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Jumbo's Killcrane

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Biography

At their very first live appearance in 1998, a Lawrence, KS, television show called Fusion arrived to film local band Jumbo's Killcrane after a neighbor at the band's practice space recommended them. Nothing has been normal for the group since, who could be considered the rock equivalent of electronic music composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. Like Stockhausen, who spliced electromagnetic tape together to create nonuniform musical passages, Jumbo's Killcrane has a penchant for taking their previously recorded material and chopping it up and rearranging it so that beginnings are at ends, and ends are at beginnings during live performances. Guitarist/vocalist Erik Jarvis (aka Ervis Jug) and drummer Adrian Proctor (aka P-Rock) were friends from Lawrence, KS. When they began, they had a rotating lineup of bassists, which led to Jarvis laying down the bass tracks to get exactly the right sound they wanted for their first album, Scratch, released on the Tarlick record label in 1999. Since the band had their first release on various store shelves across the United States, they decided to schedule a tour in order to promote it. Little did Jarvis and Proctor know that they would meet the man who would become their full-time bassist on the journey. At a show at the Kansas City bar Davey's Uptown on May 25, they met Aaron Mersmann (aka Merz). At that time, Mersmann was performing with a band called Panel Donor. While on the second leg of their tour for Scratch in March of 2000, the band made a stop at New York's CBGB with Belvedere and the Workhorse Movement. One of the audience members happened to be producer/engineer Paul Kneevers, whose Kneever-Kneeverland studio was situated on the street in Milwaukee where serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer would cruise for victims. Kneevers liked what he heard and invited the band to his studio in Wisconsin. Over the course of two days during the summer of 2000, the group slept at Kneevers' studio and recorded the first takes of their new songs live. The end result was the material that became the foundation of Il Cadavers Eccellente, the band's second full-length release. An acquaintance named James Riley played bass for the sessions and toured through the rest of that summer, but soon became tired of traveling across the United States. Following that problem, Jarvis and Proctor called upon the services of Mersmann, who was experiencing turmoil with Panel Donor. Mersmann's stint in Panel Donor finally came to an end in the fall of 2000, and he joined Jumbo's Killcrane that November. The following month, Il Cadavers Eccellente was released, and the band decided to plan a tour. From February 28 through April 1, the group performed 20 shows in the western United States, followed by 18 shows in the eastern part of the country from April 25 through May 12.