Dance Gavin Dance have defied easy categorization ever since they burst onto the scene with their 2007 debut Downtown Battle Mountain — a quality that they've maintained up to and including their ninth and latest effort, 2020's Afterburner.
The Sacramento, California, quintet — vocalist Tilian Pearson, co-vocalist Jon Mess, guitarist Will Swan, bassist Tim Feerick and drummer Matt Mingus — explore a range of styles throughout the album: from progressive metalcore, face-melting shred and clean-to-scream vocals to Latin rock flavors, trap beats and Top 40 hooks. It's an exciting, adventurous mix that also connected big-time with fans — Afterburner charted at No. 14 on the Billboard Top 200 and took the No. 1 Top Rock Albums spot.
Not surprisingly, Dance Gavin Dance draw musical inspiration from an eclectic mix of artists. Below, Matt Mingus tells the stories behind the five albums that most influenced his own creative expressions.
Although a live album/compilation, this was one of my first exposures to rock music that I can remember. My older sister had it, and once I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" I was in love.
Another album influence by my older sister. MTV always seemed to be on in my house growing up and I remember always getting real stoked when the "Basket Case" music video would come on.
This album really influenced my take on heavy rock music. It has inspired me both on drums, of course, and actually guitar as it was one of the first riffs ever taught to me by my brother-in-law.
One of my favorite albums of all time from start to finish. Absolutely a huge influence on my drumming. Showing me the possibilities of infusing several different genres and styles of music into one. Truly a masterpiece to my ears.
Sigur Rós has been a favorite band of mine for a long time. Although I was turned on to them many years prior to this album, Takk is my favorite. The bridal party at my wedding walked out to a track off of it, thus making it a truly special album in my heart.