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
Nick Bedrosian- Stitched Up Heart
Bob Seger, John Williams, No Doubt, Pink, Panic! At The Disco, Blink 182, Avenged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance
Andrew Baird- Fallujah
Perturbator, FM-84, The Beatles, A Tribe Called Quest, Marvin Gaye
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
Carmen Miranda, Preston Reed, Ella Fitzgerald, Flying Lotus, Jean Luc Ponty, Invalids, Tennyson, Busta Rhymes
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
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
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
Jeff Cummings- Sworn Enemy
Faith No More, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Blind Melon, Bob Seger, Wheeler Walker Jr.
Jay Tarantino- Angel Vivaldi, Oraculum
The Temptations, Otis Redding, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke
Sam Kirsch- Abnormality
Lady Gaga, Busta Rhymes, Immortal Technique, Peter Gabriel, Journey, Parliament, Sly and The Family Stone, Prince, Michael Jackson
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
Steve Unger- Metal Church
Elvis Presley, Little River Band, Fleetwood Mac, Electric Light Orchestra, Sin Circus, Brooks N Dunn
Shaun Andruchuk- Starkill
M83, Muse, Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Schoolboy Q, Bruno Mars, AFI, Aerosmith, Christmas Music 🙂
Wynn Cicalo- Wrench
Four Tops, The Supremes, Booker T, Blues Brothers, Ray Charles, Sam and Dave, Wagner, Beethoven
James Decker- Stitched Up Heart
Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Bela Fleck, Phish, BT, Deadmau5, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Nine Inch Nails
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
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
Rob Castoria- Maniac Rise
Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale, N. W. A., Nas, Beethoven
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
Greg Burgess- Allegaeon
Yanni, Poets of the Fall, Oscar Lopez, Prince, Paula Cole, Kate Rusby, Lady Gaga
Marek “Ashtok” Šmerda- Cradle Of Filth
Van Halen, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Toto, Michael Jackson, Whitesnake, Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel, Sade, KISS, Genesis
Jeffrey McCormick- Q5
Billy Joel, Gyra, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Dave Brubeck, Robben Ford, David Bowie, Cardiknox, Dan Reed Network, Steely Dan, Level 42
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
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
Sal LoCoco- Sworn Enemy
The Eagles, Hall and Oates, Bon Jovi, Phil Collins, Blondie, The Ramones, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Deftones
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
Scott Shelko- Thrown Into Exile
Michael Jackson, Madonna, Sade, Duran Duran, Elvis, Otis Redding, Righteous Brothers, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Chris Stapleton
Bradley Bills- CHANT
Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mazzy Star, Prince, DJ Tiesto, Sting
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
Ari Mihalopoulos- OTEP
Hans Zimmer, John Carpenter, Bear McCreary, John Williams, James Horner, Vince DiCola, The Prodigy, Pendulum, Journey, Johnny Cash
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
John Strickland- Lullwater
Billy Joel, Umphrey’s McGee, My Morning Jacket, Jason Isbell, 80’s Synth Pop
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
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
Lu Badu- Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, Jonny Sonic
Psapp, Bonobo, RJD2, Laura Veirs, Minus The Bear, Thundercat, Arctic Monkeys, Shovels and Rope, G-Love
Scott Bloom- Chaotic Noise Marching Corps- Jonny Sonic
Vince Guaraldi, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea
James “Roto” Rotondi- Hundred Hounds, Mr. Bungle, The Cringe, Air
David Sylvian, The Jungle Brothers, Steve Tibbetts, TuPac shakur, Trent D’Arby
Louis Beateaux- Carnivore
Bob Marley, Al Di Meola, Dave Weckl, Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Buddy Rich, Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri
Floyd McFeely- Super Geek League
Radiohead, Amon Tobin, Explosions In The Sky, Pharcyde, Aphex Twins
Jadran Gonzalez- Exmortus
The Doors, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, ELO, Michael Jackson, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Paganini, Tchaikovsky
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
Charlie Errigo- Suffocation, The Merciless Concept
Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Mr. Bungle, Onyx, Mobb Deep, Chon, Anthony Hamilton
Henry Derek- Thrown Into Exile, Act Of Defiance
John, Coltrane, Waylon Jennings, Otis Redding, Arab Strap, Merzbow, Wire, Dwight Yoakam, The Dream, Kendrick Lamar
Tom Lorenzo- Blood Feast
Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Kansas, ELP, The Police, Blondie, Kelly Clarkson, The Cars, The Killers
Alex Lee- Holy Grail
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Yoshida Brothers, Koji Kondo
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
Mike Palmeri- Wrench, Life Of Agony
Duran Duran, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Adele, Train, Daughtry, Mumford & Sons
David Rivera- Exmortus
George Clinton, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield
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
Tony Abreu- Windowpane
Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Sting, Janis Joplin, Loreena McKennitt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gary Clark, Beethoven, Tom Petty, Mozart
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
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
Allen Mattila- After The Fallout
Devin Townsend, Pink Floyd, Muse, Gorillaz, Disneyland After Dark
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
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
Dave Corsile- Thrown Into Exile
Thin Lizzy, Portishead, Neko Case, Billie Holiday, Calabrese, Etta James, Pat Benatar, Sweet, The Police, Edith Piaf
Tomasz Piłasiewicz- Corphagy, Road’s End
Depeche Mode, Phil Collins, Enya, Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd, Jean- Michel Jarre, Leonard Cohen, Alice In Chains, Ulver
Juuso Raatikainen- Swallow The Sun
Ozric Tentacles, Yes, Virgil Donati, Allan Holdsworth, Bill Evans
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.
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!
Roy Beatty- Lullwater
Imogen Heap, Mac Miller, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, Rittz, Mac Lethal, Eminem, Passafire, Kendrick Lamar
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
Rick Kowal- Jonny Sonic
Matt Garzilli- Sworn Enemy
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.
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.
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.
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.