When I interviewed my project subject, Kevin Modelski, I got so much information from him, I couldn’t put all of the topics into my audio assignment. One thing that I asked him about was his musical inspirations. He told me the following:
- Guitar Wise he says he is inspired by “early Blues Rock” such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and The Young Brothers from ACDC
- Songwriting Wise: Neutral Milk Hotel, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam
I decided to do a little background research and look at some of these artists and bands. Jimi Hendrix is a legend, so I started with him.
Hendrix is known as one of the greatest of all time in music and guitar, so it’s no surprise Kevin is inspired by him. Though I have heard of Hendrix, I’ve never listened to much of his music, so it’s good to see that even though he died so long ago, people in the current generation are still influenced by his guitar skills.
Kevin also mentions that he loves the Young Brothers from AC/DC because they put on a good show.
I went in search of some good performances by them, and I was impressed. In the video below, they really build up to the beginning of the performance, and while they are playing, they keep the crowd going. I wasn’t exposed to this type of music as a kid, but being a self-proclaimed “music junkie”, I’ll listen to anything of musical genius.
It’s amazing what artists can do with the guitar, but what about lyrics? Kevin lists Neutral Milk Hotel (whom I had never heard of) as one of his songwriting inspirations. Listening to them, I loved how they blended lyrics with good guitar. Kevin’s show is all about guitar, but this gives a good spin of putting lyrics first and guitar second, without sacrificing the good of one for the good of the other.
Finally, I explored Smashing Pumpkins. They are from Chicago, just like Kevin, so I figured I would add them to this post. I found that they really know how to tell a story with their music. I think that’s very cool and I see why Kevin likes their music. Most of their videos are pretty weird though, and I found myself questioning what kind of symbolism is being portrayed. While odd at times, the lyrics definitely take you on a journey.
Overall, I loved experiencing new music through exploring Kevin’s tastes. I think it’s great working with someone else who loves music but has a different style than I do. One great thing about working with him is that he explains why he likes the music he likes. He doesn’t just like things that are popular or going to make him friends with a certain group of people. It’s nice to know someone who doesn’t follow the trends and just sticks to what makes them feel good.