Okay, look, we know how most of these band bios start. It usually goes something like this: Imagine a band that mixes [insert well-known indie band here] with [insert famous pop artist here] sprinkled with a dash of [for intrigue, insert descriptive noun here]. And of course, it's usually complete bullsh*t. Unless, that is, you're talking about Smash-Up Derby.
That's because Smash-Up Derby indeed does do all of the above – quite literally. In fact, they're a totally kick-ass indie cover band – except the singers think they're in a pop band. So while the band is cranking out rockin' renditions of songs by your favorite grunge or rock acts, the singers are belting out diva pop - at the same time! On paper, it sounds like a train wreck, but in actuality, it melds beautifully. With the band's skillful execution, these "hybrid songs" sound like they were always meant to be together. You'll never hear the originals the same way again.
It's no surprise to discover that Smash-Up Derby was started by none other than singer-turned-DJ Adrian Roberts, who went from fronting the well-known San Francisco glam band Blue Period, to becoming an even more popular mash-up DJ and club promoter. Known mostly for throwing Bootie, the first mashup club in the United States, Adrian first conceived of the band in early 2003, thinking it would be fun to do live versions of the bootleg DJ mixes they had been spinning. He soon recruited ex-Blue Period drummer-turned-DJ Matty C., a.k.a. club Bootie's resident rock mash-up DJ Dada, and together they created a band to do a one-off show. But, it wasn't until a year later that things really kicked into gear, when they somehow convinced three-fourths of SF hard rock band For Madmen – guitarists Jamie Cronander and Jason Martinez, and bassist Sam Henry – to join them in this unholy union of indie rock versus shameless pop.
Now, Smash-Up Derby has an entire repertoire of bastard pop songs, and have released an eight-song demo CD, which they refuse to sell – instead, they give it away for free at shows. They pride themselves as being known as the world's only mash-up rock band, and have a monthly residency at the DNA Lounge, as the club Bootie house band.