THE MAKING OF AMMATUSK
2 parts guitarist, 1 part bassist, 1 part drummer. mix well.
It was sometime in 1997 that Jason Phillips and Scott Smith first met working at the same place and always talked about forming a band but not actually doing it. They had a name before they had a band; that came out of of an inside joke from their jobs. Two years later, Spike Ruland joined them on drums and the trio began working on songs that would eventually become the debut CD "Welcome to the Learning Curve."
Since this was a side project to life for everyone in the group, progress moved slowly. The three found it a bit tricky to demand Phillips play all the guitar bits himself and the guys decided to look for another guitarist. In late 2003, Jason brought in Dave Bishop as a second guitarist and the first night as a quartet, they wrote the music to the song "Jason's Fireplace" (named because Jason did, indeed, have a fire going on a cold November night in Wisconsin). Smith wrote the basic lyrics the next day and after that, it was clear that Bishop was in the group to stay.
April 1, 2005, saw the release of Learning Curve and as Scott Smith said, "It was perfect after all the roadblocks to getting it done that it was actually released on April Fool's Day." Several of the songs from the CD charted on AudioStreet.net's rock chart, including "Jason's Fireplace," which went to #1.
After Learning Curve came out, the band more or less took a break. "We were still getting together, but it was a few of us one week; another combination the next week. It was rare for the four of us to be in the same room at the same time," said Smith. "So we said, 'ok, let's let it lie for a while and see what happens.'"
Bishop, Phillips and Smith started writing again, although "it was more snippets than songs. If we were paid per snippet, we'd be millionaires," laughed Smith. "We probably have dozens and dozens of little ideas on a hard drive somewhere." The band even considering writing music for submission to films and commercials. "We're great at instrumentals. It's those damn lyrics that get us everytime," Smith said.
In 2011, drummer Scott Baldewicz joined Dave Bishop, Jason Phillips and Scott Smith as Ammatusk began working on the songs for the second CD. The band also began the work on adding covers to its repertoire and on June 30, 2012, Ammatusk played its first (very long overdue) live show followed seven days later by another show for friends and family. The band worked on additional shows during 2012-2014.
The latest from Ammatusk, "Jar of Knowledge": Available 1 April 2015.