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Biography

  • Years Active

    1992 – 1997 (5 years)

  • Founded In

    Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, United States

  • Members

    • John Schmersal
    • Juan Monasterio
    • Tim Taylor
    • Tyler Trent

Brainiac formed in Dayton, Ohio in 1992 with vocalist and keyboard (particularly Moog synthesizers) player Tim Taylor, bassist Juan Monasterio, guitarist Michelle Bodine and drummer Tyler Trent.

After a couple of singles, they released their first album, Smack Bunny Baby on Grass Records in 1993. Bonsai Superstar, now with John Schmersal on guitar in place of Bodine (who went on to form O-matic), followed the next year. In 1995 they played on the Lollapalooza side stage. They joined Touch and Go Records and released Internationale, produced by Kim Deal (of the Pixies). The following year, their third album, Hissing Prigs in Static Couture, was released on the Touch & Go label. All three of their albums were produced by Eli Janney (of Girls Against Boys).

Brainiac generated a buzz as the live act to see that resulted in opening for Beck and receiving offers from some major labels. In 1997 they released an electronic-based EP called Electro-Shock for President which turned out to be their last record. Tim Taylor was killed in a car accident on May 23rd, 1997 while driving back from a recording session for their fourth album, and the group disbanded.

Brainiac's motivation to include the Moog with their sound is due to Taylor and Monasterio hearing "Shake It" by David Bowie at a party. Monasterio and Bodine showed no interest in playing the instrument so Taylor did "by default."

Juan Monasterio went on to form, Model/Actress in 2005.
John Schmersal formed Enon (1998-2011), and currently is a touring member of Caribou.

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