Formed in 1981, 10,000 Maniacs is an American alternative rock whose members have rocked fans worldwide with their unique sound. Composed of founding members Robert "Robby" Snyder, Steven Gustafson, Nathan Larson, Dennis Drew, and John Lombardo, plus non-founding members Mary Ramsey and Jeff Erickson, the band has been actively involved in the music scene for nearly four decades.
Robbie Snyder was an integral part of the conception of 10,000 Maniacs. After going off to college in the late 1970s, Snyder returned to Jamestown, New York and upon seeing that there were virtually no musicians in his hometown, he endeavored to form one. Snyder, Gusarftson, Larson, Drew and Lombardo formed 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 for an explicit purpose- to put on a Halloween show.
The band's main songwriting responsibilities were two-fold: Robby Snyder and John Lombardo. Jer Litten was responsible for most of the musical arrangements, as well as his upbeat style. Meanwhile, Gustafson handled the recruitment of larger venues and labels. When the band collectively decided to attempt to make a living off their music, Gustafson was also the one who intensively promoted and managed the group.
Despite having written several albums, the band enjoyed their most success with their fourth and fifth albums, In My Tribe and Blind Manâ€™s Zoo. In 1989, 10,000 Maniacs first tasted international success with the latter now having gone double platinum. During its release, MTV frequently aired the videos for â€œTrouble Meâ€ and â€œEat for Twoâ€ which only increased the bandâ€™s visibility and sound in households all across America. Of the non-founding members, Mary Ramsey replaced Lombardo in 1993 and Jeff Erickson, assumed final line-up duties in 1998. When asked about their influence, Robby, Steven and Jeff all noted that the band saw themselves as apart from the rest of the ever-advocating for â€œwillingness, open-mindedness, and progressive stances in far reaching topicsâ€.
10,000 Maniacs had continued a great consistent touring since its formation but tasting success into the late 90s, it had become commonplace to see them gracing the headlines as well as being screened on numerous major radio and television outlets all across the world.
Their years of success would eventually begin to wind down, however. After two decade, Lombardo returned to active involvement with the Maniacs and discovered- incredibly- that they had never received any royalty payment from MTV for any of their videos prior. Resenting their monotony in the emerging music industry-promoting landscape, 10,000 Maniacs began to break up in 2000 with physical disbandment taking place a year later.
Despite the 10,000 Maniacs separation, their music has lived on globally and worldwide. Since their split, numerous bands have acknowledged them as a major influence in alternative and indie-rock music. New albums and tours have been undertaken by surviving members, ensuring that the legacy of 10,000 Maniacs will live on and live to inspire new generations around the world.