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Merging the mammoth riffs of
with the straightforward attack of
created his own original style that helped propel
to the top of the Seattle rock heap in the '90s. Born on September 4, 1960, in Seattle, WA (but raised in Park Forest, Il),
picked up the guitar in the mid-'70s for the same reason that countless other teenagers did at the time -- theatrical heavy metallists
. Upon further investigation into the masked quartet,
decided to check out their influences, namely
the New York Dolls
discovered punk rock --
the Velvet Underground
, and others. It was around this time that he bought a Guild S-100 guitar (similar to a Gibson SG in design), which would become his trademark instrument throughout his career. In high school, he formed his first band, Zippy and His Vast Army of Pinheads, which specialized in
decided to attend Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, along with friend
worked as a DJ for KCMU while forming another band, the Shemps, with
on bass and his roommate,
, on drums.
would eventually leave the drums behind and become the lead singer, resulting in a name change,
. With drummer
on board, the newly formed quartet built up a following around the Seattle area with their murky metallic punk, signing on with the Sub Pop label and issuing two EP's -- 1987's
. A switch to
's SST label resulted in another album in 1988,
, which resulted in the quartet signing on with the major label A&M. Shortly after the release of 1989's
Louder Than Love
was replaced briefly with ex-
, then permanently with
. The new lineup issued its commercial breakthrough in 1991,
, with further releases solidifying their standing as one of hard rock/alternative' s top bands -- 1994's exceptional
Down on the Upside
called it a day in 1997.
In addition to his work with
has also lent his guitar skills to recordings by other artists --
's self-titled debut and
The Full Sentence
, the Presidents of the United States' self-titled debut,
's The Scroll and its Combinations, and as part of the band Dark Load on the compilation Guitars That Rule the World, Vol. 2.
also performed alongside
, and teamed up with ex-
for a 1999 protest show in Seattle against the World Trade Organization -- resulting in the 2000 release
Live From the Battle in Seattle
, credited to the No WTO Combo.
Greg Prato, Rovi
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