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Butthole Surfers

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The Butthole Surfers is an American indie and punk band. The band was founded by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1982; the pair met while students at Trinity University. Incorporating elements of hardcore, psychedelia, and performance art, their live shows also made heavy use of strobe lights, background films and naked dancers.

While their line-up changed frequently through the years, they had a core membership of Jeff Pinkus on bass, with King Coffey and Teresa Taylor on drums in addition to Haynes (vocals) and Leary (guitar). Mark Kramer (of Bongwater and Shimmy Disc) also briefly played bass.

They recorded their debut EP on Alternative Tentacles, before moving to Touch & Go to release their debut album Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac. Along with The Teardrop Explodes in the UK this album might be said to have begun the psychedelic revival (psychedelia having been extremely unfashionable in the five years since punk). It also showed the influence of heavy metal (especially Black Sabbath), again, many years before this sound became fashionable: in marrying punk and heavy metal it might be seen as one of the first precursors of grunge. Their second album Rembrandt Pussyhorse showed the increased influence of the European avant-garde (e.g. bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten) as well as American eccentrics like Frank Zappa and The Residents. They recorded two more albums and numerous EPs for Touch and Go before leaving to record an album (Pioughd) for Rough Trade Records. In 1991 they were part of the first Lollapalooza tour. Soon afterwards they signed to Capitol Records and this one time underground band eventually became a mainstream commodity with songs on modern rock radio and Beavis and Butt-head. They also contributed songs to the soundtracks of Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and Mission Impossible around about this time.

The band's most famous song is "Pepper" from the album Electriclarryland in 1996, which recounted the somewhat sordid stories of several high school students in Texas. However, probably their best album is the critically lauded Locust Abortion Technician (Touch & Go - US/ Blast First - UK). The story of the creation of this album is told in Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad (Little, Brown) amidst other tales from the American underground in the 1980s.

In 1996 the band brought a legal action to recover rights from Touch and Go to their back catalogue, a case they eventually won in 1999. Those records are now in print on their own Latino Buggerveil record label. At the same time a huge legal battle with Capital records began which ended up with the band being kicked off the label and signing to Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney).

In the early 'nineties Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus released a side project (The Jackofficers) which produced a highly psychedelic take on House music. As the 'nineties went on, the band became increasingly influenced by electronica, with Gibby namechecking Massive Attack, Tricky, and The Chemical Brothers as influences. This culminated in 'The Weird Revolution' (a reworking of an aborted album recorded for Capital called 'After the Astronaut') their most electronic album to date.

Samples

  • Download sample of "Pepper" from Electriclarryland

Discography

  • Butthole Surfers EP (1983) (alternate title: "A Brown Reason To Live")
  • Live PCPPEP (1984)
  • Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac (1984)
  • Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP (1985)
  • Rembrandt Pussyhorse (1986)
  • Locust Abortion Technician (1987)
  • Hairway to Steven (1988)
  • Widowermaker EP (1989)
  • Double Live (1989)
  • Pioughd (1990)
  • Independent Worm Saloon (1993)
  • Electric Larryland (1996)
  • After the Astronaut (unreleased) (1998)
  • Weird Revolution (2001)
  • Humpty Dumpty LSD (2002)

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This culminated in 'The Weird Revolution' (a reworking of an aborted album recorded for Capital called 'After the Astronaut') their most electronic album to date.
. As the 'nineties went on, the band became increasingly influenced by electronica, with Gibby namechecking Massive Attack, Tricky, and The Chemical Brothers as influences. Cake's fifth album Pressure Chief, was released on October 5, 2004. In the early 'nineties Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus released a side project (The Jackofficers) which produced a highly psychedelic take on House music. Cake headlined the Unlimited Sunshine Tour festival in the summer of 2002 among an eyebrow-raising ecletic mix of bands including indie rock superstars Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, De La Soul, Latin techno fusion band Kinky and bluegrass group The Hackensaw Boys. At the same time a huge legal battle with Capital records began which ended up with the band being kicked off the label and signing to Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney). Their biggest hits include "The Distance", an alternative retake of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive", "Never There", "Sheep Go to Heaven", and "Short Skirt/Long Jacket".

Those records are now in print on their own Latino Buggerveil record label. Todd Roper left the band after recording Comfort Eagle. In 1996 the band brought a legal action to recover rights from Touch and Go to their back catalogue, a case they eventually won in 1999. Greg Brown left in 1998, replaced by Xan McCurdy. The story of the creation of this album is told in Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad (Little, Brown) amidst other tales from the American underground in the 1980s. Damiani left the band in 1997, replaced by Gabe Nelson. However, probably their best album is the critically lauded Locust Abortion Technician (Touch & Go - US/ Blast First - UK). Their musical style is quite unique, and has been compared to They Might Be Giants and the Talking Heads, though a more accurate sound-alike would be Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.

The band's most famous song is "Pepper" from the album Electriclarryland in 1996, which recounted the somewhat sordid stories of several high school students in Texas. Although their music is often classifed as alternative rock, Cake commonly combines multiple musical genres, such as funk, pop, jazz, rap, and country. Cake's music features droll lyrics rife with word play (laconically-voiced in a rap-like style by lead vocalist/guitarist John McCrea), catchy distorted guitar riffs (courtesy, until 1998, of guitarist Greg Brown and, until 1997, bass player Victor Damiani), and a solo trumpet (played by Vince DiFiore). They also contributed songs to the soundtracks of Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and Mission Impossible around about this time. Cake is a Sacramento, California band, formed in 1991, who have had several hits throughout the 1990s and 2000s from their five recorded albums. Soon afterwards they signed to Capitol Records and this one time underground band eventually became a mainstream commodity with songs on modern rock radio and Beavis and Butt-head. Todd Roper - Drums, percussion (left after Comfort Eagle). In 1991 they were part of the first Lollapalooza tour. John McCrea - Vocals, acoustic guitar, organ, vibraslap.

They recorded two more albums and numerous EPs for Touch and Go before leaving to record an album (Pioughd) for Rough Trade Records. originally Victor Damiani (also left before "Prolonging the Magic" was recorded). bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten) as well as American eccentrics like Frank Zappa and The Residents. Gabe Nelson - Bass guitar

    . Their second album Rembrandt Pussyhorse showed the increased influence of the European avant-garde (e.g. originally Greg Brown, (left before the recording of Prolonging the Magic). It also showed the influence of heavy metal (especially Black Sabbath), again, many years before this sound became fashionable: in marrying punk and heavy metal it might be seen as one of the first precursors of grunge. Xan McCurdy - Electric guitar
      .

      Along with The Teardrop Explodes in the UK this album might be said to have begun the psychedelic revival (psychedelia having been extremely unfashionable in the five years since punk). Vince DiFiore - Trumpet, percussion. They recorded their debut EP on Alternative Tentacles, before moving to Touch & Go to release their debut album Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac. Mark Kramer (of Bongwater and Shimmy Disc) also briefly played bass. While their line-up changed frequently through the years, they had a core membership of Jeff Pinkus on bass, with King Coffey and Teresa Taylor on drums in addition to Haynes (vocals) and Leary (guitar).

      Incorporating elements of hardcore, psychedelia, and performance art, their live shows also made heavy use of strobe lights, background films and naked dancers. The band was founded by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1982; the pair met while students at Trinity University. The Butthole Surfers is an American indie and punk band. Humpty Dumpty LSD (2002).

      Weird Revolution (2001). After the Astronaut (unreleased) (1998). Electric Larryland (1996). Independent Worm Saloon (1993).

      Pioughd (1990). Double Live (1989). Widowermaker EP (1989). Hairway to Steven (1988).

      Locust Abortion Technician (1987). Rembrandt Pussyhorse (1986). Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP (1985). Another Man's Sac (1984).

      Powerless.. Psychic.. Live PCPPEP (1984). Butthole Surfers EP (1983) (alternate title: "A Brown Reason To Live").

      Download sample of "Pepper" from Electriclarryland.

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