The Woolly Bandits we’re born in 2004 from the resurrection of 1960′s garage rock legends The Seeds as the new back-up band.
Los Angeles Veteran Rock N’ Roll Crusader, Rik Collins, rescued acid-guru, and way-out Seeds front man Sky Saxon from virtual obscurity in 2002.
Rik Collins (vocals, bass) and Mark Bellgraph (guitar) formed the new back-up band for Sky Saxon and toured Europe three times and helped to bring Sky back to prominence before his passing last year. The audiences, press and promoters wanted to know who this new young band was. It was at this point the bands European booking agent suggested they start their own band, and The Woolly Bandits were born.
The band named themselves after a nickname one of Sky’s girlfriends had given him and released, in 2006, their debut album “Say Hello To My Little Friend” on Dionysus Records as a three piece.
In 2005, The Woolly Bandits made an important addition to the group, Christa Collins (formerly Christa Larson. When Christa Collins joined the Woolly Bandits, she had not performed since a guest appearance on Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” in 1991.
As Disney’s first recording artist and the prototype for the child music star (Christa Larson – Minnie and Me), her career was on a trajectory for stardom. And then tragedy struck.
While on tour in Australia supporting her new CD, Christa’s mother, Denice, was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver. Christa was no longer the same girl after losing her mother, manager, and guiding force. Disney released Christa from her recording contract shortly after, at age 12.
It would be years and many transformations before Christa returned to the stage.
Christa might have thought she was done with music, but music wasn’t done with her. Recognizing a born performer with a voice too good for the sidelines, mutual friends prodded Christa to dip her toes back into musical waters and introduced her to Rik. Her first gig was singing back up on a new Seeds album and on a joint Seeds/ Woolly Bandits 2005 European tour.
Disney’s loss was The Woolly Bandits gain. Although The Woolly Bandits were actively touring and recording before Christa hit the scene, when she stepped into the band, she set off some kind of musical chemical reaction that sent the band’s evolution and sound into overdrive. For Christa, heading back into the spotlight unleashed the pent up front woman kept inside for so long, making every performance more of a purging than a simple gig, The de-Disney-fication of Christa is in full bloom. And The Woolly Bandits had their front woman.
In 2009, Citation Records took notice and signed The Woolly Bandits. They released “Woman of Mass Destruction” the same year, to rave reviews and became legendary KROQ radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer’s favorite new band and album.
It’s difficult to categorize the sound of The Woolly Bandits, but think Garage Punk meets Wanda Jackson, Motorhead, The Pretenders, X, B-52s, Leslie Gore, The Jabbers and James Brown. I know weird huh? Just have to see and hear for yourselves.
Live show is everything. Woolly Bandit fans get to revel in the explosion at every show, but they don’t get to just sit back and take it all in. The band demands energy from the audience, and they get it. Even if chin stroking is your usual show stance, you’ll be up front and dancing with The Woolly Bandits before you even know what hit you. Being witness to things like the world’s only tandem drum solo doesn’t hurt when it comes to getting the crowd revved up, of course, but the good times happening on stage have a way of bringing out the Woolly Bandit inside everyone in the room.
In 2011 Christa Collins made the top 8 of her category on the first season of X FACTOR, only to have here real life story edited out. A midst threats by Disney lawyers. Although she was an obvious favorite, she was cut. But made a big impact (see her video on You Tube for The RadioHead song No Surprises).
The Woolly Bandits have a new record ready to go Fall 2012 by famed producer Kerry Brown
and look for the bad new band and project coming by years end.
Bomp Shu Bomp baby!