The Touchers were a band from Bozeman Montana from 2001 till 2007, fronted by the late Ben Spangler (aka Ben Brisini, aka BiPolar Ben).They played a unique and addictive mix of punk, country, surf and grunge. Happy Sadness: tales of strange people, mental illness, drugs and death wrapped in haunting, hooky melodies, and sold in a head-nodding "dance mother-fuckers!" little package. The original line up included Chris Donahue on Telecaster and harmonies, Keith Martinez on Drums and Blue Maciulski on bass. This line up released four studio albums, a live album. and made several tours around the country before all the normal "four creative dudes spending too much time together is bound to cause a bit of conflict" issues resulted in them disbanding in 2006.

Ben then recruited local friends and fans August Rutkowski on guitar, Drew Fleming on Drums and Rob Murdoch on bass. This new line up immediately went out on a West Coast tour. They signed with Mental Records midway through and started recording what would be the last Touchers album, Blithe, upon returning to Bozeman. Basic tracks were recorded three days with Chuck Goodwin at Sinik Sound. Jason Lytle of Grandaddy did some backing vocal tracks and other treats, Tom Day added steel guitar on a track, and the last vocal overdubs were finished in the early morning hours of Monday, June 18th. Three days later Ben passed away.

Mental Records made the decision to stand behind the record, and it was sent to Jack Endino in Seattle for mixing. Ben never heard the final mixes but he was very happy with the recorded tracks and was excited about the future of The Touchers.

When Ben passed away the world lost a gifted artist and a great person who is sorely missed.


 

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: The dichotomy of late seventies early eighties punk that at that time was a musical youth based social movement. The Pixies, the freedom of the Melvins, the Fury of the Jesus lizard, B.U.T and the live show of the Butthole Surfers....

 

SONGWRITING INFLUENCES: Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Danielle Johnston, Frank Black, The D.C scene, FUGAZI, Bad Brains, Nation of Ulysses, Lungfish, B.U.T and of course the many early punk bands, Ramones, Black Flag, DK, etc....

 

OPENED FOR: Frank Black and the Catholics, Porn, Mike watt, Burning Brides, Skeleton key, At the Spine, Drag the River, Wesley Willis, The Ruby Hicks and The Great Mosquito Bandito!