23. Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Years active: 1994 - 2003, 2010 - present Influenced: Dark and somber instrumental/chamber rock Hometown: Montreal, Quebec Jam: "Their Helicopters Sing." Off their most recent album, this song exemplifies how the band slowly builds tension in long instrumental stretches.
Described as post-rock, experimental and ambient in turn, Godspeed You! Black Emperor may not be on the mainstream radar per se, but those who love this band do so with the same fiery passion that loyal citizens reserved for their monarchs. The group's chamber rock and slow-building crescendo based sounds coupled with their anti-government, anarchist leanings make them an easy entry into the indie rock influential band ledger. But seriously, the incorporation of orchestral elements into rock music has made a major comeback in the last decade or so, and many point to groups like GY!BE as inspiration for this.