I met drummer Cory Healey while I was living on the couch at the IV Lab in 2008. He drummed on my solo gigs and I had always wanted to do a recording with him. He’s a jazz player with crazy chops and polyrhythms, and he hits hard like a rock drummer. Along with Bob, who had recently parted ways with Company of Thieves, we started jamming on a few of my new ideas.
Under the influence of keyboard monsters like Johnny Iguana from Oh My God and James Leg from Black Diamond Heavies, I started playing a Wurlitzer electric piano through distortion pedals and into a guitar amp. Changing things up always incites creativity, and on this EP we had both a new drummer and a new sound.
We went back to Stereophonic with Jon Alvin engineering. On the first record it was sweltering in there. On this one we were frozen solid. But the songs were so electric and loud it was another lightning-fast tracking session. We played live, got the takes within a few tries, then I sang the vocals, added a little organ here and there, and then we mixed at IV Lab.
At this point we were playing as “Mike Maimone & the Mutts.” We played Beat Kitchen in January with Cory on drums, Lincoln Hall in February with Cory AND Chris Faller (who had replaced Bob on bass in CoT), and then Double Door in March and April with Chris back on drums. By then I had gotten tired of all the syllables, so we had shortened it to “The Mutts.” But just before sending the artwork to press, I Googled “The Mutts” and several other bands came up. So I shortened it to just “Mutts” and have been battling ever since to separate our catalogs online and get people to drop the “the” from show posters and marquees. The We Float CD release party was at the legendary Mutiny on May 28th.
Later that year our drumming musical chairs continued as Chris flew to LA to mix the new Company of Thieves album while I stayed in Chicago to play Schubas – with Bob on drums! This was one of many guest appearances by Yoo Soo Kim from Hemmingbirds over the past decade.