Selections from unreleased LP:
“Stuck Together” the album features 6 new songs plus 4 remixed/remastered tracks from “Stick Together” EP
- 4 straight albums on CMJ Top 200
- SOLD OUT 4 vinyl & 4 CD pressings
- WXRT 93.1 FM Chicago’s Finest Rock – Local Anesthetic Best of 2016 & 2013
- Averaging over 100 tour dates/year including:
- October 2018 direct support for Murder By Death on The Other Shore LP release tour Midwest leg • Riot Fest (Chicago), The FEST (Gainesville), Summerfest x2 (Milwaukee), SXSW x2 (Austin), Midpoint Music Festival (Cincinnati), Musikfest (Philadelphia), Mile of Music 1 – 5 (Appleton) • Headlined the Metro, sold out Schubas (Chicago), drawing ~30 in Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton, Minneapolis, Quad Cities, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Louisville, Columbus, Philadelphia
- Direct Support for: Imagine Dragons, Local H, Murder By Death, Maps & Atlases, JD McPherson, PHOX, Astronautalis, Cracker, Two Cow Garage
- Over 30k Followers among social media channels, newsletter & Bandsintown
- Daytrotter 2017 | Daytrotter 2016 | Daytrotter 2013
- Audiotree Live x4
- Red Bull Sound Select
- Song God, Country, Grave featured in Banshee on Cinemax
- Song Let’s Go played in Wrigley Field during Cubs World Series run
- Bob Buckstaff – Electric & Double Bass, Guitar, Vocals
- Mike Maimone – Keyboards, Lead Singer, Songwriter
- Ian Tsan – Drums, Vocals
Ten years – and over 1,000 shows – strong, Chicago, IL’s Mutts define perseverance. Now That’s What I Call Mutts (out May 3, 2019 on 8eat8 Records) is more than a collection of favorites from their catalog. It’s a testament to maintaining unfettered creativity in the face of adversity. In their time myriad bands have exploded – and then just as quickly imploded. Over the course of these fifteen selects (and new single “Your Love”) Mike Maimone (keys/vocals), Bob Buckstaff (bass/guitar/backing vocals), and Ian Tsan (drums/backing vocals) remind us that a gritty determination to chase your dreams, damn the odds, is as American as it gets.
The saga of Mutts begins with the release of three EPs: Pretty Pictures, We Float and The Tells of Parallels. These records gave an early taste of Mutts iconic blend of rapturous melodic art-pop and muscular alt-rock. Their first LP Pray for Rain was released in late 2011 and spent over a month on the college radio Top 200 chart – starting a trend that would be followed by each of the band’s subsequent full-length releases.
Then to now (the short version): In 2012 and 2013 the band released a matched set of LPs titled Object Permanence and Separation Anxiety; and played 205 shows. In 2014 Mutts recorded and released their 4th LP – Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 while playing 152 shows and appearing at Riot Fest, Musikfest, SXSW, and WFPK Live Lunch. In 2016 they released a 7″ single and a covers EP called Ghoul Yer Delusion. 2017 is notable for (at least) three reasons: Ian Tsan formally joined Mutts, they released the Stick Together EP, and frontman Maimone became one of a few to play all five Mile of Music festivals, performing with his brass band at Mile 5.
That distinctly positive EP springs from some of the most trying times of Maimone’s life. Leading up to the release of Fuel Yer Delusion, vol. 4, he was kicked out of the house by his partner of nearly 6 years. After recording the record, drummer Chris Pagnani left 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 Buckstaff decided to go ahead with the release.
That ability to smile and charge head-long into difficulty is a common thread in the fabric of Mutts songwriting, and with good reason. As Maimone puts it, “my songs are born from a life of contradictions.” Growing up in rural Ohio, he didn’t come out to his Catholic parents until age 30. An all-state athlete in high school (he played against LeBron), he developed a profound love for the arts. Shortly after graduating Notre Dame business school he walked away from corporate life. Maimone explains, “Through my songwriting, I try to turn these disparate life experiences into music that helps us discover commonality.”
“Mike’s unyielding adoration of the craft that is record making and performing is a feat in itself” says Buckstaff. “I’m perpetually grateful for the ongoing experiment that is Mutts. I’ve learned to lay myself bare. I’m proud of the commitment I’ve made to something, to music, that matters. I take that sense of purpose everywhere.”
Immerse yourself in this sonic portrait of a decades’ hard work, and you’ll come away with a profound appreciation for this resilient, tenacious band of brothers. Built on a shared love of connecting with others through music, Mutts are doggedly determined to continue their musical evolution. “I’ve heard “no” a million times. I’ve sent a million emails never get returned” says Maimone. “You can’t let the business side pollute the creative side. We remain fully focused on our own artistic expression.” Ultimately, Mutts want to remind their listeners to “remember to just try to sit back and enjoy everything” as Tsan puts it. “Patience is crucial – but life is short.”
– bio written by Ever Kipp, Tiny Human
2018:10:11 : The Bad Copy
Picture someone who decided that Tom Waits was fine, but decided he needed to be way more positive, ten times louder, and write piano parts that, when played properly, result in significant damage to the instrument itself. Only then will you have a good idea of singer Mike Maimone’s approach to songwriting.
With songs that champion the resilience of the human spirit carried triumphantly on the shoulders of three of the most talented and enthusiastic rockers Chicago has to offer, Mutts were as electric as ever opening the night up… Everyone fortunate enough to show up early was rewarded with the biggest smile plastered on their face by the end.
2018:10:09 : Third Coast Review
Chicago’s own Mutts opened the show [for Murder By Death], a 3-piece blues rock and with a genre bridging sound which initially struck me as Tom Waits meets Imagine Dragons. Singer/songwriter and keyboardist Mike Maimone has the growl and grit of Waits but with a more blues rock appeal (think The Black Keys, Queens of the Stone Age), but with lyrics that delve deep into Maimone’s past, discussing everything from his conservative upbringing to when he came out to his parents at 30.
2017.10.04 : Brendan Bayliss
“I can’t get this tune out of my head. It’s really well done.” – Brendan Bayliss, Umphrey’s McGee, on “I’ll Be Around”
2017.09.07 : Earbuddy
Maimone delivers a solid vocal performance in a song [Don’t Touch It] that feels like the New Pornographers meeting up with Afghan Whigs.
2017.08.31 : Ground Sounds
[I’ll Be Around] grabs you immediately with distinct vocal power. Such an intriguing voice is hard to come by, and when you pair it with a positive message and an unforgettable hook…you’ve got a track that is truly going to leave an impression. We think this song, EP, and band are going to be turning some heads this Fall.
2017.07.17 : WXRT 93.1FM
This new track from Mutts is outrageously good.
– Richard Milne (re: I’ll Be Around from Stick Together)
2017.01.18 : Windy City Times
Mutts happily delivered what could be expected and then some. As a send up of an old time honky-tonk band with a frat house sloppiness and a straight up punk attitude, the trio of Mike Maimone ( vocals/keyboards ), Bob Buckstaff ( bass ), and Chris Pangnani ( drums ) has created an aura that is entirely affable, blunt, and charming in a roustabout way. Where it seemed that Maimone came across as an out, buff Tom Waits without the brutal wear and tear, Mutts has evolved into a cohesive blunt instrument around him.
Opening with “Everyone Is Everyone”—with its in-your-face chorus ( “Let’s shut the fuck up and go for yourself!!!” )—Mutts challenged Powell for the crown of class cut-up. “Shake It Up” and “If It’s Hot” came surprisingly early and hard ( and, yes, Maimone ranted the song while atop his electric piano and no he did not hurl himself into the audience ), but there were more surprises. “Terranant” got a grim, goth treatment that planted the song in three feet of sludge while the new “Neighbor” with an assist from vocalist Jennifer Hall was served with a roof rattling gospel intensity despite songs coiled structure. Then came the finish, a melee with Hall, Powell and some of his Exports and various friends crowding the stage for a sloppy rip through “Let’s Go.” – by Vern Hester