Mucky Pup

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Mucky Pup
Origin Bergenfield, New Jersey, United States
Genres Hardcore punk
Heavy metal
Crossover thrash
Thrash metal
Punk rock
Years active 1986–1996
1999 (1 reunion show)
2000 (2 reunion shows)
2002 (2 reunion shows)
2003 (1 reunion show)
2009–present
Labels Torrid, Roadrunner, Century Media, Mucky
Associated acts Dog Eat Dog, All Boro Kings, Nastasee, The Hasbeens, Murphy's Law, Bully
Website www.muckypup.com
Members Chris Milnes
John Milnes
Dan Nastasi
Dave Neabore
Marc DeBacker
Matt DeSomma
Past members Scott LePage
Sean Kilkenny
Chris "Junior" LaPlante
Bill Bergmann
Eric VanSteenbergh
Joe Mama
Splatter
Terry
Jack "Hinge" Pitzer
Kevin Powers

Mucky Pup began as an American hardcore and crossover thrash band formed in Bergenfield, New Jersey in 1986, when brothers John (drums) and Chris (vocals) Milnes joined up with Dan Nastasi (guitar) and former Hades member, Scott LePage (bass).[1] The band went through various incarnations and several musical style changes while gaining minor success in both the USA and Europe. Arguably, their breakthrough moment occurred when Berke Breathed picked their songwriting contest entry for release with a 1987 Bloom County comic strip compilation. However, their European success, based on strong tours and charting for the 1989 A Boy in a Man's World album, surpassed all recognition achieved in their home country. Since reuniting in 2009, the band has featured a rotating lineup of former and new members with vocalist Chris Milnes being the only constant.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The band recorded two demos, Live And Mucky and Greatest Hits, which sold a combined amount of over 1,200 copies. The band would also play "battle of the bands" competitions in and around New Jersey. It was during one such event in 1986, while playing with the band Trixter at the Paramus, New Jersey roller rink, that a representative from Torrid Records first saw the band. The band was offered a record contract and several weeks later, they signed their first record deal with the independent label.

Torrid Records[edit]

Signing with Torrid brought a distribution deal in Europe with Roadrunner Records' sister label, Roadracer Records. The band's first album, Can't You Take a Joke?, was released in 1987. Around the same time, the band also won a song writing contest for the Bloom County comic strip. Entrants to the contest were to come up with a song for the fictional band Billy and the Boingers. Their winning song, "U-Stink-But-I-♥-U," was included as a flexi-disc in the Bloom County book, Billy and the Boingers Bootleg (ISBN 0-316-10729-8).

In 1988, the band released their second album, A Boy In A Man's World. The album featured a re-recorded version of "U-Stink-But-I-♥-U", for which the band shot their first music video. MTV played the video two times. A Boy In A Man's World also featured cover art by friend and future DC and Marvel comic book artist, Nelson DeCastro, who had previously created t-shirt art for the band as well.

Before the recording of A Boy In A Man's World, LePage, who had never been considered an official member of the band,[2] left due to touring conflicts. He was replaced by Dave Neabore. Shortly after the album was released, the band found themselves on their first tour of Europe. Although Mucky Pup never had a hit in the U.S., their European distribution deal, combined with this tour, helped the band attain success in Europe. When the band returned home, Nastasi resigned and helped co-found the band Non-Fiction with former members of Hades. Nastasi stayed with Non-Fiction for a short time before leaving to embark on a brief stint with Murphy's Law. Nastasi's position in Mucky Pup was filled by band friend Sean Kilkenny. After a year or so, Neabore and Kilkenny left to form the band Dog Eat Dog and Nastasi returned to Mucky Pup while simultaneously joining Dog Eat Dog as well.

The band's third album, Now, was released in 1989. Now introduced new bass player Marc DeBacker, of Belgium, to the lineup and featured guest appearances by Evan Seinfeld and Billy Graziadei of the band Biohazard, whom Mucky Pup had befriended and regularly used as an opening act. In the past, various clubs had refused to let Biohazard play, thinking that their performances would lead to violence, but Mucky Pup would sneak the band on stage for a few songs before their own set. The band shot a second video, "Hippies Hate Water," which MTV never played.

The band began playing shows with bands such as Primus, Gwar, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Murphy's Law, Bad Brains, 24-7 Spyz, and Scatterbrain. While Nastasi had returned to record Now, he no longer toured with the band as he was performing with Dog Eat Dog at the same time Mucky Pup was touring. As a result, new guitarist Splatter became the band's live guitarist. Splatter's time with band was brief and it wasn't long before he was replaced by Terry, who would remain their live guitarist until 1992.

After the release of Now, Mucky Pup ended their association with Torrid and Roadrunner Records.

Century Media Records[edit]

In 1990, the band signed with Century Media Records and released Act Of Faith. Once again, the lineup shuffled with DeBacker being replaced by Christopher "Junior" LaPlante and the addition of Kevin Powers as a keyboard player. Powers had previously played in the local New Jersey band, Articulate Violence. Videos were shot for the songs "Freakin' at the Peepshow" and "Mr. Hand", which only received airplay in Europe.

Shortly after the recording of the album, Nastasi stepped down from both Mucky Pup and Dog Eat Dog. It wasn't long before he re-joined the original lineup of Non-Fiction, now calling themselves #9. #9 was in the process of recording their debut when Nastasi accepted a solo record deal with SPV Records.[3] Nastasi named the band Nastasee and recorded two albums, featuring collaborations with members of both Mucky Pup and Dog Eat Dog. Trim The Fat and Ule Tide were only intended for European release and as a result, the band embarked on four tours of the continent. Before Ule Tide could officially be released, Nastasee was dropped from the label and the album was never officially released outside of promotional and mail order copies. As a result, Nastasi disbanded his band.

1992 saw Mucky Pup take a turn away from humorous pop songs to focus on more aggressive, emotional and angry songs with their fifth release, Lemonade. The album brought yet another lineup change, as John Milnes moved to guitar and Kevin Powers took the drummer's position. It also saw the return of Marc DeBacker on bass. Since his previous run with Mucky Pup, DeBacker had moved on to replace Nastasi on guitar in Dog Eat Dog and had taken part in the recording of the band's second full length album, Play Games as well as the European tour that preceded it. Once again, Mucky Pup returned to Europe, appearing frequently with Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine with whom the band became good friends.

After releasing two albums in as many years with Century Media Records, Mucky Pup ended their association with the label.

Mucky Records / SPV Music[edit]

In 1993, the band released the album Alive & Well under their own imprint, Mucky Records, through SPV Music exclusively in Europe. The album was primarily a collection of live tracks recorded during their 1993 tour of Europe. It also contains a demo version of "The Skinheads Broke My Walkman" from the Act of Faith album, as well as cover versions of Prince's "Darling Nikki" and Sade's "Nothing Can Come Between Us". New additions to the lineup were Eric "EVS" VanSteenbergh and Glen Cummings, both on guitar. Cummings had previously been a member of both Ludichrist and Scatterbrain and would tour Europe with Mucky Pup, on two occasions, as a part-time member of the band.

The band's final album, Five Guys In A Really Hot Garage, was released in Germany in 1996. The final lineup saw John Milnes return to the drums and also featured the additions of Jack "Hinge" Pitzer, formerly of New Jersey thrash metal band, The Beast,[4] on guitar and Joe Mama on bass. Marc DeBacker had since left the band a second time to return to Belgium and form the band 10,000 Women Man. Bass player Bill Bergmann appeared on two of the songs and was pictured on the album cover. Bergmann would remain the bass player for what would be the last several months of the band's existence.

Post-Mucky Pup[edit]

After the final album, the band members continued to collaborate on different bands and projects. Members of the final lineup became tour managers and road crew members for artists such as The Bloodhound Gang, the Genitorturers, Type O Negative, Monster Magnet, Liz Phair and Tracy Bonham.

In 1998, Chris and John Milnes formed a band named Bully with Bill Bergmann & Kevin Powers. Bully was an attempt to continue recording together without the Mucky Pup name which they felt, at the time, had run its course. This lineup recorded a five song demo consisting of the final original Mucky Pup material but no album ever materialized. Mucky Pup's website retroactively refers to the recording as a Mucky Pup demo titled Bully.

Also in 1998, Dan Nastasi & John Milnes joined forces with former Mucky Pup and Dog Eat Dog bandmates Dave Neabore & Sean Kilkenny to become All Boro Kings.[5] The project was a throwback to the early days of Dog Eat Dog as it focused on the hardcore style that Dog Eat Dog had originally displayed on their first two releases. The band quickly signed with Century Media Records who released their debut album Just For The Fun Of It in 2002. The album was released exclusively in Europe due to the strong European fan base the members had in their other bands. The band would also appear on several compilation albums. The band played most of their shows in and around New Jersey before embarking on one European tour with Biohazard, Agnostic Front, Hatebreed, Discipline, Death Threat and Born From Pain, as part of the Eastpak Resistance Tour. In 2004, All Boro Kings quietly disbanded.

In 2000, Chris and John Milnes would once again join Dan Nastasi and Bill Bergmann to form The Hasbeens, a cover band that would perform popular songs of the 1980s & 1990s, as well as the occasional Mucky Pup song. The band played bars and small clubs in the Bergen County, New Jersey area for a year or so before disbanding.

In 2005, Kevin Powers co-directed the music video for the Bloodhound Gang's song "Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss", the second single from their Hefty Fine album.[6]

Dog Eat Dog continues to record and tour Europe[7] but of the three former Mucky Pup members who formed the band, only Dave Neabore remains. Dog Eat Dog released their fourth full-length album, Walk With Me, in Europe on June 23, 2006.

Chris and John Milnes co-own the website development company True9. Pitzer and Powers have also contributed work for the company which has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of websites for the World Baseball Classic, the Charlotte Bobcats and MetLife Bank, N.A. among others.[8]

Reunions[edit]

After their breakup in 1996, Mucky Pup reunited for one night performances on several occasions, each time featuring a different incarnation or combination of previous lineups. In 1999, they reunited as an opening act for their first show ever with Dog Eat Dog. This was followed by five more one-off headlining reunion shows in 2000, 2002 & 2003.

In October, 2008, the band updated their website for the first time in several years. As part of the update, the band announced that they would embark on a European mini-tour in the summer of 2009. The reunited band, consisting of Chris Milnes, John Milnes, Dan Nastasi, Dave Neabore and Kevin Powers, made a United States appearance at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, New Jersey, on April 11, 2009, performing to a sold out crowd. In July, 2009, the band performed at the Rock for People and With Full Force festivals. The band made a second trip to Europe in late August to play a handful of festival dates with bands such as Municipal Waste, Gorefest, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sodom and Martyr, before ending the tour with a string of dates with Superbutt. The European tour dates featured the lineup of Chris Milnes, Dan Nastasi, Mark DeBacker and Kevin Powers performing songs voted on, via the internet, by their fans. The band returned to Mexicali Live on December 11 to perform their final show of 2009. The show was a release party for Live At Mexicali 2009, a DVD and CD recording of the show held at the same location, the previous April. Towards the end of Mucky Pup's set, the original lineup of Dog Eat Dog reunited onstage to perform two songs.

Mucky Pup continued to perform in 2010 starting with a performance at The Saint, a nightclub located in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on January 16. On May 1, 2010, the band performed at a small benefit show held in honor of Marc DiNardo, a Jersey City Emergency Services Unit Police Officer, who was killed in the line of duty in July, 2009. DiNardo had been a longtime fan of the band. Mucky Pup made its return to Europe during the summer of 2010 for several festival and club dates. The most notable appearance of the tour was on June 27 at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium where the band appeared alongside acts such as Killswitch Engage, Amon Amarth and Kiss. The band returned for a third performance at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, New Jersey on November 24, 2010 with Murphy's Law as an opening act.

On February 27, 2011, Mucky Pup appeared as an opening act for D.R.I. at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. A short tour of the Netherlands and Belgium followed in the first week of June, 2011 and featured the lineup of Chris Milnes, Kevin Powers, Mark DeBacker and Sean Kilkenny. On June 24, 2011, Mucky Pup performed on the first day of the three day East Coast Tsunami Fest in Reading, Pennsylvania where they shared the stage with several bands such as Skarhead, Murphy's Law and Leftöver Crack. The band returned to Mexicali Live on November 25, 2011 as an opening act for Hodge Podge, a band featuring John Connor of Dog Eat Dog, Nelson Decastro and Eric VanSteenbergh within its lineup.

Mucky Pup performed its first show of 2012 at The Blue Room in Secaucus, New Jersey on February 10 and featured the line up of Chris Milnes, Dave Neabore, Kevin Powers and Sean Kilkenny. The show served as a warmup show for a tour of Europe scheduled to run from mid-February through early March and featuring the previous year's European lineup of Chris Milnes, Kevin Powers, Mark DeBacker and Sean Kilkenny. The band returned to The Blue Room on November 27, 2013 with the five-piece lineup of Chris Milnes, Dave Neabore, Dan Nastasi, Sean Kilkenny and Matt DeSomma.

On March 14, 2014, Mucky Pup performed with D.R.I. once again at the Studio at Webster Hall in New York City. Both bands performed the following night as well at Mexical Live in Teaneck, New Jersey. Both nights featured the five-piece lineup of Chris Milnes, Dave Neabore, Dan Nastasi, Sean Kilkenny and John Milnes.

The Mucky Pup[edit]

In February 2012, Chris Milnes opened his own band-themed hot dog restaurant named, The Mucky Pup. Located within Dirienzo's Deli in Little Ferry, New Jersey, the restaurant catered primarily to lunchtime patrons. The band's merchandise, such as compact discs and t-shirts, were also available for purchase at the location.[9] In January 2014, the eatery's official Facebook page announced that after almost two years, the decision was made to close the business due to financial reasons.[10]

Band members[edit]

Original lineup[edit]

  • Chris Milnes - lead vocalist (all releases and tours)
  • John Milnes - drummer, guitarist (all releases and tours)
  • Dan Nastasi - guitarist (Can't You Take A Joke? - Act Of Faith)
  • Scott LePage - bassist (Can't You Take A Joke) (not considered a full-time member)

Later members[edit]

  • Dave Neabore - bassist (A Boy In A Man's World)
  • Sean Kilkenny - guitarist (live during the A Boy In A Man's World tours)
  • Marc DeBacker - bassist (Now and Lemonade)
  • Christopher "Junior" LaPlante - bassist (Act Of Faith)
  • Eric VanSteenbergh - guitarist (Alive & Well)
  • Joe Mama - bassist (Five Guys In A Really Hot Garage)
  • Splatter - guitarist (live during the Now tour)
  • Terry - guitarist (live during the Now and Act Of Faith tours)
  • Glenn Cummings - guitarist (Alive & Well) (not considered a full-time member)

Final lineup[edit]

  • Chris Milnes - lead vocalist
  • John Milnes - drummer
  • Jack "Hinge" Pitzer - guitarist (Five Guys In A Really Hot Garage)
  • Bill Bergmann - bassist (live after Five Guys In A Really Hot Garage)
  • Kevin Powers - keyboardist (Act Of Faith and Five Guys In A Really Hot Garage) / drummer (Lemonade and Alive & Well)

Reunion lineups[edit]

Since the band reunited in 2009, it has featured several lineup variations with Chris Milnes being the only consistent member.

  • Chris Milnes - lead vocalist (all dates)
  • John Milnes - drummer (all but one USA date 2009 - 2012, 2014 / Europe dates in 2010)
  • Dan Nastasi - guitarist (all but one USA date) / (Europe dates 2009 - 2010)
  • Kevin Powers - keyboardist (2009–2011); drummer (one USA date in 2012) / drummer (Europe dates in 2009, 2011 & 2012)
  • Marc DeBacker - bassist (Europe dates) / (one USA date in 2011)
  • Dave Neabore - bassist (all but one USA date)
  • Sean Kilkenny - guitarist (Europe dates in 2011 & 2012) / (various USA dates 2012 - 2014)
  • Matt DeSomma - drummer (Europe dates in 2012/USA dates in 2013)
  • Jack "Hinge" Pitzer - live sound (2009 & 2010)

Discography[edit]

Demos[edit]

  • Live And Mucky (cassette only demo)
  • Greatest Hits (cassette only demo)
  • Bully

Studio albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

Live[edit]

  • Alive & Well (1993) (Europe only release)
  • Live At Mexicali 2009 (2009) (CD & DVD)

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Stars On Thrash (1988, Roadrunner Records)
  • Funky Metal (1991, Intercord)
  • A Journey Into Sound Vol. V (1995, Visions Magazine)
  • Introducing Vol. 3 (1996, Indigo Records)
  • Board To Hell (1996, Viceroy Music Europe)
  • Slammed (1997, Roadrunner Records)
  • Hard Rock Hitters (1998, Disky Records)
  • The New, The Classic & The Unexplored - Volume Three (1998, Visions Magazine)
  • Crossing All Over! - The Classix (1999, Supersonic Records)
  • Guitar Club Classics (1999, SPV Recordings)
  • Lords of the Boards (2000, Modul Records)

Associated acts (and shared members)[edit]

  • #9 (Dan Nastasi)
  • 10,000 Women Man (Marc DeBacker)
  • All Boro Kings (Dave Neabore, John Milnes, Dan Nastasi and Sean Kilkenny)
  • Articulate Violence (Kevin Powers)
  • The Beast (Jack "Hinge" Pitzer)
  • Bully (Chris Milnes, John Milnes, Bill Bergmann and Kevin Powers)
  • Candypants (Bill Bergmann, Kevin Powers and Eric VanSteenbergh)
  • Dog Eat Dog (Dan Nastasi, Sean Kilkenny, Dave Neabore, John Milnes and Marc DeBacker)
  • Hades (Scott LePage)
  • The Hasbeens (Chris Milnes, John Milnes, Bill Bergmann and Dan Nastasi)
  • LowBuz (Dave Neabore)
  • Ludichrist (Glen Cummings)
  • Murphy's Law (Dan Nastasi and Sean Kilkenny)
  • Nastasee (Dan Nastasi, John Milnes, Bill Bergmann and Sean Kilkenny)
  • Non-Fiction (Dan Nastasi)
  • Scatterbrain (Glen Cummings)
  • The Skels (Eric VanSteenbergh and Bill Bergmann)
  • The Llama Project (Bill Begrmann)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mucky Pup, last.fm. Accessed October 25, 2009. "Mucky Pup was a hardcore band formed in Bergenfield, New Jersey, USA in 1986."
  2. ^ Greg Smith (1999). "Hades Interview". Unchained. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  3. ^ Greg Smith (1999). "Hades Interview". Unchained. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia Metallum. "The Beast". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  5. ^ http://www.lordsofmetal.nl (June 2014). http://www.lordsofmetal.nl http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/en/interviews/view/id/114. Retrieved 19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ http://the-bloodhoundgang.com (June 2014). http://the-bloodhoundgang.com http://the-bloodhoundgang.com/tags/uhn-tiss-uhn-tiss-uhn-tiss. Retrieved 19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ . http://www.northjersey.com. June 2014 http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/music/mucky-pup-to-perform-saturday-at-mexicali-live-1.739099?page=all. Retrieved 19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ http://ces14.mapyourshow.com (June 2014). http://ces14.mapyourshow.com http://ces14.mapyourshow.com/5_0/sessions/speaker.cfm?speakerid=1BA8C8C7&CFID=9613590&CFTOKEN=f2c337245996ca5d-AC2927B0-5056-9271-4E60CB8E2987A060. Retrieved 19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Hot Dog!". Steppin' Out Magazine. 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2012-02-14. [dead link]
  10. ^ https://www.facebook.com/TheMuckyPup/posts/450950981672029

External links[edit]