A diverse and extremely weird list of people and bands...
Elliot Smith (Singer / Songwriter)
Nibs van de Spuy
I group up listening to classic rock - Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Montrose, you name it.
Most recently I enjoy Dave Mathews, John Mayer, Amy Grant. This is a long list.
Wire. Mission of Burma. Sonic Youth. Saint Etienne. Any band or artist that manages to always take what they do to another level.
Chicago, Pat Methany, Robert Shaw's groups, numerous vocal & orchestral works.
The greats for what TO do, and the rest for what NOT to do.
Led Zeppelin,Deep Purple,Pink Floyd,Rush,Yes.Jimi Hendrix,Aldi Meola,Allan Holdsworth,John Mclaughlin,Pat Metheny,Frank Gambale,Miles Davis and many more...
Bob Marley, Nine Inch Nails, El-P, Tool, Deftones, Portishead, Massive Attack, Meatbeat Manifesto, Radiohead, Venetian Snares, Somatic Responses, Collide, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Ministry, Prodigy, etc.
Cabaret Voltaire, Wire, Public Image, Laurie Andrson, Underworld, The Orb.
This answer chances every day.
It was My Chemical Romance, that got me into the idea of being a musician, and gave me my "Take no-crap" stand with my music.
It was Meg and Dia, that got me into acoustic-folk-y music that I play now..
But above everyone; Flyleaf, really pushed me to a hole new level with my thinking. They taught me to offend and inspire people, rather then to be afraid with the message behind my songs.
Mission of Burma
Yo La Tengo
That is a very short list
It's a very long list, but Ronnie Martin of Joy Electric is a massive influence. I reserve a soft spot for self-made musicians who keep releasing one creative album after another, regardless of whether people want to listen to it or not.
Blues-rock guitarists and keyboard virtuosos from progressive rock bands never cease amaze me. Bands like Cake who can bend genres are great influences as well, as I don't want my music to be pigeon-holed.
Too many to attempt to mention specifically... Those who through hard work, dedication and persistence have within their art maintained the values of skill, concentration and physical and mental precision directed toward the creation and celebration of beauty and powerful emotional expression.
Third Day, David Crowder Band, Hillsong United, Casting Crowns, Israel and New Breed.
Sunset, Arcade Fire, Joy Division, Genesis (the real Genesis until 1976), The Sound, White Stripes, Van Der Graaf Generator, P.I.L., Tuxedomoon, Guns n Roses, Chameleons, Syd Barret, John Lennon, Pink Floyd (until 1979), Echo & the bunnymen, And you will know us by a trail of dead, Interpol, Cypress Hill, David Bowie, Mercury Rev, Editors, The National, Comets on fire, Jimi Hendrix, Porcupine Tree, Hager Kotry, The Doors, Wilco, Iggy Pop, Black heart procession, Blackfield, the whole universe.
Beethoven - Brahms - Tchaikovsky - Rimsky-Korsokov and other classical masters.
Beatles - Moody Blues - Yes - ELO - Queen - James Taylor - Paul Simon - Bonnie Raitt - Eric Clapton - Jimi Hendrix - Chicago - Tower of Power - Cold Blood - Blood, Sweat & Tears, and many other rock masters.
Maynard Ferguson - Buddy Rich - Don Ellis - Cannonball Adderly - Miles Davis, and many other jazz masters.