Biography (source: Houseboy webpage) :
Houseboy began in 1992 with Brett Friesen meeting Dan Garcia through a local newspaper article in Santa Cruz, California. They began jamming together, but never had anything permanent. Although they were never a well known group, they were still ripping up the East Bay scene, opening for bigger acts like Green Day and Samiam.
In late '92 Brett and Dan decided to relocate to Chicago due to the fact that Dan had good friends there. They tried it out for a while, but nothing was happening for them so in early '94 Brett moved back to California and continued to play while Dan chose to stay in Chicago.
In the summer of '94 is when Houseboy, the name, really began with Brett meeting Ace Cowden at a local punk rock show. Ace and Brett hit it off and with Dan still in Chicago they were still trying to get it together. Playing lots of shows and through two bassists, Brett and Ace remained a three piece.
From the summer of '94 through November of '94 they recorded two demos and began opening up for bigger acts such as Fact to Face, Guttermouth and Rhythm Collison. The two demos remain unreleased to this day. Through all of this Brett still remained in touch with his best friend, Dan. They made a pact that if something good, musically, was happening for either one of them, they would once again hook up. This was the one.
So once again Brett moved back to Chicago, this time with Ace right next to him and they both joined up with Dan and new bassist Thom Lemke in November of '94.
In '95 Houseboy began to play a lot in the Chicago area with bands like Slapstick and the Bollweevils and once again found themselves in the studio recording six songs. One song was used for the "Achtung Chicago! Drei" Compilation (Underdog Rec.), four songs for their first 7" titled "Last Friday's Selfless Allstars" on Watching Records, and one song still unreleased. Houseboy was still looking for a label, but with no luck.
In late '95 tension began to build within the band. Ace left Chicago and moved back to California. Houseboy looked for a replacement, but finally decided not to get one. Brett was offered a drumming position in the Bollweevils and took it.
In June of '96, after a short break, Ace moved back to Chicago and Houseboy was back in full effect. Now with Thom on bass, Dan on guitar, Ace on guitar and vocals, and Brett on drums they were ready to record. The band recorded 19 songs, 14 of which would make their debut album, "Ya Right!" which would be released in '98 on Stiff Pole Records. The 5 songs that didn't make the cut are still unreleased, but after recording, their search for a permanent label was unsuccesful.
Houseboy began to book their first two tours. After their first tour, Thom left the band on mutual terms and Dan decided not to continue touring due to financial obligations. Houseboy was again left to find a new bassist.
Houseboy recruited Alan of Watching Records, the label that released their first 7". Alan then went on to release a second Houseboy 7" titled, "Ciao," which was limited to 300 copies. Now with this lineup Houseboy continued with their second tour of the east coast, with Brown Lobster Tank. That tour was then followed up with a U.S. tour of 9 Weeks with Mandingo. In '97 things settled after touring. The band decided to head back to California, Ace first, then Brett. The Bollweevils decided to call it quits wile Brett was still in the band which made it a perfect opportunity to move back home.
Alan decided not to come because of School and Dan was planning to come out later, so once again Houseboy was stuck looking for a new bass player. Through all of this they were mailing out tapes to labels in hopes of putting out their full length.
Tragedy strikes! Dan passed away in Chicago. Houseboy was in shambles and decided to call it quits. Brett and Ace started a new band called Driver Eleven and did a single tour in the Summer of '97.
During this time, ironically, Houseboy found a label, Stiff Pole Records. Stiff, owner of SPR, called and wanted to put out Ya Right! After the record was released Houseboy was reborn and Driver Eleven was put on the shelf. They recruited a new bass player, Steve Katzel from Tricky Dick (Chicago), and second guitar player Joel Burkhard (South Dakota).
Houseboy was on the road once again for their west coast tour and they recorded a new album, "1465 Tamarack Street Press Room." Just as things were looking good and they were ready to go on their summer tour, Steve quit and Houseboy got a fill in.
During their summer tour, Houseboy decided to become full-time, touring as much as possible. Brett then met Patrice, his current Wife during their summer of '98 tour of the east coast and the band decided to move to the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area.
1465 was released and Houseboy recruited Brian Granik as new bassist and Phil Milia on second guitar. Another tour soon followed in February of '99 and Houseboy was back into the studio, this time with close friend and engineer Dave Patino. In a weeks time Houseboy finished their 3rd full length release entitled "Myriadevent" soon to be released on Stiffpole Records in Fall of '99. But with Myriadevent we see a dufferent side of Houseboy tracing back to Brett and Ace's days with Driver Eleven which seems more musical and elaborative, as if to say, "this is who we really are." Brett and Ace decided they were just going to write what comes natural and not try to stay in the "pop punk" genre of things.
Another tour soon followed with Joel back on second guitar and the boys decided they had had enough. With Joel back the musical outlook wasn't the same, and Ace decided he liked California much better than the east coast, so that was it. It's a done deal. No more Houseboy.
But don't fret. If you like the new Houseboy record (Myriadevent) then the boys got something new for you. Soon after Ace returned Brett started shopping around the Join'r album, a project that him and Ace did with friends Carlos and Craig, and got a really cool label to release it, and after talking it out with everyone they decided that Join'r was what they all really wanted to do. So back to California with Brett and Join'r is now the future. If you love Houseboy, you'll love Join'r. Check it out...
- So What!? (1994) TAPE
- Day Olds (1994) TAPE
- Last Fridays Selfless Allstars (1995) 7"
- Department Store (1995) TAPE
- Ciao! (1996) 7"
- Split With Nooner (1997) 7"
- Ya Right! (1997) CD
- 1465 Tamarack Street Press Room (1998) CD
- Easy There Turbo (1999) CD
- For Today And Tomorrow (1999) CD