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|Origin||Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States|
|Labels||El Camino Media, Zoo Entertainment, Spongebath, DreamWorks|
|Associated acts||Wired All Wrong|
|Past members||Timm Nobles
Self (stylized as sElf or SeLF) is an American alternative pop/rock band from Murfreesboro, Tennessee and is largely the creative vision of writer, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Mahaffey.
Though it is considered a band and not a solo project, Matt Mahaffey is the primary performer of all instrumentation and vocals on studio albums. Other members have contributed occasional parts on albums and have participated in live performances. The band currently consists of Chris James (keyboards, piano, samplers, guitar, backing vocals), Mac Burrus (bass guitar, keyboards, horns, backing vocals), and Jason Rawlings (Drums). Past members include Matt's brother, Mike Mahaffey (lead guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Timm Nobles (bass guitar). Mahaffey cites Electric Light Orchestra, Prince, and Pixies as some of his biggest musical influences.
Self began with founders Matt and Mike Mahaffey recording songs in their childhood home in the early 90s, following brief forays with other groups. The band's debut album, Subliminal Plastic Motives, was released in 1995 on the Spongebath Records, a label the Mahaffeys helped found. During this early period, the band featured Matt on vocals and guitar, Mike on lead guitar, Tim Nobles on bass, Chris James on keyboards and samplers, and Jason Rawlings on drums.
The album was followed in 1996 by The Half-Baked Serenade, an album released exclusively through a mail order catalog, and in 1997, an album released for free via the Internet called Feels Like Breakin' Shit. Around this time, bassist Timm Nobles was replaced by Mac Burrus, formerly of Murfreesboro rock band The Plain.
A Self EP titled Brunch (1998) and the album Breakfast with Girls (1999) were co-released by the Spongebath and DreamWorks labels. Back at Spongebath, Self-released Gizmodgery in 2000, an album created entirely with children's toy instruments. That same year, Self-released two more free Internet-only albums, Self Goes Shopping and Selfafornia. In 2005, Self again released an album for free on the Internet. Porno, Mint & Grime consists of demos recorded during the 2001-2004 sessions for the unreleased album Ornament and Crime.
In addition to these releases, Self contributed to several tribute albums, covering "Shame" on the Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses in 1998 and "Ana Ng," for the They Might Be Giants tribute album Hello Radio: The Songs of They Might Be Giants, released July 2006.
An album entitled Ornament and Crime was completed in 2004 and was set to become the band's fifth commercial release. When Universal Music Group acquired DreamWorks Records, the band's label at the time, the album was shelved indefinitely. A few songs from Ornament and Crime had been featured on the band's MySpace. In July 2017, after the album spent thirteen quiet years in limbo, Mahaffey announced on his website and the sElf / Matt Mahaffey Facebook account that Ornament and Crime is set for an August 25, 2017 release via El Camino Media, who had previously released Super Fake Nice in 2014.
A DVD has also been completed, but due to legal reasons, remains unreleased. The performance includes a cover of AC/DC's hit song "Back in Black," which has not yet been approved. Several videos of songs from the DVD, including the "Back in Black" cover, have been posted online on Mahaffey's MySpace and YouTube profiles.
Side Projects and Super Fake Nice (2005-present)
New music and live performances since the release of Porno, Mint & Grime have been sporadic. Lead guitarist Mike Mahaffey died in May 2005, and his role in the band has yet to be filled, though the remaining members played a show in his honor on October 9, 2005. They have performed since as a full band and Matt Mahaffey has appeared as Self in solo performances. Despite this, members of the band have been working primarily on other projects. Rawlings played drums in a group called Suburban Tragedy, and Mahaffey also formed a new band, Wired All Wrong, with former God Lives Underwater member Jeff Turzo. Wired All Wrong released their first album, Break Out The Battle Tapes on September 12, 2006. Additionally, Matt has worked as a producer and performer for other artists including Beck and Hellogoodbye and as a composer for children's TV shows including Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.
On January 13, 2007 Mahaffey announced on his MySpace blog that a new Self album, tentatively titled Super Fake Nice, was in the works. In late 2008, several new tracks appeared on his MySpace. On May 19, 2010, Self-released the single "Could You Love Me Now?" for digital download. In July 2011, work on a new studio album was said to be progressing, and Mahaffey stated that he was considering Kickstarter as a means of funding the project. On 30 November 2011, Self made available the track "Looks and Money" for digital download. Matt Mahaffey officially announced the production of the new Self album on 15 December 2011.
As of 2012, Mahaffey has permanently returned to the Nashville area. Self played a sold-out reunion show in Nashville on December 29, 2012 at Exit/In with Fluid Ounces guitarist Brian Rogers filled Mike Mahaffey's guitar slot.
|1995||Subliminal Plastic Motives
||Zoo / Spongebath|
|1996||The Half-Baked Serenade
|1997||Feels Like Breakin' Shit
||Spongebath / DreamWorks|
|1999||Breakfast with Girls
||DreamWorks / Spongebath|
|2017||Ornament and Crime
||El Camino Media|
|2000||Self Goes Shopping
|2005||Porno, Mint & Grime
||Not on label|
- "Cannon" (1995) Spongebath Records
- "So Low" (1996) BMG
- "KiDdies"/"Suzie Q Sailaway" (1999) DreamWorks Records
- "Meg Ryan" (1999) DreamWorks Records
- "Could You Love Me Now?" (2010) Self Digital
- "Looks and Money" (2011) Fresh Imperial
- "Monogamy/Could You Love Me Now" (2015) Release the Krakken/Music Of Big Deal (BMI)
- Self mini bio at allmusic
- Flippo, Chet (August 9, 1997). "Murfreesboro Emerges As an Unlikely Music Mecca". Billboard: 7, 65–67. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- "Super Fake Now". Self. Retrieved 9/5/2015. Check date values in:
- For the Masses
- Matt Mahaffey mini biography
- "Matt Mahaffey interview with Rocksellout.com". Rocksellout.com. Retrieved November 13, 2009.