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wheat bio

Below you will find some bio info taken from old wheat pages.


1999 - City Slang Website

Hailing from Taunton, Massachusetts, Wheat is a band that few have heard of but undoubtedly, many will.

Their last LP, Medeiros, was release to little fanfare and although garnered rave reviews, the band was shy about self-promotion. They didn't do many interviews and played even fewer gigs. Then, the ultra-hip UK underground label, Easy!Tiger, released a limited edition 7" single and all hell broke loose. A single of the week in the NME got the ball rolling and drew more attention to the album. The band did a few UK dates to ecstatic audiences which was a surprise to them, as they didn't realize they actually had an audience outside the Boston area.

Which on one hand is understandable in that they didn't promote themselves, but after a few spins of their new release, Hope and Adams, it's easy to see that this anonymity will not last and that they are indeed destined for greatness. The Independent newspaper described the band's style as "lazy brilliance" and that is a pretty fair description. Beautiful melodies, understated musicianship, and a smooth, thoughtful delivery which doesn't grab you by the throat but rather draws you in like a warm lake on a misty summer's eve. Once you get into it, you never want to leave...

2000 - Aware Records Website

Wheat was Ricky Brennan, Brendan Harney, Scott Levesque and Me, Kenny Madaras. First, there was Scott and Brendan. Then there was Scott, Brendan and Mike Flood. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Mike Flood and Kevin Camara. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Mike, Kevin and Ricky Brennan. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Mike, and Ricky. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Mike, Ricky and Me, Kenny. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Ricky and Me. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Ricky, Tony Amaral and Me. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Ricky and Me. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Ricky, Rick Lescault and Me. Then there was Scott, Brendan, Ricky and Me. We recorded in Scott's bedroom. We went to London. Our rehearsal space was flooded and we didn't play for a month or two. We recorded with Dave Auchenbach in Providence, RI. We didn't play in Detroit. We took an overnight casino ferry to play in Nova Scotia, where we saw God Speed You Black Emperor. We bought hats in Texas. We were Gerl when we played at Mama Kin. We played at Chris Seekell's birthday party. We recorded during the winter with Dave Fridmann, and Michael Ivins. We drank tea and had toast with marmite upstairs from the art gallery in Pittsburgh. I don't think anyone liked it when we only played for 20 minutes in New York, and Scott and Brendan literally argued on stage. We drank with the Grifters at Princeton, and they thought I stole their whiskey. We mixed our first record, Medeiros with Brian Deck at Kingsize in Chicago, and Mike was always on the phone. Hope and Adams will be out in September. Now Wheat is Brendan, Scott and Ricky. StarPolish - Sept 10 2003

How I Got Signed... Three Times: Wheat

Hailing from Taunton, Massachusetts, Wheat is made up of singer/guitarist Scott Levesque, drummer Brendan Harney and guitarist Ricky Brennan. Having released two albums on one of Chicago's indie labels, Sugarfree Records, Wheat are set to launch their long-awaited major-label debut, Per Second, Per Second, Per Second, Every Second , in October on Aware Records (John Mayer, The Thorns, Alice Peacock).

One of the best quotes of all time about getting signed was overheard by Bren as he was walking into our rehearsal space. Although we cannot give the credit to any two particular guys, I think you shouldn't have to search too hard or long to put faces with it:

Dude #1: "I know why were not signed..."

Dude #2: (looking slightly puzzled...)

Dude #1: "It's because we don't suck!"

Our first show was an interesting mix of "I don't know" and "I don't care"... is it ignorance? or apathy? It was at a place in Boston called Mama Kin. Yes, the Aerosmith Mama Kin. I had thought it fitting to purchase someone's Guns n' Roses t-shirt collection at a Salvation Army thrift store..."What a find!" I figured there were, at the time, five of us and five GNR shirts, we were playing in Aerosmith's money laundry and, well, you see the connection? Anyway, our second show was playing with Mike Johnson, a jr. Dinosaur. We did our thing, and after the show a guy came up to Bren and asked if we had any records since a friend of his was a college rep for Virgin when he was in college and would now be starting a label called Sugarfree. He thought his friend would dig what we were doing. We had recorded four or five songs in my friend's living room -- which was coincidentally also my bedroom -- on my 8trk cassette recorder, and we gave him a copy. I remember that the guy, Mike, I think, gave us his card and it was a Virgin Records card. As he handed it to us he chuckled about us being a bit rough around the edges, and assured us that we were a bit of a "diamond in the rough" for Virgin. "So, what are you saying?" I thought to myself.

I met with the "sugar" in Sugarfree, David Simkins, at a Yo La Tengo show in Providence, RI, and he told us to do a record with them! We figured, "Sure," and the rest sort of fell into place. Well after quietly putting our record, recorded by Dave Auchenbach/mixed by Brian Deck (Mederios, 1997), out (with style) we were asked to release a 7" single in the UK on Easy Tiger records. The single would be limited to 1,000 copies and UK only, so we said, "Cool." The single received a "single of the week" in NME, which we later found out to be good. Since this was our first record, we only signed for one record at first. As much as Sugarfree hated it, they agreed, and so we signed. We also did our second record (Hope and Adams, 1999, Sugarfree, recorded by Dave Fridmann, assisted by Michael Ivins (Flaming Lips) who also introduced us to his manager, S. Booker, who became our manager... once again, style, cool concept, doing our own thing) that way. Why I mention this is to say don't get crazy and try to pick up the whole bull at once. Start with maybe the horns, some people say... I mean, Sugarfree got to do another record with us so our one-off thing was good for everyone, you know?

Okay, so we had two independent records out, had toured a bunch of Europe, had Gavin Bush come to a show, and were ready to make another record! This begins our second signing; we signed with the now defunct Nude Records (R.I.P.) sometime in 2000, and were excited because it was Nude's first US band on their label (again, style, cool concept, doing our own thing). This proved to be bad since the label was forced to shut down due to lack of major-label support and funding. Upside, we got paid (not truck-loads, but a tiny egg)... Downside, we were now stuck in major-label limbo, with Zomba (Britney Spears, Metallica publishing) holding the stick for us to limbo under...this was not good. It took about two years and a lot of reassuring from ourselves, management, and I think even the S.I.M.M.S. guy, and we had to wait for Lars Ulrich to take a breather from single-handedly suing the entire world, to get our record back. See, Zomba owned our contract. This is why you should never, ever give too much, too soon, for too little... remember our Sugarfree one-offs? Imagine if it was them and not Zomba that owned it...it's at least a better story, ya know?... style, cool concept, doing our own thing.

So, we thought, since we were stuck, we could either break up the band, or write some new songs. Well, we wrote -- with style, a cool concept, all the while, doing our own thing -- and wrote about 20 new songs. We (Bren, Rick and I), held up in our space in Taunton, MA, worked five days a week, 10-12 hours a day -- just the three of us -- and wrote with style, cool concepts, did our own thing, and happened to get the attention of Steve Smith at Aware Records (John Mayer, The Thorns, Alice Peacock). At this point you may ask, "What happened to style, cool concepts, and doing your own thing?" Well, StarPolished people, like the Guns n' Roses shirts of the past, (you guessed it, now vintage concert tees are swank, but in 1997?), it seemed just crazy enough to work...we thought that the Wheat" signing with Aware was chock full of style, an albeit wacky -- but cool -- concept, and a way to do our own thing.

At the root of all of this, you'll find work, hard work, more work, style, cool concepts, doing your own thing, luck and perhaps the most crucial of all: "Sucking".

-Scott Levesque

2004 - Wheatmusic.com

There's a wise and sky-wide generous spirit to Wheat's new album Per Second, Per Second, Per Second...Every Second you can hear it loud and clear in the soaring, impassioned vocals on "Life Still Applies," the rollin' and tumblin' drums on "World United," the strutting, glammy guitar licks on "Closer to Mercury." In a world gone suddenly and deeply dark, Wheat has turned on a light.

Wheat started in 1997 in Taunton, Massachusetts. Singer-guitarist Scott Levesque and drummer Brendan Harney had met in art school and together with guitarist Ricky Brennan, started a very informal band, basically to exorcise some romantic and musical demons. Since then, Wheat has had a revolving cast of supporting players but the core remains Harney, Levesque, and Brennan.

Wheat began recording their music in Levesque's living/bedroom; later, with help from Dave Auchenbach (ex Small Factory) and Brian Deck (Red Red Meat), those songs made up Wheat's excellent 1998 debut album Medeiros, released on the Chicago indie label Sugar Free. The music had an air of serene resignation, its yawning spaces filled in by aquatic washes of keyboards, slowly warping guitar chords and gently urgent rhythms. Levesque sang melancholic reveries while the songs slowly unreeled long, lingering melodies redolent of hot and hazy summer. As Levesque puts it, "We were noisy in a quiet way."

Later that year the NME named Wheat's "Death Car" their Single of the Week. The limited-edition seven-inch sold out within days. (Funnily enough, one of the customers was Bush's Gavin Rossdale who later proclaimed it his favorite single of the year.)

Wheat recorded their next album Hope and Adams, also on Sugarfree, with visionary producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev). "He was not shy about the experimental aspects," says Harney, "and that's a lot of the fun of recording < to see the songs go where none of us thought they would go."

This time the music was a bit more lush, emotionally and sonically, yet still propelled by Brennan's incandescent guitar lines and Harney's subtly insistent grooves. Electronic sounds meandered in and out of the mix while the lyrics, as Uncut's Victoria Segal put it, "know that beauty and drama don't always lie in death-or-glory extremes, but in the quiet unfolding of everyday life." Hope and Adams made Albums of the Year lists in Select and Uncut magazines.

And now comes the next step in Wheat's evolution. If Medeiros was like a grainy black and white photograph and Hope and Adams was a subtle but momentous shift to muted hues, Wheat's glorious major label debut Per Second, Per Second, Per Second, Every Second is a giant leap into Technicolor.

While Wheat's follow-up to Hope and Adams was stuck in record company limbo the band made a key realization: "As people get older, they're less likely to run into fun," Levesque observes. "The other stuff is inevitable. Fun is better."

And the truth is, the Wheat guys are actually droll, outgoing people. "So if we're going to be honest in our music," says Harney, "there has to be a sense of humor there." And so, again with Dave Fridmann, they began recording more playful, contagiously upbeat sounds, while still harboring much of Wheat's usual introspection. The sunny, uncanny "I Met a Girl" was the first song the band wrote in this new mode. "It wasn't written for any other reason than wanting to have a song that turned us on," Harney says. "Let's forget about what we're supposed to be." It immediately became the standard by which all the other songs were judged.

And several songs look outward. "Hey So Long Ohio" touches on a perennial Wheat theme suburbia. "That's where people's lives are really involved in their families," says Levesque. "There's an interesting kind of love that goes on when you need each other instead of just wanting." "This Rough Magic" is about another kind of community. "We love the way rappers always talk about their crew," Levesque says, "and that song is our answer to that."

As for the album title, well, it has something to do with mechanical physics and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It might also have to do with living in the moment. But you'll really have to ask Levesque he's the only one in the band who can really explain it.

Armed with the bright, shiny songs from Per Second, Per Second, Per Second...Every Second, Wheat shows are more joyous than ever, and yet just as riveting. Perhaps it's a bit of a change from Wheat's dawning days, but like all the best bands, Wheat is exploring new musical worlds while remaining uncompromisingly true to themselves. In Wheat's case, those worlds just happen to be a bit sunnier than before. "I'm glad I'm not as unhappy as I once thought I was," Levesque concludes. "Now I sometimes even enjoy myself!"

- Michael Azerrad

2007 - Empyrean Records

You know when you keep crossing paths with someone for years - engaging in small talk at parties, bumping into one another at shows, a friend's casual mention of them over coffee - and then one day something "clicks" - all of a sudden you've known them your whole life? Well, that's what it was like with Wheat. Maybe the timing was never right, the natural ebb and flow of the universe, but it is now...Wheat's music has truly been the soundtrack to our lives for almost a decade now, starting with their debut Medeiros in 1997 (Sugar Free). Hearing some of those songs like "Death Car" (their first single which won them the coveted "Single of the Week" award in the UK's New Musical Express), or "Leslie West" brings us back to youthful possibilities and cold autumn barbeques. The music was new-sounding, but familiar at the same time.

And then came Hope and Adams (Sugar Free 1999), which seemed to start a bit of war between Wheat fans. Some seemed adverse to change (they expected the band to deliver a continuum of Medeiros). Others were impressed with the potential (the band was now more familiar with their own sound, and felt comfortable enough to take risks without compromising their integrity). And then there were the few who would argue that it was possible to love both records equally. It was fascinating how passionate these people would become in defending their choices! Ultimately, it was hard to ignore songs like "Don't I Hold You" (a version of which was featured on the Elizabethtown soundtrack), and "Body Talk, Part 2". Maybe it was possible to love both equally...

In 2003, Aware Records released Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second featuring the radio hit "I Met a Girl". We knew that the band was becoming more and more popular (with back-to-back performances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Last Call with Carson Daly), but it really sunk in when we were walking through the airport, and the music, all of a sudden, stopped us in our tracks. "I Met a Girl" was playing throughout the whole airport - for everyone to hear! Add to that, the various movie soundtracks that included Wheat's music, and we just knew that people were starting to take notice of their talent. Not because of hype machines or flashy tricks, but because the band is good! Really Good!

And now we're here in 2007, with Wheat gearing up for their fourth full-length, Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square due out in Spring '07 (on Empyrean). It's been a long time since we've heard from Wheat (there were even rumors that the band broke up), so for those of you who've been patiently waiting for new songs, we have wonderful news to share with you. Wheat has a new mini-album featuring five brand new songs, including "Little White Dove" from their forthcoming new record (I know, we're excited, too!).

2008 - Empyrean Records

Memory plays a crucial role in the music of Wheat, one of the most enigmatic and compelling rock bands of the past decade. And never more profoundly has the theme, the *act*, of remembering played so critical a role in the making of that music than on the Massachusetts outfit's stunning new Empyrean Records CD, "Everyday I Said A Prayer For Kathy And Made A One Inch Square." Even the album's cryptic title, drummer Brendan Harney explains, is "about remembering through a ritual. We lose things we love, sometimes, in life. People turn corners and things change ... Then we decide to make a square, simply to remember - or hope, maybe." Wheat's fourth full-length album, and the core of the band itself, is about all of those things.

What began 10 years ago as a brilliant art project in sound between Harney and Scott Levesque (vocals, guitar) at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (where both were, in fact, art students) has now been restored to its beginnings, original luster intact. From the celestial shimmer of "Closeness," which opens the new album, to the pastoral instrumental poem, "Courting Ed Templeton," which closes it, "Everyday I Said A Prayer ..." marks a splendid return to the incandescent form that yielded Wheat's bumper crop of masterworks that included 1997's "Medeiros," and 1999's indie-pop gem, "Hope and Adams."

2003's "Per Second, Per Second, Per Second ... Every Second" represented the band's foray into the major label sweepstakes - a stint which brought with it heavy touring, high-profile TV appearances, and ultimately, misery. Second guitarist Ricky Brennan bade the band farewell. Exhausted and disillusioned, Wheat retreated into a long silence. Rumors that the band had broken up were not so quiet. "We just needed a break," recalls Levesque. Adds Harney: "We had to decide what we wanted (Wheat) to be."

Eventually, the two old friends, restless to make music again, re-convened between the summers of 2005 and 2006 to try out some new tracks, just to see where the songs and ideas might lead. They had no label. They had no recording schedule. They had no deadlines. But they remembered the old rituals, and in doing so, discovered they were able to reclaim the supernal sound, ineffable chemistry, and music-magic of Wheat. "We were in that great spot again," says Levesque. "We make records in our own little world, and that's where we went to." It was, and continues to be, a luminescent universe gilded with dreams and benedictions and cosmic imagination. Now at long last, with "Everyday I Said A Prayer ...", Wheat has returned and is back among us in our world, right where it belongs.

- Jonathan Perry, 2007