(left to right) Mike Johnson, Kimara Sajn, Mark Harris, Elaine di Falco, Dave Willey, Robin Chestnut (photo by Richard Cummings)

 

Thinking Plague is an American musical group that explores the frontiers where rock, folk, jazz and modern symphonic music meet. Through these explorations, the band has created "a genre of music unto itself, eclectically derivative in a bold way and spectacularly innovative in the old-fashioned sense of genuine originality" (Andy Watson - Journal Wired). The band was formed in 1982 by Mike Johnson and Bob Drake (5UUs, Science Group, Vril, EC Nudes) and through various personnel changes and reconfigurations, the band released six carefully crafted studio albums between 1984 and the present. In addition they released a live CD of their performance at the North East Art Rock Festival from 2000, and have been featured on many compilations.

The band has performed at numerous international music festivals, including Gouveia Art Rock (Portugal), MIMI (France), Rock in Opposition (France), NEARFest, ProgDay and Cuneifest (USA), and has given concerts throughout the US and Europe.

Thinking Plague was featured in the recently released documentary film Romantic Warriors II - About Rock in Opposition, along with legendary bands Magma, Henry Cow and Universe Zero. More about this film can be found here.

 

Personnel
Mike Johnson - guitars (Hamster Theatre, Science Group, 5UUs)
Mark Harris - saxes and clarinet (Hamster Theatre, Ron Miles, Fred Hess)
Dave Willey - bass (Hamster Theatre, Toupidek Limonade, Cedric Vuille/3 Mice)
Elaine di Falco - voice and keys (Hugh Score, Caveman Shoe Store, Cedric Vuille/3 Mice)
Kimara Sajn - keyboards (Polyethylene Pet, +1)
Robin Chestnut - drums (Princess Music, The Shift, Ankylosaurus)
Bill Pohl - guitars (The Underground Railroad)

 

Sample Tracks
"Sleeper Cell Anthem (excerpt)" from the new album "Decline and Fall" (2012)
"Run Amok" from the album "In This Life" (1989)
"Behold The Man" from the album "In Extremis" (1998)
"Consolamentum" from the album "History of Madness" (2003)
"Maelstrom" from the live album "Upon Your Houses/Live at NearFest 2000"

Live Performance Videos
"Blown Apart" in Milan, Italy (2008)
"Lycanthrope" in Paris, France (2008)
"Godamy Le Mayagot" in Denver, Colorado US (2009)
"Maelstrom" in Denver, Colorado US (2009)

Reviews

"Head-spinningly complex rock of the highest order. Denver's Thinking Plague stand out in bas-relief... for those who enjoy rising to the challenge posed by the aggressively odd and densely composed, the feverish surfeit of spellbinding ideas investigated here are almost without precedent."

Alternative Press

"Thinking Plague lays down some of the most rhythmically complex, texturally inventive, and melodically challenging popular music of the last 30 years, and somehow makes it all sound easy and natural."

AllMusic.com

"Every now and then a landmark group emerges. Thinking Plague in my opinion belongs in that category... this is a Rolls Royce of a band which sets a standard hard to match..."

RER / Recommended Records

"...Thinking Plague stand out as a shining example of avant-garde music blended with just enough rock for it to be called progressive rock..."

Music.com

"Thinking Plague's compositions are astonishing and -- the clincher -- beautiful".

New Sonic Architecture

“Thinking Plague has established itself as the logical successor to HENRY COW and ART BEARS... Originality, creativity, complexity and exploration are the watchwords of their music."

Musea Records

 

Official Press Releases
Decline and Fall (released Jan. 2012)

Booking/Media Contact
Mike Johnson (tplague@aol.com)

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Thinking Plague Online
Official web site - http://www.thinkingplague.org
Cuneiform (Record Label) - http://www.cuneiformrecords.com

 

Discography
* A Thinking Plague (1984, LP, Endemic, US)
* Moonsongs (1987, LP, Deadman's Curve, UK)
* In This Life (1989, CD, ReR, UK)
* In Extremis (1998, CD, Cuneiform, US)
* Early Plague Years - Live at NEARFest (2000, CD, Cuneiform, US)
* A History of Madness (2003, CD, Cuneiform, US)
* Decline and Fall (2012, CD, Cuneiform, US)