The Inbreds

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The Inbreds
The Inbreds.jpg
Mike O'Neill and Dave Ullrich (brothers)
Background information
Origin Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Genres Indie rock, Alternative rock
Years active 1992–1998, 2007, 2008, 2012
Labels Zunior Records
Sappy Records
TAG Recordings
Atlantic Records
PF Records
Associated acts Egger
Members Mike O'Neill
Dave Ullrich

The Inbreds were a Canadian indie rock band formed in 1992. Originally from Kingston, Ontario, the band relocated to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1996. Three of the four albums released during the band's existence reached number one on the Canadian national university charts, and the band received two Juno nominations.[1] The band was prominent in Canadian indie rock circles throughout the 1990s and were known for their unique, minimalist bass and drums approach, and their upbeat and distinctive Beatlesesque pop and catchy melodies and harmonies.

Despite being called The Inbreds, the band members are not related.


The Inbreds consisted of singer/songwriter/bassist Mike O'Neill and drummer Dave Ullrich,[2] and were renowned in Canadian indie rock circles in the 1990s for their unique bass and drums sound. A few Inbreds' studio recordings did feature guitars, piano, horns, and other instruments, which were played by O'Neill or guest musicians such as Matt Murphy.

Though perhaps most often associated with the 1990s Canadian East Coast alternative rock scene (often referred to at the time as the Halifax Pop Explosion), the Inbreds were actually formed in Kingston, Ontario in 1992, where O'Neill and Ullrich met while attending Queen's University. They subsequently released cassettes of their own music on Ullrich's PF (Proboscis Funkstone) Records. The band soon gained a small but loyal following.

Their 1993 debut LP, Hilario, consisted of previously released material compiled from the band’s self-released Darn Foul Dog, Let's Get Together, and Egrog cassettes. The album brought the Inbreds to the attention of up and coming Toronto band the Rheostatics, who brought the band on tour with them. The Inbreds would later reach larger audiences while touring Canada, the US, and Europe with more established rock acts of the day such as the Tragically Hip and Buffalo Tom.

The band’s second album Kombinator, was released in 1994 and was produced by Rheostatics' drummer Dave Clark. The album received heavy college radio airplay and a MuchMusic Best Alternative Video nomination for the single "Any Sense of Time".

In 1996, the band signed with major label TAG Recordings, a division of Atlantic Records, and took advantage of the major-label budget to experiment with their sound. Their third album, It's Sydney or the Bush, was produced by 4AD’s Lincoln Fong and presented a more traditional rock sound which expanded from their traditional bass and drums approach. Shortly after the release, TAG Recordings folded. The band carried on, capturing nominations for Best Alternative Band from the East Coast Music Awards and Best Alternative Album from the Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the American Grammy Awards.

Around this time the band appeared on the bill of the Edge Fest summer festival tour of Canada. Also on the bill for several shows were Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters' singer Dave Grohl became a fan of the Inbreds’ music and was regularly observed listening to their sets from the side of the stage.

Winning Hearts, the band's fourth and final album, was released in 1998 on Sloan's Murderecords. With its return to the simple, bass and drums style of their earlier albums, Winning Hearts held the number one spot on Chart Magazine's survey of Canadian Campus Radio for two consecutive months. After several months of touring and promotions behind Winning Hearts, O'Neill and Ullrich unexpectedly decided to retire the band, playing their final show on July 4, 1998, at a CFNY event in Toronto.


O'Neill and Ullrich have both released material since the breakup of the Inbreds, O'Neill as a solo artist and Ullrich with the band Egger. Several CDs containing rare and unreleased Inbreds' material were subsequently released on Ullrich's independent label Zunior.[3]

In 2007, Ullrich and O'Neill reformed the band to record a version of "Dope Fiends and Booze Hounds" for the Rheostatics' tribute album The Secret Sessions. It remains the band's only new recording since their 1998 breakup. O'Neill went on to play the character Thomas Collins in the seventh season of Canadian television show Trailer Park Boys and still resides in Halifax.

The Inbreds have reunited several times in recent years for live performances, playing at the Herohill Hearts Music showcase in October of 2008,[4] as well as taking part in the 2008 Halifax Pop Explosion. In 2012, the band reunited for two shows, with the first taking place in Toronto on March 24 at Lee's Palace as part of Canadian Music Week. It was The Inbreds' first performance in Toronto in over seven years.[5] Their second show of 2012 was at the Lawnya Vawnya festival in St. John's, Newfoundland on April 20, marking the first time the band had ever played Newfoundland.



  • 1992: The Let's Get Together EP

Studio Albums[edit]

  • 1993: Hilario
  • 1994: Kombinator
  • 1996: It's Sydney or the Bush
  • 1996: Double Yolk - (Sappy Records)[6]
  • 1998: Winning Hearts
  • 2004: The Kombinator Demos
  • 2004: B-Sides

7" Singles[edit]

  • 1993: Shermans + Inbreds
  • 1995: You Will Know
  • 1996: Inbreds/Plumtree - North Window/Scott Pilgrim
  • 1997: Double Yolk
  • 1997: Moustache
  • 1997: Yelverton Hill

Live Albums[edit]

  • 2004: 1997 Live in Calgary


  • 2004: Home Movies

See also[edit]


External links[edit]