The Urge

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This article is about the rock band. For the album by bassist Stuart Hamm, see The Urge (album).
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
Phil Bini

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), Karl Grable (bass), and Pat Malecek (guitar). 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 and Malecek left the band in 1994 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 (1995–2001)[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, the band toured for nearly a year before calling it quits. In summer 2001, the band went its separate ways due to musical differences.

Post-The Urge activities and first reunion (2002–2010)[edit]

The Urge played several reunion shows from 2003 to 2005. 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.

Second reunion (2011–present)[edit]

On 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).[1] They also launched their new website

The band played 4 shows in November 2011 at the Pageant and recorded their live CD "All The Way Live" and DVD "Live and Direct" during these shows.

On August 17, 2012, The Urge played the second stage at the inaugural Knotfest live music festival put on by Slipknot in Council Bluffs, Iowa at Mid-America Motorplex.

The Urge played 3 shows on board the "2013 311 Cruise." Sailing on the Norwegian Pearl Cruise Ship, March 1–5, 2013.

The Urge performed live in November 2013 at the Pageant to celebrate the release of their new album "Galvanized".

The Urge will perform again on Friday, July 10th, 2015 at Ballpark Village for an outdoor concert presented by 105.7 the Point. [2]

In August 2015, the band celebrated the 20th anniversary of their release of their album Receiving The Gift of Flavor. To promote the album's anniversary, the band re-recorded the songs live at Webster Groves, MO. It was funded through PledgeMusic campaign.

On November 20th and 21st, The Urge played two shows to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of their 1995 album, Receiving the Gift of Flavor at The Pageant. They played two sets, the first was the full Receiving the Gift of Flavor, which was played on a stage set up similar to the one of Mississippi Nights, then they played a second set of other hits.

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Karl Grable - bass (1987–2001, 2003–2005, 2011-present)
  • Steve Ewing - lead vocals (1988–2001, 2003–2005, 2011-present)
  • Matt Kwiatkowski - trombone (1992–2001, 2003–2005, 2011-present)
  • Bill Reiter - saxophone, keyboards, vocals (1992–2001, 2003–2005, 2011-present)
  • Jerry Jost - guitar (1994–2001, 2003–2005, 2011-present)
  • John Pessoni - drums, vocals (1994–2001, 2003–2005, 2011-present)
Former members
  • Jeff Herschel - drums (1987–1994)
  • Pat Malacek - guitar (1987–1994)
  • Jordan Chalden - saxophone (1989-1992)
  • Todd Painter - trombone, keyboards (1992–1999)
  • Phil Bini - saxophone (2003–2005)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Info Units Sold Singles
1989 Bust Me Dat Forty Neat Guy DNC  ? No Official Singles
1990 Putting the Backbone Back Neat Guy DNC  ? No Official Singles
1992 Magically Delicious Neat Guy DNC  ? No Official Singles
1995 Receiving The Gift of Flavor Immortal Records DNC 150,000 copies sold "All Washed Up," "Brainless," "It's Gettin' Hectic"
1998 Master of Styles Immortal Records #134 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 Released November 22, 2013  ? "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

Other Notable Songs[edit]

  • "Bad Neighborhood"
  • "Go Feet" (B-side from "Too Much Stereo")
  • "Its My Turn to Fly (Titan AE Soundtrack)
  • "BBQ Rat" (cover of Ministry's "Stigmata" and a song called "Ali Baba" - only played live)
  • "This Is Radio Clash" (Burning London: The Clash Tribute)
  • "1999" (Unreleased studio cover of the Prince song)
  • "One Love" (Live cover of the Bob Marley song)
  • "I Need More Time" (Live cover of The Meters song)
  • "Lazy Boy Dash" By Jimmie's Chicken Shack (Featured Steve Ewing Vocals)
  • "I'm Not Crying For You" By Save Ferris (Featured Steve Ewing Vocals)

Compilation Contributions[edit]

Music Videos[edit]

  • "Brainless"
  • "All Washed Up"
  • "Jump Right In"
  • "Too Much Stereo"


Crone, Thomas Second Set: The Urge brings back the crazy (2012), St. Louis Beacon

External links[edit]