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Singer, song-writer, multi-instumentalist, Tony Mentzer, a native of West Middlesex, PA, was a founding member of minimally successful rock band, The Infidels, before leaving in 1985. It was around this time that Tony began to experiment with the wonders of home 4-track recording.
A self-released, 90 minute cassette album, "Varicose Brains", was an extremely disturbing & provocative collection of pop songs, sound collages, spoken word experiments and chaotic ambience. Tony gained fans as the album circulated throughout the underground and through independent 'zine reviews. FACTSHEET 5 called it "a must for astral travelers". One fan was so moved by this collection that it was the only cassette she brought on a summer back-packing expedition through Europe (according to her postcard!).
While Tony experimented with his "mad-scientist rock" in the confines of his lab (his living room), to the outside world, he became a member of an eclectic psychedelic country pop band, Illuminatus!, in which he sang, played bass, and wrote half of the material.
Illuminatus! gained regional fame when they won the WDVE Pittsburgh Rock Challenge in 1990, beating out 150 other groups. Illuminatus! released a self-titled CD and successfully toured the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, and Buffalo original rock scenes, opening for such major label acts as Roger McGuinn, The Violent Femmes, The Rembrandts, The Goo Goo Dolls, and others.
After the demise of Illuminatus!, Tony formed a progressive pop/punk band, Squid the Owl, which recorded a cassette-only album entitled "Wall of Death" in 1994 and played sporatic gigs in the Youngstown, Ohio area before disbanding.
In 2003, Tony formed a heavy, 70's psychedelic band named The Glorystompers. After a few years of struggling and the realization that his target audience just wasn't going out to clubs to hear original music, Tony broke up the band and returned to his natural habitat . . . home recording.
Given Tony's track record with groups, its no coincidence that Tony's true passion and originality is revealed within his solo recordings. All along, Tony has continued to hammer out tune after tune only to find that there was no band that could keep up with his overflowing and diverse output of styles and sounds. A life-long fan of Frank Zappa, Tony shares a similar aesthetic to modern contemoraries like Ween, Beck, and the Butthole Surfers; however, he writes pop songs, many of which can be found on his debut CD on Bakery/Crabapple Records, "Smell My Finger" and his self-produced list of solo CDs . . . too numerous to mention. With no budget to speak of, Tony has used whatever tools lay in front of him, to the humor and horror of those subjected to his music. As of late, he has been wrenching the living hell out of Acid Pro and Samplitude, creating odd soundscapes, hip-hop anthems, and updated versions of his bizarre songwriting.
Western Pennsylvania may not be ready to see Tony perform his works of musical upheaval live, but he plugs away in his living room, stockpiling a list of songs that may remain unheard for generations. Keep at it, Tony . . . someday the world will be ready for you.
Go on, take a whiff . . .
Note: All songs contained herein are sampled at 64kbps . . . not the best, but maybe you should be buying CDs from crabapple23.com instead of lingering here, huh?
Why this name?
My parents kinda picked that one out.
Do you play live?
Bands have come and gone . . . now no one remains with the courage to perform my stuff.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?