Umphrey's McGee is classified as a jam band, but one listen through any of their albums and you'll find that's like calling John Williams a composer – true, but boy are you missing the point. The band touches on everything from jazz and electronica to the occasional thrash metal opus, and much more. So we sat down with bassist Ryan Stastik to pick his brain on what his top five favorite metal and punk artists are.
Guns N' Roses
Appetite For Destruction introduced me to danger. It was raw and fast and I was all in from the first note. In the end, it’s just rock n' roll and I knew this is what I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life. Umphrey’s might not be as dangerous or party as hard as they did, but the passion of hard rock lives in some of our music to this day.
All of my friends parents hated it which made us love it even more. I was 11 when Girls, Girls, Girls came out and I thought the whole glam rock vibe was ridiculous and fun. What 11 year old boy didn’t? Nikki wrote so many hits that stood the test of time as they still rock today.
These guys fucking rock. As a kid and even today, I fucking love AC/DC. Simple. Classic. Legendary. They really help remind Umphrey’s that less can really be more.
All of his work. Black Flag, Rollins Band, all of it. Even later in my life I saw his spoken word in Chicago many times. I just always loved Henry’s no bullshit attitude and swagger. Rock on.
Vulgar Display of Power was my album. I was playing hockey. This was our go to pre-game music. It gets you fucking pumped up and ready to knock someone’s head off. I probably saw this band the most in high school as they toured relentlessly. Every fucking time it was the intensity and aggression my teenage youth was searching for.