Exploding White Mice
Exploding White Mice
Shows were characterised by high energy, masses of dyed black hair, brutal volume and relentless posing, all of which went down a storm in the already healthy Adelaide scene. Other bands playing around town at the time included The Spikes, Mad Turks, Screaming Believers, Primevils and The Plague, all of whom would, along with the Mice, soon release records on the Greasy Pop label. In late 1984 Gerry Barrett left the band, to be replaced by guitarist Jeff Stephens, who remained a member until the band's last gig in May 2000. At this point, the band began to write it's own songs, and was also asked to record a version of The Stooges' "Down On The Street", for the upcoming Greasy Pop Compilation LP "An Oasis In A Desert Of Noise".
Whilst in the studio, the band recorded four more songs, which would eventually appear on it's first record, "A Nest Of Vipers". By early 1985 the Mice had become one of the bigger live drawcards on the Adelaide rock and roll scene, which necessitated the band securing a full-time drummer to replace Craig Rodda, who was on temporary loan from the Screaming Believers. Ex-Zippy & The Coneheads drummer David Bunney was recruited, and the band returned to the studio to record Dangerous, the final song for the A Nest Of Vipers mini-LP. Assisted by the bands near-constant touring of Australias east coast, the album became the highest-selling independent release in Australia in 1985.
In 1987 the Mice released their first full-length album Brute Force & Ignorance, from which 2 singles were released. Guitarist Giles Barrow left the band in 1988, to be replaced by Dave Mason (ex-Acid Drops and Primevils). This line-up released one single before Mason also departed in late 1989, to be replaced by Jack Jacomas, just in time for the Mice to support their heroes, The Ramones, in Adelaide. Overseas interest in the band (and the Australian scene in general) was high, and so in April 1990 the Mice toured Europe for the first time, playing for 8 weeks in Holland, Germany, Italy, Austria & Belgium.
This tour coincided with the release of their Exploding White Mice LP, both in Australia and in Europe. Upon returning to Australia the Mice resumed playing and touring until Jack Jacomas left in late 1990, after which the band continued with Stephens as the lone guitarist. Singer Paul Gilchrist was becoming increasingly reluctant to commit to further interstate and overseas touring, and in early 1991 decided to leave the band. The Mice had an albums worth of new songs ready to record and, after a lengthy break during which unsuccessful attempts were made to find a new lead singer, went into the studio to record the Collateral Damage album as a 3-piece, with Stephens handling lead vocals.
The band had always preferred a twin-guitar sound, and consequently enlisted guitarist Andrew Bunney (brother of David and also ex-Coneheads) to complete the line-up to tour Australia and promote Collateral Damage. It was this line-up which saw the band undertake its second European tour in 1996, playing in the same countries as in 1990, but also in France, Spain and Slovenia, as well as one gig in Tokyo on the way over. The band also recorded a Europe-only 7 single (Prepare To Die/Zero) to coincide with the tour. After returning to Australia, Andrew Bunney left the band in late 1996, and (after another long break ) guitarist Chris Murphy (ex-Numbskulls) joined in early 1998 to complete the final Mice line-up, which played in and around Adelaide until its final gig, Friday the 16th of April 1999.
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