I recently got a band together with a couple of friends. It's not a big deal - we're all pretty new to our instruments and we're mostly just jamming, playing songs we like and having fun in general.

Recently we've been writing some songs together. Now, there's this band we all really love. We play a ton of their songs, listen to them etc. The issue here is - surprise - the stuff we're coming up sounds a lot like this band. Like, a lot. We really like some of the songs we've written, but sometimes I feel like we're being completely unoriginal.

Question is - should we attempt as much as possible to stray away from this sound, or is it fine as a starting point? Will we find our own thing naturally? Is this usually the case with new bands?
At this point, I wouldn't worry about it. Focus on having fun.

As you gain experience and get better, you'll begin to do a better job of finding your own voice as a band.

This is VERY normal. THe process of finding your own musical identity usually takes a while, even when it's just one person.

Focus on having fun and improving, and don't worry about it.
There are loads of bands out there that imitate their heroes in someway or another such as Airbourne and White wizard to name a few. So don't worry about it especially if you've just started and are new to your instruments
Yea.. what they said.. Just Jam!!!!

Have Fun.. Human beings have been learning by immitation for thousands of years... Go with it..
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
Dude I was obsessed with SOAD and I realized with my rock band I was making similar types of riffs then as time progressed I gained my own sound and now I'm doing a dubstep/metal project that's show how much my sound has progressed!!! Ur always going to have ur influences though
Def Leppard <=> Led Zepplin...? They had a good run from what started out as a sort of tribute, sort of sound alike band.