In the Fall of '89, Mark started college in Ann Arbor, MI. Before disappearing forever into a fraternity, Backdrop keyboardist Brian Greenfield introduced Mark to Steve Petrinko, a lanky singer/songwriter/drummer whose very first exposure to music, and hence that which he considered "normal," was the Beatles' White Album. After a year of futzing around in various failed projects (among them a crappy cover band with Errol Siegel, who later joined Mark in The Fake Johnson Trio), Mark and Steve started The MayTricks.
The MayTrick ethic was this: Bands that restrict themselves to any particular genre are cheating themselves and their listeners out of vital parts of themselves. If the point of a song is to express something, and the style is supposed to somehow aid in this expression, then trying to fit everything that any given person is about into "funk" or "blues" will be a miserable failure. In fact, musical style should be used to express beyond the stuff that ordinarily needs to get expressed in normal life... Music should be used to explore your dark side, or your wussy side, or your idiot side, or whatever. Just about any kind of music (at least ones with a substantial number of fans) must have something to it, and if you want to experience music to its fullest, you've got to get in there and figure it out.
With great help from avant-garde
lead guitarist Geoff Esty and a number of other guitarists (in chronological order: Dave Roof, Matt
Diaz, Brian Drake, and Cliff Kaminsky), this open-ended aesthetic
yielded three albums from 1991-1994: The MayTricks (completed
Dec., 1992), So Chewy (completed Sept., 1993), and the double
album Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (completed Sept., 1994).
Mark wrote (and sang lead on) about half of the material on these albums, and
for the most part played bass.
The MayTricks played a sporadic string of inconsistent but always entertaining shows to fairly small numbers of people throughout these years, but with no record company offers pending, Mark left for the University of Texas to pursue graduate work in philosophy. The MayTricks did regroup, however, to record two Post-Mortem tunes in the summer of '95 (which featured more collaborative songwriting than their previous projects), and Steve and Cliff contributed a number of parts to the Mark Lint & The Fake Johnson Trio album in '97 and then to the Mark Lint and the Fake album, So Whaddaya Think, in 1999. Over Christmas, 1999, Steve and and Mark wrote and recorded their first real and total collaborative song, "Staple Gun," and follwed this up with more new recordings over the following years. Steve and Mark have resumed periodic collaboration over the Internet in recent years, and Steve visited Madison in the summer of 2011 to record two brand new collaborative songs. Steve still contributes remote drums regularly to Mark's albums, and Geoff contributed a few parts to Mark's Songs from the Partially Examined Life album.
Steve has remastered all of the MayTricks albums; see the links at the top of this page to get mp3s of all of them. In 2010, Mark digitally restored and tweaked the original 1991 demo as well as some live material, and continues to digitize more old recordings.
For the year after Mark left, the band kept going under the name of "Fingers," nearly completing another album; Mark worked with them to complete and mix one of Steve's tarcks and one of Geoff's. Steve has kept very active; you can hear his songs at cdbaby among other places, and hear an in-depth interview by Mark about Steve's solo work on Nakedly Examined Music #6. Geoff released his solo gutar album on CD and has played with lots several trippy bands including afro-pop Sunkwa Music. Geoff and Cliff played in a band called Ape 7 for a year or so after Fingers broke up. Cliff died in a mountain climbing accident in 2004; you can find out more about his life and music here. We sure do miss him.
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