The Pink Spiders

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The Pink Spiders
Origin Nashville, Tennessee,
United States
Genres Garage rock, power pop, pop punk, indie rock
Years active 2003–2009
2010–present
Labels Spat! Records, CI Records, Geffen, Suretone Records, Mean Buzz Records
Associated acts Dixie Whiskey, The Dozen Dimes
Website thepinkspiders.com
Members Matt Friction
Bob Ferrari
Brandon Jazz
Past members Jon Decious
Jamie Mechan
Dave Paulson
Nathan Hansen
Nick Slack
Joseph Reilly
Raf Cevallos

The Pink Spiders is an American rock band, formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2003.[1] The band consists of Matt Friction (lead vocals, guitar), Brandon Jazz (bass), and Bob Ferrari (drums).

Matt Friction and Bob Ferrari recruited Jon Decious (bass) and released their first EP, The Pink Spiders Are Taking Over!, in 2004. The group toured around the Nashville area and an independent label released their debut album, Hot Pink, in 2005.[2]

The Pink Spiders performed at The Viper Room in West Hollywood on March 2, 2005, after which they were signed by Geffen Records. Their major-label debut, Teenage Graffiti was produced by Ric Ocasek and released in 2006. Promotion and the single "Little Razorblade" landed Teenage Graffiti on the Billboard 200.[3] The group also made several television appearances and played at the Vans Warped Tour.

The relationship between the group and Geffen faltered during the making of their album, Sweat It Out. Disagreements over money led Decious and Ferrari to leave the band. Sweat It Out was released independently in September 2008. The Pink Spiders went on hiatus in 2009 and all three members pursued other musical projects.[4]

Friction, Decious, and Ferrari eventually reunited and performed at The Viper Room in June 2010; Friction officially announced their return.[4] The group released a two-track single and completed the "2 Legit 2 Quit Tour" in 2011.

History[edit]

Creating the group, touring, and finding a label (2003 - 2004)[edit]

In 2003, Matthew Bell (known as "Matt Friction") led the Nashville quartet, Silent Friction, and performed around the Nashville area. He occasionally filled in on guitar for Oliver's Army, where Robert William Fort V (known as "Bob Ferrari") played drums.[5]

Friction and Ferrari decided to make music together. They recruited Jon Decious on bass and a second guitarist, Jamie Mecham. Mecham was eventually dismissed from the group. The trio contemplated several names, including: "The Pink Tigers" and "The Pink Diablos". They settled on "The Pink Spiders".[6]

The Pink Spiders recorded their first EP three weeks later. According to Ferrari, the record can be described as "bubblegum" music. He said: "We didn't try to sound like anyone. We just stole from everyone. That's what good artists do in my opinion." The Pink Spiders Are Taking Over! (2004) was influenced by The Ramones, The Dead Boys, Buddy Holly, and the Bay City Rollers. The band's live debut consisted of a sold-out show in Nashville.[6]

Friction was a booking agent for The Muse and used that knowledge to find shows for the band. Meanwhile, Ferrari worked as a substitute teacher and the group donated plasma to fund their tours. The Pink Spiders also smoked a lot, a habit evident in promotional snapshots of the band. The group eventually befriended the band Sadaharu. It was through them that The Pink Spiders found a record label to release their debut studio album.[6]

The Pennsylvania-based and independent label, CI Records, released Hot Pink on January 4, 2005. The album has the trademarks of 1960s teen pop; it features the pop of a needle, crackles, and even hisses in between tracks. New influences from artists such as Elvis Costello, Mötley Crüe, and Cheap Trick are apparent in Friction's songwriting. A vinyl version of the record was also released by Nashville's Spat! Records.

The band toured nonstop, battling the chaos offered by life on the road; their trailer caught on fire in Buffalo and the band slept in the New York City Subway and the PATH when they had nowhere to sleep.

The Viper Room and a major-label contract (2005)[edit]

An old friend of Friction, Jason Hollis, lived in Los Angeles and told the group about Dan Catullo, a producer. Catullo arranged a private show for the band at West Hollywood's The Viper Room, where they would perform for numerous major labels. The group asked their friend, Dave Paulson (frontman of The Privates), to play guitar with them at the show. He accepted. The four slept over at a living unit located above Catullo's recording studio.[6]

Their performance on March 2, 2005 at The Viper Room was a success. "After the set, the curtains closed and Jordan Schur ran onstage. He was immediately stopped by security but just barreled through them," said Friction of the experience. Ferrari said he opened his arms, exclaiming, "I gotta have this band!!!" Schur was the CEO of Geffen Records.[6]

Several weeks following the show, The Pink Spiders chose Geffen among 11 major-label offers. Walking into the offices of the recording company, the band was greeted by a pizza party. The contract was signed and each group member received $30,000 in pocket money. According to Decious, the label also took them to Six Flags. The three bandmates moved to Hollywood: Friction and Decious rented an apartment on Sunset Boulevard and Ferrari lodged at the Gershwin Hollywood Hotel.[6]

Major-label debut (2006)[edit]

Geffen hired Ric Ocasek, frontman of The Cars, to produce the group's major label debut. The Pink Spiders traveled to New York to commence recording at Electric Lady Studios. The group soon realized that they were not completely comfortable with the recording sessions. Ocasek disapproved of drinking in the studio and Friction was not granted the production control he was used to. The album was originally intended to be released in April 2006, but the date was pushed to August.[6]

The first single off the album was "Little Razorblade"; its music video was directed by Joseph Kahn. Ferrari expressed his original intentions: "I wanted to be shooting dice. I wanted us in the jacuzzi with hot girls… like Rick James videos. Something just decadent and ridiculous. I wanted us going down the street in a limousine with a hot tub in the back, having a ball with girls who'd never talk to us unless we had money. 'Cause it's funny." The plot of the finished video did not match the drummer's intentions and he expressed disappointment: "It was just too much. No dude is gonna admit they like this band after seeing that."[6]

The video debuted on MTV's Total Request Live in April 2006 and peaked at number 12. The song received heavy rotation on the video network, Fuse, and reached the top spot on the Los Angeles-based radio station, KROQ. It was featured on the reality television series The Hills and was played in the clothing store Hollister Co. That year, The Pink Spiders performed on the Vans Warped Tour.

The Pink Spiders toured with many popular bands such as Thirty Seconds to Mars, Good Charlotte, Yellowcard, Meg & Dia, All Time Low, Sugarcult, Damone, Kill Hannah, and Fall Out Boy in support of this album. The group was also listed as one of the "100 bands you need to know in 2006" by Alternative Press.

Teenage Graffiti was released on August 1, 2006, and peaked at number 84 on the Billboard 200.[7] The album was praised by critics for its power-pop sound and catchy melodies.

Third album and hiatus (2007 - 2009)[edit]

The Pink Spiders' third album was announced in late 2007 and was meant to be released in Spring 2008. Geffen hired Brendan O'Brien as the producer — his experience included work for musicians such as Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and Bruce Springsteen. Friction wrote 25 songs for the album, of which half were approved for release.[6]

The band bought a school bus which they intended to use for touring. On March 13, 2008, somewhere between Nashville and Atlanta, the bus burned to the ground along with their possessions. The group lost "clothes, laptops, passports, id's, ipods, cameras, receipts, cash, song lyrics, everything." They welcomed any donations. They missed shows at Atlanta and New Orleans, but announced that they would finish the rest of the tour.[8]

As sole songwriter, Friction received full benefits from royalties. The band encountered disagreements over money and Decious and Ferrari announced they would no longer be members of The Pink Spiders. The two played a last show on June 18 in Charlotte, North Carolina. They formed the country-rock group, Dixie Whiskey, in the following months.[6]

Friction recruited replacements for Decious and Ferrari — Raf Cevallos on guitar, Joe Reilly on drums, and Ben Young on bass. The new line-up made its live debut at Cave 9 in Birmingham, Alabama several days later.[6]

The new Pink Spiders completed the Tapped Kegs, Spread Legs, & Fertilized Eggs tour. The tour-only exclusive, Subterranean EP, contained unreleased versions of "Teenage Graffiti" and "Knock Knock", "Gimme Chemicals" and "Sleeping On the Floor" from Sweat It Out, as well as the b-sides "Typical Danger" and "We Do It All The Time."

That year, The Pink Spiders officially dissolved their contract with Geffen. After much deliberation, Sweat It Out was finally released on September 23, 2008 by the independent record label, Mean Buzz Records.

In 2009, Friction announced an extended hiatus. He embarked on a variety of side projects, including Matt Friction & the Cheap Shots and The Dozen Dimes.

Return (2010 - present)[edit]

In 2010, the group accepted an offer to play at the bar mitzvah of a fan who lived in Los Angeles. On June 20 they held a concert at The Viper Room and Friction announced their return. "We aren't at a place where it's [about] money," said the lead singer in an interview with the Nashville Scene. He also announced that they had resolved their differences, but that Decious would be pursuing other interests — Brandon Jazz assumed bassist duties.[4]

The Pink Spiders released "Cherry Chapstick b/w Sad Style", a two-track single, on March 21, 2011. That spring they completed the "2 Legit 2 Quit Tour".

Television Appearances[edit]

Between 2006 and 2008, The Pink Spiders appeared on MTV's Total Request Live, Discover and Download, and You Hear It First; as well as Fuse's Daily Download, Tattoo Stories, and Steven's Untitled Rock Show.

In May 2008, the Pink Spiders played for a Sweet 16 featured in Episode 6 of the Fourth Season of Hell's Kitchen.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • Little Razorblade (2006)
  • The Chase (2007)
  • Gimme Chemicals (2008)
  • Cherry Chapstick b/w Sad Style (2011)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hopkin, Kenyon. "Biography - The Pink Spiders - AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ Hopkin, Kenyon. "Biography - The Pink Spiders - AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Teenage Graffiti - The Pink Spiders - Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  4. ^ a b c Gold 2011.
  5. ^ Bell, Matt; Silent Friction. "Silent Friction". Angelfire. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k De Vos 2008.
  7. ^ "Teenage Graffiti - The Pink Spiders - Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  8. ^ Friction, Matt. "the Pink Spiders - Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos". Myspace. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]