Bobby Joe Ebola and The Children MacNuggits began in 1995, in a trash-strewn fast-food parking lot in Pinole, CA. Guitarist Dan Abbott and singer Corbett Redford rose from humble circumstances as a satiric folk rock band that played for friends to their current majestic heights with hilarious and sometimes frightening acoustic performances. The MacNuggits have gathered loyal legions of fans with their infamous combination of searing social satire, soaring harmonies, outlandish and shocking truths, and poop jokes. The songs draw upon a variety of pop culture, of global crises, of interpersonal labyrinths, of nightmares and daydreams, skewering them on a rusty spit for the world to see. With a nod to social satirists like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, and musical influences ranging from Slick Rick to They Might Be Giants, Bobby Joe Ebola is the vaudeville routine for your personal apocalypse.
Bobby Joe Ebola began as a “living room band”, gaining underground notoriety as flagship band of S.P.A.M. Records, and co-founders of Geekfest, with longtime friend John Mink (better known as “John Geek”), who also provided occasional backup vocals. Lacking the blasting amplifiers of the punk and rock bands with whom they played, they found creative ways to react to the “novelty band” stigma, captivating audiences with unpredictable and high energy performances. Intensive touring schedules have taken them around the nation several times, and the Ebola boys have had the opportunity to play with a very diverse array of artists, both underground and mainstream including Screaming Females, The Frustrators (featuring Mike Dirnt from Green Day), NoMeansNo, Emily’s Army, Bomb The Music Industry, !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk), Night Birds, Kim Lenz & Her Jaguars, Classics of Love (featuring Jesse Michaels of Op Ivy), Tornado Rider, Kyle Gass Band (featuring Kyle Gass of Tenacious D), Fleshies, Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers (solo), The Phenomenauts, Lemuria, Moon Zappa, Long Beach Dub All-Stars (ex-Sublime), Fishbone, Behead The Prophet, Cadillac Tramps, Star Fucking Hipsters, Kepi Ghoulie Band, Greg Attonito of Bouncing Souls (solo), Kevin Seconds, The Angry Samoans, Against All Authority, Your Mother, Hickey, Captured! By Robots and The Evaporators at venues such as The Independent (San Francisco), Cafe Du Nord (San Francisco), Rickshaw Stop (San Francisco), The Punchline (San Francisco), The New Parish (Oakland), Bottom of the Hill (S.F.), Slim’s (S.F.), Crest Theater (Sacramento), Phoenix Theater (Petaluma),924 Gilman Street (Berkeley), Spaceland (L.A.), The Uptown (Oakland) and ABCNORIO (New York).
Their first release, in 1996, was the “Two Cats” EP. It “sold” out very quickly (most were given away to local high schoolers) and was played frequently on Dr. Demento’s radio show as well as college radio up and down the West Coast. The band followed their EP with the 1997 full length At One With The Dumb, a split 7” with Pleasanton hardcore punk band, Your Mother, and appearances on several compilations. During this time Bobby Joe Ebola embarked on the first of several regional and U.S. tours, partnering with bands like Harbinger (feat. members of Fleshies, Blatz, & Crimpshrine), and many others. The full-length masterpiece Carmelita Sings!: Visions of a Rock Apocalypse was released in 2000, went to #1 on KALX (Berkeley) and the band broke up shortly after.
In 2009, the band reformed and immediately began writing and recording new material, and in 2010 released the “Freaky Baby” EP, and shortly after, the full length album “F”. Both releases were picked up by San Francisco-based label Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club. The EP’s title track was made into the band’s first music video (directed by Emmy nominated film crew Bent Lens, and featuring acclaimed bicycle dance troupe The Bay Area Derailleurs), and has received nearly 30,000 online views.
Since the release of the critically-acclaimed F, which has found steady airplay on local college radio stations, the band has been hard at work filming music videos for each track on the album, with a DVD companion album due out in early 2012.
The release of these albums saw the Ebola boys playing over 80 local and semi-local shows in 2010, including regional tours to the West Coast, Northeast and Southeast, and Midwest, with notable appearances at The Fest in Gainesville, FL, Art Outside in Austin, TX , Snob Theater at Noise Pop in San Francisco, CA and others. The MacNuggits also made a guest appearance on comedian Alex Koll‘s “Wizard Hello” CD on the Rooftop Comedy label.
The band only got busier in 2011. In February 2011, Bobby Joe Ebola hit the road with The Frustrators (feat. Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt) for a West Coast tour. Once back home, the MacNuggits spent the next three months on a breakneck schedule of playing local shows, and filming music videos with a smorgasbord of local directors. In late May, the band embarked on yet another self-booked 40-day U.S. tour, immediately following that up with more regional mini-tours and radio appearances. In September, Bobby Joe Ebola joined forces with SSBC labelmates Tornado Rider on a 30-day U.S. tour, the band’s third national tour in two years.
2012 stands to be an even busier year for the band; A read-along story book/album, a record of cover songs, split 7” vinyl records with various peers of the band, and the DVD collection of music videos from “F” are all in production. Full-scale tours in the U.S. and Europe are also currently in the planning stages.
How about them apples?