• Billie-Jo Buttner

Artist Interview - The Inner Urge

Updated: Feb 22

Introducing The Inner Urge! Formed in 2015 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the band melds sounds rooted in cinematic rock, jazz, and ambient styles. VxV sat down with them to discuss their musical journey, influences, and goals.

By 2016, Inner Urge had settled to being the four members they now have - Alexander Price on guitar & violin, Michael Garbett on vibraphone & percussion, Andrew Koss on bass & synthesizer, Jesse Griffith on drums. In terms of writing music, each member contributes to the process, with Andrew adding, “our songs are pretty collaborative.”

Inner Urge has a range of inspirations they credit, beginning with Snarky Puppy. “I think our inspiration for writing catchy instrumental music comes a lot from Snarky Puppy who has been one of the biggest instrumental / new jazz groups in the last 10 years. Their orchestration of all different parts throughout the ensemble is really unique.” Alex added the likes of Steve Reich and Brian Eno stating, “they are probably big influences - Steve Reich being minimalism and Brian Eno being ambient music.” Rock music has also played a large part in their lives as they enjoy Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. As the percussionist, Michael mentions Giovanni Hidalgo or Cal Tjader - other percussionists or vibraphone players since it’s a very unique instrument.

When asked about their goals, all of the guys agreed that they have gotten to a point as a band where they are settling into interesting sounds that are representative of what they want to express. “It would be great to get a full documentation of all of it and be confident in it. We’d like a really high quality full length album next.” On top of that, Alex emphasizes “I think we’re all kind of in it for the cool experiences, meeting other musicians, and playing shows. I would love to be at a place eventually where we’re just playing festivals not bar gigs. Being on the festival circuit takes a while to get there as an instrumental band but that’s a big goal of mine.” Michael pitched in here to say “I don’t think our goal ever really was fame or fortune, we kind of knew from the beginning as instrumentalists that it would be a different route so I guess we’re more into the idea of preserving the sound we create.”

The Inner Urge has an EP coming out in the next month or two that can be defined as pure ambient music as opposed to their first EP which was more jazz like. It’s titled Blossom and has 5 original tracks. The band is also persevering through the current pandemic by planning a livestream concert on June 7th from Pittsburgh. Just before that, they will be performing in the Some Kind Of Jam festival at the end of April in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, put on by Jibberjazz Productions.

To wrap up our interview, the band gave pieces of advice to anyone entering the music scene.

Alex: “I would just say be patient, be nice to everyone, and be an all around good person.

Jesse: “Stay true to whatever your idea of what you want out of it is and not what anybody else’s is. Don’t just go after commercial success.

Andrew: “Write as much music as you can because it’s better to have a bunch of ‘okay’ things than one really good thing. It improves your writing talent and allows you to learn more. Continue to write consistently and you’ll be surprised.

Michael: “Always enjoy what you’re doing as a musician and performer and more importantly enjoy the people you’re doing it with.

Their music is released on all major streaming platforms, but if anyone would like to purchase it they can find it at

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