The Boston-based power pop band the Irresponsibles were founded in the late '80s by lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Peter Montgomery. This witty yet hard rocking team spent several years in their own backyard, perfecting their highly appealing live performances of Montgomery's unique songs. Thanks to all that and one important bit of recognition, they finally found the entrance ramp to a larger audience. Most of the band's lineup has been the same since its inception. Dan Rudack, introduced to Montgomery by a mutual friend, has been the drummer from the outset. Mark Nigro, the Irresponsibles' bass player, is also an original member of the band. However, the second guitarist/backing vocals spot has been filled by several people in the band's history. The first was Dave Thomas, who was with the band until the mid-'90s. Later, Paul Santo was with the band for a brief time. Since 2000, Andrew Kuhn has filled that position. Montgomery has proven to be a consistent and prolific songwriter. (There have been a few co-writes with band members, such as Dan Rudack, and Paul Santo.) His compelling pop melodies, paired with wry, self-deprecating lyrics, create a unique product that often seemed to be at odds with much of the Boston band scene.
For several years, Montgomery and his bandmates continued in the path of many song-driven band projects without financial backing. They put out self-financed CDs in order to build a following and attract industry attention. The band's first CD, Aggravator, a collection of 13 songs, was released independently by the band in 1992. In 1995, the Irresponsibles contributed five songs to a 15 song compilation called Snacks and Prizes, in conjunction with recordings from two other artists. Montgomery produced all the tracks on that release. 1996 saw the release of the next Irresponsibles CD, Big Orange, with 13 more original songs. But the end of 1996 was to see a distinct upturn in fortune for the Irresponsibles. That year, they entered Musician Magazine's Best Unsigned Band in the Country Competition, and well-known guitarist/songwriter/producer Adrian Belew happened to be one of the judges. Belew is known for his sophisticated and intelligent approach to pop and rock. Early in his career, he was a guitarist with Frank Zappa, and then went on to be a contributing member of the band King Crimson, as well as to have a varied and respected career as a solo artist.
Soon after the Irresponsibles found out that they had won the competition, the magazine contacted the band to say that Belew was interested in working with them. He was so impressed with the band that he offered to produce their next work at his studio in Nashville. Belew was the recording producer for sessions that resulted in the release of a six-song EP called Backwards Boy in 1997. Six songs from later sessions were added to the original six to create the album, When Pigs Fly. The album was released on Belew's own Adrian Belew Presents label. After the release of When Pigs Fly, the Irresponsibles opened for Belew on his 32-state summer tour in 1999. The following winter, the Irresponsibles embarked on their own tour of the southeastern United States. These tours helped the band to build up a national fan base. Besides Adrian Belew, the Irresponsibles have opened for such musical notables as the Del Fuegos and Emmy Lou Harris. In the spring of 2001, the Irresponsibles signed to indie label Bad Amerikan. Montgomery started a website called www.reelsongs.com, with an eye toward placing the band's music in film soundtracks.