It is not uncommon for bands to go on a hiatus, but some bands take decades before making their comeback. White Boy and the Average Rat Band is a collective that has taken decades to mark their return.
In the late ’70s, the new wave of British heavy metal made the rounds in the music world. Simultaneously, White Boy and the Average Rat Band were starting to break out. The band was put together by Mike Matney, a musician since birth. His journey began when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he took over as the lead guitarist for Kriss Famous’ Taboo. It was with the band that Mike earned the nickname White Boy, being the only caucasian in a predominantly black ensemble. The name would stay with him even as he left Taboo.
Mike would later bring together a band that originally consisted of Tommy Altizer, Seth Kelly, and Tim Gilbert—high school friends from a small coal mining town. They came up with their band’s name by accident while preparing to practice one day. “We’re observing our pre-practice ritual on the back porch with a particularly fine crop [when] it just came out.”
The band’s lineup today consists of Darrell Gibson on bass, Greg Honaker on drums, and Mike Matney on lead guitar and vocals.
In 1980, White Boy and the Average Rat Band would unveil their self-titled album to a limited release. Using their own label, Tradewind Records, the band created 300 copies. However, a complication arose when fifty of the albums were misplaced at a bus station. Because of the limited copies, White Boy and the Average Rat Band generated interest and curiosity from music lovers. They even became a highly sought-after gem by collectors worldwide, selling for thousands of dollars.
The band continued to play a handful of shows in the early ’80s before throwing in the towel. However, the band’s popularity never truly died down as bootleg copies started to circulate in 2010. The unofficial release played a hand in White Boy and the Average Rat Band’s resurgence as a cult began to build in the American rock and roll underground scene. By 2017, Mike was contacted by Heaven and Hell Records, receiving an offer to remaster and re-issue their album.
Because White Boy and the Average Rat Band was founded decades earlier, modern music fans are bound to do a double-take upon hearing their name, but Mike asserts that they are determined to get with the time. “We’ve never had a problem since 1982,” he shared. “But the cultural climate has changed. We are trying to adapt, and some of our materials off the new upcoming CD will directly confront today’s rapidly changing social and political issues.”
Since making their return to the music scene, White Boy and the Average Rat Band has been busy with tours. After spending decades shrouded in mystery, the band is ready to share their music with the world again. But much like Rip Van Winkle waking from his sleep, White Boy and the Average Rat Band wonders if its name can stand the test of time with today’s political climate.
Learn more about White Boy and the Average Rat Band by visiting their official website.
Company Name: White Boy and the Average Rat Band
Contact Person: Jeremy Handh
Email: Send Email
Phone: 1 (336) 343-9407
Country: United States