For a band with such exhilarating songs, the Cells are a tough band to label. They cobble together a 21st century sensibility with the sounds of 60s pop, '70s punk, glam, arena rock and new wave, as well as the plaintive jangle of Big Star and the ruthless crunch of AC/DC to create a clean, pure blast of music for people like themselves who can't find anything they like on the radio.
Though the the Cells' lineup has shifted more times than the San Andreas Fault, the band's one constant has been singer/guitarist Cory Hance's ringing voice and steady stream of unshakeable songs.
The Cells released their first disc, "We Can Replace You," on Orange Recordings (www.orangerecordings.com) in 2002. The disc garnered waves of favorable press and college and commercial radio play. The Cells toured the Eastern U.S. and played CMJ and the South by Southwest music festival.
But by early 2003, the Cells lineup that recorded "We Can Replace You" (Hance, drummer Randy Payne, guitarist Pat McIntyre and earlier-departed bassist Brede Hovland) was floundering.
Hance disbanded the Cells and decided to rebuild the whole thing from scratch, recruiting drummer Mark Doyle (Woolworthy, Verbow, Loud Lucy) and bass player Johnny Furman (the Darlings, the Lupins, the Webb Bros.). The new lineup began performing and writing new songs together in mid/late 2003, creating the most capable musical lineup and the best Cells songs yet.
Soon after, the invigorated band began writing the batch of new songs that would become the second Cells record. After vetting the songs live at countless shows, the Cells decended upon Andy Gerber's Million Yen studio in Chicago to lay down tracks, and to get pretzel crumbs all over his Cheap Trick memorabilia. The result of all of this is "Mayday," which was released in July of 2006.
As 2006 waned and 2007 is waxing, we find the Cells readying new material for an upcoming EP. The Cells are rehearsing and chomping at the bit to play their songs in your town!
The Cells' Alumni: Pat McIntyre now fronts the band Cisco Pike. Randy Payne now drums for Cisco Pike. Brede Hovland moved to LA to work in the film business and recently moved back to his native country Norway to start a film company. Skid Marks sang for Box-O-Car and now fronts the Ladies and Gentlemen. He was never too busy to fill in on bass when the Cells needed it. He's a good friend. Josh James' James Dean looks & rock & roll attitude added a nice charged-up vibe to the Cells shows he played. Rick Ness has a cult following for being a talented musician and twisted pop songwriting genius. He played bass with us for over a year, and hosted many fun toxic parties at his house, Club Ness. His band is called Ness. Zack Shneider, a multi-instrumentalist, played a few shows with us on bass, including SXSW, before going to greener pastures with the Webb Brothers. Bob Rising, better known as drummer of such bands as The Poster Children, HardVaark and Seam, played bass with us the summer of 2002. Kevin Hoetger was the Cells' first drummer ever. He now fronts his own band in Austin, TX. Dave Suh played a show with us once at the Metro filling in for Pat. Doug Corella played one or two transitional Cells shows on drums and did some keyboard tracks as well. Andy Gerber isn't in the Cells per se, but he's helped so much with recording & production assistance, not to mention moral support, it seems a shame not to include him. He owns Million Yen studios in Chicago.
Cory Hance wishes he could be driving in his car all of the time, listening to the radio and drinking Coke out of Big Gulp cups, ambling from town to town and having a different adventure every week. He sings and plays the guitar. This summer (2007) he's furthing his education and finally learning how to "shred."
Drummer and thirsty Irishman Mark Doyle has traveled the world playing drums with the bands Woolworthy, Verbow and Loud Lucy. Incredibly likeable (and ladies, single) he's one ferocious motherfucker when he gets behind his drum set.
Bassist Johnny Furman is the tallest Cell ever, at a towering 6'4" tall. He's charming in an unassuming, old-world kind of way. He has a private zoo of animals, including a sugar glider, rabbit and 56-year-old tortoise. He likes whiskey, especially Wild Turkey and Knob Creek.