Steven Graff formed Clutter in 1994 after encouragement from new-found friends Rivers Cuomo, Justin Fisher and Matt Sharp. The initial lineup was a trio comprised of Graff, Stephen Casa on bass, and Brian Taylor on drums. After a few gigs, the lineup was expanded to include, in turn, Keith Fallis, then Lee Jossel on drums, and Robert Ramos on bass and backing vocal. Casa would play guitar.
The band gigged heavily in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, playing at such venues as Jack's Sugar Shack, Spaceland, and the Martini Lounge. They were featured in two Poptopia Festivals as well, and had recorded a demo version of songs that would eventually end up on their debut CD years later.
In 1998, the band had to change its name to Slapdash, and shortly thereafter went on hiatus when a key member had to relocate, and Graff married. In 2000 a new trio lineup emerged, and lasted only two gigs.
It wasn't until 2006 that Graff was able to fund production of a CD release. "Reciprocal" was a collection of songs, including some from the Clutter era, produced and engineered by Robbie Rist (The Andersons, Wonderboy, Nice Guy Eddie) and Missy Buettner (The Last). Graff played every instrument but drums, which were played by Rist, and sang all of the vocals and backing vocals. Sessions spanned 10 months, since they were only able to meet once a week for a period of 3-4 hours each, due to their other obligations.
When "Reciprocal" was finally released, a college radio promotion ended up earning airplay on 150 stations throughout the U.S. Graff joined BMI and acquired the US Trademark to the band name. A gigging band was comprised of various members on a gig-by-gig basis. Drummers included Robbie Rist and Marc Joseph; bass players included Kim Hill (Rosemary's Billygoat) and Scott Brown (Finland Station). The group played in the Los Angeles International Pop Overthrow Festival in 2008, and again went into a sort of hiatus, partly because the pop scene was waning and gigs were hard to come by, and partly due to a personal loss, which Graff struggled with throughout 2008-2010.
In 2009, Graff and Rist began work on a follow-up CD of songs (working title "Lost Luggage") which were to be framed by a common theme (The American Immigrant). The sessions took longer, owing to problems Rist had with the construction of a studio on his premises, and other obligations he had. By the end of the sessions, in 2010, Graff was dissatisfied with the mixes, and with Rist's blessing, purchased a DAW program and began the process of remixing and re-recording parts to suit his taste. In Sept. 2010, the first single, an instrumental titled "Fond Farewell" was released as an mp3, with accompanying artwork, also designed by Graff. Over the course of the next months a single was released about once a month, each with original artwork, each as an mp3. Plans for a CD release became less likely, but were to feature the original "Rist mixes" and production, since they were very different from the "Graff" versions.
The band does not gig, and Steven Graff plans to re-assemble a gigging band, or some collaborative effort that would lead to gigging, to promote his music in the near future. In the meantime, the plan is to continue to produce and release mp3 singles on a regular basis.