The Urge was formed in 1987 by drummer Jeff Herschel, bassist Karl Grable, guitarist Pat Malecek, and singer Steve Ewing in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Combining multiple styles of music - including ska, thrash, metal, funk, reggae, and hip hop - the band would become infamous throughout the midwest and beyond for its highly energetic live shows, blistering musicianship, and rabid fan base. The original Urge lineup debuted in 1989 with the cassette-only Bust Me Dat Forty, followed a year later by the LP Puttin' the Backbone Back.
The original Urge lineup debuted in 1989 with the cassette-only Bust Me Dat Forty, followed a year later by the LP Puttin' the Backbone Back. After the addition of trombonist Matt Kwiatkowski, the group released 1992's Magically Delicious; later the group added trombonist/keyboardist Todd Painter and saxophonist/keyboardist Bill Reiter, and in 1993 recorded the live LP Fat Babies in the Mix. After Herschel and Malecek left the band in 1994, guitarist Jerry Jost and drummer John Pessoni joined the lineup, and subsequent touring with 311 helped The Urge win a number of new fans. The 1995 release of Receiving the Gift of Flavor was so successful that it 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 Korn and Incubus, Master of Styles was released in 1998, containing the hit "Jump Right In" which featured singer Nick Hexum of 311.
Following the release of Too Much Stereo in mid 2000, the band toured for nearly a year before calling it quits. After the annual St. Louis Christmas shows, the Urge disbanded for the first time since they formed in 1987.
The band played several Midwest reunion shows from 2003-2005 that included a headlining spot at Pointfest, a large semi-annual outdoor rock festival in St. Louis. Frontman Steve Ewing has made several solo records while guitarist Jerry Jost formed LucaBrasi, featuring former members of Adair and Helmet. The other members still resided in St. Louis and are involved in several musical projects.
On July 15, 2011, St. Louis' KPNT 105.7 FM proclaimed that the Urge would be headlining Pointfest XXIX on September 10, 2011, marking their sixth festival appearance. The Urge also confirmed that they are once again an active band and they have been recording new music in the studio for several months.