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  WINDY CITY TIMES

MUSIC Mike Maimone and the Mutts set out to impress in 2015
by Lauren E. Childers
2015-01-28

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Mike Maimone is a gay musician whose most recent passion project is as manager, vocalist, and keyboardist with the band, the Mutts. The Mutts released its latest album, Fuel Yer Delusion Vol. 4, on Dec. 9, 2014. The band also recently performed at Riot Fest 2014 and Maimone was featured at the OUTspoken series at Sidetrack, a monthly LGBTQ live storytelling event.

All members of the Mutts, before joining, were playing for other bands. "We wanted something ours," expressed Maimone. "…so we would not have to fit into a particular sound." Not long after the band formed, they opened for the Plain White T's and have gone on to perform at a plethora of festivals and shows. The group chose the name to mean that they refused to be pinned to a single genre or influence; though one fan has described the music as "ragtime grunge."

"[What started] as a hobby turned into a passion project," said Maimone.

Maimone described the music making process with his band as a "catharsis—[we] just do what feels good." This philosophy produced the theme for the concept album Fuel Yer Delusion: that losing track of relationships is inevitable if one gets too absorbed in any one thing—not allowing time for a relationship to be nurtured.

In addition to performing with the Mutts, Maimone has set out on solo tours in part to promote the band. "This past year I went overboard," expressed Maimone. By taking on virtually every opportunity Maimone was always away on tour which he expressed led to the break-up with his boyfriend of six years.

During the winter of 2014, following the break-up, Maimone wrote the music for Fuel Yer Delusion.

"[At that point] it was a question of: was it life imitating art? Or vice versa?" articulated Maimone.

Now the Mutts have "concise tours" to avoid just what their album warns against.

Maimone acts as proud member of the gay community by performing in things such as the OUTspoken event and upcoming event Homolatte, while resisting any imposed inclinations to define him by his sexuality.

"It's like the Harvey Milk thing—being out—that a doctor, a lawyer… can be gay."

The Mutts have an upcoming show at the Subterranean on Feb. 19 for Dunn Dunn Fest. Maimone will be playing solo at Homolatte at Big Chicks/Tweets on Feb. 3 and will now be playing every 1st Thursday of the month at High Hat Club—new piano bar/jazz lounge.

To find their music, visit muttsmusic.com/fuel .


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