When I first meet people, sometimes they ask about hobbies and I tell them I like music. Inevitably, I get the, “Oh, me too!” Usually, they don’t mean it like I do. Music, as most of you know, is literally everything to me. It’s like air. I couldn’t live without it.
So that means that I love a lot of artists and bands. Truly love them. However, there are a handful of acts that I love just a smidge more than the rest…I just got home from the most amazing show watching one of those acts…and I feel compelled to write about them.
I saw The Influence (out of Virginia Beach, VA) for the first time in April of 2007. They were opening for another band that a friend of a friend was playing in. My friend Mindy was in town visiting that weekend and when she saw who was opening she went, “These guys are really good. I’ve seen them before.”
That may have been the understatement of the decade. I don’t remember the name of the band that headlined, but I will never forget the what I saw on stage that night from The Influence. Five guys playing music with a sound I’ve never heard before…I later read a review of them that called it “dark surf rock,” and that’s still the best description of their music I’ve been able to give anyone else. These absolutely insane five part harmonies…songs that are one minute skulking, aching and pain filled, and the next rocked out and frenetic.
I fell 100% head over heels in love with The Influence that night. And for three years, every time I see them play, I find new things to love about their music. I ardently believe, more than any other band I follow, that these guys are going to become huge stars. There is no one – and I mean no one – out there right now that sounds like them.
I can’t do them justice in writing. The great thing about them is that on stage, they all have their own personalities. There’s no false pretenses with The Influence…what you see is what you get. Matthew, with his Peter Gabriel – Seal – Muse laced voice and an intensity that I’ve only ever seen from one other artist (Jimmy Gnecco from Ours, if you’re wondering); John’s energetic and driving guitar shredding, his ever-evolving hairstyle, Mr. Gregarious…and his counterpart, Will, the quiet one, the “surfer,” who plays the guitar so fluidly that I sometimes find myself just watching his fingers – the chemistry between these two guys as they play dual guitars is just unreal; Tully, with his huge smile and thundering bass, the way he makes it look easy to keep time…and how I just want to hug him every time I see him; and good gracious, Collin, the wild man on the drum kit, with the most expressive face, who you can tell is loving every second of what he does (and the one that I most want to make a stack of pancakes for to fatten him up).
Seriously, check out The Influence. You can pick up their Dust & Sun EP for free…it’s got a few older songs on it, but will give you a real taste of what they’re all about.
This video is one of their newest songs – my favorite of the newest ones – it’s called “Colorado Lazer Storm.” SO ridiculously good. Just look at the flippin’ intensity!
And you can follow them in a million other ways on your social media preference. Just do it…you won’t be sorry.
I have no idea why destiny led me to stumble upon these boys three years ago, but I am so glad that it did. I cannot wait for the rest of the world to catch onto them…
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