Combining funk, metal, rap, ska, reggae and hip hop, St. Louis' Urge have won over an extremely loyal fanbase in their native city -- and nationally -- through their powerful live shows. The eclectic group currently features vocalist Steve Ewing, guitarist Jerry Jost, bassist Karl Grable, trombonists Matt Kwiatkowski and Todd Painter, saxophonist Bill Reiter and drummer John Pessoni. First formed around 1987, the Urge adopted its present lineup and style in the mid-1990s, after self-releasing several long out-of-print tapes and LPs on their Nice Guy Records label.
Drawing from influences such as Fishbone, Rage Against the Machine and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in recent years the Urge have expanded their underground reputation beyond the St. Louis area through college radio play ("Goin' to the Liquor Store"), word-of-mouth and, most importantly, constant touring, often with their friends, 311. In 1996 the Urge signed to Immoral/Epic, who re-issued their 1995 self-released album, Receiving the Gift of Flavor.
In 1998 the band recorded a track for the Ark 21 Clash tribute album and released their long-awaited studio album,Master of Styles. Their latest, Too Much Stereo, is slated for a summer 2000 release.