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Mutha's Day Out

Mutha's Day Out was an early post-hardcore/rapcore band formed in November 1991 from the town of Batesville, Arkansas. The band consisted of: Mikal Moore (vocals), Brice Stephens (vocals), Chuck Schaaf (guitar), Jeff Morgan (bass), and Rodney Moffitt (drums). They released one album, My Soul is Wet, in 1993 for Chrysalis Records before breaking up.

Background

In the beginning, Mikal Moore [(real name: Michael Moorhead; High School Nickname: "Gimme")] and Randy Cross conceived Mutha's Day Out through infleunce of the Beastie Boys. Mutha's Day Out was originally intended to be a Beastie Boys knock-off, and they had three vocalists (Mikal, Brice, and Randy). The name was thought up by Brice and comes from a daycare center in Batesville that kids could go to for pre-school in Methodist churches. Jeff had been kicked out of a band he and Chuck were in before Mutha's Day Out because he did not have a car. Right after that occurred, Mikal asked Jeff to be in a band that would sound like "Faith No More, Beastie Boys, and Ozzy Osbourne." When the band first came together, Lance was 21 years old, Mikal was 20 years old, Brice was 18 years old, Chuck was 17 years old, Rodney was 17 years old, and Jeff was 15 years old. In the early days, the band would work on farms working hard hours during the day and do Mutha's Day Out by evening. Chuck was just a guitar technician at first for the band and would drive them to gigs. In April 1992, the band traveled to Memphis in search of a cheap recording studio. They found the studio they were looking for that belonged to recording engineers named Doug Easley and Davis McCain. After producing Mutha's Day Out's first demo in studio, which consisted of over 16 tracks, Doug was so inspired by their work that he booked the band to play in the Crossroads Music Festival the very same week. In the same performance, Mutha's Day Out's first, a representative from Chrysalis Records named Karen DuMonte was present, and was there to see and sign another band. However, after seeing MDO's performance, she liked Mutha's Day Out so much they were offered to go to the studio the next day, while receiving a record contract the next day, as well. They became the youngest rock band to be signed by such a major label in years.

The album

They went to the studio to record their only album, My Soul is Wet. However, Randy Cross left the band the day after they got the record label and Lance was kicked out a week afterwards. The band kicked Lance out of the band after the record company said he did not fit the image of the rest of the band because of his weight and his stage presence he did not move around on the stage he just stood in one place. So they replaced him with Chuck Schaaf. Halfway through the production of the album, Greenforth Pham, a Vietnamese kid who was a close friend of Mikal and Brice's, committed suicide, and thus the album was dedicated in his memory. The album was finished and then released on October 19th, 1993. Many of the people who lived in Batesville, which is surrounded with gospel and country music influence, did not like Mutha's Day Out and their music. They received little or no support from their hometown. Yet many of the songs written by Mutha's Day Out contain religious elements and impressions of their childhoods.

The tour

Mutha's Day Out toured the United States and Europe from late 1993 to late 1994. They were opening for such bands as Jackyl, King's X, Overkill, Sugartooth, and the Bullet Boys. The band increased the tempo of all of their songs live. Jeff, at one point during the tour, was in a leg brace having dislocated his knee the night before at a club gig in Birmingham, Alabama, but was still insistent on playing. Even with the leg brace on, he was still moving around on stage. During their tour in the United States, they stayed in cheap hotels to lower the cost of the record company's tour bill. Many people who met and saw them on tour thought that their friendliness and youth were refreshing. People in Paris enjoyed and liked them so much, that when they played there, extra security had to be called in. A live E.P. of the show at the Virgin Megastore in Paris was released, but in limited quantities. It was actually taped at a different gig in Paris, but released under the Virgin Megastore name. It is so rare that, to this day, only Chuck has a copy of it.

The big break

Mutha's Day Out received their big break when they appeared in the 1995 movie Mortal Kombat, during Scene 2, inside the techno bar, while Sonya searches for Kano amongst a large crowd moshing to them. They received a call on tour and were asked to take a few days to go to Hollywood and film their scene. Brice said they took two weeks to film the scene, however, their scene turned out to be a lot shorter. Their song, "What U See," is featured on the soundtrack to Mortal Kombat. It is looped three times to form a four minute song. The looped song also features a short cowbell intro and the removal of the foul language the song had originally contained. The movie grossed over 100 million dollars and the soundtrack went platinum in 10 days.

The break-up

Mikal left the band in September 1994, but this had been discussed and dealt with already with Chrysalis before the album even came out. They asked him to do the tour for the album, and he agreed. He wanted to pursue a Christian rock band and Mutha's Day Out was not his taste. The band brought in another singer from Kansas City, but a few weeks after that happened, the band dissolved. Nothing came of the switch. Jeff confirmed that the band broke up due to their record label. They kept making them act in ways and do things which they didn't want to be a part of. Due to their youth, the band didn't realize that having a major record deal would be so difficult to pursue. They got sick of doing things they didn't want to do, so they called it quits and returned to their hometown. There was a rumor posted on the Internet that there is a second Mutha's Day Out album out there, with new material, and a live version of "Locked." However, this has been disproved by Jeff Morgan himself, and does not actually exist, although they did write an unreleased song called "I Am Dead," the name of the "second" MDO album.

Today

Mikal Moore is married with two daughters and in a Christian rock band called GAZER (Official Myspace). Brice Stephens returned to Batesville after a 2-year stay in Florida and is currently jamming with Jeff Morgan in a band called All Called Liar. He was at last known to be washing dishes at a local eatery and to be living with his mom. Chuck Schaaf played in Jeff's band Rwake until 2002 and has since then formed a band called Deadbird in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with his brother, Phillip Schaaf. Jeff Morgan has just recently returned to Batesville and plays drums for a band called Rwake and All Called Liar. Lance Branstetter owns his own recording studio in Batesville and helps run a large farming operation owned by his family. Randy Cross is currently a loan officer at a bank in Batesville and teaching banking and accounting classes at a local college. Rodney Moffitt returned to Batesville and worked for the city mowing yards, and now works for a contractor hanging dry wall.

Other facts

  • Brice Stephens is the one pictured on the album cover in the background, and the girl in front is a friend of his. The Batesville police even tried to stop the shooting of the Locked video because they thought, since she was in a white dress, they were recording a child pornography video.
  • The preacher speaking in the songs "My Soul is Wet," "Through Mine," and in the background of "I Thirst" is, to this day, unknown to any of the band members. Chuck's amp received radio signals in studio, and there was a preacher talking to a crowd. They thought it was interesting, so they pressed record.
  • In their Mortal Kombat appearance, the director filmed them playing and headbanging silently so they could later edit in the song "What U See" in the background. The scene was actually filmed in an old bomb shelter in Hollywood.
  • "What U See/We All Bleed Red" was the very first song ever written by Mutha's Day Out.
  • In "Memories Fade," the drummer for Survivor provided the drum parts.
  • "Ding-Ding Man" is actually based upon a guy who would drive a Hostess Ding Dongs 18-wheeler truck and would make the band go away whenever they loitered in a parking lot near his bakery.

External links

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