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Dodd Michael Lede's Top 10 Musical Influences 

Name three bands or artists that have influenced your music, and tell us why? 

 

This is such a common question among musicians that I wanted to share it with you here. Please realize, as musicians, it is more probable to have multiple influences and most often difficult to narrow it down to 1, 3, or even 10. But here was my original answer, and then I expanded my answer for this post.  

Name three bands or artists that have influenced your music, and tell us why? 

Limiting myself to three is going to be impossible, but I’ll give you a top five that might surprise you.    

The Beatles, Queen, Tom Petty, Prince, & Jane’s Addiction. 

Although the Beatles were before my time, their music is timeless and their songwriting was incredible.  It might seem simple in nature, but crafting those catchy melodic songs takes a lot of music savvy.  Not to mention, the experimentation they did in the studio to create those sounds.  The standard protocols of what we use today are based on this, pre-technology!!  Think about it, we have software, pedals, and plugin applications that allow us to do the same things.  This didn’t exist back in those early years.  They literally set the bar for the rest of the recording world. 

Queen took that very same approach in the studio and raised the bar even higher. Having four talented songwriters in the band didn’t hurt either.  It allowed their music to be multi-genre’d.  They didn’t stick to one formula of songwriting either.  That would be too simple.  Musically, everything was fair game.  I apply that logic to my songwriting.  I’ve also applied their harmony aspect to what we do. 

Tom Petty was a big influence to me as well.  He just wrote fantastic songs.  His work ethic was relentless.  He pushed his band and his music to excellence.  Honestly speaking, he wasn’t even that great of a singer, but he made it work and nobody cared.  He had that “I don’t give a fuck attitude”, and to me, that is what defines rock & roll. 

I idolized Prince growing up.  He was the complete package.  His talent and diversity were extraordinary.  His work ethic was crazy.  I remember hearing stories of him calling recording sessions on a whim.  He would just call his band whenever the creativity struck.  He also experimented in the studio, and created a trademark sound and style.  I strive for this daily, if only to be half as good at it. 

I kid you not; Jane’s Addiction changed my musical mindset and my life in one live performance.   I had no preconceived ideas of what they looked like or sounded like.  A friend of mine just suggested that I go see them.  Next thing you know, my mind was blown.  I scrounged around for every piece of information I could find on them.  Perry Farrell inspired me to not follow the pack.  Think about it, instead of changing his ideologies to fit in with what the music industry wanted, he created his own thing and made the industry conform to what HE wanted.  That is empowerment.  Fuck what everyone else is doing; this is the way WE are going to do it.  And just like that, my attitude toward the industry was forever changed. 

 

The following list was added after this interview, but these bands are equally responsible for shaping my personal songwriting and stage performances.  

Van Halen, Aerosmith, Journey, Cheap Trick, and The Eagles.  

Steve Perry was the ULTIMATE reason that I ever decided to pursue the idea of being a singer. I used to sing Journey songs for lunch money in high school. So, in theory, those were my first professional performances. He had such a distinctive voice. Neal Schon’s guitar playing was another element to their influence. I have always sought incredible guitar players for every band I’ve ever been in.  

Shortly after, I was introduced to Van Halen and front-man, David Lee Roth. DLR is the reason I wanted to get into a rock & roll band. I used to imitate his stage persona on stage and his crazy stage antics and banter were second to none. I borrowed and learned so much from him. And Eddie Van Halen was the reason I wanted to play guitar.  

Once I was introduced to Aerosmith, nothing would ever be the same for me. Steven Tyler became another inspiration for crazy stage antics and his vocal range is mesmerizing. His lyric writing and verbal wordplay can definitely be felt in my writing. I always attribute David Lee Roth and Steven Tyler as my personal spirit animals.  

Cheap Trick wrote catchy rock songs. End of story. PERIOD!! They also had that high energy element that I was so attracted to. They were also the first band that I got to actually meet in person during an signing party at Texas Tapes & Records in Pasadena, Texas. Rick Nielsen was so funny and charismatic. You can hear traces of their influence in my songwriting for sure. And they wrote in a variety of music styles as well.  

The Eagles were actually one of my fathers favorite bands. Looking back in retrospect, I had no idea how influential they would become to my songwriting. Their influence was more subliminal, but definitely noticeable. Simply put, they wrote amazing songs. Timeless songs. I hope that my songs can stand the same test of time.  

 

I believe every songwriter wants to write something that outlives them. That is my motivation as a songwriter.  This list of bands and artists have set the bar pretty high. It is my intention to continue to aspire to use their inspiration to take the music to the next level. 

I hope that my influences will inspire you, and motivate you to listen to our music and share in our journey.  Maybe you will find your own personal inspiration  in our music.  

 


The Beatles Queen Tom Petty Prince Jane's Addiction
Van Halen Aerosmith Journey Cheap Trick The Eagles

 

 

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One of the great things about music is that it lives on forever!!”

— Dodd Michael Lede