|Origin||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Past members||Matt Lukin|
Mudhoney is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in December, 1987, following the demise of Green River. Its members are singer and rhythm guitarist Mark Arm, lead guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison and drummer Dan Peters. Original bassist Matt Lukin left the band in 1999, but rejoined the band in December 2000 for a tour that lasted through January 2001.
Mudhoney's early releases on the Sub Pop label, particularly their debut single "Touch Me I'm Sick" and the Superfuzz Bigmuff EP, were instrumental in the creation of the grunge genre. Although the band found little commercial success and remained somewhat 'underground' and non-mainstream, Mudhoney has released eleven studio albums and inspired countless grunge and alternative rock musicians during their long career.
Mr. Epp and the Calculations: 1978–1984
Two future members of Mudhoney met through their association with Mr. Epp and the Calculations. This band formed in 1978 in Bellevue, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. While at Bellevue Christian High School, Mark McLaughlin (later known as Mark Arm) and some friends started Mr. Epp and the Calculations, a band named after a math teacher of his. Initially the band was essentially a joke band rather than a serious one; their first "show" was in class singing Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up", using rolled-up maps as guitars because they could not actually play any instruments. Mr. Epp and the Calculations played their first real show in 1981, three years after they formed. To make the band seem more serious, Mr. Epp added a second guitarist Steve Turner, who was in a small garage band called The Ducky Boys. Mark Arm and Steve Turner became instant friends. In 1983, three songs of Mr. Epp were included in First Strike: a compilation, the first cassette in the BCT catalog. Mr. Epp and the Calculations appeared on KZAM radio and were introduced as "the worst band in the world." They played their last show on February 3, 1984 with Malfunkshun at Seattle's Metropolis. Mark Arm and Steve Turner formed a joke-punk band called The Limp Richerds in 1984 near the end of Mr. Epp but this band ended shortly after Mr. Epp's ending as well.
Green River: 1984–1987
Green River was formed in 1984 when Arm and Turner recruited Alex Vincent as drummer, who had previously played with Turner in the short-lived Spluii Numa. Bassist Jeff Ament joined the band after arriving in Seattle with his band Deranged Diction. Stone Gossard, another of Turner's former bandmates, was recruited as second guitarist. Green River recorded their debut EP, Come on Down, in 1985, and it is considered the first grunge record because it was released several months before the Deep Six album (which featured music by Green River and five other Seattle grunge bands). Turner left the band after its release due to his distaste of the band's hard rock leanings. He was replaced by another Deranged Diction member, Bruce Fairweather. After recording another EP (Dry As a Bone) and a full-length album (Rehab Doll), the band disbanded in late 1987. Gossard, Ament, and Fairweather went on to join Mother Love Bone. Following lead singer Andrew Wood's death, Gossard and Ament went on to form Pearl Jam, and Fairweather joined Love Battery. In December 1987, Arm reunited with Turner to form Mudhoney.
Sub Pop: 1988–1991
Turner wanted to start a band that practiced before playing to a live audience. He and Arm began songwriting with Bundle of Hiss drummer Dan Peters. The trio decided that Matt Lukin, who had recently left Melvins, should join the band as bassist. They named themselves after the Russ Meyer film Mudhoney.
In 1988, the band recorded and released their debut EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff, and their first single, "Touch Me I'm Sick", on the Sub Pop label. The single attracted attention and the band enjoyed moderate success in the United States. Mudhoney quickly became Sub Pop's flagship band. Sonic Youth, who were fans of the band, had invited Mudhoney to join them for a tour in the UK in 1989. After this tour Superfuzz Bigmuff entered the British indie charts and they received a respectable amount of press coverage. The band released their first album, Mudhoney, in 1989.
Kurt Cobain listed Superfuzz Bigmuff as one of his favourite albums in his journal in 1993.
Mudhoney's first album with Reprise was Piece of Cake. In a 2008 Mojo magazine article, Turner explained the album references "how easily things had come to them ... the songs were kinda half-baked ..." They also contributed a track "Overblown" at this time to the soundtrack to the film Singles.
With their 1995 album My Brother the Cow they mixed their earlier and more recent sound, but Turner explained in an article in Mojo, "There was a backlash after Kurt [Cobain] killed himself. The English press were so angry that we were still around. Those were some of the worst reviews we'd ever gotten. We were mocked for still existing." The press was not all negative, as the album received praise in certain U.S. publications, including People magazine: "Leave the brooding anthems to Pearl Jam. Mudhoney delivers pure grunge—messy music that casts a powerful spell."
In 1996, Mudhoney appeared in the comedy movie Black Sheep, starring Chris Farley and David Spade. The band was shown performing at an MTV concert and then speaking with Farley backstage. Tomorrow Hit Today was released in September 1998. The album demonstrated a blues-rock influence, and the band used record producer Jim Dickinson, who worked with The Rolling Stones. They recorded the set in three different cities.
After Matt Lukin: 2000–present
Mudhoney continued to play some concerts in the Pacific Northwest and recruited permanent bassist Guy Maddison (of Monroe's Fur and Lubricated Goat) who had played with Arm in one of his many side projects, Bloodloss. In 2002, following their return to Sub Pop, the band recorded and released a new studio album, Since We've Become Translucent. This was followed by a major South American tour.
In early 2003 the band entered the studio to record "Hard-On For War", that would appear exclusively on Buddyhead Presents: Gimme Skelter compilation album. Later that year the band recorded Under a Billion Suns on which a new version of the song appeared. The album was released in 2006 and received favorable reviews. In 2006 the band also helped to curate an edition of the British All Tomorrow's Parties festival.
During 2007, Mudhoney played in Brazil again and went on a brief European tour. In November that year, the band released a live album entitled Live Mud, containing songs recorded at a concert in Mexico.
In 2008, Mudhoney began recording their next album with producer Tucker Martine, The Lucky Ones, which was released in May 2008. Shortly thereafter, Sub Pop released a deluxe, remastered edition of Superfuzz Bigmuff. The reissue contained the original EP in its correct running order, along with singles, demos, and two live recordings from 1988. In the liner notes of the reissued Superfuzz Bigmuff, Jay Hinman wrote:
My feeling—and I know I'm not alone in this one—is that for all the play and worldwide attention several Seattle-area bands got during the 1988–92 period, at the end of the day (and even at the time), there was Mudhoney—and then there was everybody else. To me, you, and everyone else paying close attention to underground rock music during those years, Mudhoney still sound like the undisputed kingpins of roaring, surging, fuzzed-out, punk music.
In 2009, Mudhoney announced a series of live dates. This included an extensive tour of Europe which started in Edinburgh, Scotland with Sub Pop labelmates The Vaselines. The tour ended on October 26. The group performed at the Nelsonville Music Festival in Nelsonville, Ohio in May 2009. The group played at the ATP New York 2010 music festival in Monticello, New York in September 2010, where they performed Superfuzz Bigmuff in its entirety.
In 2011, Pearl Jam had Mudhoney open for them on their 20th Anniversary tour. They were chosen by Mogwai to perform in May 2012 at the All Tomorrow's Parties 'I'll Be Your Mirror' festival at Alexandra Palace, London. In April 2013 the band put out their ninth studio album Vanishing Point, followed by 2018's Digital Garbage.
In 2021, Mudhoney and Sub Pop celebrated the 30-year anniversary of Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge with a remastered deluxe version. This included remastered and re-released music videos and songs, as well as previously unreleased songs and demos.
Plastic Eternity was released by Sub Pop on April 6th, 2023.
- Mark Arm – vocals, rhythm guitar (1988–present)
- Dan Peters – drums, percussion (1988–present)
- Steve Turner – lead guitar (1988–present)
- Guy Maddison – bass guitar (2001–present)
- Matt Lukin – bass guitar (1988–2001)
- Superfuzz Bigmuff (1988)
- Mudhoney (1989)
- Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (1991)
- Piece of Cake (1992)
- My Brother the Cow (1995)
- Tomorrow Hit Today (1998)
- Since We've Become Translucent (2002)
- Under a Billion Suns (2006)
- The Lucky Ones (2008)
- Vanishing Point (2013)
- Digital Garbage (2018)
- Plastic Eternity (2023)
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- Andrews, Lucy (2023). "Mudhoney: The godfathers of grunge return with new LP Plastic Eternity". beat.com.au. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
When I listen back to these tracks, I hear a drum beat from Janis Joplin, the guitar sounds from the Stooges and Black Sabbath, and hardcore punk, especially southern California hardcore punk. The song Cascades of Crap sort of started off having a Stranglers feel.
- Floyd, Jamison (April 6, 2023). "Back to Work With Mudhoney". Popwell. Archived from the original on April 6, 2023. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
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- "Top 50 by Nirvana [MIXTAPE]". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- Mojo Magazine "Come As You Are" by Michael Azerrad; August 2008; p. 97
- "Picks and Pans Review: My Brother the Cow : People.com". www.people.com. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- During this same period, Dickinson also produced Mudhoney's contribution ("War in Peace") to the tribute album for Moby Grape co-founder Skip Spence, who was terminally ill with cancer.
- "Ocf.berkeley.edu". Ocf.berkeley.edu. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- "Past Shows." Stuart's Opera House: Nelsonville, Ohio. Stuart's Opera House: Nelsonville, Ohio, n.d. Web. !October 8, 2012.
- "I'll Be Your Mirror London 2012 curated by Mogwai & ATP – All Tomorrow's Parties". Atpfestival.com. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
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- Vinylnet Record Label Discographies. link. – Sub Pop catalogue references.