Lead guitarist Chris Funk said of
The Decemberists that "we're one of the only bands you read about where we just talk about our influences—or we don't try to mask it." With that in mind, we'll let some of the band members speak for themselves.
Colin Meloy in an A.V. Club interview
"Hearing R.E.M. for the first time was as much of a watershed moment as anything else that's happened for me, creatively, in my life. My uncle, who was in college in Eugene, sent me a tape of this local band that he really liked, and he had some space at the end of Side B. And he put on R.E.M.'s 'Superman,' The Replacements' 'I Will Dare,' Hüsker Dü's 'Hardly Getting Over It,' and I think a Guadalcanal Diary song, and [The Smiths'] 'The Queen Is Dead.' I think those five songs probably changed my headspace and the way I thought not only about music, but about being a creative person—I think it changed things completely. From that point on, I found a musical identity that I really loved."
Chris Funk in a Time Out Boston Interview
"We all like indie rock. When the band first started, we all listened to stuff like Neutral Milk Hotel, Belle and Sebastian and Yo La Tengo. And Jenny [Conlee] and Nate [Query] are into jazz and classical. It's really all over the place."
It might be too early to know which bands have been influenced the most by the Decemberists, but their sound is certainly familiar to a lot of the players in the current indie rock scene.