Watch: Jake Cinninger Visits Bob Miles in 50-Minute Interview

Rob Slater on February 2, 2015

Jake Cinninger took some time last December to visit with Bob Miles at the Peter Max Art Studio in New York City for an expansive, 50-minute interview covering every topic imaginable from Cinninger’s upbringing and early musical talents (including his foray into country music with his pre-Umphrey’s and Ali Baba’s Tahini project Avalanche) to his influences, gear and teaching philosophy. If you’ve never heard Jake speak in-depth on what he does and how he does it, you should take some time to listen as the UM axeman covers just about every topic out there.

One of the many interesting moments is Cinninger speaking on Umphrey’s McGee’s style and how they fit into the “jamband” moniker, citing the band’s unique influences vital to their musical identity. “It harkens back to what Grateful Dead and Phish obviously developed, but what we’re doing is using our modern influences,” Cinninger says. “When the Dead were doing it they were influenced by bluegrass and jazz and played rock and roll. Phish obviously had the 70s radio rock with the jazz and the bluegrass. When our time came up to bat we had Nine Inch Nails, all these King Crimson things and like–death metal.” He also references the Allman Brothers when describing the goal Umphrey’s was trying to achieve when adding him to the band.

Cinninger also talks about the “ace up their sleeves” when referring to Umphrey’s ability to listen to each other on stage within an improvisation. He discusses the band’s communication on-stage and cited Ryan Stasik’s five-string bass as a huge asset within their current sound and the ability to dig into some themes that they wouldn’t normally be able to. When discussing the band’s unique style, he plays bits of “Plunger” and “40’s Theme,” among others.

The video isn’t without a good guitar jam session as Cinninger actually opens the video by soloing around some of the “Glory” chords. Later on, he also meshes the styles of David Gilmour, Robert Fripp and Yngwie Malmsteen–amazingly. Dig into the whole thing below.