Keith Urban Credits AC/DC, John Mellencamp as Early Influences on His Music
Anyone who’s seen country superstar Keith Urban live will tell you it's clear he’s got some rock and roll buried in his musical roots, and it turns out, he's quick to cite the mighty AC/DC as a primary influence of his childhood.
Urban recently spoke with our sister site Taste of Country about how his rock inspirations have embedded themselves in his music, specifically on his latest single ‘Long Hot Summer,’ which recalls the vibe of ‘80s rock gems from the likes of John Mellencamp and Bryan Adams.
“It’s so awesome that you said that," Urban said when asked about the heartland sound of the single. "I never thought that much about John, but [Mellencamp] is a huge influence on me. I’m thinking of a song like ‘Paper in Fire,’ or even ‘Summer of ’69,’ and you’re right, it’s a heartland rocker in that vein. It’s probably my AC/DC upbringing. I’ve always loved 4/4 tunes that are four-on-the-floor and just really want to rock.”
His guitar playing was also deeply inspired by the guitar work of former Dire Straits frontman/guitarist Mark Knopfler, and he mentions David Gilmour as an additional primary influence. “I’ve always been drawn to lyrical playing like Mark Knopfler and those long outros he did, like on ‘Tunnel of Love.’ Or those songs that have two parts like ‘Layla.’ They’re not complicated guitar songs but all this raw emotion is right there.”
You can read the complete conversation with Keith Urban over on Taste of Country.