The Mooney Suzuki Biography

Emerging in the early years of the twenty-first century, New York City, New York, USA-based the Mooney Suzuki were one of several acts on the city’s underground scene to base their sound on legendary US subversives the MC5. The band formed during the late 90s, while its members were attending a variety of art-based colleges. Vocalist and guitarist Sammy James Jnr. advertised in downtown record shops, for other like-minded musicians to jam with, leading him to Graham Tyler (lead guitar), John Paul Ribas (bass), and Will Rockwell-Scott (drums). Taking their name from the surnames of two members of the groundbreaking experimental German outfit Can (vocalists Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki), the quartet’s early goal was to get signed by the acclaimed garage rock label Estrus. The Mooney Suzuki got their wish after travelling across the USA to play a show in Bellingham, Washington for Estrus head Dave Crider, who signed the band shortly thereafter. In 2000, they released their debut, People Get Ready, and they toured for over a year (playing with Donnas and Bratmobile).

Working with the White Stripes’ producer Jim Diamond, the Mooney Suzuki issued their follow-up, Electric Sweat, in 2002. Soon after its release, the band signed a major label recording contract with Columbia Records, resulting in Electric Sweat being reissued with added bonus tracks. The Mooney Suzuki then formed an unlikely alliance with mainstream songwriting and production trio the Matrix, recording tracks for their Columbia debut Alive & Amplified (2004). By now James and Tyler were the only original members remaining, but the latter left after completing a tour in support of the album. Further personnel change ensued as James worked on new songs, and he eventually completed the recording of Have Mercy with the returning Graham and original drummer Rockwell-Scott. The release of the album was delayed by the collapse of the band’s new label V2 Records. It was finally released in summer 2007 on their own Elixicia Records label.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Filter Results