MTV News staff report
While most aspiring rock musicians hope to climb the ladder to rock stardom,
guitarist Brent Paschke tried to take the express elevator.
"When John Frusciante quit the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers I knew that I was the
funky guitar player that should replace him," Paschke explained of his move
to Los Angeles in 1992. "I flew out to California and ... waited outside
Flea's house for like hours."
While Paschke was stalking the Chili Peppers' bassist, singer John Ostby was
making slightly better use of his time.
"I was in L.A. working for my uncle's furniture components company and just
writing songs at night," Ostby recalled.
Neither Flea nor the furniture industry had room for more musicians, so
Paschke and Ostby each packed up and, coincidentally, moved to Minnesota.
There the frustrated pair met and formed Spymob.
The heartland proved more fertile than Los Angeles, and years of relentless
touring and a solid local fanbase eventually aroused the interest of Epic
Records. Spymob's time on Epic was brief, and the group was dropped without
ever releasing an album.
The group then returned to the clubs and eventually expanded its fanbase to
Virginia, where Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo the production force
better known as the Neptunes caught the band.
"We bumped into Spymob a few years ago, ran across their CD from a
publisher," Williams explained.
"They would drive around Virginia Beach just cranking these tunes," Spymob
drummer Eric Fawcett said.
Liking what they heard, the Neptunes took Spymob national. The production
team brought the group into the studio to record on the debut offering from
their N.E.R.D. project and then invited Spymob to join them as the backing
band for N.E.R.D.'s recent U.S. tour.
"It helps us to be out with N.E.R.D. obviously, so that's helping build a
buzz for us," Ostby said.
Indeed the buzz seems to be growing, and just in time the band is
currently in the studio finishing up an album in hopes of graduating from
backing band to genuine headliners.
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