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Funk-metal supergroup Infectious Grooves plays rare show at UC Theatre

A long-dormant Suicidal Tendencies side project led by singer Mike Muir and former bassist Robert Trujillo (currently in Metallica), Infectious Grooves brings their goofy funk-metal songs to the UC Theatre Saturday for their first Bay Area show in years.

Suicidal Tendencies already had nearly a decade of stirring up mosh pits with their mix of hardcore punk and thrash metal behind them when Infectious Grooves was founded by Muir, Trujillo, and Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins in 1989. Along with ST guitarist Dean Pleasants and guitar player Adam Siegel (a member of fellow Venice, CA-based crossover thrash/punk band Excel), the group grafted Trujillo's love for '70s funk and slapping the bass to heavier sounds. 

Infectious Grooves - Punk It Up by InfectiousGVEVO on YouTube

The band's humorous and entertaining debut album The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move...It's the Infectious Grooves came out in 1991 and sold respectably thanks to the MTV singles "Punk It Up" and "Therapy" (which featured backing vocals from Trujillo's future employer, Ozzy Osbourne). The recording included comedic skits between songs that featured the band's reptilian mascot/back-up singer Aladin "Sarsippius" Sulemanagic Jackson III, who would be featured on later album covers and as an onstage character at the band's live performances.

While subsequent efforts wouldn't achieve the same commercial success, there was enough interest and high-powered instrumental skills among the players involved -- Josh Freese, a current member of Devo and Foo Fighters who played with Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Guns N' Roses and many others, took over for Perkins for the second album, Sarsippius Ark -- the band would go on hiatus after their 2000 release Mas Borracho as Trujillo became busy with the intensive touring schedule demanded by Ozzy and later Metallica when he joined that band full time in 2003.

Muir led a line-up of the Infectious Grooves on a month-long tour of Europe without Trujillo in 2008, but the band drifted into another period of inactivity afterwards save a proper reunion where they played Metallica's Orion Festival in 2013. Infectious Groove emerged once again this year with Muir, Trujillo and Pleasants joined by new members Jay Weinberg (son of E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg who is a member of Slipknot and Suicidal) on drums and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver, Danzig, Wasted Youth) on guitar, playing a pair warm-up show in Garden Grove last month ahead of an Australian tour. The band headlines this rare Bay Area show at the UC Theatre in Berkeley Saturday night and are joined by Bastardane, a sludgy, psych/metal trio that includes Castor Hetfield -- the son of Metallica co-founder James Hetfield -- playing drums.  

Infectious Grooves with Bastardane
Saturday, April 27, 7 p.m. $52.50
UC Theatre

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