|Bruce Anderson – Guitar; Dale Sopheia – Bass; Rich Stim – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar; Kevin Teare – Drums; Jeff Armour – Drums; Dave Mahoney – Drums; Marc Weinstein – Drums; Jim Hrabetin – Guitar; Kim Torgerson; Nicholas Sopheia; Owen Maercks; Steve Hoy
|Hometown: Bloomington, moved to San Francisco in late 1970’s
MX-80 Sound launched in Bloomington in 1974 when Dale Sopheia and Bruce Anderson began exploring a new sound outside the Screaming Gypsy Bandits, in which they both played. Their 1976 record debut was a 7″ EP on Bloomington’s BRBQ records which caught the attention of Island Records, leading to their first LP, Hard Attack, being released, but only in Europe–thereby making it almost impossible to find in the US, even in Bloomington. The album was recorded at Gilfoy Sound Studios and produced by Mark Bingham. While fellow Bloomington band The Gizmos is generally considered Indiana’s first punk band, MX-80 deserves credit for pioneering a sound that still defies categorization.
The band’s dissonant, noisy sound minimized commercial success, but led to a deal with Ralph Records, the label owned by The Residents. Relocating to San Francisco in 1978, two significant releases on Ralph were to follow–Out of the Tunnel and Crowd Control. By this time a serious following was on board; as punk and new wave evolved into more experimental strands, MX-80 Sound’s influence on subsequent bands is hard to overstate.
The band has undergone personnel shifts and taken hiatuses, but still performs and records, with a total of eight albums plus a live CD released by Gulcher Records from early Bloomington performances. Gulcher reissued the out of print BRBQ 7″ in 1977. The band’s name was altered due to a legal agreement in 1986 with band management to “MX-80” but in 2015 the band resolved the issue and returned to its original name. West coast label Superior Viaduct has reissued most of the early material, including the first ever US version of Hard Attack.
Stim branched out in the early days with two other bands, Chinaboise and Playette. Drummer Marc Weinstein is a co-founder of the legendary Amoeba Records stores in California.
|Related Artists: Screaming Gypsy Bandits, Playette, Chinaboise
|Years Active: 1974 – present