Chris Mars

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Chris Mars
Birth name Christopher Mars
Born (1961-04-26) April 26, 1961 (age 54)
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Drums, vocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active 1979–96
Labels Bar/None, Twin/Tone, Sire, Smash
Associated acts The Replacements

Christopher Edward "Chris" Mars (born April 26, 1961) is an American artist and musician. He was the drummer for the seminal Minneapolis alternative rock band The Replacements and later joined the informal supergroup Golden Smog before beginning a solo career. He is also a painter,[1] and has more or less left music behind to concentrate on showing his artwork. He typically shows little interest in speaking about music.[citation needed]


The Replacements[edit]

Mars detailed the kind of hellraising that he and the other Replacements indulged in when they were together in Rolling Stone's Alt Rock-A-Rama. Among other incidents, he was thrown in jail for playing chicken with an unmarked police car. He also, in conjunction with bandmate Bob Stinson, sabotaged a gig where he knew there would be a lot of record industry personnel in attendance by going to a novelty store and purchasing some bottles of stink juice.

Mars barely appeared on The Replacements' final album, All Shook Down. He left before the subsequent tour, unhappy with Paul Westerberg's control of the band.[2] The Replacements subsequently disbanded.

In late 2005, Mars rejoined the other two surviving Replacements, Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, to record two new songs for a best-of compilation. He only sang backing vocals on the tracks while Josh Freese did the actual drumming.

Solo career[edit]

His first solo album, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, was a revelation for fans and critics used to his fairly limited role in The Replacements. He wrote and sang the entire album and added guitar and keyboards to his drumming. Except for the presence of the bass guitarist J.D. Foster and brief contributions from Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy, it was essentially a D.I.Y. affair.

Mars was not interested in touring behind his third album, Tenterhooks. Another band, The Wallmen, toured behind it with a cardboard cutout of Mars onstage.[3] He released one more album, Anonymous Botch, before turning his attentions to his artistic career.

Painting career[edit]

His painting style, examples of which graced all of his album covers, is marked by nightmarish landscapes and grotesque, distorted figures. He draws inspiration from his older brother's struggle with schizophrenia.[4]

He generally likes to use oils or pastels, although he ventures into other media like acrylic and scratchboard. He created a 13-minute animated film about his work titled The Severed Stream.

His work, which has fetched prices of more than $30,000,[5] has been shown throughout the United States and Canada. He has had solo exhibitions at Billy Shire Fine Arts,[6] The Erie Art Museum, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Steensland Museum, Coker Bell Gallery[7] and the Mesa Arts Center.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Mars currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife, Sally Mars.



  1. ^ "A scan of one of Mars' paintings". Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Biography of The Replacements". October 17, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Chirs Mars". Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ Bahn, Christopher. "Interview: Chris Mars". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ City Pages – Hospitals of the Spirit Archived April 20, 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Chris Mars- In Preparation of Barrier Transcendence". Billy Shire Fine Arts. Billy Shire Fine Arts. 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Chris Mars: Subderma at JOHNATHAN LEVINE GALLERY". Retrieved October 22, 2011. 

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