Bruce Anderson and Dale Sophiea have been musical partners for over 25 years and are currently members of MX-80.
Dale Sophiea and Bruce Anderson (click here photo for hi res version)
After meeting at Indiana University in 1968 where they attended art and music school, respectively, they formed The Screaming Gypsy Bandits, a guerrilla music ensemble that fed Bloomington’s thriving underground scene.
In 1974, MX-80 Sound was born and quickly alienated all but the most sophisticated or brain-dead of their followers. In the wake of MX-80’s debut ep, “Big Hits”, Island Records released their first album, “Hard Attack”, world-wide. Since Indiana didn’t seem the appropriate place to base a fruitful musical career, the boys moved to California and were promptly dropped by Island.
Two well-received albums, “Out of the Tunnel” and “Crowd Control,” and assorted smaller stuff on The Resident’s Ralph Records somehow failed to integrate MX-80 into any musical community.
O-Type members, Bruce Anderson, Dave Mahoney, Marc Weinstein, Dale Sophiea and Jim Hrabetin
click here to download a press size photo
Bewildered but invigorated at being outsiders no matter where they were or which record label signed them, Anderson and Sophiea started their own label, Quadruped, and busily cranked-out several diverse types of music under a slew of names, including O-Type, The Gizzards, Brutality, Half-Life, and of course MX-80.
In 1984, they asked Marc Weinstein and Jim Hrabetin to join in the fun, infusing MX-80 with a dose of weirdness (baffling most observers who agreed that this was the last thing the band needed) and turning O-Type and The Gizzards into performing entities.
The confusing scattershot strategy seems to have had some effect, since albums by MX-80 (two double re-releases, a studio recording, “I’ve Seen Enough” and a live recording, “Always Leave Them Wanting Less”) and Brutality were released on cd by Atavistic Records out of Chicago; and O-Type’s “Mommy” came out under Oakland’s Electro-Motive banner before the band was picked up by Family Vineyard, based in their old hometown, Bloomington..
Since then, Family Vineyard has released five O-Type albums from a series of recordings called The New Edge, the band’s first ever DVD, “GodAwful.” and MX-80’s new opus, “We’re An American Band.”
See O-Type Music pages for CD releases and song samples.
Dale Sophiea and Bruce Anderson, founding members of O-Type
Screaming Gypsy Bandits
"In the Eye"
See Mike Bourne's DownBeat review of Screaming Gypsy Bandits with Captain Beefheart
Family Vineyard CD
"This is out on the edge of both what is expected and what is allowed. Anderson's darkly meditative and thoughtfully screaming guitar has never sounded more at home. These veterans of MX-80 have evolved into something nobody's found a name for yet." -- Henry Kaiser