Love Seed Mama Jump
" If you've ever spent a summer weekend on the ocean between New Jersey and Virginia Beach, chances are you passed close to a Love Seed Mama Jump concert. Heck, chances are good you were at a Love Seed Mama Jump concert. " -- The Washington Post
Every summer for nearly a decade, Love Seed Mama Jump have embarked on what singer Rick Arzt calls "The Shore Tour" -- a three-month trek that hits Ocean City, MD, Virginia Beach, VA, and the north and south New Jersey shores. Along the way, they've opened for Beck, Matchbox Twenty, Fuel, and The Beach Boys, regularly playing their energetic, classic-sounding pop/rock for crowds of several thousand. Every time they return home to Dewey Beach, DE, they play to a packed house at The Rusty Rudder. That Love Seed Mama Jump are still willing to play the beachfront bar where they built-- and continue to cultivate -- a rabid fan base is indicative of the band's groundedness and tenacity. "We still consider The Rusty Rudder home," Arzt says. "The six of us are still Delaware boys at heart."
Started in 1991 by high school friends Arzt, Stack, and Wiedmann to, as Arzt puts it, "just have a good time and get free sandwiches and beer," Love Seed Mama Jump were soon playing at bars near the University of Delaware where they were students. As with many bands, Love Seed started out playing cover tunes, but taking a bracingly original tack to its music. Its audiences started taking notice. "Early on, we concentrated on covers," says Arzt. "But we never sat down and decided to do John Denver as punk rock. It just came out that way. When we chose songs that we wanted to play, we weren't always able to figure them out, so we made up our own versions. We wanted to put our own stamp on the music, as opposed to being just a jukebox." In 1993, a self-released live album of covers and a few originals called Drunk At The Stone Balloon started spreading around college campuses on the east coast.
As Love Seed Mama Jump increased their touring schedule, canvassing the East coast as far south as Atlanta and as far north as Vermont, they began to make a name for themselves as an exciting live band. They found themselves playing to crowds who knew all the songs and would eagerly request their covers. "The way we looked at it, if we were a totally original band, we'd be playing 45-minute sets, not getting paid, opening up for somebody if we're lucky. This way, we were still playing 45 minutes of our music, except we got to play in front of thousands of people and all we had to do to do that was play 45 minutes of songs people recognized so that they could sing along." Their sweat-drenched, no-holds-barred gigs were becoming can't-miss events and soon people began requesting their originals as much as the covers.
In 1995, Love Seed recorded its first studio album, Baked Fresh Daily, earning them even wider recognition in the form of radio airplay in the Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, DC markets. Their song "Clear To Find" received heavy rotation on Philadelphia rock station WMMR. In 1997, Love Seed recorded their second studio album, Seven Stories High. Impressed by the band's popularity in their market, Philadelphia's local ABC affiliate WPVI asked the band to rewrite the lyrics to "Free," a song from Baked Fresh Daily, as a jingle for the station. An accompanying commercial was filmed, featuring the band, and was used to promote the station's fall lineups in both 1999 and 2000.
A second live album, Summer of Love, was recorded in 1999 in their hometown of Dewey Beach. The 19-song disc was primarily a collection of most of the band's most popular and successful songs. That same summer, Washington Redskins football team owner Dan Snyder decided he wanted to create reasons for people to show up to games early and hang around the stadium afterward, and thought that a band was one of the necessary ingredients. Loyal fans of Love Seed who worked in the team's front office persuaded Snyder to check out one of Love Seed's live shows, and he was sold. Love Seed Mama Jump is now the "Official Rock Band of the Washington Redskins" and performs at all of the team's home games, entertaining thousands of football and music fans.
Altogether, Love Seed has sold over 80,000 copies of their four independently released records. Their songs have also been featured on MTV's "Singled Out" and ESPN's "X-Games." They tour 200 days a year, and have no plans to stop. "We're not only one of the hardest working bands around, but we're also a tight knit group of guys who happen to be close friends. We're survivors. We've been together for 10 years now; all six of us; all original members, and that has a lot to do with our attitude on stage."
Love Seed Mama Jump's new self-titled record on Plump/Artemis Records, is the culmination of a decade of staying true to their playfulness, energy and focus. Songs like "My Superstar," "Bored" and "Flying Solo" display a band that has truly come into its own as songwriters and musicians. Produced by Steve Addabbo (Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin), the record shows off the band's diverse influences and their own unique sound.
Staying true to their roots, the band will continue their "Shore Tour" this summer, playing to the faithful at The Rusty Rudder and other familiar spots, but the band has its sites firmly set on extending their fanbase far beyond the East Coast. "This is what we love to do," says Arzt. "Our dream was to play music and make a living at it. Now we're living our dream."
"Irreverent, energetic, iconoclastic and acrobatic, Love Seed Mama Jump is destined for bigger things." - Philadelphia Inquirer