If you aren't one of the elite who is already well acquainted with The Frustrators, here are the basic facts. The band is basically four guys and one rubber chicken. And there you have a very important clue to one of the driving forces behind this Californian pop/punk band - their sense of humour.
The full line-up is this: Jason Chandler on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Terry Linehan on backing vocals and lead guitar, Mike Dirnt on backing vocals and bass, and Art Tedeschi on drums. And the chicken? Stanley ('All hail!' comes the cry from the fans) is credited as being the band's hairdresser and spiritual advisor. According to recent information, the band's manager, Jimmy Zeus, is a monkey, but this has yet to be authenticated.
Jason, Art and Terry originally come from the east coast of America, but along with mike now live in the Berkely/San Francisco area of California. They have all played in various bands before (and still do for that matter), with Art and Terry having the band Waterdog listed on their CV's, and Art and Jason previously playing in the amazingly named 'Violent Anal Death'. Mike, while not playing with The Frustrators, has a little-known side project called Green Day. The band is currently signed to Adeline RecordsAdeline Records, which is owned by Adreinne and Billie Joe Armstrong. Billie Joe is also the front man for Green Day. The Adeline label also boasts the likes of Dillinger Four, The Thumbs, One Man Army, and Pinhead Gunpowder (another of Billie Joe's side projects).
The Frustrators was originally just Art, Terry and Mike jamming in their spare time. In 1999 they finally decided it was time to find themselves a suitable front man. Art having previously worked with Jason approached him and invited him out on an afternoon of karaoke. And so the band was completed. They worked together from then on, as often as they could until they reached a point where they felt they had sufficient material to record their first EP.
'Bored In The USA' not only parodies the title of the most famous album by the 'Boss' himself1, it also includes Jason's version of the album cover which he designed using his rent-paying talents as a graphic designer and cartoonist. The first track on Bored is the classic song 'I Slept With Terry'. With additional vocals provided by the Frustrettes, the song charts one of Terry's disastrous dates where on asking his date the next morning if he was good in bed gets the reply 'You passed out, you woke up, you puked on my cat.' Meanwhile Jason is heard to bemoan that all he got from sleeping with Terry was a commemorative calendar. The band's humour is evident throughout the EP, with songs such as 'She Walked Away' offering up visions of Jason locked out of the house at midnight dressed just in his socks, to 'West of Texas', an awesome song full of acute paranoia and a one-eyed dog. 'Great Australian Midget Toss' is one song that some people have taken the wrong way; it was never intended to offend anybody. Apart from singing about girls, cars ('Brown Mercury Comet') and rotting food ('You're Only Human') the band has included their first cover version. All too often when bands decide to go down this route, they leave the listener with a serious urge to throttle the offending band. The Frustrators manage to avoid this with their version of Blondie's 'Living In The Real World'.
Album!Achtung Jackass is the band's first proper album. It contains one of the fans' favourite songs, 'Pirate Song', which came from what will no doubt end up as one of Terry's world famous one-liners 'Have you seen the look in a pirate's eyes when he hears the cry 'Last call'?', and can only be described as a crowd-pleasing vocal work-out. 'Frustrators Jingle' is a song that could be said to sum up the band's attitude to the fact that very few people have heard of them, with the opening verse of 'I'm just as stupid as I want to be, but I don't care coz you don't know me and that's okay coz I'm frustrated any way.' Jackass also includes the band's second cover version, an amazing rendition of The Cars' 'My Best Friend's Girl'. The final offering from the band on this outing into the big scary world of public entertainment is simply titled 'Bonus Track'. For reasons best known to the band it has been recorded backwards, including some mysterious comments from what turns out to be Jason and Mike. For those who want to hear the version that plays the right way round, you will have to get your hands on a copy of the Adeline compilation, Might As Well... Can't Dance.
Because each member of the band has commitments elsewhere, The Frustrators unfortunately are never likely to be a band that you see playing in your local pub. So why do it then? Why bother having yet another band? Well, because these guys like playing in bands! They all have a passion for music, as well as eyeing up the girls, driving clapped out old cars, drinking beer and basically having a great time while doing it. And if there was any justice in the world, they might even get to pay some of the rent with the proceeds.
And why not?