M-Tank's first show was at the Tinroof in Charleston, and the line-up included Walter on drums and vocals (The Lavernes, By'r Lady, Puffin, and Noise Money), Eric Johnson on guitar, bass, and vocals (GoodEJ vs. Nieltown and Puffin), Mel Willis on guitar(The Lavernes and Puffin), and John McCormick on guitar, bass, and vocals (another Clemsonite). Walter met Scott Dence, who is from Greenwood, South Carolina and lived in Clemson for a brief stint, at the Tinroof, and the two became fast friends. Scott replaced Mel Willis on guitar and remained in the band until the end. With Scott, M-Tank's classic line-up began: Shot Dents (Dence), Dick Hell/Knives (Walter), Johnny Rage (McCormick), and E Razor (Johnson).
The band played frequently at The Tinroof, The Upperdeck, The Oasis, and The Village Tavern in Charleston. During this time, the band recorded their first six-song EP called "Kick Fight" which included three of Walter's songs, two of Johnson's, and one of Scott's. Due to work, Eric left the band after the first year. The band decided to have two guitars and no bass from then on, and Scot began contributing lots of new songs to the set to balance out the fact that half of the band's material had been comprised of songs from the GoodE J catalouge.
Thus, after M-Tank went from being a Walter and Johnson led outfit to a Walter and Dence outfit, the band began to find the punk voice and garage rock style that would categorize it until the end. It was during the McCormick/Dence/Walter era that the "A Smell's Cover" single and the "Love/Hate" EP were recorded. The "Love/Hate" EP consisted of one song from each member (Walter's "Love/Hate," McCormick's "The Song That Never Was," and Dence's "I'm Sooo Dead"). When Walter moved to Augusta in September of 2009, McCormick was replaced by Jim Faust on guitar.
The band would continue the two guitar and drums operation that it had started when Eric left. With Walter's move to Augusta, the band began touring and playing extensively in Augusta, Georiga along with a couple house shows in Athens, Georgia and a couple of shows at the Newbrookland Tavern in Columbia, South Carolina. The Soul Bar in Augusta, Georgia became M-Tank's new home base. After circumstances following Walter's move to Augusta, M-Tank became banned from the Tinroof in Charleston.
Scott and Jim started a Charleston-based side project called "Go For Launch" that was able to play at the Tinroof. Also, during this time, Scott began recording much of M-Tank's material on his own so that he could put the new material online for Walter to listen to and learn for the live shows. Likewise, M-Tank's first official album "Lion Taming" was self-released, which was pretty much a compilation of all the best material that had been recorded since the band's conception. "Lion Taming" has changed many times since its derivation, and at times, it has included Walter's and Dence's songs off the "Love/Hate" EP. All of M-Tank's releases have been recorded by the band members themselves.
During the classic line-up, McCormick and Dence worked together on doing the recordings, and after McCormick left, Dence and Faust collaborated on the recordings. Walter burned the material onto cdrs and packaged the cdrs with printed-out album art, which had consisted of photographs that he can taken in college. By November of 2010, Faust had started to play bass instead of guitar, which would mark the end of M-Tank's use of the two guitar and drums format for the rest of its existence, and begin its emergence as a power trio. During this time, the band's ban from the Tinroof was lifted, and M-Tank experienced a reemergence in popularity among its Charleston fanbase. Live shows at this time became especially wild and unruly.
Since the classic line-up, Walter had been pushing for a position as a the lead singer on a couple of his songs, and the band would sometimes allow this throughout the band's history, which resulted in particulary insane stage antics. A big part of M-Tank's appeal as a live band stemmed from its drama and antics on stage---Walter jumping into the drumset, Dence slamming Walter into the drumset, Walter and/or Dence knocking over and destroying the drumset, Walter storming offstage, Walter jumping into trashcans, etc... Around this time, M-Tank recorded the "Death Beach" EP, which fans seemed to enjoy more than any of the other previously released M-Tank recordings. "Death Beach" also marked the first recording whose album art was original art from Walter rather than his photography.
It also marked the very beginning of Walter's graphic novel, which is posted on his facebook page. After "Death Beach"s local popularity, M-Tank gained momentum with touring and recording. Walter had started an Augusta based side project called "The Ex-Lovers Club" but after the band's quick end, its bassist Walter Lane joined M-Tank, and this marked the return to a four piece line-up like that of the classic line-up. Likewise, Lane's inclusion in the band freed up Faust from touring when he was incapable of doing so due to work.
In February of 2011, M-Tank's first ever week-long Southeastern tour (The TV Beach tour) included shows at The Star Bar in Atlanta, a house show at Walter's house in Augusta (The Merry St. house), a house show in Rock Hill, and a show with Paint Fumes at the Milestone in Charlotte. Dence finished an EP of re-recorded M-Tank material that he had done all of the instrumentation for, and M-Tank promoted the EP in combination with the "Death Beach" EP on the "TV Beach" tour. The summer of 2012 marked both M-Tank's most successful months but also M-Tank's end. Faust, Walter, Lane, and Dence recorded the bulk of their second official seven song album "Modern Unicorn" in one day at Walter's Merry St.
house in Augusta. The Modern Unicorn tour was a two-week long tour through the major garage rock cities in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida. Walter, Lane, and Dence hit the road, and the tour was both a financial success and a success in making new friends and fans, but on August 1st, 2011, M-Tank nearly died in a car accident, and this marked the end of M-Tank's existence as fully operational band. After the accident, M-Tank played a reunion show at The Firehouse bar in Augusta, Georiga (Walter, Lane, and Dence) with Nobunny as the headlining band. Since M-Tank's break-up, Faust and Dence have continued playing Faust's original material in Go For Launch.
Go For Launch sometimes plays Dence's M-Tank material on rare, special occassions under the monikers "Cat People" or "Cat Person." Walter started a band called Surf/Harp with his girlfriend Heather and Nick Bass of the Augusta-based band Romance Languages, but has since gone solo as a one man band called "Orange Flag" who plays material from the M-Tank, Noise Money, Ex-Lovers Club, and Surf/Harp catalouges along with new material. Orange Flag's first record will be released on casette tape by Baldy Longhair Records in July 2012. Walter has also since complete a graphic novel called "Modern Unicorn" that includes an autobiographical retelling of The Modern Unicorn tour along with stories about the characters from M-Tank's discography, mainly the characters from the Lion Taming, Modern Unicorn, Television Music, and Death Beach album art. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..