Second Rate Brain
Second Rate Brain was formed in 2004 in Red Deer, Alberta by guitarist/vocalist Mike Grimberg, bassist, Trevor Warden and drummer Greg Rentz. This sporadic union endured but a while with Grimberg carrying the torch through further incarnations. Some low quality recordings were produced and some even lower quality performances were wrought upon a less than appreciative public. 2008 was a watershed year in that S.R.B. went into project form. With the assistance of some studio musicians and a recognised producer and a large budget the ambitious "Welcome Golden Dream" album was produced. Afterwards S.R.B. signed with Abaca Music International. Recently the singles "Good Life Go" and "Catch a Glance" have made it onto the Canadian airwaves. Still in high recording gear S.R.B. is finalising the soon to be released "Dismal Party" CD. Live performances may be announced in the upcoming months.
Nothing is as decidedly second rate as being a half and half. Half German, half Canadian, Mike grew up the hinterlands of Western Canada near a place called Pine Lake. Amid the symphony of cow flatulus and perils of falling duck poop Mike learned early the lessons of perseverance and individuality. Mike grew up in a household filled with the old German sounds of oom-pa-pas and Mozart. But as child one usually seeks out the current and fittingly the late seventies and eighties were rich with popular musics of all sorts.
Every musician has a story as to how they picked up their first instrument but Mike's is a little out of the ordinary. One day on the hours long townward journey on the puke spattered school bus Mike invited a cooler looking older kid who always got stuck sitting at the front of the bus to sit at the back with him. Turns out the filthy punk had a dirt bike just like Mike and before long they were out riding the coulees, forests and sand pits together. And as better luck would have it Mike's new friend had the most amazing parents who were part of an excellent country band. That's where Mike picked up his first guitar, a 1962 Fender Telecaster, and strummed the most horrible chord.
In his teen years Mike moved into town, improved slightly (author's emphasis) on an older brother's guitar and assimilated into the Heavy Metal crowd. Mike jammed and partied his way through high school in a prog rock band called "The Mutants" and graduated to the infamous "Pxaxs Orre", a band known more for its many deceased or incarcerated members. Fearing the inevitable Mike pulled up stakes and went off to University in Calgary.
City life was shallow and frustrating for Mike so feelings of rebellion were satiated by the formation of a country outfit called " Delbert and the Pickle Stompers". At the waning end of Metal and the height of Grunge Delbert and company couldn't have gotten an engagement under a bridge or sewer pipe. After University Mike quit music for a while to pursue visual art but this was about a fruitful a career move as Dick Cheney taking up skeet shooting.
Meanwhile one of Mike's high school pals moved to Los Angeles and became a resounding success in the Euro Metal scene. On subsequent transatlantic hops Mike was introduced to big time artistes such as the Scorpions and Deep Purple. Hanging out with the greats was more than motivational.
A short while later while occupying a stable job in the civil service Mike initiated a re-union with the surviving members of "Pxaxs Orre". This resulted in a couple of low budget releases that sold worse than urinal cakes in Nebraska. Again frustrated Mike recruited some veteran punk musicians for his solo debut "Not Good Enough" CD The title was prophetic and the CD was never officially released, though there are some who contend it is Mike's greatest artistic triumph to date.
Mike immediately started work on "Animal Thoughts", a more organized attempt at music if ever there was one. Produced by legendary soundsmith Simon Williams (best known for his work with Pxaxs Orre and Demon Skull), and featuring a crack team of session musicians, "Animal Thoughts" reveals a musically matured Second Rate Brain.
Mike's passion for travel should be mentioned at this time. Expeditions to Greece, Germany, Egypt, Africa and Japan have been highly influential on Mike's music. Whilst in Africa, Mike directed and starred in his first music video.
While working on the "Animal Thoughts" video, Mike hit the studio again, this time splitting his time between Calgary and Los Angeles. The resulting CD "Welcome Golden Dream" has been a break-through for Second Rate Brain, both creatively and commercially.
Mike has recently wrapped shooting of his second video ("Good Life Go") and has plans for bigger and better things to come.
Olaf Vilhelmson is a successful drummer, guitarist and producer residing in Los Angeles, California. He is originally from Canada but has been terribly Americanised and is oft recognised as "The Schwankage". He is in high demand for studio work and has toured with some of the world's largest acts. His intense involvement with Second Rate Brain is puzzling and harkens one to question his rightness of mind.