The Weisstronauts

The Weisstronauts

 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
BandAmericanaRock

The Weisstronauts are a 5-piece instrumental rock combo from Boston, with influences ranging from spaghetti western & spy movie soundtracks to space rock, surf, and twang. Over the past decade they've played all over the US, supporting six indie-label CDs.

Biography

The Weisstronauts are a 5-piece instrumental rock combo from Boston, featuring 3 guitarists, just like the Outlaws, and utilizing the same bassist-and-drummer rhythm section configuration made famous by the Beatles and the John Coltrane Quartet. With influences ranging from spaghetti western & spy movie soundtracks to space rock, surf, twang and more, the Weisstronauts steadfastly refuse the sort of genre-pigeonholing one finds in artists like Motley Crue or John Phillip Sousa, preferring instead to follow their singular muse wherever it may take them, much like their heroes, the London Symphony Orchestra. For living proof, see the CD's "Featuring 'Jaunty'," "Featuring 'Spritely'," "Featuring 'Perky'," "Instro-tainment!," and 2009's EP "Weisstronauts in Memphis."

Yeah, but just who are the Weisstronauts?

Pete Weiss is "Mr. Clean" and plays mostly guitar, but dabbles on banjo, keyboards, and a little bass. A noted independent producer, he has worked with Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Charlie Chesterman, The Willard Grant Conspiracy, Two Dollar Pistols, Los Straitjackets, Seks Bomba, Baby Ray, and dozens more. Pete owns Verdant Studio in Athens, VT, and is a regular contributor to Tape Op magazine. Sings when necessary. Favors soft-shell tacos.

Kevin Quinn is "Quinner" and plays a mean four string bass and sings when necessary. He also sometimes provides eerie "non-singing" vocal interludes. Production coordinator at WZLX (currently Boston's only Classic Rock), Quinner is a living, breathing musical encyclopedia. Songwriting collaborations go back to the mid 80's when his old band The Dead Monkeys became pen pals with Weiss. Also plays with Mercy James and Sool (with Pete). Still psyched about the meatball sub.

Ken Lafler is "Kenny" and plays the hard guitar parts as well as keyboards. Sings (like a bird) when necessary. Member of the critically-acclaimed Baby Ray, Kenny joined the 'Nauts in the summer of 2000. The arthritis-inducing "Finger Boogie" is Kenny's favorite "chops"-oriented Weisstronauts song. Sharp cheese is his cup of tea.

George Hall is "Uncle Joe " and plays the other hard guitar parts. George joined the band in the summer of '04, to fill Aaron Tap's shoes. Uncle Joe has outstanding guitar skills, but his not-so-secret weapon is his skill with effects; the man can coax just about any sound you can think of out of his "axe." Co-fronted Seks Bomba and was a founding member of 80's indie-rockstars Dogzilla. Also plays in Kingsley Flood. Four words: pork medallions, sweet potatoes. 'Nuff said.

Nathan Logus is "Nate" and has been the Weisstronauts' "utility infielder" since June of 2001. Dig this, he filled in for Quinner, playing bass guitar, on four 'Nauts tours (so far), and has played drums on two more. AND, along with Jeff Norcross, has been splitting drum duty--his native instrument--for most Boston-area gigs. The Great Nate has played for Baby Ray, The Rudds, The Barnies, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Jules Verdone. Rumored to have a weakness for Corn Nuts.

Jeff Berlin is "Jazzbo" and keeps a rhythmic "beat" by striking things called "drums" and "cymbals." He owns many of these devices in varieties ranging from "incredibly fancy" to "strange." Jazzbo joined the Weisstronauts in mid 2004 and, with Pete, co-wrote a handful of songs the "Featuring Perky" CD. Also plays with Catie Curtis, Boris McCutcheon, and Bow Thayer. Guards his family's venison-marinade recipe with his life.

Jeff Norcross is "The Man" and is part of the Weisstronauts' wacky, rotating crew of drum specialists. He's also played bass on numerous 'Nauts gigs and at least one tour (that we can remember). He's got an impressive resume that includes percussive stints with Paula Kelley, The Speed of Things, Don Lennon, Sool, Betty Goo and many more. Currently also plays with the Downbeat 5. Has a strange obsession with guacamole.

Signals originating from within the Weisstronauts' undisclosed headquarters have traversed the length and breadth of North America, returned home in time for dinner and a short nap, and gone out again in search of a decent party.

Lyrics

It's All Instrumental, Baby!

Written By: The Weisstronauts

So there are no lyrics...

Discography

Weisstronauts in Memphis (EP), 2009 Sool Records
Instro-tainment!, 2008 Sool/Dren Records
Featuring Perky, 2005 Stereorrific Recordings
Featuring Spritely, 2003 Stereorrific Recordings
Featuring Jaunty, 2001 Stereorrific Recordings
I'm Dreaming of a Weisstronauts Christmas, 2000 Stereorrific Recordings

Set List

Original instrumentals, plus a few covers of tunes by Burt Bacharach, Donovan, The Monkees, Elvis, Bobbie Gentry, The Beatles, Pajama Slave Dancers, and others. We also throw in a vocal number from time to time. Color My World, anyone?