Lovehammers were hard-working regulars on Chicago's mainstream rock scene, barely known outside the city limits till reality television came along and gave them the big break they had long been ready to receive. Singer Marty Casey formed the band when he was only 14, with bassist Dino Kourelis, drummer Bobby Kourelis, and guitarist Billy Sawilchik rounding out the lineup. Practice, practice, and more practice finally led to steady local gigs where their grunge-meets-hard rock sound earned them a loyal fan base. Their self-released 2003 album, Murder on My Mind, drew comparisons to Bush, Nickelback, and A New Found Glory, while a CMJ appearance from around this time had Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx declaring, "This is a band to watch out for."
A year later as the concert DVD Live: Raw was being released, Casey announced he was taking a break from the band to audition for INXS. This wouldn't be any normal audition, either, but rather a reality series that would document vocalists from around the world competing to become the new lead singer of INXS. As the summer of 2005 found Lovehammers still playing Chicago with fill-in vocalists, Casey was becoming a fan favorite on Rock Star: INXS, climbing all the way up to second place before losing the grand prize to J.D. Fortune. Back in Chicago and back with the Lovehammers, Casey received a call from both the Sony label and INXS guitarist Tim Farriss. Farriss offered him an opening slot on INXS' next tour while Sony offered Casey and his band a recording contract. Now billed as Marty Casey & Lovehammers, the band released its self-titled debut for Sony in early 2006 before hitting the road with INXS. ~ David Jeffries