play in Sworn Enemy, but I love it just the same
Hank Williams Sr. – Good old school REAL country music is some of my favorite to listen to.  I like how these guys could tell a story to just 3 chords.  I have a boxset of every single song Hank Sr ever wrote or recorded live.  He was one who started the art of songwriting, influenced Elvis, and by that right was the first rock star. “I’m so lonesome I could cry” & songs like “Ramblin Man” are as real as they come.  Dark and straight to the point.
Townes Van Zandt – A master at writing dark folk music.  I can’t think of a darker song than Waitin’ Around to die.”  His lyrics in songs like “Lungs” & “The Hole” prove he was a poet.  If I’m ever writing lyrics I always think of writers like Townes.
Danny Gatton – Unbelievable guitar player.  He played it all, and he played it all with 100% authenticity.  Jazz, blues, country, bluegrass & anything else.  Talent wise, there will never e another player like him.  Its inspiring to hear someone player different styles.  Because any musician you meet will tell you how they listen to different styles all the time.  Without that I don’t think musicians & music itself could grow.  Danny was a testament to that.  I don’t think there was a style he could master if he had tried

Warren Zevon – Everyone knows “Werewolves of London.”  But he had a ton of other songs just as good.  His debut album is my favorite.  He was a great piano player, great lyricist, and he had a cynical way of making you laugh in every song.  I listen to a live album of his named “Learning to Flinch.”  It’s always playing on my ipod.  Thank god for youtube, because he’s another artist who shines when it’s just him and a piano or guitar.  Search for his acoustic version of “my shits fucked up” and tell me he wasn’t something special. It’s too bad that basic radio stations don’t play more of his material because there are some gems in his discography that the world needs to hear more often.

Sworn Enemy

Ronny Gutierrez- Soilwork, Shaggy, Stephen Marley, Bonded By Blood, Black Tide

Django Reinhardt, Hiromi Uehara, Miles Davis, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Aristocrats,  Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Me’Shell NdegéOcello, Derek Trucks, Cultura Profetica

Jeremy Henry- Abnormality

5. Muddy Waters- My favorite blues musician. Pretty much took delta blues, chicago blues, and rock and roll and mixed em up, amplified em, and cranked out some legit wailing, bending guitar songs. One of rock and blues biggest influences of all time, he personifies the blues to me. Racy lyrics, whiskey soaked blues. LEGIT.

4. Creedence Clearwater Revival -Swamp rock. How can you not like that shit? Rock dosed with bluegrass, blues and a gritty Louisiana vibe. It just means beers, sunshine and friends to me (even though I am a fucking true blue yankee). Fogerty’s vocals perfectly encompassed the southern swamp feel to the music and lyrics. Impossible to not sing along to, and impossible not to have a smile on your face as soon as it hits your speakers.

3. Janis Joplin- I fucking love the blues, and I fucking love raspy female vocals. Need I say more here? Career cut short from a drug overdose, Janis was brash, over the top, unwilling to conform to her gender restrictions of her time. She lived fast and hard, was a captivating performer, and most importantly, she made the blues dangerous. Bravo, lady, would have loved to have known ya.

2. Alice in Chains- Not exactly too far away from the metal genre, but fuck it, it’s my goddamn list. What was lumped into a trend of Seattle based bands in the 90’s, real fans know what Alice in Chains really was. A powerhouse of songwriting, with Jerry Cantrell’s no frills soulful guitar playing accompanied with Layne Staley’s tortured off kilter and complex harmonies laid bare Staley’s self hatred and contempt through his many years of drug addiction. Go ahead and check the lyrics of “Love, Hate, Love”, a love song written from the first perspective of a serial killer to his victim. Powerful music.

1. Pink Floyd- This band perfectly embodies the mind altering states of mental illness that its original vocalist Syd Barrett exhibited, eventually forcing him out of music all together and into seclusion. Songs that are huge in scope, twist and wind through introspection in its best sense, without flinching at all at what horrors it might uncover in the process. All eras of the band are great, but my favorite feature Roger Water’s scathing political and social commentary accompanied with the delay saturated phrasing of David Gilmour’s guitar playing. And not for nothing, The Wall is probably the best concept record ever made.

Abnormality

Timothy Van Buren- Mary Lambert (not metal) but who cares? 🙂

Ryuichi Sakamoto: he is not only a wonderfully brilliant and diverse composer, he is an unbelievably sensitive and expressive piano player. His playing and writing drips with emotion, his use of space allows you to hang on every note. His electronic and ambient collaborations are all unique enough to stand as their own and yet have his unique character that tie them together. Favorite musician ever, hands down. Makes me wish I could play the piano way better than I can.

Ne-Yo: I fucking love Ne-Yo. I’ve listened to his song “Sexy Love” more than I could tell you, and I could still listen to his hits all goddamn day.

Don Pullen: an incredible and underrated jazz piano player. Particularly one of the first that really made me “get” the expressiveness of atonal/avant garde composition. His song “Pain Inside” is difficult and raw. The more brutal the note choice, the more telling of the pain he’s playing about Visceral. He also does incredible things in a more standard jazz context and can all-out shred on the piano.

Oasis: Fight me on this. I fucking love Oasis, and no, not just Wonderwall. Almost every song on almost every album. Their songs could be easy, accessible, anthemic, and will forever be tied to the pinnacle of the 90’s, all of which has lead people to retrospectively underestimate how good they were (It’s weird to think that a band that’s some over 30 million records can be underrated, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). I will forever argue that “Be Here Now” in all its coked out “all songs are five minutes or more” indulgence is their best record.

Alejandra Guzman: her early 90’s work got stuck in my head like nothing else and I can barely speak Spanish. My dad used to play it all the time. I love her raspy voice, the very early 90’s production. Nostalgic choice.

Like A Villain: she is amazing. A Portland local with an incredibly unique style. Her voice gives me chills. Her live performance is entrancing and raw. Absolutely incredible. FKA Twigs: she’s an incredible songwriter, great electro-pop production. Her two EP’s are on very consistent rotation.

Alva Noto: a great German electronic/noise musician. He has no formal training with music and approaches it purely from an adventurous exploration of sounds, glitchy, beats, and occasionally melody. His music is intense—I highly recommend putting on his album “Xerrox Vol. 2” while watching “Nosferatu” if you want to make an old movie significantly more unnerving. Frequent and wonderful collaborator with aforementioned Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Sam Cooke: favorite singer of all time. His voice will always, ALWAYS be my favorite. Kills me.

Bjork: I’ve been listening to Bjork on and off in some capacity for most of my life. Her voice will always sound exciting, her approach always refreshing. An artist I can always revisit and hear/appreciate something new.

Mary Lambert

The End

As I’ve had the pleasure of shooting and writing about most of these bands, please take the time to check out my photography of all these amazing people who I am glad to call friend. Thank you to everyone who responded and talked with me about their musical influences. There’s even a rule on many tours that no one listens to metal. 🙂 Hopefully these lists will spark some awesome conversations and get people excited to discuss music.

Immortal Affliction Photography

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One thought on “Metal’s Muse: Outside The Genre

  1. Love that you’re breaking down the loves and influences of so many musicians – inspiration comes from far beyond your own style and genre.

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