The Masticators

Formed in 1998 by guitarist Lisa Mychols, the Masticators were one of the finest bands on the great and bountiful Los Angeles pop scene as the 1990s turned into a new millennium. Mychols began playing in the mid-1980s in her native Long Beach, CA, sitting behind the trap kit with various psychedelic bands through high school before eventually taking up bass and then guitar. In 1991, following a move to L.A., she recorded a solo album, Lost Winter's Dream, with help from Darian Sahanaja, soon of the Wondermints. Through the next several years Mychols wandered through various bands and cover bands without finding anything permanent, at which point she began writing songs and set about to put together the Masticators. The band went through various stages and members (at one point even including the Plimsouls' Eddie Muñoz), the only consistent holdover being bassist Severo, who had been a frequent sideman with Cockeyed Ghost in addition to his position in the Elvis Costello tribute band This Year's Model. Robbie Rist, a ubiquitous presence on the L.A. pop underground scene whose previous credits included Martin Luther Lennon and the much-loved Wonderboy (for which he was frontman, main songwriter, and guitarist), stepped in one night as the band's temporary drummer. By coincidence, Mychols and Severo ran into Rist's former Wonderboy bandmate Patrick McGrath, who filled out the final lineup on lead guitar and keyboards. They became an instant attraction on the scene, and at the beginning of 2000 released Masticate!, their debut album, on New Jersey's To M'Lou Music label. ~ Stanton Swihart

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