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Who's hot with today's rock stars?

(ran GB, TP editions)

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You might be surprised to learn who's inspiring today's musicmakers.

When we asked musicians what they're spinning on their CD players to get them excited about making music, they were more than happy to tell us (well, mostly).

Joe Perry, guitarist for Aerosmith: "I just heard the new Black Crows and loved it. It's great to hear a band that's been through its own trials and tribulations sound that good. I've also been listening to a lot of Rage Against the Machine, Fuel and the new Sheryl Crow. That's good music."

JC Chasez, one-fifth of the crooning, send-you-swooning 'N Sync: "Melodically, I really like Sting and Seal. Musically, I like harmony groups such as Take 6, and Boyz II Men, of course. I listen to a lot of different styles, and I'm analytical about it. I tend to break things down. I'm not the kind of person who says I'm hot on a song just because it's a trend."

Randy Travis: "I listen strictly to country radio. I have my favorites. I've been listening to the last Alan Jackson album. I loved the first single, I'll Go Forever Loving You. Alan is definitely one of my favorites. I think Clint Black is a great talent, too. As far as singers and songwriters, Alan, Clint and Vince Gill are definitely at the top. Patty Loveless, too. I love her voice."

Guitar god Joe Satriani: "A lot of the bands I listen to have put out albums recently that puzzle me, but I won't name names. Lately I've been listening to Charlie Hunter, a young eight-string jazz guitar player. I also found myself going back a bit, listening to Eric Clapton's From the Cradle."

Kirk Hammett, Metallica guitarist who used to take lessons from Satriani (sort of a Plato-Aristotle thing): "I've been into Monster Magnet, Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours _ everyone was telling me what a great album that is and you know what? They're right. Also Massive Attack, Fat Boy Slim and Jerry Cantrell's Boggy Depot."

Hard-rocking Monster Magnet's front man, Dave Wyndorf: "Bjork, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, also Marilyn Manson _ to a certain extent. Musically, no, but attitude, yes. I like those guys, and they're using their wit and imagination. I like thinking people and people who sound like they mean it. When I listen to a Bjork album, I think, "There's a person who is doing what she wants to do.' You've gotta love her. Even if you don't like her music, you've gotta love her for that."

Jimmie Vaughan, former guitarist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds who's been learning how to feel comfortable in the solo-artist spotlight: "Lately I've been listening to a lot of jazz, like Blue Note records from the '50s. I relate to the sax players and trumpet players because they're soloists."

Jon Fishman, drummer for the free-form phenom Phish: "I've been listening to the Chieftains a lot lately. There are two ways to create original music: You can lock yourself in a closet and not listen to anything, and whatever comes out will be something that sounds like nothing else; or you can immerse yourself in every traditional way of making music, and then what comes out of you is your own personal, unique blend of the best. It's like eating a lot of really good food, and then what comes out is your very own. . . . You get the idea."

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the six-string wunderkind with two gold albums under his belt at the tender age of 21: "Of the new bands out there, I really like Storyville. And of course I have my old faithfuls, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan."

Fieldy, bass player for Korn, the band that reinvigorated heavy metal by infusing elements of hip hop and punk: "I'll listen to Jamiroqui, Cypress Hill. I've only heard the new Cypress Hill about six times, but it's really inspiring. I listen to a lot of hip hop, but I hear it in a different way. If you took the rap out and put guitars in, it would be Korn. Also, we just signed Videodrone to our label (Elementree) and I produced their CD, but that's not why I like them. I'd really listen to them anyway. It's dark, heavy dance music."

Bobby Hewitt, drummer for Orgy, the first band signed to Elementree by the members of Korn themselves: "It sounds kind of cheesy, but honestly, I like Korn. They are good. They get you pumpin' and your blood really going. But I also listen to Bjork and Seal."

Chuck Schuldiner, the guitarist and singer for Death, a band that has upheld the extreme metal tradition for 15 years: "I still listen to my wall of vinyl _ Kiss, Iron Maiden. I tend to listen to more of the old than the new, but of course I keep up with the new. I heard the new Slayer and it sounded a little like Korn, which worried me a bit, but I'll probably pick it up and give it a chance . . . also, Symphony X _ they're getting no acknowledgment at all, but they're a terrific band."

Taylor Hanson, the rosy-cheeked middle brother of Hanson, the band least likely ever to share billing with Death: "We listen to everything from Bob Dylan to Creedence Clearwater to Aerosmith to En Vogue. The last CDs we got were the new Green Day and City of Angels (soundtrack), particularly for the Alanis (Morissette) and Goo Goo Dolls songs."

Eddie Van Halen: "You know, I honestly don't have time to listen to anyone else's music. I'm just so busy recording my own music. I've got a house full of demo tapes (I've made) that no one's ever heard. Knock on wood, but if I kicked the bucket, Warner Brothers would have a field day with that stuff."

Fred Durst, singer/rapper/conspiracy theorist/tattoo artist whose group, Limp Bizkit, is one of the few bands springing up in the morose metal Kornfield to reveal a sense of humor: "Mazzy Star, The Cure, Filter, Hole's Live Through This, which is an album of Kurt Cobain tunes that no one knew existed that (Courtney Love) stole. I love the really sad, drawn-out music. I'm one of those guys that likes to be sad, even when I don't want to be sad. You know A Star is Born? The movie soundtrack is one of my favorite records, forever."

Anna Kjellberg, bassist for the rising Swedish metal quartet Drain S.T.H.: "I don't really listen to new music much anymore, though I have my favorites. I love Alice in Chains and Sepultura, plus some old stuff like Black Sabbath."

Noodles, guitarist for punky chart-toppers the Offspring: "I'll admit a fondness for Black Sabbath's Paranoid album, but that's the only heavy metal album I've got. The Rolling Stones were one of the first rock and roll bands I listened to. When I got into punk, I got rid of my rock and roll records, except for the Stones and the Who. I kept those. . . . Right now I really like Bucket Head. He's this Southern California guitar player who uses tons of electronics and weird effects. It sounds like he's flying by the seat of his pants. About a year ago, I bought my first AC/DC record. I used to hate them because I thought they were the epitome of arena rock, but now I love them. Maybe I'm softening."

Isaac Hanson, the eldest of the pop puppy supertrio Hanson, known for their relentlessly upbeat attitude: "You name it: Aerosmith, Natalie Merchant, En Vogue, Boyz II Men. I don't think there's anything I won't listen to. Well, maybe not for an extended period of time."

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Eddie Van Halen, far left, the man behind Van Halen, says he's too busy doing his own thing to get into anyone else's.

The Hanson brothers are big fans of most pop/rock music, everything from Creedence Clearwater Revivial to Aerosmith to Natalie Merchant.

Can you see Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammet relaxing to a little Frank Sinatra? He says he does, and who is going to argue?