The Molecules first collided in Oakland, California in 1990, forming a "hyper-brid" style of music that combined free improvised tantrums with tightly arranged angular songs. Ron Anderson (guitarist) had moved to the West Coast from NYC where he, among many other things, had been a member of W.O.O.. Ron had also been involved in the original version of the band, "RAT AT RAT R," in Philly. Chris Millner (bassist) had moved out to the Bay Area after spending some time in art school in New York and living for a while in France. I had moved up from SoCal in 1988 and was improvising with Mills College grad students, and catching perfomances by Anthony Braxton. I met Ron at a party and things took off. The trio, led by Ron, became known for its frantic shows and bombastic mixture of progrock, no wave, noise and punk.
The Molecules played the local San Francisco Bay Area scene relentlessly, including participation in the Bay Area Second Annual Improvised Music Festival, and performances with Elliot Sharp, Sun City Girls, Uz Jsme Doma, and locals Caroliner Rainbow, Three Day Stubble, Splatter Trio, and Pluto to name a few. We also shared local bills with the Japanese noise acts Boredoms, Ruins, Zeni Geva, Omieda Hatoba, Melt Banana, Space Streakings, CCCC, and Merzbow.
In 1992, the band pulled together a 30-date tour of the United States. A highlight was opening for Charles Gayle at the original Knitting Factory in New York. The Molecules toured Europe several times with performances in France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany. In 1993, the band was invited to the New Musique Action Festival, and traveled to France and the Czech Republic, opening for such acts as Borbetomagus and Elliot Sharp. Chris Millner left the band and Ryo replaced him on bass. In Sept/Oct 1995, we toured Europe as a double-bill with Ruins. The trip had some fantastic moments including an unscheduled improvisation with Shelley Hirsh at the Vorax Festival in Italy. That same year, the band journeyed to Japan and played several shows including a Tokyo performance with the brilliant Otomo Yoshihide. John Shiurba became the third bass player for the group after Ryo was denied entry back into the United States by U.S. Customs. We briefly toured the Pacific Northwest with Melt Banana in 1996. Then, the band went back to Europe for another tour in 1997, where Jac Berrocal made a guest appearance at our show in Paris. That same year the Molecules also made a brief trip to the East Coast, including a gig at the Knitting Factory playing with Marc Ribot. Our "last show" at this time before Ron moved to Europe was a double-bill with Ruins in December of 1997, at the Paradise Lounge in San Francisco.
Ron moved back to the United States in August of 1999 and resettled in Brooklyn, New York. In April of 2006 The Molecules reunited for a show at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco. In 2007 we played the Western Front Push Festival in Vancouver, Canada. The group toured Europe in May and played in the Musique Action Festival in Nancy and the Festival Terra Terma in Cherbourg, France. The Molecules went back to Europe in early November of 2007 for a short tour ending with the Music Unlimted Festival in Wels, Austria. The latest CD "Friends" is now available at CD Baby.