The indie pop/rock band Candy Butchers consist largely of singer/songwriter Mike Viola. He first adopted the group name for his duo with Todd Foulsham, playing around New York in the mid-'90s. After Foulsham left to start a family, Viola, as Candy Butchers, was signed to Blue Thumb Records and recorded the album Candy Butchers, which was scheduled for release in 1996, but failed to appear when the label shuttered; Blue Thumb did manage to release a Candy Butchers EP, Live at la BonBonniere, however. (Viola has since made the Candy Butchers LP available on his website, mikeviola.com, under the title Blue Thumb.) The same year, Viola's vocal was used on the title song for the movie That Thing You Do! Released as a single credited to the Wonders (the fictional band in the film), the song reached number 41 in the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1996.
Viola next signed to RPM (at the time, an imprint of Sony run by Tony Bennett's son Danny Bennett, who was Viola's manager), which released the album Falling into Place, credited to Mike Viola & the Candy Butchers, on August 31, 1999. (The group was listed as consisting of Viola on vocals and guitar, Pete Donnelly on bass and vocals, and Mike Levesque on drums.) Play with Your Head, credited to Candy Butchers, followed on March 12, 2002. On January 20, 2004, RPM released Hang on Mike, again credited to Candy Butchers. By this time, RPM was independent of Sony.
Viola went completely independent as of 2005, releasing his next album, the live solo acoustic collection Just Before Dark, on his own Good Morning Monkey label. Released in 2006, Making Up Time contained previously unreleased archival recordings of Candy Butchers, 1994-1998 (the configuration featuring Viola and Todd Foulsham). In 2007, Viola released another archival disc, Temple of Static, a collection of songs and studio whimsy he had recorded in 2001, and then issued a new studio album, Lurch. Both CDs were credited to Mike Viola. ~ William Ruhlmann