Throwback Thursday: Short Lived Band Stints

Musicians benefit from creating together, and across my career I have been in bands that lasted and bands that were short lived. Two bands I felt that benefited and/or were hurt by their short lives were The Scream and Pet.

The Scream came from the embers of Racer X. Bruce Bouillet, Scott Travis and I wanted to continue to play in a band together but we needed to change musical styles and get a singer to survive. We started writing hard rock songs and we eventually settled on singer John Corabi. We got a record deal, but then Scott quit to play drums for Judas Priest and we hired Walt Woodward III to drum.

The Scream recorded our debut record with producer Eddie Kramer. Eddie was amazing to work with, and his stories he would share of his career were invaluable. Our record did ok, considering the changing of musical tides that was happening in the early 90’s.

Our singer, John Corabi, exited the band to front for Motley Crüe and we were left to look for yet another singer. At that point, we were all so different in where we wanted to go, stylistically, and settled on what I was really into, which was more of a soul/hip hop/funk/rock style. The best thing to come out of that was working with some of the Beastie Boys alum like Mario Caldato Jr., The Dust Brothers and Money Mark.

Looking back, I think that band should have folded after John left but you hold out because the unknown can sometimes be more challenging, mentally. It was easier for us to just keep working but eventually The Scream (which became DC-10 with Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums!) dissolved and we all went our different ways.

Out of the ashes of the early 90’s, I decided to focus on music that I felt I was always meant to play. I came to Los Angeles in the mid 80’s to play new wave/punk style music like Killing Joke and early U2 but joining Racer X took me out of those pursuits. Here I was, 10 years later, and I committed myself to finding music that was that innovative and unique.

I joined a band called Pet in the mid 90’s after getting recommended by my great friend, Robert Carranza. Pet was a four piece out of Los Angeles and was on Tori Amos’ own label. Their sound was a cross of Gang Of Four meets PJ Harvey and I was super excited to have the opportunity to audition.

I busted my ass learning their songs. Their debut had a lot of weird time signatures and was not square in any way. Tyler Bates, the guitarist/producer was an absolute pioneer on guitar with razor like guitar jabs that were not typical of that era. Alex Locasio was an incredible drummer with a jazz background and he and I instantly hit it off. Lisa Papineau was, from day one, a true artist and her singing changed my life.

Since Justin Meldal-Johnsen recorded the debut but couldn’t do the tour (he had to go out with Beck!) these three people gave me a shot. They were a little unsure because Tyler and Alex used to have a shred band back in Chicago and they were not sure if I could handle the genre. We played well that day and I found myself on tour for the next year.

Pet was a new band so we were in a van, hitting the US with all we could. We had decent coverage because Tori was popping up here and there but we never got off the ground, so to speak. That band really needed more support in the early onset but that is the record business.

I truly believe that Pet, had we done another record, could have really done wonderful things and had some success. One of the best things to come out of that experience is I found my musical muse in Lisa and Big Sir continues to make music to this day.