The Beautiful Mutants
The Beautiful Mutants were a "synth punk" band born in southeastern San Diego, CA near Chula Vista. They earned their keep in the Chicago underground, however, when in the late 1990s all four members relocated to Chicago. Singer, guitarist and leadman Andy Mutant, also known musically as "President Snack Cakes le Beef" among other monikers, was the first to arrive; around the time that the El Rancho Orphanage formed. He was also the longest to remain in Chicago, and continued to record and perform music, as well as collaborate with and produce with and for other artists until finally moving to the Oakland area.
They released a full-length, self-produced self-titled album while still in San Diego, and despite a growing popularity there and southern California, they sought to have a presence in Chicago after a record contract fell through, which happened to occur around the same time that rival San Diego band The Locust was signed and began to gain national attention. Despite the difference in sound, their fan base perceived this as unfair and many encouraged them to relocate as the Chicago punk scene was gaining momentum at the time, and the Mutants already had a small fanbase here due to friends in the area exposing others to their music.
The Mutants played a number of shows in Chicago, and also played a major role in exposing other talented fringe punk acts in Chicago through hosting shows at The El Rancho Orphanage. Halloween of 2000 there was one of their last shows in Chicago.
Bass player Kevin Mutant went on to record a solo album released on bootleg cassette and continue to play with other west coast musicians. Andy Turtle went on to co-direct and act in the Independent film "Tick" and record under many different nanes, and was the last to leave Chicago and now resides in the Oakland area. Keyboardist Brock Bousfield went on to create the band Nero's Day at Disneyland.
Andy Mutant a.k.a. President Snack Cakes le Beef, Andrew McQueen H. VIII, Andy Turtle, etc.: Vocals, Guitar, Sampler/drum machine, Synth, Televisions, Noise Machines, Keyboard
Micah Mutant: Drums and percussion
Kevin Mutant: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Brock Mutant (Bousfield): Keyboard, Synth, Vocals
Nick Galvez: Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
The Mutants certainly fell under the sub genre of Synth Punk, but, were arguably the creators of an even more narrowed down, unique sound you might consider "Hardcore Synth Punk." Their shows were wild and set themselves apart from other synth punk bands. Most performances were always filled with old black and white tube TVs used for sound and their stage performance (they were often all destroyed by or all at once at the end of their shows) and were further characterized by other destruction and crowd interaction. Cited and speculated influences are Devo, Tonto's Expanding Head Band, The Buzzcocks, and other synth and early British hardcore. Andy befriended the late Wesley Willis and traded music with one another.