The art metal/avant-garde band, Tantrum of the Muse, has officially returned from the grave. The band originated out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1998 with the lineup of Stephen Sarro on vocals and guitars, Uldrick Wise on drums, and Jason Shauffer on bass. Shauffer was replaced soon thereafter by Jim Settle. The band went through several struggles but managed to release two studio albums – The Heart is a Two Headed Sperm and Modernmu$ick (2000)! – and two EPs – The Downtrodden & the Sidhe and Heart Surgery.
The band wound down in 2002 for a brief time, coming back in 2004 as a four-piece lineup, but eventually disbanded once again. The members went their own ways, waiting many years to return to music, aside from Wise who joined The Huntingtons soon after Tantrum disbanded. Sarro and Keyboardist Seth Luzier began working on UnTeachers, a project in the same vein as Tantrum, while Settle would go to work on Hand of Fire, Bore, Vengeance Rising, Once Dead, and Demon Dead.
However, the band has returned from its grave, after 15 years, with Sarro and Wise returning and new bassist Keith Scotten taking over Settle‘s position, as he has moved to California and performing with many of his aforementioned projects. The band is working on new material with hopes to release it by Fall of 2019.
I am sitting here listening to our first album (heart/sperm) and i have not listened to this in years, because it is/was such a big part of my life for so long that I could talk about it and reference it without having to. That said, you go back after so much time has gone by, and you listen, far removed from the time you made it. I am 41 years old now. When i wrote this album, i was 18. It goes without saying that this is a product of young, angry, naive, confused emotional and mental state. 2 things stick out as i listen now.
1. I would never write these lyrics now. Obviously. I wish i could change them. But i won’t mess with it. It is a product of the times.
2. Musically, it is quite a ride. I am proud of this. Really proud to have made something that was so bat shit crazy at the time, and is strangely still that way. It is a remarkable that we had almost zero musical talent and we had absolutely no clue how to write/record music properly, and yet here we are, with 2 full length albums that are musically quite unique and diverse. I am proud of that.
I think a lot of what makes this album special is that it was made, breaking every rule. No knowledge of how to do music. It is the most pure album I have ever made in the sense that I just “made something” with the creating as the only thing in my mind. No agenda. No plan. Just create art and put it out there for someone to check it out.
This album has marked my life. I have written far better written/sounding songs, but nobody wants to talk about that. They only want to talk about The Heart Is A Two Headed Sperm. Bittersweet i suppose.
The new music is where my heart is at. In a lot of ways i am doing exactly what i did when i made this first album. I am just thinking about the art, the creating process, and i just want to put it out there. I approach songs the same way. I feel something, i hear something, and it gives me that same feeling it did all the back in 1998, and then i finish the work.
In that regard, i am the same. I write music exactly like the 18 year old who wrote this album, but life has changed that outcome. For the better, to be sure!
Unteachers is on a hiatus as we work through some life stuff (career changes, kids growing up) but we are focused, demos are being made, songs are amazing, and the purity of creating art is still front and center. 2 people made this first TOTM album. Rick (Udrick) and myself.
We are together again, making this new music, with the addition of Keith Scotten (bass) and just like then, we are doing what we have always done.
Nothing has changed, but nothing is the same.