Flickerstick's curious road to rock & roll "stardom" began in 1997, in Denton, TX. Aspiring frontman Brandin Lea met guitarist Cory Kreig, and with the help of Brandin's brother Fletcher, guitarist Rex Ewing, and area drummer Dominic Weir, Flickerstick was born. Mining a familiar, if unremarkable sound somewhere between Brit-pop and modern rock, the band was a hit at parties. Flickerstick's 40-ouncer might have forever been half empty if it weren't for VH1. In 2000 the cable network cast the quintet in the inaugural season of its reality show/talent contest/soap opera Bands on the Run. The series pitted four groups of musicians against one another (four separate vans, four separate tour routes, gigs in the same city at four separate venues) to compete for a grand prize of cash and the carrot of a major-label showcase. While the show had its moments, it was Flickerstick that corralled most of the press and face time with its endless off-stage antics. Their music? Well, it's safe to say that Brandin and his pals were more adept at living the life than rocking the house. Nevertheless, in the end, all the swearing, booze, women, and brawling was memorable enough to secure the band a VH1 victory. They eventually signed a deal with Epic, reissuing their debut Welcoming Home the Astronauts in November 2001. The album was resequenced, touched up with tighter vocals, extra guitar, and more keyboards, and all-star mixer Tom Lord-Alge was brought in to work some magic on the source material. The result was entirely professional, but expensively marginal. Flickerstick embarked on a tour in support of the album, but by a year later, Epic had dropped the group from its roster. Undeterred, Flickerstick signed with Boulder indie What Are Records and issued the live document Causing a Catastrophe in November 2002. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi