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Taintstick have often been described as an alternative metal/alternative rock equivalent of Spinal Tap -- and, to be sure, their satirical work lampoons '90s and 21st century rock in much the same way that Spinal Tap lampooned heavy metal and hard rock back in the Ronald Reagan years. Spinal Tap thrived on irony, and so do the members of Taintstick. However, Taintstick have a lot of influences that Spinal Tap didn't have, including punk, grunge, industrial rock, rap-metal, and hip-hop. Spinal Tap, unlike Taintstick, were not directly or indirectly influenced by White Zombie, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Linkin Park, or Korn, most of whom didn't make their recording debuts until the '90s (Rob Zombie formed White Zombie's original lineup in 1985, although it wasn't until the early '90s that they really took off commercially). Nonetheless, it is evident that Taintstick -- much like Spinal Tap in their day -- are having a good laugh at the expense of their peers, and it is a laugh that comes across as affectionate and good-natured rather than condescending. In other words, one gets the impression that Taintstick genuinely like the alt-rockers they have been lampooning.
Taintstick were formed in Hollywood, CA, in 2007 by Jason "The Future" Ellis and bassist Benji Madden (b. March 11, 1979, Waldorf, MD). Before Taintstick's formation, Ellis was making a name for himself as both a skateboarder and a satellite radio shock jock; Ellis' brand of shock radio (which is associated with in-your-face personalities like Howard Stern, Tom Leykis, and Bubba the Love Sponge) is also known as "hot talk" or "FM talk" in the United States, and Taintstick's music has received extensive exposure on Sirius XM's Faction channel. Madden, meanwhile, is best known for co-founding the well-known alternative pop-rock/punk-pop band Good Charlotte with his twin brother, Joel Madden, who is Good Charlotte's lead singer (the Madden brothers, along with producer/DJ Jason "Jay E" Epperson, have also been part of the Dead Executives, a production/songwriting team that has worked with Three 6 Mafia, rapper J-Kwon, teen popster Hilary Duff, and others). While Benji Madden has played guitar in Good Charlotte, he has concentrated on the bass in Taintstick -- who were originally called Tony Hawk's Taintstick (the San Diego-born Tony Hawk is a professional skateboarder) but ended up shortening their name to simply Taintstick. In addition to Ellis and Benji, the band's members have included Mike "Cowfucker" Tully on guitar, Christian "Shoebox" Hand on drums, and Josh "Raw Dog" Richmond on cowbell.
In October 2009, Suburban Noize released Taintstick's debut album, 6 Lbs. of Sound. Taintstick came up with a goofy publicity stunt to promote the album; thinking that country-pop superstar Tim McGraw's Southern Voice album was being released on the same day, Taintstick's members declared that whoever sold the fewest number of albums would have to retire from music permanently. But McGraw didn't respond to the challenge -- and it turned out that even though 6 Lbs. of Sound and Southern Voice were released during the same month, they had different release dates. ~ Alex Henderson