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Angst Strikes Chord for Wheatus

Angst Strikes Chord for Wheatus

Who: Wheatus
Where: Newcastle Panthers
When: Friday December 22, 2000

WITH a song called TEENAGE DIRTBAG, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter BRENDAN B BROWN from Long Island band WHEATUS has captured the imagination of a generation of angst-ridden dorks.

'I wanted to write a song called Teenage Dirtbag so I contemplated what that meant to me - a skinny guy with a mullet who probably didn't have a lot of friends,' Brown said.

Wheatus, playing on Friday night in The Metro at Club Nova Newcastle, struck a chord with its wicked sense of humour and prime placement in the soundtrack to the film LOSER. Thanks also to the backing of major record company COLUMBIA RECORDS the group has sold 15,000 albums in Australia and 200,000 albums in the United States, charting in BILLBOARD charts alongside such 'modern rock' acts as LIMP BIZKIT, BLINK 182 and KORN. But the sound of the Wheatus trio - of Brown, his drummer brother PETER BROWN, and bass player MIKE MCCABE - was shaped largely by a fourth member, PHIL A JIMINEZ. 'The first time I met Brendan he was jamming out Teenage Dirtbag on an acoustic guitar,' Jiminez said.

Live Wheatus sounded quite different with Brown fuzzing out his acoustic guitar through amps and effects pedals.

'It was very hard hitting rock, distorted guitars, very loud and prevalent,' Jiminez said.

A sound engineer first and a musician second, Jiminez became involved first as a part-time percussionist and harmonica player, brought on full-time later.

'I love playing live, but in fact it was a big conflict for me to leave producing and join a band,' he said.

'I never thought that I would be on the road doing the rock'n'roll thing even though it was a dream as a kid.'

Jiminez, who produces 'sound scapes and world music' most of the time, described Wheatus as his first 'pop record'. Columbia gave the band free rein to produce its own record.

'We started developing more in the studio, and the songs came to their fruition by pulling a lot of different ideas that we like from different styles of music together,' Jiminez said.

'We added a lot more harmonies. A lot of us are big fans of BEACH BOY style harmonies and the essences of hip hop that we liked, record scratching and drum loops.

'The adrenalin and the excitement of playing live captured me and kind of made me make this large life change.'

TE has five copies of Wheatus' debut album THE FULL BISCUIT to give away.

To go in the draw mail an envelope, with your name, address and telephone number on the back, to WHEATUS GIVEAWAY, PO Box 615, Newcastle, 2300.

Or enter on-line at www.nnp.com.au TE

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