Biography

This is a bio for Mutts, the keyboards-based rock trio from Chicago, IL.
Note: There have been at least 3 other bands called “The Mutts.”

Mutts is a current rock band formed in 2009 by Mike Maimone (keyboards/vocals) and Bob Buckstaff (bass). Drummer Chris Pagnani joined in late 2011. Based in Chicago, IL, the independent group released 3 EPs in their first 2 years together - Pretty Pictures, We Float and The Tells of Parallels. From 2011 through 2013 the band then released 3 LPs - Pray for Rain, Separation Anxiety and Object Permanence - each of which charted on the CMJ Top 200 for college and independent radio airplay. These are available on vinyl, CD and download at wearemutts.com

The keys/bass/drums trio have been described as “Tom Waits fronting a garage band” by Time Out Magazine, and “what Queens Of The Stone Age would sound like if they ditched the guitars and started playing some dirty sounding organs” by Loud Loop Press.

But wait just one minute. On their 3rd LP – Object Permanence, out April 2nd, 2013 – the gritty trio sheds all amplification and goes clean. This is quite the risky move for a band that wasn’t easily categorized to begin with, but it is receiving glowing reviews in both print and online. Object Permanence is a timeless-sounding response to the increasingly turbulent shifts in music, pop culture and a class-divided society.

The album was recorded and mixed by Manny Sanchez at Chicago’s I.V. Lab Studio. Mutts supported the release with appearances on Daytrotter, WGN national TV, NPR’s Chicago affiliate WBEZ, Audio Tree Live, WXRT, and over 150 tour dates in 2014, including Midpoint Music Fest (Cincinnati), Do Division Fest (Chicago) and Mile of Music Fest (Appleton). Object Permanence became the third straight Mutts album to chart on the CMJ Top 200 Radio Airplay Chart.

Just eight months earlier, Mutts released their second LP – Separation Anxiety – on August 2, 2012. The album received immediate support for addressing Maimone’s coming out process. Separation Anxiety became the second Mutts release to chart on the CMJ Top 200 in 2012, peaking at #72 over it’s six week run.

Mutts released their debut album, Pray for Rain, on December 13th, 2011. It charted for six consecutive weeks on the Top 200, peaking at #107 twice. It was named one of the top Chicago albums of 2011 by The Huffington Post and received praise in national magazines Alternative Press, The Big Takeover and The Deli. Mutts were also named Chicago’s Emerging Artist of 2011 by The Deli Magazine.

In their first year together Mutts independently put out 3 EPs: Pretty Pictures, We Float and The Tells of Parallels. Developing a unique, genre-bending sound, Mutts were already “poised to become one of Chicago’s top acts,” according to Loud Loop Press.

Outside of the studio, Mutts fulfilled the buzz garnered by their recordings and Chicago music scene pedigree (members have played: Bailiff, Wax on Radio, Hush Sound, Empires, Suns, 8-Bit Tiger, Big Science, This is Cinema and Company of Thieves). By their second year together, the band was headlining at staple Chicago venues including The Empty Bottle, Double Door and Subterranean. Throughout 2011 they also hit the road often, while still holding down part-time jobs, bringing their unique sound throughout the Midwest and to the East Coast.

In 2012 their prolific studio work and constant touring culminated in several festival appearances, including Milwaukee’s Summerfest opening for Imagine Dragons, Chicago’s Do Division opening for Murder By Death, and opening for Maps and Atlases on the UW Terrace in Madison. An action-packed Summer, in turn, kept the buzz going from Pray for Rain right into Separation Anxiety. The first single, “Half Mile,” was featured on the CMJ and Chicago Mixtapes, “God, Country, Grave” was featured on the Lollapalooza episode of Local Anesthetic on Chicago’s WXRT 93.1FM, and the album is scheduled for national radio distribution August 21st.

Mutts began in June 2009, while Buckstaff and Maimone were hired to play bass and keyboards, respectively, for Wind-Up Records act Company Of Thieves. Maimone, a session keyboardist and songwriter who had recently recorded his first solo album - Open Mic Nights, Empty Bottle Mornings - accumulated a number of songs while on tour, and Buckstaff suggested that they record them live with minimal editing and spontaneous arrangements. They then asked [bandmember from=2009 to 2011]Chris Faller[/bandmember] to join them on drums, who had recently left The Hush Sound, in which he played bass. After releasing Pretty Pictures EP, Mutts played their first shows at notable Chicago venues including Beat Kitchen, Logan Square Auditorium and Lincoln Hall.

Edited by 8eat8_Records on 7 Jan 2014, 04:39

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Formed in
  • 2009
Founded in
  • Chicago, IL
Band Members
  • Mike Maimone   (2009 - )
  • Bob Buckstaff   (2009 - )
  • Chris Pagnani   (2011 - )
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