The Unofficial Guster FAQ
Version 1.4
Originally created by Lou Esparza
Maintained by Kate Leahy through 2003
Revamped in January 2004 by Dave Mallick
Kate's Acknowledgements
FAQ change log (new!)

Section 1: FAQ Facts
1) What is the Guster FAQ?
2) Who maintains the FAQ?
3) How can I make suggestions/additions/corrections to the FAQ?

Section 2: Guster Internet Resources
1) Is there an official Guster homepage?
2) Is there an IRC channel?
3) Are there any other webpages?
4) What's the deal with the message board? Is there anything I should know?
5) What's the fan2fan? How do I subscribe? More importantly, how do I *un*subscribe?
6) How can I get in touch with the Guster guys or other people with management?

Section 3: Basic Guster Information
1) Who is Guster?
2) How did they get together?
3) Where did they get the name Guster?
4) What kind of music do they play? What genre is Guster?
5) What's the deal with the drums?
6) Where is the band currently touring?
7) Why do they always play age-restricted venues that I can't get into? And what's with the private college shows?
8) What is the band's taping policy?
9) Does anyone have a tape of the Halloween show from 1998?
10) I want to book them! What do I do?
11) I ordered a t-shirt a month ago and haven't gotten anything yet. What's up?
12) Does Guster have any alter egos, fake names or other side projects?
13) I saw an autographed CD for sale on eBay . . . is it worth bidding on?
14) Dude, they should totally play something old-skool on Letterman. Wouldn't it be an awesome idea if everyone e-mailed Brian and/or the office to tell them that?
15) Is Guster a Christian band?

Section 4: Adam, Brian, and Ryan . . . and the whole Guster family.
1) Which one's which?
2) Where are they from? When were they born?
3) Does [insert band member name here] have a girlfriend?
4) Who's Pasty?
5) Dalton?
6) Greg?
7) Liz?
8) Who are all those other official-looking people I see at shows?
9) How do I send [person] a letter/email?

Section 5: Releases
1) What albums does Guster have out?
2) Why can't I find the albums in stores?
3) Does the band ever put out singles?
4) Are they on any compilations?
5) Do they ever make videos?
6) What does Goldfly mean?
7) Why is Soleil Moon Frye (better known as Punky Brewster) thanked in the Parachute liner notes?
8) When will there be a new album?
9) How can I get a copy of The Pasty Tapes?
10) What's the deal with Guster and the movie "Life As A House"?

Section 6: Songs and Lyrics
1) Who's the lead singer?
2) How come Brian never gets to sing?
3) Who writes the songs?
4) Where can I find lyrics?
5) Where can I find guitar tablature?
6) Where can I find sound clips?
7) What is that I hear in the background of "Getting Even"?
8) What does [song] really mean?
9) What do those notations on the setlists mean? What's "Flowers"? What's "Deux"? What's "Belle"?
10) Did I just hear Ryan sing "gay parade" in "I Spy"?
11) What does the crowd shout during "Airport Song"? Why?
12) Why don't they play [song] anymore?
13) What songs has Guster covered?

Section 7: Miscellaneous
1) What's a rep? How do I become one?
2) What bands has Guster toured with?
3) How can I get backstage?
4) I'm going to my first Guster show on Saturday and I don't want to look like a complete wank. Is there anything I should know?
5) What guitars do Ryan and Adam play? What's in Brian's setup? What does Joe play?
6) What's the deal with all the meowing?

Section 1: FAQ Facts

1) What is the Guster FAQ?

This FAQ is intended to not only be a primer for newcomers to Guster, but also to be a general glossing of some basic Guster information. The FAQ can always be found at

2) Who maintains the FAQ?

For the time being, me. I'm Dave Mallick, Guster Fan since 1997. Prior to this version, it was Kate Leahy, Jesuit Volunteer, current Notre Dame Law School student, and Guster Fan and Rep. The creator was Lou Esparza, erstwhile Tufts student and Guster Fan.

3) How can I make suggestions/corrections/additions to the FAQ?

Drop a line to me at dave at vividgreen dot net and I'd be happy to add comments on anything you think might be useful. I certainly know there's plenty of knowledge missing currently - that's why I grabbed this from Kate and updated it.

Section 2: Guster Internet Resources

1) Is there an official Guster homepage?

Yessiree Bob. It can be found at It's a wealth of useful information between the band-provided content and the knowledgeable fan base that hangs out on the message board.

2) Is there an IRC channel?

A private channel has been established. This is not the old G-rated channel that Brian got kicked off of all those times for saying bad words like "damn" and "hell". It can be accessed at or by pointing your favorite IRC client at and going into the #guster channel. It is not nearly as popular now as it was at the time of this FAQ's creation. Of late a movement is afoot to institute a regular "chat time" for people to drop in and see a crowd like in the days of yore. Check the message board for threads about the revival of the chat room.

3) Are there any other webpages?
There were several fan pages in existence but many of the old links here no longer work or have moved. If you want to be sooper-dooper clever, you can "view source" on this page and see the old links...but why would you? They don't work, people! A few of the more popular ones still in existence are listed below. Many of them - and several others - are also listed on the links page of Guster Dot Com. ( contains lots of tabs, sound files, and links. All hail Kenta for bearing the brunt of would-be Guster fan mail, and opening his server up for pounding and downloading.

For those livejournal users and lurkers, check out for some more ongoing discussion.

4) What's the deal with the message board? Is there anything I should know?

The message board, along with the fan2fan, is the main source of Guster news and conversation these days. Some brief etiquette points follow, but in general, just follow common sense.

5) What's the fan2fan? How do I subscribe? More importantly, how do I *un*subscribe?
The fan2fan is an electronic mailing list with several thousand subscribers. By sending an e-mail to the list address, one can reach all thousands or so of those subscribers. You can subscribe by clicking the "Interact" link on Guster Dot Com and following the instructions on the page. You can unsubscribe the same way.

6) How can I get in touch with the Guster guys or other people with management?
The guys are very easy to reach - just drop them a line at or email them through the "Interact" portion of the web site. To contact management, booking, publicity or their label rep, visit the band's links page at - all contact info can be found there.

Section 3: Basic Guster Information

1) Who is Guster?

Guster is a Boston-area-based trio comprised of Adam Gardner (vocals, guitar, keys and cool shaky thing), Ryan Miller (vocals, guitar, bass, and occasionally piano and harmonica), and Brian Rosenworcel (percussion and rare vocals). After the recording of Keep It Together they invited their friend and fellow musician Joe Pisapia out on the road with them. You may also see a random crew manning the shaker, jingle bells, drum kit or keyboard on a song or two.

2) How did they get together?

Well, as legend (or an interview) has it, the three met on a bus tour of the Tufts University campus during their freshman orientation. The conversation strayed to music and ended with an agreement to get together and jam. When agreement couldn't be reached on what covers to play, they started writing songs, and then played open mic nights and scheduled shows on Tufts' campus and at various Somerville and Cambridge locations. Ryan claims that no one else liked them, and so no one wanted to join the band until after they started playing gigs and had recorded an album; and by that time, he says, they didn't need anyone else. Adam says that about halfway through Tufts, they decided to pursue music as a serious career for two reasons: none of them were particularly interested in having real jobs, and they were all pretty much failing. After graduating from Tufts (Brian and Adam with honors), the guys continued to live together up until the summer of 1999, when Ryan says that he got sick of telling Brian to get his pubic hairs off of the toilet seat and they decided that they could finally afford to get their own places. [1]

3) Where did they get the name Guster?
Well, Guster was originally called Gus, and the first few copies of Parachute have that name on them. There are about ten dozen different stories about where they got Gus, including that it was the name of Ryan's freshman roommate Evan's dad, or that it was short for "asparagus". The one that's been claimed by the band the most is that they were named for the 1976 Ed Asner-Don Knotts masterpiece "Gus", about a failing football team that hires a field goal-kicking mule and goes on to great success - the band gave this story in a 1999 online chat and later repeated it in a recent interview on "Austin City Limits". It's quite possible that none of these stories are true, but the important thing is that they soon discovered that about ten dozen other bands were called Gus too. Popular myth (or just Brian) would have it that that in the midst of their struggle with what to rename themselves, Brian's friend Rit Zbikowski was leaving for Japan to teach English. As he walked out the door to go to the airport, he called out "Guster!"

It stuck.

As irony would have it, the artist who originally forced them to change their name, has now changed his name and is touring as Gus Black.

4) What kind of music do they play? What genre is Guster?

Guster's music is difficult to define, but relatively easy to describe. It's wuss ro(c)k built around soaring harmonies, inventive guitar riffs, and infectous hand-percussion beats, all of which make for a unique and amazing musical experience. Their live shows are where they shine, deftly playing hysterical covers, improvising songs at the drop of a hat, and adding special energy to their own catalog.

5) What's the deal with the drums?

Ah, a surprised old-school fan. Yes, it's true - Brian has learned to play a full drum kit. This is partially for self-preservation - Brian's hands have been taking a beating since the Gus days - but also a way of branching out. In several interviews they've mentioned that they had tried for three albums to properly capture their live sound, and finally accomplished it with Lost & Gone Forever. Once they had done that, they decided they'd been playing by a self-imposed set of rules that really limited them as musicians, and tossed those rules out the window. Hence, the drum kit, bass, banjo, keys, etc.

6) Where is the band currently touring?

Well, the FAQ isn't really designed to be updated often, but here are a few places you can get Guster tour dates:

Guster Dot Com:



You can also call the Guster office at (617) 497-7777 but the web sites above are your best bet.

Always call the club (not the office, please!) to check on band order, showtimes, and age restrictions, and remember that no Guster show is confirmed until they're on stage . . . stuff happens :).

As for where they don't tour, they have so far mostly restricted themselves to North America - they did a weeklong tour of England opening for Maroon 5 in November of 2004 and returned in May of 2005, but no official plans are in the works for a tour of Europe or the rest of the world. Touring off-continent is expensive and often an investment that the label needs to make, so unless the Big Record Company thinks they'll make money, they're stuck in the US. They do occasionally go crazy and travel north of the border into Canada, though.

7) Why are they always playing age-restricted venues that I can't get into? And what's with the private college shows?
Well, sometimes them's the breaks. Occasionally, the only suitable club in a city might have an 18 or 21+ age restriction, and the band really doesn't have control of it. They have been known to deliberately not play shows where there are age restrictions, so you can always suggest a better, all-ages venue to the band or contact the club before the show to see if some concession can be made. Guster loves all their fans, under-18 or not.

For an excellent explanation of why clubs have age restrictions, see As for private college shows, an edited explanation from the one and only Germinator:

"Students-only" shows are quite common when shows are planned for college campuses. A great deal of the financing for college concerts comes from tuition money earmarked for student activities. Some colleges open the shows to the public, acting as a good neighbor for the community. These tickets tend to be far more expensive for both the students and the public, because the school is trying to recoup the money. Typically the BIGGEST of concerts for a school will get this fully public treatment, because they know that big names will command a big ticket price.

Other colleges do delayed ticket sales - a few weeks of private, students-only sales, followed by public sales at a higher price. This is a GREAT solution because it satisfies the student body (cheap, available tickets) and bolster the bottom line (outsiders willing to pay!).

There's also the option to make it fully private. Schools know that students can't afford a big ticket, so by using a larger proportion of student activity funds (tuition) to pay for the show, it decreases the price of a ticket. It wouldn't be fair for this discounted price to be provided to non-tuition paying folks, so the shows are restricted.

Be sure to contact the school in question's programming board/committee to see what the deal is with a private show. Sometimes a private show is advertised as such BUT will have public ticket sales if any are left closer to the show. When in doubt, call!

8) What is the band's taping policy?

From Michael "Pasty" Corcoran, Guster's tour manager emeritus and everyone's favorite Villanova alumnus:
"The band's official taping/trading policy has always been tape and trade away. It has always played a big part in getting the music out to people all over. However, trading for profit is no good. The only way to combat this kind of thing is letting people know that there are other alternatives. Most of the time these bootleg CD's aren't even that good. There are other ways besides selling - good old-fashioned trading."
Pasty had this to add in an e-mail to the fan2fan dated 11/9/99:
"For many years, the band has allowed soundboard recordings of the live shows...many of these from pooey sounding feeds. This current tour, we have been trying out a new policy of "audience" only taping. This is not because the band is getting "too huge" for board tapes, or because they are worried about the overwhelming number of bootlegs flooding the black market. Quite simply it has to do with quality. The soundboard tapes of this band as many of you know for the most part do not sound like Guster. Board feeds do not, and cannot accurately represent the sound of Bri's drums. But, each and every venue has been forewarned about the openness of our taping policy. there will ALWAYS be a set of mics, or someone's deck to plug into. no one will ever not be able to tape a Guster show if they bring their decks. I run mics for every show, and they sound pretty good...better than a lot of board feeds. This is the same band."
As of the spring of 2002, the band is no longer running their own microphones or matrix mix, and soundboard patches are still not allowed, so you will likely need your own microphones to tape.

9) Does anyone have a tape of the Halloween show from 1998?
Um, I don't know. The best place to find that out would be to check out and go to their Guster section. Check out a few tape lists and see if you find what you're looking for. Other similar sites include and

There is also a tape trading forum on the Guster message board; you'll often find posts about the newest shows making the rounds and can post messages looking to see if anyone has the show you're looking for. Guster has also consented to having shows taped by fans archived on the Live Music Archive at Search for "Guster" in the top box, choose your show and download away!

Some tips from seasoned Guster traders:

For an awesome explanation of exactly how to get started trading, see the Phish.Net trading page:

I'm fully aware that the band didn't play a Halloween show in '98. That's why I picked it :).

10) I want to book them! What do I do?
**DO NOT call/e-mail the band/office begging to book them at your school/favorite club/bar mitzvah!**

Guster is represented by Creative Artists and their particular rep is Scott Clayton. He can be reached at (615) 383-8787.

11) I ordered a t-shirt like a month ago and haven't gotten anything yet. What's the deal?
Welcome to the world of shipping. The Guster office is almost *always* efficient, but there are glitches in every well-oiled machine. You should always allow about 2 weeks for orders to be processed (though they're usually *way* faster than that). If you're really worried about your stuff, call the Guster Merchandise Line at (617) 497-7777 and bitch 'em out. Or you can send a nasty e-mail to the Gusterns and pay them to beat each other up. Actually, they're all really nice and will certainly be very very helpful. Please note also that overnight shipping is no longer an option, and that website orders are no longer payable by online check.

12) Does Guster have any alter egos, fake names or other side projects?
Sweet Maynard and the Sassy Sailors are a Guster cover band that occasionally plays shows in Boston and New York. Or so they would have you think. In actuality, this was an assumed name the band used to play a few under-the-radar gigs in the aforementioned markets. The name itself stems from an April Fool's joke wherein the band claimed there was ANOTHER band with the name Guster (a nod to their original Gus>Guster transformation), so they had to surrender THAT name...and they had chosen Sweet Maynard as the new one.

The Peace Soldiers are a rockin' band from Kentucky that has opened for Guster on occasion. They also happen to bear a striking resemblance to the members of Guster but both parties insist that the resemblance is purely coincidental. Visit for more info on Kentucky's favorite sons.

Trippin' Balls are the finest jam band to ever come out of the improvisational hotbed known as Chico, California. Blending intense rhythmic guitar riffs, down-and-dirty funk, skull-pounding prog-metal and psychedelia-laden percussion/keyboard solos, the 'Balls will take you on a musical journey like no other. Just watch out for Chewbacca.

The LeeVees are better known as Adam Gardner and Dave Schneider, aka Dave Zamboni. In reaction to the gaping hole in the holiday music market for folks of the Jewish persuasion, the two have joined forces to record a CD called "Hanukkah Rocks". Writes Dave on the Zambonis web site:

The songs were written in the span of 8 days on the Guster tour bus, in dank backstage areas and various hotel rooms during the Guster/Zambonis midwest tour in April. Oh, by the way, every song is about Chanukah (seriously), with tracks including "Apple Sauce vs. Sour Cream," "All Our Goyem Friends," "At The Time Share," and "Kugel." "This will be a first," proclaims Dave, "an album that 1.78% of us can call their own!"

Brian has made several forays into side projectdom, including the production of Sam Champion's Slow Rewind, featuring former Gustern Noah Chernin. He has also appeared as "DJ Thundergod" courtesy of JDub Records - a one-off appearance at a Brooklyn holiday event called "Jewltide II" (the Thundergod name, which predates "DJ Thundergod" by a good eight years,stems from Ryan calling Brian by the nickname once reserved for legendary one-armed drummer Rick Allen, of Def Leppard fame). Finally, there was an aborted project called Gobble Hill that was originally intended as a gastronomic review of Brooklyn's Cobble hill neighborhood, but only got off the ground as two oddly-designed web pages.

Ryan's sole known side project to this point consists of a single show wherein he appeared aside longtime friend and fellow Texan Ben Kweller to play some early cuts from Keep it Together. The show, which took place on March 19th, 2001, consisted of the two on stage playing each other's music, and culminated with Brian and Adam joining the two for a final jam on "I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today".

Joe is, of course, a founding member of the band Joe, Marc's Brother, which he still plays with and writes for when Guster is off the road. Joe has produced several albums since joining up with Guster, including Dan Tyler's Hope and Jolynn Daniels' Come Closer, as well as guested on albums by Josh Rouse, SpencerAcuff, Steve Ward, David Mead, The Pierces and Rosco Gordon. He is a busy, busy man.

13) I saw an autographed CD/poster for sale on eBay . . . is it worth bidding on?
Okay. Here's the deal:
Go to a show. Buy a CD or a poster. Hang around afterward, and the band will most likely show up and sign it. They'll sign whatever you want. If you absolutely can't get to a show and are desperate for an autograph, call the office, explain your predicament, and someone there can probably work something out. But please - don't let eBay gouge you. The band has been known to take offense to people selling their stuff by auction, especially if it's something you can still buy from them. Guster is adamant about ensuring that their merchandise is affordable to everyone. They've gone as far as making deals with their record company and pissing off the Verve Pipe (THE VERVE PIPE!) to ensure that their stuff is reasonably priced. So if someone is telling you that an item is rare, ask around before believing it. They're usually just trying to make you think that something anyone can buy is rare.

14) Dude, they should totally play something old-skool on Letterman. Wouldn't it be an awesome idea to e-mail Brian/the office and tell them that?
This is a bad idea. In fact, any mass, organized e-mail campaign to the office and/or the band is a bad idea. Both the band and the office get several hundred e-mails a day . . . the band's box has actually been crashed numerous times. Though the band certainly appreciates fan input, issues such as what they should play on Letterman or what song they should release as the next single are rarely even a matter of their decision, much less ours. While you're certainly welcome and encouraged to e-mail the band or the office with praise, questions, and comments, it's just not useful or even very polite to organize a deluge of mail to their addresses.

15) Is Guster a Christian band?
Although this is answered in the band's (finger quotations)official FAQ(finger quotations), enough folks are confused by the "answer" that the debate rages on. So let it end here. Ryan did major in religious studies at Tufts (for the record, Brian majored in American studies and Adam was a psychology major), which does contribute to the theological bent to some of the band's lyrics. But given that all three band members grew up in the Jewish faith, it's safe to say that they are not a Christian band, per se.

Section 4: Adam, Ryan, Brian . . . and the whole Guster family

1) Which one's which?

On stage, Adam stands stage right (on the audience's left), and plays guitar and sings. Ryan stands stage left (on the audience's right) and also plays guitar and sings. Brian is the 360 degrees of percussive hell toward the back of the stage. Joe usually stands between Adam and Brian but does migrate on occasion.

2) Where are they from? When were they born?
Adam grew up in New Jersey and went to Pingry, Brian in Connecticut, and Ryan in the Republic of Texas [2], going to Berkner High. Brian and Ryan live in the New York area now, while Adam has defected northward to Maine after a brief residence in the Empire State as well. Joe grew up in New Jersey and now hails from Nashville. Birthdays: Adam's is May 31st, 1973, Brian's is July 23rd, 1973, Ryan's is November 21st, 1972 and Joe's is July 25th, 1968.

3) Does [insert band member's name here] have a girlfriend?
Adam, Ryan and Brian are all married men as of 2006. That's about all they've chosen to share with their fans; most people let them have their own personal lives. There are some things that just aren't our business. :)

4) Who's Pasty?
Pasty is the rep name of one Michael Corcoran, one of Guster's first reps and a Villanova alumnus. Pasty served as Guster's tour manager and lighting technician for seven long, wonderful years, but recently hung up his touring shoes to become a pencil-pushing desk jockey in a management office in Nashville. He's still involved with the band (so says his "Gustah 4 Evah" tattoo) but the days of frantically shouting for him if security is hassling you, are over. Pasty has been forever immortalized on the cover of The Pasty Tapes, volumes 1 and 2.

The text from the liner of The Pasty Tapes:

"We first met Michael 'Pasty' Corcoran in 1995 at a small club in New York City. A skinny 18-year-old Guster Rep and nervous freshman at Villanova University, Michael had embraced the Guster-given name we blindly threw on his rep badge. He approached us, fair hair and ghostly skin glistening under the hot Wetlands lights and said, 'I'm Pasty.'

Over the next four years, Michael worked his way up the Guster ladder. He spearheaded bootleg distribution from our website and eventually became responsible for maintaining all of Guster Dot Com. He paid his dues on tour as a roadie, gaining 20 pounds of muscle on The Wicked Long Tour alone. Today Michael manages our band and his distorted image graces the cover of our rep disc."
5) Dalton?
Dalton is Guster's business manager. He makes sure they get paid. Important guy. Be nice to him.

6) Greg?
Greg is Dalton's right-hand man now that Moria has departed for greener pastures. Greg has been working in the Guster office for several years now, but keeps a low profile due to his other job as a double agent. He also spies on the offices and management of GWAR, trying to steal trade secrets for the band to use in their live show.

7) Liz?
Liz is the Guster office member who you'll talk to if you call. She handles all rep-related business and is also responsible for all things merch. Whether you want to get another shipment of CDs, buy a box of T-shirts, gain entrance to the Rep Rok hoedowns or learn the super-secret rep handshake, Liz is the person whose good side you want to be on. She also rules the Gusterns with an iron fist (or a horse whip, depending on whose version you get).

8) Who are all those other official-looking people at Guster shows?
Gordon is the front-of-house engineer, also know as the sound man. Gordon is tall, Canadian, and was brought to Guster by the Barenaked Ladies. He makes everything sound nice for the crowd. He is not usually topless and/or holding a banana, but you might just get lucky if you ask.

Josh is Guster's monitor engineer - he makes everything sound nice in Guster's ears You'll also see him laying down some mean keyboard riffage on "Satellite".

Scooter is really 22, not 14, despite what the picture may indicate. In addition to serving as Brian's drum tech, he occasionally gets to play his instruments as well during several songs that require both hand and kit percussion goodness.

nbu Seth (on right) is the guy who gets to fill Pasty's Etnies as the tour manager. Word has it he's a nice guy, and was once observed helping a little old lady cross a busy intersection, though he may have just been trying to con her into a Guster show. It's not clear yet.

Crew members emeriti - folks who used to work for Guster that you may see or read references to in the road journal, Guslog or studio journal:
- Sound engineers: Bennett Shapiro was the band's sound engineer from the beginning of recorded time (no pun intended) through 1999. Rob Calabrese ran sound through 2002, and Gordon Reddy followed from 2003-early 2004 and then returned in mid-2006. Paul Tozer filled in ably during Gordon's hiatus.
- Before Pasty as tour manager, there was Will. Before Will, there was Ari Weinstein, aka "Mean Joe".
- Various office-type people: Shannon (on right) worked it and worked it in the office for many years in Guster's early days, and Eliz Weinberg worked her technical and photographic magic on the web site along with Sam Stern. Kate Vassos and Lou Esparza (the original author of this FAQ) head up a long and illustrious list of numerous Gusterns that have passed through the hallowed halls of the Guster office over the years.
- Matt Peskie worked as Guster's monitor. He was also the chief meowing technician on the famous "Meow Mix" version of Keep It Together. James Ragsdale and Eric Casimiro worked monitors prior to Matt.
- Allyson, Angela Arsenault and Julie Bodner worked the merch mojo in the years prior to the current reign.
- Moria Miller was the "heart and soul" of the Guster office for years before Greg overthrew her in a bloodless coup in mid-2004. She would be the one to aid the band whenever they needed something wacky for a show on extremely short notice and occasionally made an appearance as a spinning human disco ball.
- Sean "Chunk" Lynde served as Brian's drum tech for a number of years, but has since left the road to start his own graphic design company.

9) How do I send [person] a letter/email?

While band members and office type people do have personal email and home addresses, your best bet is to send to the general address. To email the band, send your electronic missives to guster at guster dot com. To send letters, packages and unsolicited anonymous (or non-anonymous) donations to the Guster Touring Fund, this is the address to use:
PO Box 441818
West Somerville, MA 02144

Section 5: Releases

1) What albums does Guster have out?

Guster has made four albums and one smashing live DVD. The bare minimum of details is below, but a disturbingly large amount of information on these and other releases can be found elsewhere on this site.

ParachuteRhythmic Records, AWARE, then Ocho Mule Records1994
GoldflyAWARE, then Sire/Hybrid1997
Lost and Gone ForeverSire/Hybrid1999
Keep It TogetherSire/Reprise2003
Guster On Ice (DVD)Sire/Reprise2004

In the summer of 1999, Guster released a five-song EP called The Pasty Tapes, which featured an early mix of "I Spy," a studio cover of Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come," two live tracks, "Closer" and "Bury Me," and a remix of "Airport Song." The CD was released only to reps, each of whom got three copies with which they could do anything they wanted - but not sell them.

They later released The Pasty Tapes Vol. 2 in the spring of 2003, with studio versions of "Keep It Together", "Say That To My Face", "We've Gotta Be Clean" and "Sunday Afternoon". A live 'muzak version' of "Happy Frappy" rounded out the music, followed by "You Saw A Light", a lengthy rant set to instrumental music from a discarded tune known alternately as "Snacky Time" and "Starless Heaven"/"Autumn Heaven". The rant is by an old-school Guster fan who consented to its inclusion on The Pasty Tapes with the condition that he remain nameless (contrary to popular belief, it's not Pasty).

Both versions of The Pasty Tapes are a gift from the band to the fans, and can be traded like any other live recording, but should never be sold, auctioned off, or profited from. Don't make us hunt you down and shove toothpicks under your toenails.

2) Why can't I find the albums in stores?
You're shopping in the wrong stores :). Seriously, though - that shouldn't be a problem anymore. All four CDs are available from most online retailers and should be available in stores. They can also be found in the "Merch" section of Guster Dot Com. If you don't see Guster at your local CD store, ask for them, even if you already have the albums - someone else might be inclined to buy the CD on impulse while they're looking at Arlo Guthrie albums :).

3) Does the band ever put out singles?

There were singles released to radio stations for "Airport Song," "Demons," "Barrel of a Gun (4, 3, 2, 1)," "Fa Fa (Never Be the Same Again)," "Happier," "Amsterdam (Gonna Write You A Letter)," "Careful (Just Careful)," and "Homecoming King". The band says that they didn't have time or money to record b-sides with their earlier albums, so none exist. More information on these can be found at the Gusterography.

4) Are they on any compilations?

Guster has been on numerous compilations and other recordings.
Album Title Distributor Date of Release Guster Involvement
Vince Tufts University Beelzebubs 1993 Features Adam
Aware 3 Aware Records 1995 "Bury Me" and "Window
Hurricane Streets Soundtrack Mammoth Records 1997 "Great Escape"
HORDE 1998 Several, including AWARE and Ocho Mule 1998 "Airport Song"
Naked Too WBCN 1998? "Airport Song" (live)
A Taste of Hybrid Hybrid Records 1997? "Great Escape" and "Demons"
FMQB Modern Rock Sampler Friday Morning Quarterback ??? "Airport Song"
Virtually Alternative WMNF(?) August 1998 "Demons"
Retail Tune-up #52 ??? ??? "Airport Song"
Retail Tune-up #54 ??? ??? "Demons"
CMJ New Music Volume 57 CMJ May 1998 "Airport Song"
CMJ New Music Volume 75 CMJ November 1999 "Barrel Of A Gun"
99X Big Day Out 99X (Atlanta) ??? "Demons"
Monitor This! ??? Autumn 1999 "Barrel of a Gun"
Woodstock '99 Sony/Epic October 1999 "Airport Song"
99X Shimmer and Shine 99X (Atlanta) ??? "Airport Song" and "Demons"
WBCN 420 The New Joint WBCN-FM (Boston) 1999 "Barrel of a Gun"
Bing Bang Holidang! Benefit for the Boston Institute for Arts Therapy 1999 Ryan and Adam add the line "12 Gusters gusting" to "An All-Star 12 Days of Christmas"
MTV2 Handpicked Vol. II MTV2 2002 "Ramona"
For The Kids VH1, Nettwerk 2002 "We Gotta Be Clean"
WBOS Live from the Archive WBOS-FM (Boston) 2003 "Amsterdam" (live)
Maybe This Christmas, Too ??? 2003 "Donde esta Santa Claus?"
For The Lady US Campaign for Burma 2004 "Keep It Together"
Everwood Soundtrack The WB 2004 "The Harder They Come"
The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered Gammon 2004 "The Sun Shines Down On Me"
Wedding Crashers soundtrack New Line 2005 "I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today"
Please Don't Feed the Musicians: Music in the Zoo Volume One SRO Productions 2005 "Amsterdam"

5) Do they ever make videos?

Guster has THREE videos! The video for "Fa Fa" was filmed in Los Angeles in February, 2000. It features Ryan dressed as Angus Young from AC/DC, Ione Skye in a coconut bra, Adam in a sombrero, and Brian in mostly normal clothing (though the denim jacket was a revelation). Though it may be hard to believe, the video has nothing to do with the meaning of the song and was shot by someone who had never done a music video before. The band's embarrassment over the "Fa Fa" video has become the stuff of legend, and they will probably deny everything if you ask them anything about it. However, the videos for "Amsterdam" and "Careful" are much more praiseworthy; you can view them (along with some nifty live footage and some other weird stuff) in the "multimedia" section of Guster Dot Com.

6) What does "Goldfly" mean?

Rit (noticing a trend here?) sent Brian this poem from one of his English students in Japan:
   goldfly, goldfly where does it go?
   it is going to be on dung.
   the goldfly lays many eggs on the dung every day.

7) Why is Soleil Moon Frye (better known as Punky Brewster) thanked in the Parachute liner notes?

Yet another Guster rumour suggests that the band had thought about naming their first album after the spunky actress famous not only for her portrayal of TV's most irascible orphan scamp since Annie, but also for her breast-reduction surgery. Another album name/celebrity name near-miss involves Olympia Dukakis, the Steel Magnolia herself, whose name was in the running for possible title of Keep It Together along with Bitch Magic and Come Downstairs & Say Hello.

8) When will there be another album?
The band has announced that after their summer/fall 2004 tour, they will be heading back into the studio to record their next album. One can only hope that Olympia Dukakis will meet with the same favorable reception as Keep It Together. It is currently due out in early 2006.

9) How can I get a copy of The Pasty Tapes?
The Pasty Tapes CDs are gifts from the band to their reps, so the easiest way is to simply become a rep. All current copies may be exhausted but you'll be in on future editions. To get Volumes 1 & 2, just find a rep that has a copy of them - they're free for trade or for just giving away. But just like live tapes, under no circumstances should any money change hands for copies - these are gifts!

10) What's the deal with Guster and the movie "Life As A House"?
"Life As A House" is a 2001 movie starring Kevin Kline, who plays a man recently diagnosed with cancer. He decides to take his last summer to build a house and bond with his troubled son, played by Hayden Christensen. Writer Mark Andrus is a fan of the band, and ended up using "What You Wish For" as inspiration for the opening scenes; the tune was also featured prominently in the theatrical trailer. "Rainy Day" figures into a disturbing prostitution scene later in the movie (although in a bit of trivia, the script originally called for "All The Way Up To Heaven"), the family dog's name is Guster and there are two little boys named Ryan and Adam (sorry, Brian). And in the subtlest nod of all, the license plate of one of the cars in the movie is "FAN 321" - a double reference to the fan2fan mailing list and the "4,3,2,1" countdown during "Barrel Of A Gun".

Section 6: Songs and Lyrics

1) Who's the lead singer?

Adam and Ryan switch off on lead and backing vocals. Ryan's is the higher, more nasal of the two while Adam's is deeper. Lately Ryan has had more lead vocal parts but they've always shared duties depending on what the song's part calls for.

2) How come Brian never gets to sing?
According to Laura Goralski: "Truth be told . . . he sucks. I love him to death, but he is terrible."
It's true. Occasionally, though, Brian will do some guest vocals on "Mona Lisa" or bust out an impromptu rendition of Edie Brickell's "Circle of Friends." I can't tell you when this might be; as Brian himself says, "it just happens." Other tunes that Brian has lent his legendary pipes to include Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", "Bury Me" (as a super-low Barry White crooner), Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and Sixpence None The Richer's "Kiss Me".

3) Who writes the songs?

Ryan writes almost all of the lyrics, and sometimes an initial chord progression. From there, the entire band hashes out the complete song.
Due to overwhelming demand, I'd also like to note that Adam and Steve Lindsay wrote "Airport Song." Happy now :) ?

During the sessions for Keep It Together, Adam wrote a few more songs which were discarded in the process. Brian also wrote several which stuck. Information on song authorship can be found at the Gusterography.

4) Where can I find lyrics?
Lyrics can be found, once again, at the Gusterography. Reid rules your lyrics-loving face.

5) Where can I find guitar tablature?

Tabs can be found at - all hail Kenta (again)!

6) Where can I find sound clips? Does the band officially distribute sound clips?

There are several tracks of all the albums available on Guster Dot Com, and if you own Keep It Together, look for the "Extended Section" of the album by putting it in your computer. It will unlock a super-duper-ooper special secret web site with various live shows to download in mp3 format. But the best resource, mentioned above, is the Live Music Archive at - over 100 shows spanning eleven years and counting!

7) Do I hear something in the background of "Getting Even"?

You certainly do. Congratulations on your excellent hearing. It's Brian reading a cult pamphlet about going to hell or something; his only major vocal appearance on a Guster album. If you listen carefully, you can hear him laugh at the very, very end of Lost and Gone Forever, and he mentioned in the studio journal that he contributes on the "na na na"s in "Careful".

8) What does [song] really mean?
As with most musicians, Guster tends not to directly reveal the meanings of their songs, preferring instead to let the listener derive their own meaning. As some of Ryan's lyrics are quite inscrutable, the meanings vary from person to person. However, in interviews and road journal entries, the band has provided insights into a few titles: Several more entries about more recent songs can be gleaned from the new album page elsewhere on this site.

9) What do those notations on the setlists mean? What's "Flowers"? What's "Deux"? What's "Belle"?

Most of these are fairly self-explanatory, though the acronyms can be a little tough at first. "HK" is "Homecoming King", "KIT" is "Keep It Together", "ROC" is Red Oyster Cult, and "CDASH" is "Come Downstairs & Say Hello".

However, the three songs causing the most consternation among the Guster fan populace are "Flowers", "Deux", and "Belle". "Flowers" is shorthand for "(Nothing But) Flowers", a Talking Heads cover off their 1988 album Naked. And "Deux" - from the French word for "two" - is shorthand for "Two Points for Honesty" (not, as some think, the rarely-played "Two At A Time"). The latest addition is "Belle", shorthand for Belle & Sebastian's "The Boy With The Arab Strap", off of the 1998 release of the same name. As for what an Arab strap is... well, this is a family FAQ, so we'll leave that up to you to investigate.

10) Did I just hear Ryan sing "gay parade" in "I Spy"?

Yep, you did. The song as written (and sung) on Lost & Gone Forever starts off with "May parade", and Ryan even sang it as such for at least a month or two in the early versions of the song, in June and July of 1999. Somewhere between July and August, he started singing "gay parade" the first time, and "May parade" the second time. Later that year, "gay parade" took over completely. He still does occasionally change back to "May parade" from time to time, depending on the situation. In an interview in August of 2006 with The Green Room, Adam confirmed this:
"I Spy," actually, that lyric change, about "gay parade" versus "May parade," that was just something Ryan liked to throw in live. It was originally "May parade." It didn't get changed because of anything from a label standpoint or anything.
One interesting bit of trivia comes from the "You Saw A Light" track on The Pasty Tapes, Vol. 2 where the speaker quotes Brian as saying "I've just come from the gay parade"; as this track was recorded in July of 1998, it's possible that the "I Spy" line originated in this conversation.

11) What does the crowd shout during "Airport Song"? Why?

You have a keen ear, young Padawan. The crowd shouts "Dirty! You're so, so dirty!" (or at least, they used to shout that - it has morphed more recently into "Dirty! You're oh so dirty!") The interplay stems from a fall 1997 New Hampshire show where Adam overenunciated the "T" in "dirty"; Ryan noticed, burst out laughing, and made fun of him for it. The band started messing around with it on stage immediately and word spread quickly, to the point where it became a tradition to shout it along with the band during the song. These days, the band does not shout it anymore, but Adam can be seen mouthing it on occasion along with the crowd.

12) Why don't they play [song] anymore?

The short answer is, because they don't want to. The long answer is, as the band has grown they've moved on from what they consider to be somewhat less mature, less sophisticated early material. They've always done their best to cater to fans' wishes, but in all honesty, when they're playing upwards of 150 shows a year, some tunes get boring really quickly.

13) What songs has Guster covered?
Following is a list of tunes Guster has covered live; the "Band" listed is the band best-known for the song in question, not necessarily the original writer. A single-date denomination means I'm unsure if this was a "serious" cover or if it was the band screwing around on stage; since the band jokingly messes around with so many songs I had to limit this list to serious covers only. In 2003 the band taped an episode for an MTV2 show called "Album Covers" where they covered the Violent Femmes' debut album in its entirety, accounting for the large number of Femmes covers listed below.

Song Band Era
Add It Up Violent Femmes 2003
All Night Long Lionel Richie 8/4/1994 (full?)
Another Brick In The Wall (Homecoming King outro) Pink Floyd 2002
Aquarela do Brasil Ary Barroso 2007
Back In Black AC/DC 1998
Blister In The Sun Violent Femmes 2003
The Boy With The Arab Strap Belle & Sebastian 2004, 2006
Boys Don't Cry The Cure 2003
Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon & Garfunkel 2003
California Dreamin' The Mamas & The Papas 2000
Celebration Kool & The Gang 2000
Chariots of Fire theme (Homecoming King outro) Unknown 2003
Circle Of Friends Edie Brickell 1998
Come On Eileen Dexy's Midnight Runners 1998, 2000
Comin' Back Soon Crash Test Dummies 1994
Confessions Violent Femmes 2003
Cum On Feel The Noize Quiet Riot 2000
The Devil Went Down To Georgia Charlie Daniels Band 1996 (TTG & Guster)
Donde Esta Santa Claus? Augie Rios 2003, Studio only
Down In It Nine Inch Nails 1994-1998, 2000
Dreidel Song Traditional 2002
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere Neil Young 2006
Faithfully Journey 1997-1998, 2000
Fifty Nifty United States Traditional 1997-1998
Fire & Rain James Taylor 2000
500 Miles The Proclaimers 1997
Girls Beastie Boys 1997
Gone Daddy Gone Violent Femmes 2003
Good Feeling Violent Femmes 2003
Happy Together The Turtles 1997-1998, 2001-2003
The Harder They Come Jimmy Cliff Studio only, 1998
Hello Lionel Richie 8/4/1994 (full?)
Here Comes Your Man The Pixies 2001
House Of The Rising Sun The Animals 1997-1998, 2000-2001
Hunger Strike Temple Of The Dog 2006
Hungry Like The Wolf Duran Duran 02/12/98 (full?), 10-03-98
I Am The Resurrection Stone Roses 2002
I Think We're Alone Now Tiffany 1996, 1998, 2000
I Wanna Be Sedated The Ramones 1997, 1999
Jolene (Demons interlude) Cake 2003
Keep Your Hands To Yourself Georgia Satellites 1997
Killing In The Name Of Rage Against The Machine 1996-2000
Kiss Me Sixpence None The Richer 2000-2002
Kiss Off Violent Femmes 2003
Laid James 2000
Like A Prayer Madonna 1992
Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard Simon & Garfunkel 1992
My Life Billy Joel 1999
99 Red Balloons Nena 1997-1998
(Nothing But) Flowers Talking Heads 2003-2005
Not The Same Ben Folds 2003
Numbers (I Spy outro) G. Love & Special Sauce 2000-2002
Ooh La La Rod Stewart & the Faces 1999
Please Do Not Go Violent Femmes 2003
Prove My Love Violent Femmes 2003
Rain Jackopierce 1992-1996, 1998
Respect Erasure 1994
Ring Of Fire Johnny Cash 2003
Sharp-Dressed Man ZZ Top 2000-2001
Sign Your Name Terence Trent D'Arby 1994
Signs Tesla 2003
Silent Night Traditional 1999
The Sounds of Silence Simon & Garfunkel 2000
Stand By Me Ben E. King 1998
Still Lovin' You Scorpions 1996
The Sun Shines Down On Me Daniel Johnston Studio only, 2004
Sweet Caroline Neil Diamond 1999, 2002
Sweet Ocean Jackopierce 1994
Sympathy For The Devil Rolling Stones 1992, 1997-1998
Time Of The Season The Zombies 2001
Total Eclipse Of The Heart Bonnie Tyler 2003
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Mozart 2003
Underwater Joe, Marc's Brother 2003
Where The Streets Have No Name (Two Points outro) U2 2002
White Wedding Billy Idol 7/12/97 (full?)
Wicked Game Chris Isaak 2002
Wipeout The Beach Boys 1997
You Don't Bring Me Flowers Neil Diamond 2002

Section 7: Miscellaneous

1) What's a rep? How do I become one?

When no one knew who Guster was, they would give their CDs to friends and fans to sell, and ask them to put up posters and distribute flyers when the band came to town. In exchange for the service, the band would hook the reps up with t-shirts and spots on guest lists, as well as invites to a semi-annual private show for reps and guests only. Nowadays, it's a little harder to guarantee spots on guest lists, but reps are still a big part of the Guster scene and three "Rep Rok" concerts have been successfully held to date. Go to the rep section of Guster Dot Com for more information, and in no time you'll have an official Guster Rep Badge (i.e., NKOTB trading card), and Rep Name (e.g., Glue Stic or Nahant).

2) What bands has Guster toured with/opened for?

This list is not exhaustive, but even the band couldn't come up with a complete one. Guster has done extensive touring with bands such as Jump Little Children, The Push Stars and others on the AWARE tours such as Thanks to Gravity, e:verything and Edwin McCain. They have put in months on the road opening for acts including the Barenaked Ladies, John Mayer and Semisonic, and shorter stints with such luminaries as the Dave Matthews Band and George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars. Thanks to the 'festivalization' of pop music over the past five years, they have also shared the stage with artists ranging from Bob Dylan and Sting to Nelly, Nas and Ludacris.

3) How can I get backstage?

Backstage passes are handed out to band members, crew, and family members only. Unless you are the band, work for the band, married to the band or gave birth to the band, you're likely not getting backstage passes. The band makes an effort to continue to be accessible to the fans by making themselves available in the public areas of the venues they play after their set. This is so no one gets shafted by not being able to get backstage and also because the backstage area is private band space that they use to get *away* from crowds. Please be considerate of the fact that they are normally extraordinarily tired after shows and chances are 1/3, 2/3 or 3/3 of the band may not feel up to an after-show appearance. They're not being assholes -- they're being human. To better understand the need for this rest, inspect the Thundergod's hands after a full set sometime (in the absence of actual Thundergod hands to inspect, consult the road journal).

4) I'm going to my first Guster show on Saturday and I don't want to look like a complete wank. Is there anything I should know?

Ah. You wish to know of the mysterious "Guster Traditions." A wise choice, my friend.

Here's a list of them, as complete as the fan2fan and message board denizens could make it. Note that many of the newer songs have yet to develop their own traditions and unfortunately many of these songs are no longer part of the live repertoire, so please check recent setlists before you pack your pockets with throwable goods.

  • "Happy Frappy": Throw Pixie Stix. That's all. Try not to hit anyone in the face...if they ever play this one again. You'll probably just end up eating them instead if you bring them to a show.
  • "Airport Song": This one has two traditions: after the line "I'll be hiding in your dirty room", shout "Dirty! You're so, so dirty!". Also, at the end of the song, throw ping-pong balls at the end to let the band know you've listened to Goldfly obsessively enough to hear the ping-pong fill at the end of this track.
  • "Barrel Of A Gun": Hold up the appropriate number of fingers (in the air, silly) during the "4, 3, 2, 1" countdown in the chorus.
  • "Great Escape": At the end of the "Girl she wants me girl she needs me" bridge section, scream "CIRCLE CIRCLE DOT DOT DOT" just before the quick-strum guitar riff.
  • "Bury Me": This one's lucky enough to have *two* traditions. First -- scream "JACKALS" just after Ryan sings it to compensate for the lack of album-echo in the live version. Second -- sing along with Ryan's guitar solo in the form of "doot doots".
  • "Either Way": Blow bubbles during the song. That's all. Extra points given for blowing them yourself instead of bringing a Bubble-O-Matic.
  • "Center Of Attention": After "And way up there", sing the "Oh oh oh" along with the band.
  • "All The Way Up To Heaven": Clap politely during the key change after the bridge - just like they do on the album.
  • "Homecoming King": If you're from, in, or near Massachusetts, you best be acknowledging the band's shout out to the beloved Commonwealth by raising your hands into the air and waving them around as if there were no repercussions.

  • 5) What guitars do Ryan and Adam play? What's in Brian's setup? What does Joe play?
    Huge thanks go to Liz in the Guster office for helping to flesh out this list. As she puts it, "It should be enough to answer some questions, but anything more specific will have to go to the musicians themselves as I have no freakin' idea." In an attempt to shorten this list I've tried to group similar instruments/equipment together; however, I'm not a musician so I may have put something in the wrong group - please let me know if that's the case and I'll fix it.

    Gibson Chet Atkins SST, Gibson ES 335, Jerry Jones Baritone GTR, Alvarez FY-200C, Gibson Dove, Gibson CL-45
    Victoria 2x10 Combo, Matchless Brave, Matchless DC-30
    Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man, Dan Electro Tuna Melt, Boss TU-2 (2), Boss GE-7, Boss BD-2, Myrold Super Duper Pedal Boss FS-5 (2), Line 6 Delay Modeler, Z.Vex Fuzz factory, MXR Distortion Plus, Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
    Furman PL-8 power conditioner
    Boss SE-70 effects processor
    Pendulum SPS-1 preamp
    Roland GR-30 guitar synth
    Whirlwind Direct Box
    3 Space Drawer
    Custom 6-way router
    Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2
    Rolls Midi Buddy
    Custom 4-way router
    Korg DTR-1 digital tuner
    Shure ULXP4 (2) wireless receivers
    Shure UA844 antenna splitter
    Boss TU-12 tuner
    DOD A/B/Y Selector
    When Adam's not playing the guitar, he'll sit down at his keyboard, which is run through an Apple PowerBook used as a MIDI controller. He also is reported to play a Gretsch. Exhaust Pipe Jeff notes that they use .73 millimeter gauge (Yellow) Dunlop Tortex® Standard guitar picks.

    Gibson Les Paul Standard, Rickenbacker Hollow body, Alvarez WY-1K, Fender Precision Bass, Alvarez DY-100, Ampeg Bass
    Fender Blues Junior, Fender Pro Junior
    Boss TU-2, Boss GE-7, Boss SD-1, Boss DD-5, Line 6 Delay Modeler, Line 6 Modulation Modeler
    Lehle A/B/Y Selector
    Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2
    Morley A/B/Y Selector
    Countryman DI (not used anymore?)
    Acoustic Magazine also quoted Ryan as using a Countryman DI but this may not be part of his setup anymore. Ryan also plays the harmonica on occasion, and uses an EBow on his Alvarez for sustain on certain tunes. According to resident gear expert Joe Campbell, "ryan uses it on happier (both old and new intros), i believe the new outro to i spy, used to use it on new song 2 when they used to play it, and now on rainy day, now that they actually do play that song. joe uses it on long way down, and i think the versions of cdash where he's not playing the lap steel."

    6x14" Nodar Rode snare, 15x20" Gretsch kick drum, 14x16" Tama Artstar II tom, 6x14" Chrome snare, 12" Remo Mondo snare drum (2), 16x20" Ludwig kick drum
    14" Sabian Rock hi-hats, 16" Sabian HH crash cymbal, 22" Zildjian ride cymbal, 18" Sabian crash ride, 12" Zildjian splash, 16" Sabian crash, 14" Sabian AAX studio crash, 12" Sabian AAX studio splash, 14" Zildjian quick beat hi-hats
    Camco hi-hat stand, Pearl cymbal stand, Mapex cymbal stand, Sonor hi-hat stand, Tama snare stand, LP drum tripod stand (2), LP drum basket (2), Pearl kick pedal (3), Yamaha boom cymbal arms (6), Premier cymbal stand, DW snare basket (2), Tama boom cymbal stand
    LP tumbadora, LP Giovanni series requinto, 12" Remo djembe, 14" Remo djembe, 12" LP djembe, LP Generation II bongos (2)
    Roc-n-Soc drum throne
    Gibraltar road series rack
    Alesis DM5 (2)
    RFX Midibuddy
    Boss Dr. Sample
    assorted Gibraltar hardware
    Brian also has a vibra-slap, tambourine, various shakers and jingle bells as part of his kit. The above is a mix of his percussion kit and his traditional drum kit.

    Kay Banjo
    Fender Mustang Bass
    Fender Telecaster
    Joe also plays the harmonica and tickles the ersatz ivories as well. Morgan Narkiewicz has confirmed that as of fall 2003 he has been playing a 5-string Alvarez Silver Belle Banjo. For the "MTV2 Album Covers" gig where the band played several Violent Femmes tunes, Joe added an Epiphone El Capitan acoustic bass to his arsenal.

    6) What's the deal with all the meowing?
    It all dates back to the heady days of Goldfly. The band used to play "Melanie" the same way it is on the sometimes-hidden, sometimes-not track. However, in later live versions of "Melanie", the band meows along with the guitar line, presumably because of boredom with the tune, and if you listen to it, the guitar kind of does sound like a meowing cat.

    Fast forward to April 2003, just prior to the release of Keep It Together. Suspicious that some unscrupulous folks might rip early releases of the album to mp3 and share them on various music-sharing services, they made a clever pre-emptive strike by releasing the so-called "meow mixes" to Kazaa, all mislabeled and all featuring their monitor engineer at the time, Matt Peskie, as the one and only "meowstro". Peskie would later bring the meowing full-circle when, in several late 2003 shows, he would join the band on stage and lend his meowing talents to the recently-resurrected "Melanie", and in recognition of the holidays, also recorded an all-meow version of "Carol Of The Bells", named - what else? - "Carol Of The Meows".

    [1] Mac Randall. "Acoustic Rock Straight From the Alma Mater." Launch (, 8/20/98

    [2] Does anyone think Texas is really arrogant for calling itself a Republic? Sorry :).