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Wheatus is an American rock group from Northport, New Yorkmarker. They are known largely for their 2000 hit single "Teenage Dirtbag" which was featured in the movie Loser.


Wheatus was formed by Brendan B. Brown in 1995. Brown wrote a few songs, enlisted the help of his brother Peter on drums and Rich Liegey on bass (he was replaced by Mike McCabe after the release of their self-titled debut Wheatus). In 1999, they hired New York attorney Ray Maiello to shop their self produced debut album and signed with Kevin Patrick at Columbia Records; shortly thereafter, Maiello was hired as band manager. Brown's favorite song to play is "From Listening To Lightning"

Wheatus' first and largest hit was "Teenage Dirtbag," which charted at #2 in the UKmarker. Their second single "A Little Respect" (an Erasure cover) also reached high chart positions, and was another top-3 hit for the band on the UK singles chart. Their third single, a double A-side of "Leroy" and "Wannabe Gangstar" (the single version of the latter featuring Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden), was recorded at Abbey Road in the famed studio 2 and was immediately at the center of a large dispute through which a Sony UK A and R representative named Ollie tried to turn them into a multi genre act like the Gorillaz, because he liked the Gorillaz. The single consequently didn't perform as well as the first 2, reaching twenty-third in the UK singles chart.

When the band began work on their second album, Liz Brown (the sister of the brothers Brown) and Kathryn Froggat (previously the band's merchandiser) teamed up for backing vocals. Shannon Harris of Relish (who had supported Wheatus on their earlier tours) signed on as keyboardist, at the request of Brendan Brown.

Due to disagreements with their record label over Brendan B. Brown's refusal to lip sync on Top Of The Pops, Wheatus' second album, Hand Over Your Loved Ones, received little or no promotion in the UK and was never even released by Sony in the USA. Consequently it did not sell well, with the single "American in Amsterdam" also failing to significantly impact the music charts (it reached number 72). In October 2004, Michael Bellar joined Wheatus on keyboard, as former keyboarder Shannon Harris had left the band earlier that year. The band re-released their second album in 2005 under the title Suck Fony on their own label Montauk Mantis with two new songs, "William McGovern" and the Pat Benatar cover "Hit Me with Your Best Shot". The album was originally only available from the band's website, except in the United Kingdommarker and Republic of Irelandmarker. There, a greater demand for Wheatus albums, and a greater proliferation of independent music stores, allowed the band to get a distribution contract, despite the relative obscurity of their record label. (As of April 2007, Suck Fony is available on iTunes and eMusic).

At some point in time, Wheatus was signed by Warner Bros. to perform a theme for the Warner Bros. cartoon show Jackie Chan Adventures. The band members decided to remake one of their rather obscure songs titled "Punk Ass Bitch" for the theme ("Punk Ass Bitch" which was penned by Liegey, remains one of the most downloaded Wheatus songs according to iTunes). Their performance was later scrapped in favor of an instrumental theme for the show, but was used as the ending theme, and in a few commercial advertisements for the show, on the Warner Bros. television network.

Bassist Mike McCabe left the band in early 2005 to pursue a career with the National Ballet of China, McCabe spent 6 weeks touring where he took part in the performances of Swan Lake and Giselle, performing in the cities of Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai. However soon after the tour, he left the company, later stating in an interview that "Ballet was not for him". Shortly after his departure from the band McCabe was replaced by Nicolas diPierro. Later that year, Michael Bellar also left and was replaced by Gerard Hoffmann. The line-up changes continued in January 2006, with the departure of diPierro from the band. He was replaced by 19-year-old rookie bassist Matt Milligan. A line-up change was announced on 2 May 2006: Drummer Pete Brown gave up being a musician to get married and live "a 'normal' life". He was replaced by Kevin Garcia, leaving Brendan Brown as the only member remaining from the original line-up. The next line up change occurred only five days later, on 9 May 2006, with Kathryn Froggatt leaving the band due to pregnancy, and also to concentrate on future solo work. Kathryn was replaced by Connie Renda shortly after announcing her departure from the band, who has recently been replaced by Missy.

In February 2007, Wheatus joined the UK leg of the Get Happy Tour, along with founders Bowling For Soup and Army of Freshmen and British pop-punk outfit Son of Dork, for a sold out 13 show tour (due to Wheatus and Son of Dork not performing at one show).

On 19 September, 2007, Liz Brown announced her departure from the band to take place after a home show in New Yorkmarker. Missy took a back step from her band vocal duties to concentrate on studying and now the backing vocalists are Johanna Cranitch and Georgia. Wheatus will start working on their new album on 11 October, looking to a release early 2008 and a UK tour in spring 2008.

On 1 February 2008 the band announced on their official website that they are working on new material, culminating in the announcement that the music will be available to download when finished and tentatively available in vinyl or on CD in late 2008.

In March 2008, Wheatus performed several U.S dates, and have now announced dates for an acoustic set in October and November in the U.K. Check their official website for details. Also in March 2008 wheatus played the Get Happy Showcase as part of the SXSW festival in Austin TX in 2008. They then entered the Montauk Mantis Studios at the Wheatus compound in Northport, NY to continue working on Pop, Songs and Death, Vol 1: The Lightning EP, which is slotted for release in the spring of 2009. They spent the entire summer working on it there. It is being recorded using the ultra high resolution SONOMA DSD mutli-track recording system.

In October-November, 2008 brendan b brown, Kalrie Bruce and Johanna Crannitch completed a successful tour of the UK during which some of the new material was showcased in its stripped down acoustic form.

The first single, "Real Girl", was released on November 18, 2008 along with an extended video, that was written, directed and shot by brendan b. brown with assistance from Missy Heselton and Matthew Milligan.

The recording of "Pop Songs and Death" has continued all the while. It will eventually consist of 45 songs and be released in seasonal EP volumes.

During the winter of 2008-2009 brendan b brown completed some of the scoring for the upcoming major motion picture April Showers, which deals directly with the Columbine Massacremarker. The film was written and directed by Columbine survivor Andrew Robinson. The film stars Tom Arnold among others and is scheduled for theatrical release in April 2009.

The release of Pop, Songs & Death: Vol. 1 The Lightning EP was scheduled for June 1, 2009, but took longer due to a series of technical difficulties, including a server crash on their own website. The album is available in various formats: including mp3, FLAC, and DSD.


Former members

  • Rich Liegey – bass
  • Vanessa Jimenez – back-up vocals
  • Philip Jimenez – multiple instruments
  • Shannon Patrick Harris – keyboards
  • Mike Joseph McCabe – bass
  • Michael Bellar – keyboards
  • Nicolas diPierro – bass
  • Peter McCarrick Brown – drums
  • Kathryn Elizabeth Froggatt – back-up vocals
  • Constance Renda – back-up vocals
  • Elizabeth Grace Brown – back-up vocals
  • Melissa Heselton – back-up vocals
  • Georgia Haege – back-up vocals




Year Song UK U.S. Modern Rock AUS NED NZ AUTmarker FINmarker SWEmarker GERmarker Album
2000 "Teenage Dirtbag" 2 7 1 14 27 1 9 2 2 Wheatus
2001 "A Little Respect" 3 41 19 32
2002 "Wannabe Gangstar" / "Leroy" 22
2003 "American in Amsterdam" 59 Hand Over Your Loved Ones / Suck Fony
2004 "Lemonade"
2005 "BMX Bandits" TooSoonMonsoon
2006 "The London Sun"
2008 "Something Good"
2008 "Change The World" (Black Precedent) unknown
2008 "Real Girl" Pop, Songs & Death Volume 1: The Lightning EP

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