The Cunninghams

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The Cunninghams
Origin Seattle, Washington, US
Genres Alternative rock, Pop rock
Years active 1996–1998
Labels Revolution Records
Website Official MySpace
Members Seven Pearson
Eric Craig
Scott Bickham
Eliot Freed
Johnny Martin (musician)
Past members Corey Petro,Tim Forsander

The Cunninghams is an American band, originally formed in 1996 in Seattle, Washington. Described as power-pop or pop-punk, The Cunninghams made one album, Zeroed Out which was released in 1997 via Revolution Records/Warner Bros. Records. Members included Seven Pearson, Eric Craig, Scott Bickham, Eliot Freed and Johnny Martin.

History[edit]

The Cunninghams were formed out of the ashes of Seattle rock band Jesus Headtrip in the spring of 1996 by vocalist Seven Pearson, guitarist Eric Craig, and guitarist Scott Bickham. Soon after recording demos for Giant Records, drummer Eliot Freed joined the fold and the band began playing the transitioning Northwest club scene. By the winter of 1996, the band was picked up by newly re-tooled label Revolution Records (formerly Giant Records), headed by Irving Azoff. The Cunninghams debut album, Zeroed Out, was released May 20, 1997, and was produced by Don Gilmore[1] (Linkin Park, Dashboard Confessional, Pearl Jam) and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. Los Angeles bassist and vocalist Johnny Martin was added to the line-up and the single "Bottle Rockets" debuted as the third-most-added song at rock and alternative radio, behind only Collective Soul and The Wallflowers.[citation needed] The band toured behind the album, opening up for Matchbox Twenty, Cheap Trick, INXS, and Third Eye Blind. The accompanying music video for the "Bottle Rockets" single, directed by Nigel Dick (Oasis, Guns N' Roses, Black Sabbath) caught airplay on MTV's 120 Minutes and was added to regular rotation on MTV2. The band performed on MTV's Road Rules with Third Eye Blind, as well as MTV variety show Oddville, in addition to having several tracks used on MTV's Road Rules and The Real World. By the end of 1997, the band had appeared on CNN's Showbiz Tonight, performed with Blur on Rockline, live at KNDD's Endfest in Seattle with headliners such as The Offspring, Candlebox, Radiohead, Matchbox Twenty and at St. Louis's Pointfest with headliners such as Cheap Trick, and Beck.

By 1998 the band parted ways with vocalist Seven Pearson and brought in Vancouver writer and vocalist Wenzel Templeton, formerly of the band The Daisy Chain. The newly fronted band wrote, recorded, and produced new music for Revolution Records. Since Pearson and Eric were contractual key writers, firing Pearson had nullified the band's record contract. The band had unknowingly put themselves into an option situation. While the band was recovering from turmoil, the label was just entering into it. Label-head Azoff began cleaning house, gutting the staff and most of the artists.[citation needed] The band then renamed themselves Boy Girl Radio and proceeded to headline shows in Seattle and showcase in Los Angeles at The Opium Den, Roxy and The Viper Room in search of a new label home. Upon returning from Los Angeles empty-handed, Templeton returned to Vancouver and the band called it quits.

In 1999, while Scott Bickham and Eliot Freed remained in Seattle, Eric Craig relocated to Los Angeles and took a position within Dreamworks Records marketing department. Seven Pearson also relocated to Los Angeles, and with bassist Johnny Martin in-tow formed the band Jimmy Girl. On February 17, 2001 Pearson committed suicide in his Los Angeles apartment.[2] Johnny Martin went on to become a member of the Los Angeles rock band The Chelsea Smiles.

In 2001 Eric Craig met writer and vocalist John Heintz, formerly of the band Farmer (Aware Records). The pair rounded out the line-up with drummer Eliot Freed (formerly of The Cunninghams), keyboardist Jamie Bennett and bassist Rodney Mollura, formerly of the band Sonichrome (Capitol Records) and called themselves The Blue Mondays. The newly formed group was quickly courted by several major labels and signed by executive Jimmy Iovine and Interscope Records.[citation needed] Soon after signing, the band discovered that a name change was imminent, as a trademark could not be obtained for The Blue Mondays. They settled on a new name: Daysleeper. Next the band wrote some 75 songs, and by the end of 2002 headed into the studio with producer Ron Aniello (Lifehouse, Bruce Springsteen) to produce their debut album, Every Waking Moment. Upon completion, the album was mixed by Randy Staub (Metallica, Alice in Chains) and delivered to Interscope. After months of discussion in regard to the sound of the album, the band executed a clause in their contract and departed Interscope before the album would be released.[citation needed]

In the spring of 2003, Eric Craig accepted a position with Lakeshore Entertainment as Director of A&R and Music Supervision. In summer 2005 Wenzel Templeton and Eric Craig completed a new track, "Miss Disinformation Junkie", under Wenzel Templeton's moniker Zero The Antistar that can be heard on the album The Broken Electric Lullaby. In the winter of 2006 Eliot Freed returned to Seattle. Johnny Martin continues to live in Los Angeles and play with various artists.

Discography[edit]

  • 1997: Zeroed Out – The Cunninghams
  • 1998: One Small Step – Boy Girl Radio
  • 2003: Every Waking Moment – Daysleeper
  • 2012: The Broken Electric Lullaby – Zero The Antistar

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