Aaron Perlut was raised in Virginia on the sounds of bands like Little Feat, The Byrds, Willie Nelson, Delbert McClinton and others. He moved to St. Louis with only the shirt on his back reading "Future Ex-Wife Approved," and founded Atomic Junkshot with Denzel Whitewell (who ultimately retired after a tragic llama-training accident). From the start, Perlut has been the band's primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist, and Atomic’s spirit grew from the chip he carries on his shoulder towards electronic music. He was determined to pair the analog sounds of country, rock and blues with a sarcastic lyrical edge — following in the footsteps of his heroes like Ray Wylie Hubbard. The band quickly built a large and dedicated underground following playing predominately in gentlemen's clubs and Honky Tonks. Entering the 2000s, after remaining silent about social issues prior, Perlut began advocating for causes like increasing artist compensation, using tire burning farms as clean energy sources, the dangers of "hick hop" country music being spread by Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt, and eliminating legal protections for vegans.
Bassist Clay Mudd was raised in a small town in Mississippi, living in a two-room cabin with his mother and half-sister. At age seven he began honing his musical talents on a borrowed lap steel guitar at a nearby open-air train station under the tutelage of bluesman “Kool” Walker Walker. But he tired of life in the Mississippi Delta, and at 16, dropped music and hitchhiked to Los Angeles. There, he worked odd jobs in restaurants, on pornographic film sets and sold hats and underpants reading "Shart Free" on piers. Finally, Mudd was inspired to enter a different aspect of performance — landing a role as a stunt double for actor Denver Dell Pyle (Uncle Jesse Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard) — beginning a lengthy career as a stuntman and fluffer. But Mudd would rediscover his passion for music again, picking up bass guitar and ultimately becoming accomplished enough to sit-in for studio gigs with bands like The Byrds, Bread, Tuna & the Fisherman, Winger, the Doobie Brothers, White Lion and Red Nipple among others. After The Dukes of Hazzard ended, he decided to put stunt work behind him and moved east, landing in the Midwest where he joined Atomic Junkshot shortly after the band was formed.
One of the guiding spirits of Atomic Junkshot, Joey Mack is a multi-instrumentalist who principally plays lead guitar, yet all-the-while, has remained unobtrusive and calculating. His vision is thought to emerge from the ether of creativity itself, as a fawn bursts from its mother's uterus. Contrived? Perhaps, just as jesters prance on the river's edge only to discover a golden chalice filled with angel blood. Mack was born in winter near Minneapolis in a moving van to a masculine dentist and beautiful certified public accountant with three hands. He grew proud and strong, wearing tight underpants reading "Meat Sweats," relentless in his work ethic. A sublime musical talent in the spirt of guitar legends Josie McCoy and Floyd Pepper, Mack has the ability to craft powerfully melodic sounds, an unmatched rhythm and has the hand dexterity to provide remarkable shoulder rubs. Frontman Aaron Perlut generally asks other bandmates to play along with his delusions — a request others generally abide by. But with passions rooted in funk and prog rock and inspired by modern folk pioneers like Lord Huron, The Oh Hellos and Gregory Alan Isakov — Mack brings a unique, jazz-infused take on Atomic’s outlaw country sound.
A former hand model and past director of janitorial services at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Brian McCary joined Atomic Junkshot as the band’s drummer after a tragic llama training accident ended the musical performance career of former percussionist Joey Baals. Whereas Baals came from a background of speed metal drumming, McCary — who is commonly referred to as “B-Money” at roller skating rinks throughout Delaware, Puerto Rico and North Dakota — comes from an altogether different place. He has deftly provided the band with a more nuanced percussion style that is deeply infused in a range of jazz, country, rock and Sedaka (a west African rhythmic style named for Neil Sedaka). McCary indeed tends to walk to the beat of his own drum kit, although his playing is often compared to that of the late Cream drummer Ginger Baker (who ironically was a ginger), as well as the Muppets' Animal (also technically a ginger). Either way, Brian's our drummer and he likes to hit shit with sticks
"Mudcat" Joe Wray was born in a seaside village in Delaware where his father worked as an auto mechanic and mother labored as a commercial fisherman, playing prog rock flute in the Jethro Tull tribute band Meth So Dull. Mudcat's mother inspired his passion for music and fresh flounder, but at 19, he lost his taste for both seafood and prog flute. Mudcat moved to East St. Louis to work on barges on the Mississippi River, where to kill time on long-haul shipping trips, the workers would play blues music. He taught himself harmonica and ultimately formed a blues band called 3 Nut Salute. In 2010, his band opened for Air Supply which was opening for Atomic Junkshot at an outdoor festival in St. Charles, Missouri. It was there that Mudcat met Aaron Perlut and a kinship was formed. And the rest, as they say, is his story…and history. Either way, he joined the band.
With a decorated collection of European multi-platinum artists under management, in 1997, Svein Suede decided to try his luck across the Atlantic, signing Atomic Junkshot — his first American act. The son of noted Swedish jazz musicians, Suede had dreams of following in his parents’ footsteps until a bus accident near Schwartzwald, German
With a decorated collection of European multi-platinum artists under management, in 1997, Svein Suede decided to try his luck across the Atlantic, signing Atomic Junkshot — his first American act. The son of noted Swedish jazz musicians, Suede had dreams of following in his parents’ footsteps until a bus accident near Schwartzwald, Germany, took the use of his fingers and left eye. But Suede's prolific knowledge of the music industry paved a pathway into management, particularly with punk bands in France, Italy, Spain, Norway and Sweden — helping them find audiences and build lucrative careers. He periodically refers to those early, drug-induced years on the road as, “Champagne on a beer budget," often competing in competitive bearding events for spare cash and adding obscure tattoos in each country they visited. But the grind built expertise and his legend in successfully managing emerging bands grew. Under his guidance, noted French punk rock band Serpents en Pantalone exploded in popularity — opening for Tenacious D, Metallica and Gordon Lightfoot — and he grew so close with so many of his colleagues that Jack Black attributes the beast in the Tenacious D song "Tribute" to Suede after a bar fight in Aix et Provence.
A longtime rodeo clown medic and bull washing support technician, Kliff Klout has served as Chief Touring Technician for Atomic Junkshot since 1997. A resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., who was the recipient of the world's first primate-to-human double nipple transplant surgery, Klout leads the technician and support personnel who travel
A longtime rodeo clown medic and bull washing support technician, Kliff Klout has served as Chief Touring Technician for Atomic Junkshot since 1997. A resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., who was the recipient of the world's first primate-to-human double nipple transplant surgery, Klout leads the technician and support personnel who travel with the band on tour, handling every aspect of the concert production experience including back-stage grooming.
The third-cousin of actor Aaron Paul, Atomic Junkshot publicist Ari Paul built his career as a deputy press secretary in the Clinton White House, notably managing media strategy around the Monica Lewinksy scandal and Whitewater investigation. But the day-to-day rigors of politics grew tiring and Paul left Washington to work in Los Angeles
The third-cousin of actor Aaron Paul, Atomic Junkshot publicist Ari Paul built his career as a deputy press secretary in the Clinton White House, notably managing media strategy around the Monica Lewinksy scandal and Whitewater investigation. But the day-to-day rigors of politics grew tiring and Paul left Washington to work in Los Angeles on behalf of emerging and established music acts. In 2002, he was working with Spandau Ballet in Scottsdale, Arizona, when he saw Atomic Junkshot performing at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. Paul was struck by the band's stage presence, frontman Aaron Perlut's lyrical tension, and Atomic's thundering hooks. He met the band afterwards in the Scottsdale bar Giligin's, and the rest, as they say, is his....story.