The Urge

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The Urge
Origin St. Louis, MO, USA
Genres Alternative rock, reggae, alternative metal, ska, rap rock, funk rock, hardcore punk
Years active 1987–2001, 2003–2005, 2011-present
Labels Epic/Immortal
Associated acts LucaBrasi (formerly Seven), Stevie E (Steve Ewing solo), El Monstero, Joe Dirt and the Dirty Boys, Ulcer Inc., Shooting With Annie, Celebration Day
Members Steve Ewing
Karl Grable
Jerry Jost
Matt Kwiatkowski
John Pessoni
Bill Reiter
Past members Jeff Herschel
Pat Malecek
Jordan Chalden
Todd Painter

The Urge is an alternative rock band based in St. Louis, Missouri. Their music combines several genres, including hardcore punk, heavy metal, ska, reggae, funk, rock, and rhythm and blues. Consistent touring throughout the 1990s earned the band a reputation for high-energy live performances.


Early career (1987–1994)[edit]

The Urge was originally formed in 1987 by Webster Groves High School classmates Jeff Herschel (drums) and Karl Grable (bass), and Pat Malecek (guitar) of Saint Louis University High School. The band went through two singers before recruiting Steve Ewing for vocal duties in 1988. Their first album was released in 1989, the cassette-only Bust Me Dat Forty, followed a year later by the LP Puttin the Backbone Back, which featured the addition of saxophonist Jordan Chalden.

After trombonist Matt Kwiatkowski was recruited in 1992, the group released Magically Delicious, which also featured contributions from trumpeter Tony Albano. Chalden left the band shortly after to deal with substance abuse problems. Later that year, the group added saxophonist/keyboardist Bill Reiter and trombonist/keyboardist Todd Painter. In early 1993, the band released the LP Fat Babies in the Mix, a live concert album recorded at Mississippi Nights.

After Herschel left the band in early 1994 and Malecek left a few months later to pursue other career paths, guitarist Jerry Jost and drummer John Pessoni joined the lineup. Frequent touring with 311 increased the band's fan base.

Success and first breakup (1995–2002)[edit]

In 1995 the band independently released Receiving The Gift of Flavor. Regional radio play of songs "Brainless", "All Washed Up", and "Violent Opposition", as well as successful album sales, brought the band to the attention of Epic's Immortal imprint, which reissued the LP in 1996.

After constant touring with the likes of labelmates KoЯn and Incubus, Master of Styles was released in 1998, containing the hit "Jump Right In" (featuring singer Nick Hexum of 311), as well as the singles "Closer" and "Straight to Hell". "Jump Right In" can be heard in an episode of MTV's Daria and MTV's The Real World.

Following the release of Too Much Stereo in mid-2000, and contributing their song "It's My Turn to Fly" to the 2000 animated film Titan A.E., the band toured for nearly a year before calling it quits. In late December 2001, the band went on separate ways due to musical differences.[1]

During their first break-up, frontman Steve Ewing has made several solo records under the name Stevie E. and is currently assisting several growing local St. Louis rock bands including Zamudio, The Dead End, and Lojic. Guitarist Jerry Jost was almost chosen as the replacement guitarist for Limp Bizkit after Wes Borland left the band in 2002. The other members still reside in St. Louis and are involved in several musical projects.

First reunion (2003–2005)[edit]

On October 21, 2003, the band announced their reunion with their shows at The Pageant on December 23 and 25.[2] The Urge later on played several reunion shows before they disbanded again in 2005.[citation needed]

Second reunion (2011–present)[edit]

In July 15, 2011, The Urge confirmed that they would be reforming to write new music. Their new single "Say Yeah" debuted immediately following the announcement at Pop's live on the radio. Their first show back together was Pointfest 29. During the live radio interview, the band discussed with Donny Fandango that the new music will be entirely new material, and will not be the abandoned album "Escape From Boys Town" from 2001 (which they currently have no plans of resurrecting).[3] The band released their seventh studio album, Galvanized on November 22, 2013. The band performed at The Pageant on November 22, 23 and 29 to promote their album. In July 2015, the band teamed up with PledgeMusic in a fundraising campaign for their 20th anniversary of their album Receiving The Gift of Flavor. To commemorate the album's anniversary, the band re-recorded the songs live at Webster Groves, MO on August 15, 2015.[4] The album was later released on iTunes on November 21, 2015 [5] On September 8, 2017, the band released a brand new single titled "How Does It Feel".[6]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Karl Grable - bass (1987–2001, 2003–05, 2011-present)
  • Steve Ewing - lead vocals (1988–2001, 2003–05, 2011-present)
  • Matt Kwiatkowski - trombone (1992–2001, 2003–05, 2011-present)
  • Bill Reiter - saxophone, keyboards, vocals (1992–2001, 2003–05, 2011-present)
  • Jerry Jost - guitar (1994–2001, 2003–05, 2011-present)
  • John Pessoni - drums, vocals (1994–2001, 2003–05, 2011-present)
Former members
  • Jeff Herschel - drums (1987–1994)
  • Pat Malecek - guitar (1987–1994)
  • Jordan Chalden - saxophone (1989-1992)
  • Todd Painter - trombone, keyboards (1992–1999)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Info Units Sold Singles
1989 Bust Me Dat Forty Neat Guy - - No Official Singles
1990 Putting the Backbone Back Neat Guy - - No Official Singles
1992 Magically Delicious Neat Guy - - No Official Singles
1995 Receiving the Gift of Flavor Immortal Records - 150,000 copies sold "All Washed Up," "Brainless," "It's Gettin' Hectic"
1998 Master of Styles Immortal Records #111 US 250,000 copies sold "Straight to Hell," "Jump Right In" (#10 US Modern Rock), "Closer"
2000 Too Much Stereo Immortal Records #200 US 125,000 copies sold "Too Much Stereo" (#20 US Modern Rock), "Four Letters and Two Words"
2013 Galvanized The Urge LLC #49 Heatseekers - "Say Yeah", "Out On The Fringe"

Other albums[edit]

Year Title Label Info Units Sold Singles
1993 Fat Babies in the Mix Neat Guy Live album - DNC ? No Official Singles
2000 Live and Unreleased E.P. Immortal Records Live EP - DNC ? No Official Singles
2000 Rare and Out of Print Vintage Vinyl Compilation - DNC ? No Official Singles
2011 "Say Yeah" single Neat Guy Single - DNC ? "Say Yeah"
2012 All The Way Live The Urge LLC Live CD Recorded November 2011 at The Pageant - DNC ? No Official Singles
2012 Live and Direct [DVD] The Urge LLC Live DVD Recorded November 2011 at The Pageant - DNC ? No Official Singles
2015 Receiving The Gift of Flavor - 20th Anniversary The Urge LLC Re-Recorded Live Before A Studio Audience ? No Official Singles


External links[edit]