Neal Weiss had what is essentially the typical San Fernando Valley suburban upbringing -- think Wonder Years, but fast-forward about a decade. Punk and new wave served as the soundtrack to his teenage years. Hooked by an older brother's Clash, Jam, X, and Elvis Costello LPs early on, Weiss had picked up a guitar of his own by the time he reached college, and he learned, more or less, how to play it by leading a standard-issue, sub-Replacements cover combo by night while studying fiction-writing during the day. Following his university experiences, Weiss took work as a freelance Los Angeles music journalist and pop culture critic (a career that would continue to run parallel with his musical aspirations). At the same time, he directed his creative writing skills into developing as a songwriter. Through the early and mid-'90s he led a four-piece, the Good For Nothings, situated somewhere between R.E.M.-ish alternative rock and a nascent style that would soon come to be characterized far and wide as alt country. The band played some around L.A. and went so far as to record a couple self-financed demos before calling it quits. Weiss spent the next several years, in between freelance assignments, writing songs (now inspired by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and the Velvet Underground, among others) and taking the occasional solo gig. He began to ponder initiating a new band after being asked to contribute a song to the Edges From the Postcard, Vol. 3 compilation put together by Internet mailing list P2. Under the pseudonym O'Neill Evans, he came up with "50 Miles of Bad Road," and the band name Weed Patch. By the summer of 2001, armed with a stockpile of unused songs and, motivated by the birth of a daughter, Weiss decided to refocus his priorities and pour his energy into Weed Patch. He brought Seth Rothschild, with whom he had become friends, from fellow Los Angeles country rockers Gingersol into the fold as producer, and over the subsequent year the two enlisted a rotating cast of studio players: bassist/vocalist Gary Eaton (Continental Drifters, Ringling Sisters) and drummer Adam Maples (Earthlings?, Sea Hags, Legal Weapon), both of whom had backed Weiss in the past; guitarist Kip Brown, a former bandmate in the Good For Nothings; multi-instrumentalist Ben Peeler (Wallflowers, Minibar, Mavericks); and the Minibar rhythm section of Sid Jordan and Malcolm Cross. The band recorded in a North Hollywood warehouse on an irregular schedule (the odd night and weekend, as time permitted) through the summer of 2002, and the resulting Weed Patch album, Maybe the Brakes Will Fail, appeared at the outset of 2003, by which time most of the individual players had returned to their full-time bands. Weiss spent that spring reformulating a new version of the band for live performances, a quartet that included Brown. ~ Stanton Swihart, Rovi