Steven Drozd's Top Five Composers

Flaming Lips

Bee Gees

“I still listen to their stuff on a daily basis, from the late ’60s, their Beatlesque psychedelic pop stuff. Then they had that early ’70s adult contemporary period before disco, total light stuff, like ’How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?’ And in the disco era, their songwriting really evolved. Their songs sound simple, but if you sit down and try to play them they’re really complicated.”

The Beatles

“Who wouldn’t have them on their list? They were four people who actually were all pretty creative. I have different eras that I like from the different guys in the band. I like the idea of evolving and progressing and trying to change with the times, which they did in a very short period of time. If you listen to their stuff from 1964 compared to 1970, it’s like, ’Wow. How was that the same band?’”

Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“They perfected the blueprint for rock music around 1968 to ’72. Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed are my two favorites. One of my favorite songs of all time is ’Gimme Shelter,’ and it’s really just three chords. There’s not much going on there, but damn, it just rocks. I would say that’s a big influence. You’re always trying to write the perfect rock riff.”

Björk

“A lot of her songs sound simple, but they’re really complicated. People from Iceland have some weird sense of melodies and chords. A lot of it just sounds like standard pop, but some of those songs just sound like, ’How would you come up with that melody in the first place?’”

Belle & Sebastian

“I love their songwriting. They’re a Scottish band and have been making records since about 1995. Their sense of melody and their pop craftsmanship are astounding. I’m always sitting down with a guitar and saying, ’How did they get that feel?’ A lot of it would remind you of ’60s Simon & Garfunkel.”