The Naked Apes

A band intent on having a reputation based on shenanigans and hijinks rather than musical prowess, the Naked Apes began their career with a series of organized publicity stunts showcasing them in various public areas while playing their instruments naked. Their outlandish displays of pseudo-debauchery made for some quality photo opportunities that, while lacking the social impact of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' legendary Abbey Road photo, successfully portrayed the bandmembers in the unfavorable light they craved while echoing the unabashed juvenile sentiments of their song "Party Naked" -- that everybody should get nude and rude.

As legend has it, in the mid-'90s Mikey McCleary began sharpening his songwriting chops by recording raw material in his London studio. In 1999, he went on an annual vacation with his old schoolmate from New Zealand, Davo Sime, with the intentions of writing tunes, hanging out, and drinking beer. On a beach in Mexico, the two arbitrarily concocted the band name the Naked Apes. Later that evening, sitting in their hotel lobby, they noticed that the only two books on the shelf were The Bible and Desmond Morris' The Naked Ape. They took this as a sign from above that it was their ultimate destiny to form a band.

After proposed plans of gigging London, less than a year later the two split up, leaving McCleary to re-form the band with bassist Andy Shields and drummer Rusty Evans. Their new gimmicky and spastic live show often consisted of them dressed in nothing but Bermuda shorts, and grabbed the attention of U.K. indie label Airplay Records in 2002. In August 2003 and August 2004, the band released two limited, independent singles (Wasted and Extreme), and their target teen audience increased when the songs appeared in several episodes of Punk'd on MTV. Their debut album, Something in My Genes, was released in 2007 and continued to capitalize on their sunny, polished pop-punk doused in schtick and pubescent humor. ~ Jason Lymangrover

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