In 1999, Mr Tree and the Wingnuts released, Go Bananas, our second EP. The CD was not very good. But it is historic for two reasons:
1) It was the first release on Sparky the Dog Records.
2) Because we only sold 50 copies of the original pressing of 1,000 CDs, we were able to re-use the jewel cases for ten years' worth of STD releases.
After Mr. Tree and the Wingnuts folded, I started recording friends and family in my garage, aka The Doghouse, aka Sparky the Dog Studios.
The purpose of STD was to encourage people who would otherwise not record music, write music, or play music to do all three. In the first 18 months of Sparky the Dog Records, we recorded over 50 songs. Not all of the songs were good. Many of them were bad. But they did prove that every freaking person on the planet can make a record if they want, which helped us all understand why REO Speedwagon was able to keep making albums for as long as they did. Every STD artist was recorded for free, got 20 copies of the CD and that was that.
In 2001, I started the STD website, which featured the music from the garage as well as my writings as Strapping Danforth and artwork by Lucas Richards. The idea was to showcase all the nifty things that were happening in one crew of Denver creative kids.
Eventually, the site expanded to hold the artwork of Matt Shupe, the STD interviews by Brett Duesing, and various other thingies. I have no idea if anyone actually comes this site, but it exists, and it's proof that all the members of the Sparky the Dog Collective have existed and done stuff.
And that's the reason for Sparky the Dog. It serves as a reminder that we're real and vain and probably a little desperate. And maybe, someday, someone will stumble upon this site or one of our CDs and say, "I could do that." And then that someone will make a record. And then that person will be laughed at by his peers. And then that person will buy a chainsaw and employ it to exact revenge. Then, and only then, will the true vision of STD be realized. Don't fuck with us.
--Gregory Hill/Soapy Argyle/Strapping Danforth/Kevin Rontel/Elk Undercarriage, March, 2008