Tartar Control
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Tartar Control

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Comedy Punk




"Punk Rock Bowling Day One ft. DEVO, The Damned, The Weirdos and more Saturday, May 25, 2013 at Fremont East"

So the first band I saw was Tartar Control, which was a great way to kick things off. The band features two human members dressed and acting as Mormon missionaries, along with their homemade drum machine robot. They alternate between hilariously friendly “gee willikers” style stage banter, cartwheels in the pit and frantic hardcore songs with titles like “Jesus is Love,” “Sodomy Basket,” “Smoking Crack” and “Peach Cobbler Party.” The band is hysterical live and as an added bonus, they tossed out one of the best pieces of promo merch I’ve ever seen at a show – a switchblade-esque pocket toothbrush with their band name on it. TC was funny and charismatic and got an early nod for top tier act on the bill. - Punks In Vegas

"Mormon Punk Band “Tartar Control” to Play at This Year’s Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival"

Claiming to be on their church mission in South Central Los Angeles, Tartar Control is originally from Salt Lake City. They go door to door converting the masses by day and play punk rock music by night. In performance Tartar Control has a Jekyll and Hyde dynamic to their act. They are polite, sheltered, and sweetly condescending onstage until they begin to play. When the music starts they turn into animals, their lead singer often cartwheeling through the pit and running into traffic outside of venues during songs.

The trio plays hardcore punk with songs like, “Jesus is Love”, “Sodomy Basket”, “Smoking Crack”, and “Peach Cobbler Party” regularly during shows. It is hard to tell if these guys are actual Mormon Missionaries or just two guys playing a joke on everyone. Regardless of their intentions, they put on an amazing live show. The video below for their song, “Jesus is Love” is a good representation of what happens when these three play… minus the arm ripping. - Punk Rock Planet

"Punk Rock Bowling 2013"

Tartar Control, a 2-piece band hailing from Los Angeles and dressed as Mormon missionaries (3-piece, if you include their drum robot), were next up. Their awesome performance had people leaving the shaded areas to come to the front of the stage. Not only are they great musicians, they are pitch-perfect comedians (how could they not be? They were able to get the crowd moshing and chanting out different brands of toothpaste). With songs like “Jesus is Love” and “Sodomy Basket”, there was not one minute of their set that wasn’t entertaining. The lead singer danced around in the pit and crowd-surfed intermittently, when he wasn’t tossing out travel-sized toothbrushes. Tartar Control was my favourite of the opening bands of the weekend—I can’t wait to see them again! - Big Wheel Magazine

"Summer 2011 Live on the Westside Round-up"

What do you get when you take 2 kids from SLC with a Mormon fashion sense, a robot/drum machine and a generous sense of humor and move them all to L.A.? You get a hardcore skate/thrash punk band called Tartar Control. In a sea of me too bands, these 3 are adrift in their own dingy without a compass doing whatever it is they want to do and probably setting fire to a few other passing ships along the way. Watching them was probably some of the most fun I’ve had watching a band in a long time. Tartar Control are currently doing a September residency at the Doll House in Anaheim—go check them out. - Music on the Left

"Tartar Control- Holy Crap!"

Have you ever wondered what a Mormon hardcore band might sound like? Did you even think that combination was possible? Well it is. This is Tartar Control, a hardcore Mormon three piece who released their full length Holy Crap! back in 2011. The band is comprised of Robert Selander on lead vocals, Sean Hart on guitar and backing vocals, and their robot named Robot on bass and drums.

Holy Crap! probably has some of funniest, sickest, and twisted thirty tracks you will hear. Sometimes bands that use a lot of comedy in their music have a tendency to rely on it too much and the musicianship then suffers. This is not the case with Tartar Control. The band clearly has mastered writing hardcore and even death metal songs, while balancing it out with humorous lyrics. The song topics seem to jump from one random topic to another like chimney sweeps, drinking gasoline, and having a peach cobbler party.

Typically, Robert’s lead vocals are low, baritone screams, while Sean’s back up vocals are usually lighter and more melodic. That’s exactly what you get with the very hilarious, yet horrifying song “Fuzzy Bunnies.” The song starts out with a quick drum fill and a blaring guitar riff, then Robert begins screaming lyrics like “Blood, bile/ Foulest stench of rotting putrid flesh” during the first verse. The verses on this track are fast and unadulterated hardcore until the song slows down significantly for the chorus where Sean sings the very gentle and haunting first chorus which has lyrics like “All the fuzzy bunnies in my head/ They tell me that I have to kill you dead/ All the fuzzy bunnies in my heart keep/ Saying I should tear your ass apart.” By the second chorus Sean is stilling singing the melody while Robert is screaming it; both kinds of vocals during this part contrast quite well together.

Another very odd, but funny song on this album is the song “Smoking Crack.” It’s a short and very fast and short hardcore song where the majority of the lyrics have a “call and response” nature to them. For example, during one of the verses Robert yells the lyrics “Because I'm out of Diet Coke,” Sean responds by yelling, “I smoke some crack!” And once that back-and-forth happens a few more times, Sean (later Robert joins in, too) sings the melodic chorus where he sort of sounds like he’s happy about smoking crack and taunting you about it. After listening to this song many times, I still laugh quite a bit at it.

Of the many tracks on Holy Crap! the most hilarious and outrageous song has to be “Sodomy Basket.” Yes, you read that right. The song is called “Sodomy Basket.” This is one of the songs where Tartar Control’s sound ends up more in the metal genre. Sean’s guitar work is noticeably more complicated and he lets chords ring out much more than the hardcore songs on this album. You have to keep in mind that this is a song about how the band hates someone so much they made a basket that is used to perform sodomy on them. Robert explains this concept in depth when he shouts the lyrics “That you’re the kind of prick that I despise/I made it in my basket weaving class/ It's a basket that goes up your ass!” Sean explains this further when he sings the melodic chorus with lyrics like, “And when you think it's done, it's just begun/ The fun is far from over” and “Sodomy basket get on all fours and/ Take it, take it/ Take it, take it, take it inside.” Believe it or not the song takes an even darker turn about half way through when the band speeds up the rhythm and they go into a hardcore bridge where Robert shouts “When will it stop, when will it stop/ When will the hurting stop?”

Tartar Control may look well kept and neat on the outside, but when you hear their songs you will think the complete opposite. That’s what makes them so hilarious -- you don’t expect any of this kind of subject matter or sound from a band like this. And to top it all off the music its self is really good and though they may be hilariously disturbing, the lyrics are very well written and creative. - Punknews.org

"Holy Crap! It's Tartar Control"

Punk rock is pretty boring these days. Compared to the fun and controversy that surrounded punk rock groups in the 70s and 80s like Black Flag, The Damned, and the Dead Kennedys, the punk rock of today has been sucked dry in an effort to be more technical and political. While those things are not all bad, it often results in music getting caught up in the vicious and mundane cycle of being interchangeable and safe. It’s been a while since I've had a band catch me off guard, make my mouth drop in awe, and question my entire existence without their music in my life…that is until a show on May 3, 2014 at the Observatory in Santa Ana, Calif. changed all that.

On that day, my salvation and faith in punk rock would be saved by two Mormon missionaries and their robot.

Sean Hart, Robert Selander and Robot (yes, a robot. He is the drummer and bass player) make up the band Tartar Control. Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, the band now resides on the hard streets of South Central Los Angeles as part of a musical mission to spread the word about the Mormon church.

But, Hart and Selander are not your ordinary Mormon men.

Brought together by their love of punk rock bands like NOFX, Leftover Crack, and Choking Victim, Selander, the vocalist, and Hart, the lead guitarist and co vocalist, blend a perfect concoction of comedy, mosh pit-inducing chaos, and Book of Mormon metaphors into their unique recipe of punk rock. The music is sinfully rowdy and the lyrics are so hilariously sacrilegious that it will make the prophet Joseph Smith and his 51 wives turn over in their graves. But they do it in the name of Jesus.

“We always considered ourselves to be the Lord’s toothpaste,” Robert said about the meaning of the band’s name. “We are God’s cleansing agent.”

Watching a Tartar Control show is like watching Jekyll and Hyde unfold right on stage. At first, you see two clean cut, well-mannered, and well-groomed men. Their hair is slicked and combed perfectly to look their Sunday best; black ties are nicely knotted against their collars, and their white shirts are clean and pressed, which showcases their Elder name tags pinned tightly into place.

“We came to play some songs for you all here tonight,” Selander says in squeaky, harmless voice as he gleefully grips his microphone like an 8-year-old with an ice cream cone. “This first song is about having good morals…”

“About being an upstanding citizen,” Hart chimes in.

“But most importantly…it’s about Jesus,” Selander adds. “This is called ‘Jesus is Love.’”

Then the (holy) shit hits the fan in the best way possible.

Robot starts blasting punk-driven beats and pulsating bass lines as Hart dishes out fast-paced, loud, eardrum- shattering riffs on his guitar that sound like a love letter to the intensity of Leftover Crack. Your attention diverts to Selander as he transcends into a dance that can be best described as a mix of interpretative, acid-induced hippie twirling and floor gymnast tumbling. Tartar Control’s hardcore punk punches an unholy wave of shock to the unknowing audience members as the band transforms from two sweet toned potential Leave-it-to-Beaver characters to the most foul-mouthed, chaotic, in-your-face and entertaining individuals right before their eyes.

“He is the light and the new king to be! So get out of my way and don’t fuck with me! I can break your face! I can break your shins! I know Jesus Christ will forgive my sins,” Selander screams to three tattooed individuals in the front of the stage, right before somersaulting into the crowd as he sprawls out smack dab in the middle of the mosh pit as fans dance around him. And this is only the first song.

The band’s live experience and latest 30-track album “Holy Crap!” which is filled with praise songs like “Smoking Crack,” “Sodomy Basket,” “Satanists are Fucking Dicks,” and “Diabolical,” has led them to perform everywhere from a 16-year-old’s birthday party and thug-filled bars in South Central Los Angeles to bigger platforms like the Comedy Central stage in Los Angeles and the famous annual Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival in Las Vegas.

But the true shining star of the group is the band’s drummer and bassist, Robot. It is the member that ties everything together. Selander said that Robot is the key to a good performance.

“The best part of performing with a robot is that we are always on time,” Robert said. “Our drums and bass are perfect every time.”

Hart agrees. “Unless, of course, he malfunctions, which is rare because he was built expertly by a team of Mexicans outside of a Home Depot.”

What’s next on the band’s religious agenda when they are not playing Pokémon and half-court basketball, are more music videos and comedy sketches (do yourself a favor and YouTube “Ask Tartar Control”) is an upcoming new album being called “We Forgive You,” featuring 15 songs and five sketches. The band also recently released a TV pilot show with more episodes waiting to be filmed. The band plans to tour in support of the new album to bring both believers and sinners together.

“It’s all about togetherness, really,” Hart said. “One of the things I saw with the punk rock music scene is that these people who you are led to believe to be a bunch of tough, scary folk is that they are people too.”

For Selander, it’s a big relief that they can say what they want to say when it comes to making music.

“We have a song called ‘Brush Your Teeth’ about people who don’t brush their teeth,” says Selander. “I have a real big problem with that and it’s nice to really, really let them have it! - Medium

"Tartar Control Interview"

It’s not often you see a robot and two missionaries dressed in full uniform filling a venue for a show, but the punk rock missionaries in Tartar Control, headlined a show at the World Famous Doll Hut in Anaheim, California on May 30..Tartar Control is truly an act to be seen live, especially if you’re not afraid to mix comedy and punk rock. After reviewing their show at the Comedy Central Stage, we just had to learn more. By the Barricade caught up with lead singer, Robert Selander and guitarist/vocalist Sean Hart before their set and got the scoop about the band’s unique blend of Mormon ideals and punk rock.

By the Barricade: What is the origin of the band’s name Tartar Control?

Sean: Well, we had a vision … together … and separately at the same time of the Lord giving us instruments and said that we should create a band. This occurred after we had brushed our teeth that night to go to bed. He asked that we be his Tartar Control on earth for the souls.

Robert: We are the Lord’s toothpaste.

Sean: Exactly. Godliness through cleanliness is very important to us.

By the Barricade: Do any religious people “dislike” what you are doing?

Robert: We try to avoid going head to head with any religious people. Actually our own church doesn’t know about us.

Sean: So if you would not tell them about this that would be best.

Robert: I’m assuming our parents will not read your publication. So I feel that we are safe. I don’t think any official from the Mormon Church will be reading By the Barricade.

Sean: So far everyone we have met who have also been Mormon have been terribly nice.

Robert: To our faces…

Sean: And they have visibly enjoyed themselves at the shows.

By the Barricade: What does the writing process look like for Tartar Control in studio?

Robert: All of our songs are based in metaphor straight from The Book of Mormon.

Sean: They all come out of our garage. That is where we record. We make all of our own albums, our own songs, our own music videos. We operate entirely with just the three of us.

Robert: And anyone else we can baptize. That’s about it.

Sean: Oh, Robot doesn’t help out too much. He helps out immensely at the shows, but between programming him and his vigilante night life, he’s not much help.

Robert: He’s full of sass and it’s hard to work with a sass-pot!

By the Barricade: The Mormon faith states followers get their own planet when they die. What would you call your planet?

Sean: I would call mine Seantopia

Robert: Nebraska

Sean: Not the state, the state of mind.

By the Barricade: Your act is pretty versatile, what is the strangest event you have been a part of?

Robert: One time we played a cow pasture in Chino and all we had for amplification was a piano amp and for light we had one work light. That was fun. There is video of that on our page. Also we played a 16 year old boy’s birthday party in which his father had booked us and himself as the headlining band in his living room. That was awkward.

Sean: It was a little strange. There was that one time we played a ska show in South Central (Los Angeles) which wasn’t very far for us to go. It was a bunch of youths.

Robert: We were asked if we were police. Someone threw a bottle and hit a small rickety truss above our heads and rained glass on us.

Sean: A few bottles actually, but those people were escorted out. There were a lot of balloons there. We thought it was a festivity like somebody’s birthday party

Robert: But they kept just sucking the air out of them. I don’t know why they were doing that.

Sean: Their voices didn’t seem to change either

Robert: They would walk around all stumbly I didn’t know helium did that.

Sean: I guess so.

Robert: Then there was a time we were playing a show and Sean was punched in the face and his jaw was broken. That was an awkward time

Sean: Yeah, there was that time we played at Sonora, California at a rustic country bar and the promoter fled with our money while we were on stage.

By the Barricade: What toothpaste do you use to brush your teeth?

Robert: Crest

Sean: Aquafresh

By the Barricade: Are there any plans for another Peach Cobbler Party?

Robert: Those are things that happen yearly. There was the debacle last year where it was going to be at a place called Unit B, which closed down. Then it was going to be at the La Habra Bowl, but the City of La Habra said, “No. No peach cobbler parties!” … the day before the event. Last year’s took almost a year and half because there was so much to do in between the first two venues, Sean got his jaw broken so there were so many things happening. The next one may be in September … barring unforeseen catastrophes.

Sean: Or catastrophes in bars.

By the Barricade: If you could give Robot any bionic power what would it be?

Robert: I think he is a bionic power.

Sean: He has too many already. He’s a little too self-aware.

Robert: He plays two instruments at once and he is very sassy about it. I think he is quite fine. Though we are going to upgrade him … but you’ll just have to see.

By the Barricade: Can you share anything about what you discovered during your time undercover at Punk Rock Bowling?

Robert: The audience smells, and even if you don’t smoke cigarettes, at the end of the night you will smell like cigarettes. Las Vegas is hot when you are not under a stage cover or some sort of tent. I learned that pools don’t do well for 3 days when you have smelly people swimming in them the entire time.

Sean: Who are also smoking and drinking at the same time as teaching their children to swim.

Robert: I learned that if you vomit on cement, that’s no reason to stop dancing in it.

Sean: I learned that Mohawks do droop on the third day.

Robert: I learned that Sean looks like a ghost when he puts sunblock on, his already pale skin looks dead.

Sean: That’s true, that’s why I wear my sweater most of the time. I also learned that Fat Mike (Lead Vocals/Bass of NOFX) is Jewish. Can you believe that? I had no idea.

By the Barricade: Did you try to convert him?

Sean: I wouldn’t, actually the last time we met him was last year. He threw us off the side of the stage.

Robert: He asked security to get us to leave while we were watching Devo. We were a little too close. I don’t blame him because it was mostly his event. We told the Stern brothers and they thought it was hilarious. We were not upset. We did learn that Fat Mike does not like it when Mormon missionaries sneak up behind him.

By the Barricade: You have a section on your webpage called “Ask Tartar Control.” What do you wish someone would ask you?

Robert: Honestly we are very behind on our Ask Tartar Control. We have at least 12 that we haven’t answered yet and they cover the whole gamut of inappropriate questions.

Sean: We have a lot to catch up on.

By the Barricade: Gwar is opening a “GWAR Bar”. Do you have plans for a dental hygiene clinic?

Robert: No, not at the moment.

Sean: We were however awarded a join Costco membership so we are flooded with dental hygiene equipment and mouthwash.

Robert: You can buy floss in bulk. It looks like you could use it as fishing line.

Sean (to Robert): What kind of business would you like to open?

Robert: I would like to open a church, the business of giving is my business.

Sean: I think I would like to do a tackle shop more than anything else because if you teach a man to fish …

By the Barricade: Anything else you would like to share with By the Barricade readers?

Sean: We love you and we hope you love us back and if not, we forgive you.

Robert: Be sure to get 8 hours of sleep a night.

Sean: Brush your teeth.

Robert: Respect your elders.

Sean: Put your best foot forward and your worst foot back.

Robert: Don’t jaywalk.

Sean: Do give to the elderly and homeless.

Robert: Avoid gambling.

Sean: At all costs

Robert: Avoid swear words, read the good book daily and nightly.

Sean: Start biking.

By The Barricade: Tartar Control is headed on a “mission trip” to Canada and is sure to have more adventures and songs to share soon. Be sure to “Like” By the Barricade on Facebook to stay in the loop and catch them at a live show when they come by your town.

Contest time!

To celebrate our interview with punk rock missionaries Tartar Control we want to see you BRUSH YOUR TEETH! Post a photo of you brushing your teeth and hashtag it #bythebarricade on Instagram or tag @bythebarricade on Facebook for your chance to win a Tartar Control prize pack. Winner will be chosen on June 16! Creativity counts! - By The Barricade

"Tartar Control at The Comedy Central Stage"

Tartar Control does an amazing job bouncing between a comedy and punk show. By the Barricade caught the trio at their show April 16th at the Comedy Central Stage in Los Angeles. Consisting of “Good Mormon” boys Elder Sean Hart and Elder Robert Selander and their sidekick Robot, the band is like no other within the punk scene. If you like irreverent punk music (as most is) and want to laugh hysterically, you should catch this act.

To set the mood at the theater, guests were greeted by an elder who distributed “The Tartar Control Book of Hymns” and encouraged the audience to take their seats. The album “Young Mormon’s Sing” was spinning on the turntable to further set the peaceful, somber mood that was soon to be shattered when Sean and Robert took the stage and joined Robot. Between comedic banter and interaction with the crowd, the Mormon boys presented a message not necessarily endorsed by the LDS community. Their clever dialogue was delivered as upright, clean cut young men, but the content of their words was not even close to the message typically delivered.

Kicking off the set with “Jesus is Love,” a raucous punk song that has Robert belting out lyrics such as, ‘I can break your face, I can break your shins, I know Jesus Christ will forgive my sins.’ Sean does a great job on guitar and backup vocals all the while maintaining an angelic smile despite the contrasting lyrics he is singing. Robot holds down the rhythm and has several speaking parts. When the boys do not like the direction Robot’s dialogue is going, they acknowledge the problem of having a Robot “built by laborers found outside of Home Depot.” In reality, the sophistication of Robot and his flow with the guy’s entire set is quite impressive.

Robert interacted with the crowd with stage diving (or climbing since this venue had amphitheater style seats), and even pulled out a group to mosh on stage. As is typical for comedy shows, the guys picked on members of the crowd and did a lot of spontaneous humor and picked on the crowd for their tooth brushing hygiene habits. The “Book of Hymns” previously distributed to the crowd contained the lyrics to all the songs and was the set list for the night. The boys worked their way through crowd favorites such as “Brush Your Teeth,” “Smoking Crack,” and finished up with “Peach Cobbler Party” with sing along parts. The crowd begged for an encore and the group returned for a very hardcore punk version of “A Whole New World,” from Disney’s Aladdin.

Each guest was treated to hugs at the door from Sean and Robert as well as a complimentary DVD of their TV pilot. Quite a lot of fun, laughter and entertainment for one night! By the Barricade strongly recommends seeing a Tartar Control live show if you are at all a fan of the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. They have several dates scheduled in May in the Los Angeles area and if you live nearby, do yourself a favor and get to a show! If you can’t make it out visit www.tartarcontrolisyourfriend.com for videos and updates for the band. These bits are not quite as good as seeing them live, but you will laugh nonetheless. - By The Barricade

"Tartar Control Solicits Smiles From Unsuspecting Audience"

I have to admit, when I heard the line up for last Friday night's show at the Observatory I thoughts opening for Dead Kennedys? Seriously, a kick ass legendary punk band with a few opening acts that I had never heard of sounded suspect, at best. In spite of 13 Stitches Magazine photographer John Mairs assurances that I was in for a great night, I wasn't in a hurry to get inside early. But then the weirdest band I've seen since the mid-90's cult classic Gluey Brothers took the stage. Tartar Control consisted of two geeks dressed like Mormon door missionaries ready to knock and talk. Even weirder, they started the show by talking to a robot, a really lame garage special that stood in one place and blew smoke. I almost went outside for a beer at that point. That would have been a huge mistake! The lead singer, Robert Selander's Mr. Rogers persona was tripping me out until he and guitarist, Sean Hart broke into their rendition of self-proclaimed Mormon missionary hardcore punk with a ridiculously great song, "Jesus is Love". Reaction: ummm... okay?! (That’s actually exactly what my notes on the band said after their first song). I decided to focus my attention on the crowd and their reaction. Slowly people in the front started to Pogo, then a pit formed, then all hell broke loose. Tarter Control had charisma, energy, and well they put on a pretty damn good show for two geeks, a drum machine, and a robot. As the set progressed I saw the crowd laughing, talking about the weirdness, and loving (I must have told over 100 people the name of the band, which was always met by laughter). They won over the crowd and graciously offered themselves up for photos after the show, cardigan, pocket protector, and all. Would I see Tarter Control again? Definitely, they were so fun, I wouldn’t miss them! - 13 Stitches Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Tartar Control is a Punk Rock band consisting of two Mormon Missionaries and a Robot. They reside in South Central LA, spreading "the good news" to anyone who can hear. They've played many shows in Southern CA, including, The Roxy, The Sunset Strip Music Festival, and most recently The Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas!
Robert and Sean started their epic journey in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah where they performed in The Tabernacle Choir, gave hugs to sweetly handicapped cancer-children, and lip-synced to Huey Lewis and The News. With the invention of their drummer/bassist Robot, they hit the road with their sights set on Los Angeles. Inspired by such bands as The Vandals, Left Over Crack, and Lawrence Welk, Tartar Control brings to you a musical experience that can only be described as a "loud hug."
Today Tartar Control gallivants all over the greater Los Angeles area giving sonic high-fives and handshakes to the masses.

Band Members