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MountainLion! Puma (ML!P, Puma) is an american experimental/rock/pop band based out of Bloomington, started in December 2003 during a house bound blizzard. With nothing else to do the founding members, Mike Bruce (guitar/vocals), Tony Montesonti (Squeezebox/Vocals), and Jay McClurg (drums/synth/beatbox/percussion/vocals), began recording improvised music in the basement of the residence of M. Bruce, otherwise known as the Creep Theatre. Over the next year and half, the trio wrote and recorded hundreds of hours of improvised material on a RadioShack tape recorder, sometimes enlisting friends who would later become permanent members in the band, Kevin Bruce (bass/guitar/trombone/vocals) and Erik Miller (guitar/bass/vocals). M. Bruce would later compile this material into the first ML!P box set. The band started to disband as M. Bruce and Montesonti relocated to California in the spring of 2005.
In July 2005, McClurg, the only remaining member in Bloomington, started to reconstruct the band. He called a meeting with K. Bruce and future new member Keith Raines (drums). Raines, brought on board Seth Weber (guitar) who he played with in the Bloomington based Cardiff Giant. Those four members played their first show at Bear's Place in Bloomington in August 2005. The set was compiled of 6-8 songs which were almost entirely improvised on stage. The next show, the band brought back Miller and also added Kansas City based Randy Skach (keyboards). After this show, a new line up began to emerge without Weber who relocated to Indianapolis and Skach who returned to Kansas City. This new lineup of K. Bruce, Miller, McClurg and Raines played a series of shows from September 2005 to May 2006 in Bloomington ending with a farewell show in which M. Bruce returned to Bloomington and joined them on stage. McClurg started a summer solo tour of Europe in May 2006. During those summer months, the other members worked on solo and side projects.
McClurg returned to Indiana in August 2006 and the band returned to the stage playing on show before McClurg relocated to New York, NY. At this point, feeling rejuvinated, ML!P added Ian Sienicki (guitar/vocals) and Nick Cross (synth/percussion/vocals). Since the addition of these two members, ML!P has increased its number of shows played and has become a staple in the music scene in Bloomington. In November 2006, the band recorded its next album and began handing it out (free) at shows.
- Kevin Bruce - bass/vox/guitar
- Keith Raines - drums
- Erik Miller - guitar/sniper/bass
- Ian Sienicki - guitar/ymo
- Nick Cross - hypeman/synth/misc.
- Mike Bruce - guitar/bass/vox
- Frank Antony Montesonti - vox/screams/squeezebox
- Jay McClurg - megaphone/noise/drums
- Randy Skach - keyboards
- Seth Weber - guitar