Chuck Stern (Stern)
SPB: How do you draw the line between taking influence and mimicking?
Stern: I think of this as reverential versus referential. Influences are what shape us. They're crucial, but I've never really wanted to cover anyone else's songs or duplicate a specific style. Mimicry falls flat and is often reduced to what it isn't. If you revere something, you can let it ooze out organically, you can weave it into your tapestry and create something larger. But that depends on what you have to say, because if the point of your music is to genre-hop, well, that's lame.
On a side note, I've always been obsessed with clones and rip-offs (whether bands, brands, or movies). I just choose to avoid that approach.