Love Battery In-depth Biography
Along with Screaming Trees, Love Battery fell into the more psychedelic wing of Seattle grunge, adding a liberal dose of Beatlesque pop to the requisite hunks of mind-bending guitar fuzz. Formed in 1989, the band took its name from a Buzzcocks song, and originally included singer Ron Nine (born Ron Rudzitis, ex-Room Nine), guitarist Kevin Whitworth (ex-Crisis Party), bassist Jim Tillman (formerly of grunge forebears the U-Men), and Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters. Peters left in short order and was replaced by onetime Skin Yard drummer Jason Finn. In 1990, the band released its six-song debut EP, Between the Eyes, on Sub Pop. They tightened up their focus and approach for their first full-length, Dayglo, which was issued in 1992 to highly positive reviews. Bassist Tillman subsequently left the band and was at first replaced by Tommy Simpson, who stayed only a short time before moving on to Alcohol Funnycar. Simpson was in turn replaced by Bruce Fairweather, who'd previously played guitar in two seminal Seattle bands, Green River and Mother Love Bone.
Fairweather made his debut on 1993's Far Gone, whose release was delayed several times over legal issues; it appeared to a disappointing reception. Around that time, Finn began doubling as the drummer for the Presidents of the United States of America. Despite the relative failure of Far Gone, Love Battery managed to score a major-label deal with Polygram affiliate Atlas Records in 1994, and issued the Nehru Jacket EP as an appetizer for their full-length bow. That arrived in the form of 1995's Straight Freak Ticket, after which Finn left the group to concentrate full-time on the Presidents, who had just signed with Columbia and were poised for breakout success.
Straight Freak Ticket failed to win Love Battery a larger audience, and they wound up leaving Atlas. New drummer Mike Musburger -- best known for his work with the Posies -- came and went, before founding member Dan Peters returned to give the group a new spark. It took some time to put together, but Confusion Au Go Go was finally released in 1999 on the Seattle indie label C/Z. It was generally hailed as a strong -- albeit belated -- return to form by the band's dwindling but still-present following. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi