Midwest Quartet born from the rubble of Milwaukee's Thoma's Pub melding numerous musical styles. Note that the new project has been tenatively named Dr. Spark. You can hear updates at www.soundclick.com/drspark
Started in the Milwaukee area in 1988. Through years has performed throughout the midwest at numerous music festivals. Known for 3-4 hour non-stop high-energy shows primarily in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison. Early shows at Thoma's Pub near the Marquette University campus are probably some of the best remembered. Originally the band included Pat Brennen as a lead vocalist. Pat left the band to travel out west and John Gentile replaced him. During the John Gentile years, the band concentrated on high energy shows that would last for 3-4 hours and included a lot of free jamming that would lead the band into all kinds of covers. The Marquette music scene was really strong back back then. R. Mutt played with bands such as Surrender Dorothy, Big Sky (Peter Mulvey/Joe Panzetta project), The Gufs, Innisfree, Southbound, Ventriloquist Cat, Blue Utah, The Clams and others. In 1990, Johnny lead the band to a victory in a local battle of the bands besting great acts like Southbound, Big Sky and The Gufs. In 1991 Johnny moved on to start his own project and the remaining members, Mike Bellante, Jim Dier, Paul Leckie, and Ron Thornton, retooled and started from scratch. Throwing out all old songs and vowing (to some degree) to not return to the covers that had been the band's bread and butter for so long. From that point forward the guys wrapped three albums of original material with the same line up, although, the last album (Let It Pee) has yet to be mixed and released.
Have you performed in front of an audience?
Live shows to begin in April or May 2008!
Your musical influences
When the band started back in 1988 we were hell bent on The Clash, Velvet Underground and the Beatles. The first years with Pat Brennon heading the band we played a very strange mix of songs by these artists as well as others. When Johnny joined the band we started a long period of time playing at UWM and Marquette University covering loads of the Dead and Dylan. When Johnny moved on we got down to a quartet and it seems we started pulling in two directions. On one hand Zepplin and Black Sabbath and on the other Public Enemy and James Brown. This strange mix, tossed in with the roots of Clash and VU shaped the second release (earth to guy) and to some extent the first disk (Steamin' Hot Coolie.) From there the song writing shifted from a group project to more individually written songs brought to the band and fleshed out. All of the cuts on Let It Pee are very much like this, and have a decidedly more straight ahead rock and roll/garageband type sound. Heptane has more of a roots rock sound to it with some clear alt.country influences.
What equipment do you use?
First disk was to 2" tape. Earth to Guy and Let it Pee were both done on ADAT/Protools at Nexus Studios. Dr. Spark is being done in Sonar direct to disk.
As always, anyone looking for any older albums or live show tapes can always drop me a line, if I do not have what you are looking for, I can probably put you in touch with someone who can. Hit me with an email at jdierATyahoo.com (replace AT with @.) I am starting to digitize the live shows we have and put them on the live music archive. You can get some free Mutt here: http://www.archive.org/details/R.Mutt