UNRELEASED Mutts EP
“Stuck Together” Rough Mixes / Unmastered – release TBA | Contact us for download
Kicking off 2018, Mutts have just recorded a 6-track EP called “Stuck Together,” a companion piece to September 2017’s “Stick Together.”
The trio rang in 2017 celebrating their inclusion on WXRT Chicago’s local “Best-of” list for the 2nd time. When they made it in 2013 it was on the acclaim of their acoustic album, Object Permanence, which quickly sold out of 2 vinyl pressings. This time just two singles were strong enough: “Let’s Go,” which was played in Wrigley Field during the Cubs’ historic World Series run, and “Neighbor,” offering a message of togetherness directly after the election.
On September 12 Mutts released both songs on a 5-track EP entitled “Stick Together,” recorded and mixed at Audiotree Studios by Rick Fritz (The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Regina Belle, Destiny’s Child). The lead single “I’ll Be Around” became the 3rd track from the EP to be played on WXRT, described as “outrageously good” by DJ Richard Milne, and “really well done” by Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee.
This distinctly positive EP springs from some of the most trying times of singer/songwriter Mike Maimone’s life. Leading up to the release of their 4th LP, “Fuel Yer Delusion, vol. 4” in late 2014, Maimone was kicked out of the house by his partner of 5 years. Around that time, several bands that Mutts had been friends with called it quits. The trio decided that the next record would be a complete about-face from the sardonic “Fuel v4,” instead offering a sincere message of strength. After recording it, drummer Chris Pagnani had his first child and decided to leave the group. Soon after, the bar that Maimone played every week when home closed. And then the tour van died.
Despite the adversity, Maimone and bassist/guitarist Bob Buckstaff decided to go ahead with the release. Regarding the title, Maimone says, “2016 felt like the laying down of a worldwide gauntlet; the eruption of a lot of deep-seeded divisions. So, I wanted to abandon all the satire and cynicism and just come out and say what needs to be said. Sure, it’s extremely difficult, but people need to stick together. Even if our band didn’t, we’re going to figure out a way to make it work and get this music out there.”
Putting music out seems to be what Maimone does best. With the release of “Stuck Together,” he will have independently released 6 LPs and 5 EPs since 2008 (click here to visit his publishing catalog site with nearly 100 tracks indexed and tagged). His deep versatility as a songwriter has helped him land 11 songs on WXRT – from the family-friendly stadium jam “Let’s Go” to the gritty “God, Country, Grave,” which was featured in a sex scene on the Cinemax show Banshee. In his own words, Maimone says, “My songs are born from a life of contradictions.” Maimone grew up in conservative rural Ohio, not coming out of the closet to his Catholic parents until age 30. He was an all-state athlete in high school, who played against LeBron James, while having a deep appreciation and love for the arts (Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall” inspired the entire album, Separation Anxiety). He graduated from the University of Notre Dame business school, but quickly walked away from corporate America. Maimone explains, “Through my songwriting, I try to turn these disparate life experiences into music that relates to all different people, helping us discover commonality.”
Maimone and Mutts average over 100 tour dates a year and have played the stages of Riot Fest and Summerfest; headlining at Metro and Schuba’s, selling out the latter. As a session keyboardist in Company of Thieves and Los Colognes, Maimone has toured with Blues Traveler, Plain White T’s, OK GO, and the Hold Steady. Mutts have opened for Imagine Dragons, JD McPherson, and Local H. And so this story goes, it gets more intriguing with each new chapter.