- 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:
- Riot Fest (Chicago), The FEST (Gainesville), Summerfest x2 (Milwaukee), SXSW (Austin), Midpoint Music Festival (Cincinnati), Musikfest (Philadelphia), Mile of Music 1 – 5, 7 (Appleton)
- Headlined the Metro, sold out Schubas (Chicago), drawing ~30 in Madison, Milwaukee, Appleton, Minneapolis, Quad Cities, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Louisville, Columbus, Philadelphia
- Direct Support for: The Hold Steady, 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
“We’re all stuck together on this burning rock, and it sucks a lot of the time, says Mutts drummer Ian Tsan, “but we still have to work together to put out the fire.” Muscular, confident, and imbued with the easy swagger that can only be earned in the crucible of a long, never-easy career, Stuck Together is more than the capstone in the Mutts catalog. It’s a statement of intent, and the culmination of five years of cross-country songwriting.
Over the last decade, Chicago’s Mutts have played over 1,000 shows and released ten records. Together, Mike Maimone (keys, vocals), Bob Buckstaff (guitar, bass), and Ian Tsan (drums) 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) two reasons: Ian Tsan formally joined Mutts, and they released the precursor to Stuck Together, the Stick Together EP.
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.
In the spring of 2019, in celebration of being able to keep their noses to the indie rock grindstone for a decade the band released an anthology featuring fifteen selects from their catalog (along with new single “Your Love”) titled Hey, We Are All Mutts. The band also collaborated with All Rise Brewing to craft a signature brew, aptly named “Mutts’ Hazy Recollection IPA.”
While the bones of Stuck Together initially were crafted in fits and starts, it came to fruition in classic Mutts style; live, in one complete take of the band as a whole, before adding overdubs and vocals. “This album came together over such a long time,” explains Maimone, “it’s hard to say where the individual songs were written.” Many of the lyrics and melodies first reared their heads while the band was (as is often the case) driving between gigs. In one very real sense, Stuck Together was written across the whole of the U.S. Tracked at Audiotree Studios in Chicago and mixed by Rick Fritz (Brian Wilson, Jamila Woods), Stuck Together features appearances by vocalist Jennifer Hall and Chicago’s beloved Archie Powell.
While each song was developed on its own, they were written during such a turbulent span of Maimone’s life that they ended up sitting thematically as a matched set. During the five years span in which this record was written things were constantly falling apart (or coming together.) Looking at this collection of songs, the band realized that the common thread was the beautiful combination of vulnerability and strength that emerges through the chaos. Ultimately, it’s this incredibly human dichotomy at the center of the Mutts art that most defines their unique creativity. Things can be rough out there, and you have to be up for the fight; but Mutts know how it feels, and they want you to remind you there’s no need to go it alone. Arm and arm, we’re going to make it through – stuck together.
– bio written by Ever Kipp, Tiny Human
2019: Praise for Stuck Together:
“Combining ample swagger, a hint of soul and a dash of swing, Stuck Together comes full steam from the get-go.” – BLURT
“Rock vets with a swagger akin to Sebadoh and Mudhoney.” – Glide
“Rockin’ and thumpin’, Mutts gets it done.” – Come Here Floyd
“Mutts are only getting better with age.” – Pure Grain Audio
“Like the New Pornographers meeting up with Afghan Whigs.” – Earbuddy
“Like Leonard Cohen singing gospel.”– Surviving the Golden Age
“Soulfully explosive! Mutts mixes up Rage, MC5 and Dead Boys.” – Glide
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