By Noah Lopez

Arizona Daily WIldcat

Slimy reptile imagery abounds this weekend as the underground kings of metal-funk come to Tucson.

Infectious Grooves, notable for their lineup inclusion of Mike Muir and Robert Trujillo from Suicidal Tendencies, have begun touring in support of their latest album, Groove Family Cyco.

Infectious Grooves was founded in 1991 by Muir and Trujillo who wanted to "do a different kind of music," guitarist Dean Pleasants said in a telephone interview earlier this week. "We were originally called in as session players, and later it just turned into a band."

However, the group's first release, The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move: It's Infectious Grooves, quickly set out to prove that the band wasn't just a side project of Suicidal Tendencies, its funky assault quickly establishing a fan base and critical support.

Their successful debut was followed in 1993 by the Sarsippius' Ark EP The two releases combined to sell 350,000 copies, creating high expectations for their latest release.

"We wanted to set ourselves apart with Groove Family Cyco from the last album. This one is totally different.We did the songs in a shorter period of time, there's more of a spontaneous free flowing kind of sound," Pleasance said. The album also marks the end of the "Infectiphibian" cartoon characters that lived within the first two releases. Instead, the album is meant as a musical "documentary of a dysfunctional family" according to lead singer Mike Muir, and thus introduces Infectious fans to the "Groove Family Cyco".

The band's referencing to the cartoons in their press material borders on silliness, however Pleasance stresses their importance. "They're not mascots, but they're actually part of the music. They evolve from the music. "GFC" is just a crazed family of clowns . the characters are not an alter-ego of the band's, they come from the music."

The band has also endured a huge tour with Suicidal Tendencies and metal hero Ozzy Osbourne. "That was a great opportunity . it was one of those things where you look back and say 'Wow, I toured with Ozzy', not many people can say that".

The band's music has been called a "non-stop, shaking, twitching, butt-wiggling groove thang," and their live show should support that description. "We take the music a little higher, to another level. We don't concentrate on how it sounds on the album . it's more of a rage."

Infectious Grooves will play an all ages show at the Rock tonight. $10 advance tickets are available at Dilliard's or Zia Record Exchange. In the spirit of the alterNation cover story, Dean Pleasance adds that his favorite late night talk show host used to be Johnny Carson, but now he watches David Letterman. Read Next Article