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The Cunninghams were an American band, originally formed in 1996 in Seattle, Washington. Described as power-pop or pop-punk, The Cunninghams made one album, Zeroed Out which was released in 1997 via Revolution Records/Warner Bros. Records. Members included Seven Pearson, Eric Craig, Scott Bickham, Eliot Freed and Johnny Martin.
The Cunninghams formed out of the ashes of Seattle rock band Jesus Headtrip in the spring of 1996 by vocalist Seven Pearson, and guitarists Eric Craig and Scott Bickham. Soon after recording demos for Giant Records, drummer Eliot Freed joined the fold and the band began playing the transitioning Northwest club scene. By the winter of 1996, the band was picked up by newly re-tooled label Revolution Records (formerly Giant Records), headed by Irving Azoff. The Cunninghams debut album, Zeroed Out, was released May 20, 1997, and was produced by Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Dashboard Confessional, Pearl Jam) and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. Los Angeles bassist and vocalist Johnny Martin was added to the line-up and the single "Bottle Rockets" debuted as the third-most-added song at rock and alternative radio, behind only Collective Soul and The Wallflowers.[no citations needed here] The band toured behind the album, opening up for Matchbox Twenty, Cheap Trick, INXS, and Third Eye Blind. The accompanying music video for the "Bottle Rockets" single, directed by Nigel Dick (Oasis, Guns N' Roses, Black Sabbath) caught airplay on MTV's 120 Minutes and was added to regular rotation on MTV2. The band performed on MTV's Road Rules with Third Eye Blind, as well as MTV variety show Oddville, in addition to having several tracks used on MTV's Road Rules and The Real World. By the end of 1997, the band had appeared on CNN's Showbiz Tonight, performed with Blur on Rockline, live at KNDD's Endfest in Seattle with headliners such as The Offspring, Candlebox, Radiohead, Matchbox Twenty and at St. Louis's Pointfest with headliners such as Cheap Trick, and Beck.
By 1998 the band parted ways with vocalist Seven Pearson and brought in Vancouver writer and vocalist Wenzel Templeton, formerly of the band The Daisy Chain. The newly fronted band wrote, recorded, and produced new music for Revolution Records. Since Pearson and Craig were contractual key writers, firing Pearson had nullified the band's record contract. The band had unknowingly put themselves into an option situation. While the band was recovering from turmoil, the label was just entering into it. Label-head Azoff began cleaning house, gutting the staff and most of the artists.[no citations needed here] The band then renamed themselves Boy Girl Radio and proceeded to headline shows in Seattle and showcase in Los Angeles at The Opium Den, Roxy and The Viper Room in search of a new label home. Upon returning from Los Angeles empty-handed, Templeton returned to Vancouver and the Cunninghams disbanded.
After the Cunninghams
In 1999, while Bickham and Freed remained in Seattle, Craig relocated to Los Angeles and took a position within Dreamworks Records marketing department. Pearson and Martin also relocated to Los Angeles, where they formed the band Jimmy Girl. On February 17, 2001 Pearson hanged himself in his Los Angeles apartment. Johnny Martin went on to become a member of the Los Angeles rock band The Chelsea Smiles.
In 2001 Craig and Freed formed a new band called The Blue Mondays (later known as Daysleeper). The lineup was rounded out by singer/songwriter John Heintz (formerly of Farmer), keyboardist Jamie Bennett and bassist Rodney Mollura (formerly of Sonichrome). The newly formed group was quickly courted by several major labels and signed by executive Jimmy Iovine and Interscope Records.[no citations needed here] Next the band wrote some 75 songs, and by the end of 2002 headed into the studio with producer Ron Aniello (Lifehouse, Bruce Springsteen) to produce their debut album, Every Waking Moment. Upon completion, the album was mixed by Randy Staub (Metallica, Alice in Chains) and delivered to Interscope. After months of discussion in regard to the sound of the album, the band executed a clause in their contract and departed Interscope before the album would be released.[no citations needed here]
In the spring of 2003, Craig accepted a position with Lakeshore Entertainment as Director of A&R and Music Supervision. In summer 2005 Wenzel Templeton and Eric Craig completed a new track, "Miss Disinformation Junkie", under Wenzel Templeton's moniker Zero The Antistar that can be heard on the album The Broken Electric Lullaby. In the winter of 2006 Eliot Freed returned to Seattle. Johnny Martin continues to live in Los Angeles and play with various artists.
- 1997: Zeroed Out – The Cunninghams
- 1998: One Small Step – Boy Girl Radio
- 2003: Every Waking Moment – Daysleeper
- 2012: The Broken Electric Lullaby – Zero The Antistar
- [[[:Template:Allmusic]] Eric Craig on Allmusic]
- [[[:Template:Allmusic]] John Heintz on Allmusic]
- [[[:Template:Allmusic]] The Cunninghams on Allmusic]
- Notes on Seven Pearson on Michael Hutchence Official site