About Datura Seeds
Led by singer/guitarist Paul Mahern, the Datura Seeds were descendants of Indianapolis hardcore heroes the Zero Boys, an underrated influence on the development of American punk-pop in the '80s. The Zero Boys issued their only album, Vicious Circle, in 1982, and although they never recorded another one, they reunited periodically during the '80s for tours. Finally, in 1989, frontman Mahern moved on to the Datura Seeds, whose sound was closer to straight-up power pop than punk. The Datura Seeds' supporting cast behind Mahern included Lee Cuthbert, Vess Ruhtenberg, Tom Downs, and Jonee Quest. Their lone album, Who Do You Want It to Be?, was released on the Toxic Shock label in 1990, and while it won positive reviews, it failed to find an audience due in part to the label's association with more aggressive hardcore. Mahern moved on to a prolific career as a producer and studio engineer, working with the likes of the Blake Babies, Lisa Germano, and John Mellencamp, among many others. Cuthbert moved to Atlanta and co-founded the Gentle Readers with Susan Fitzsimmons (ex-Vulgar Boatmen). Ruhtenberg played guitar in the post-Blake Babies project Antenna and went on to lead the United States 3, which also included ex-Zero Boys drummer Mark Cutsinger; Ruhtenberg also served as temporary bassist in the Gentle Readers and the Mahern-produced Mysteries of Life.