Chris Mars

Last updated

Chris Mars
Birth nameChristopher Edward Mars
Born (1961-04-26) April 26, 1961 (age 60)
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer, painter
InstrumentsDrums, vocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active1979-1996, 2017 (Musician)
1996-present (Artist)
Labels Bar/None, Smash, Sire, Twin/Tone
Associated acts The Replacements

Chris Mars (born April 26, 1961) is an American painter and musician. He was the drummer for the seminal Minneapolis based alternative-rock band The Replacements from 1979 to 1990, and then he joined the informal supergroup Golden Smog before beginning a solo career. Mars left music behind in the late 1990s in order to concentrate on his artwork.



The Replacements

In Rolling Stone's Alt Rock-a-Rama, Mars detailed the kind of hell-raising that he and the other Replacements—singer-guitarist Paul Westerberg, lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and bassist Tommy Stinson—indulged in when they were together. Among other incidents, Mars was thrown in jail for playing chicken with an unmarked police car. Also, in conjunction with Bob Stinson, he sabotaged a gig where he knew there would be a lot of record-industry personnel in attendance by going to a novelty store and purchasing some bottles of stink juice. Mars sometimes transformed into an alter ego named Papi the Clown while on tour; he would paint his face when inebriated and spook the band and road crew.

Mars appeared on only a few songs on the Replacements' final album, All Shook Down (1990), and left before the subsequent tour, unhappy with Westerberg's increasing control of the band. [1]

Solo career

Mars's first solo album, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (1992), was a revelation for fans and critics used to his fairly limited role in The Replacements. He wrote every track and played drums, guitar, and keyboards in addition to handling all lead and backing vocals. Except for the presence of bass guitarist J.D. Foster and brief contributions from Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy, it was essentially a D.I.Y. affair. Mars followed it up a year later with 75% Less Fat .

Mars wasn't interested in touring behind his third album, Tenterhooks (1995), so another band, The Wallmen, toured behind it with a cardboard cutout of Mars placed onstage. [2] He released one more album, Anonymous Botch (1996), before fully turning his full creative attention to his visual-art career.

Mars self-published a fifth album, Note to Self, in 2017. [3] He announced the news on Twitter [4] and later on his Facebook page. [5]

Painting career

His painting style, examples of which grace all of his album covers, is marked by nightmarish landscapes and grotesque, distorted figures. He draws inspiration from his older brother's struggle with schizophrenia. [6]

He generally likes to use oils or pastels, although he ventures into other media, like acrylic and scratchboard. He created a 13-minute animated film about his work titled The Severed Stream.

His work, which has fetched prices of more than $30,000, [7] has been shown throughout the United States and Canada. He has had solo exhibitions at Billy Shire Fine Arts, [8] The Erie Art Museum, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Steensland Museum, Coker Bell Gallery [9] and the Mesa Arts Center.[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Mars lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Sally Mars.


Solo albums


  1. "Biography of The Replacements". October 17, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  2. "Chris Mars". Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  3. "Music". Chris Mars Publishing.
  4. "Chris Mars (@ChrisMarsArt) | Twitter".
  5. "Chris Mars".
  6. Bahn, Christopher. "Interview: Chris Mars". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  7. "City Pages – Hospitals of the Spirit". Archived from the original on April 20, 2005.
  8. "Chris Mars- In Preparation of Barrier Transcendence". Billy Shire Fine Arts. Billy Shire Fine Arts. 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  9. "Chris Mars: Subderma at JOHNATHAN LEVINE GALLERY". Jonathan LeVine Gallery . Retrieved October 22, 2011.

Related Research Articles

The Replacements (band) American rock band

The Replacements were an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1979. Initially a punk rock band, they are considered one of the pioneers of alternative rock. The band was composed of the guitarist and vocalist Paul Westerberg, guitarist Bob Stinson, bass guitarist Tommy Stinson and drummer Chris Mars for most of its career. Following several acclaimed albums, including Let It Be and Tim, Bob Stinson was kicked out of the band in 1986, and Slim Dunlap joined as lead guitarist. Steve Foley replaced Mars in 1990. Towards the end of the band's career, Westerberg exerted more control over the creative output. The group disbanded in 1991, with the members eventually pursuing various projects. A reunion was announced on October 3, 2012. The band is referred to by their nickname "The 'Mats" by fans, which originated as a truncation of "The Placemats," a mispronunciation of their name.

Paul Westerberg American musician

Paul Harold Westerberg is an American musician, best known as the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Replacements. Following the breakup of the Replacements, Westerberg launched a solo career that saw him release three albums on major record labels. Since then, he has been mostly releasing music that he has self-produced and recorded in his basement home studio. He has also released two albums and an EP under the pseudonym Grandpaboy. In 2017, Westerberg released songs on SoundCloud as User 964848511 and on Bandcamp as Dry Wood Garage.

Tommy Stinson American musician

Thomas Eugene Stinson is an American rock musician. He came to prominence in the 1980s as the bass guitarist for The Replacements, one of the definitive American alternative rock groups. After their breakup in 1991, Stinson formed Bash & Pop, acting as lead vocalist, guitarist and frontman. In the mid-1990s he was the singer and bassist for the rock band Perfect, and eventually joined the hard rock band Guns N' Roses in 1998.

Bob Stinson American musician

Robert Neil Stinson was an American musician best known as a founding member and lead guitarist of the American rock band The Replacements.

<i>Pleased to Meet Me</i> 1987 album by the Replacements

Pleased to Meet Me is the fifth studio album by the American rock band The Replacements, released in 1987 by Sire Records. The album was acclaimed by music critics.

<i>Let It Be</i> (The Replacements album) 1984 album by the Replacements

Let It Be is the third studio album by American rock band The Replacements. It was released on October 2, 1984 by Twin/Tone Records. A post-punk album with coming-of-age themes, Let It Be was recorded by the band after they had grown tired of playing loud and fast exclusively as on their 1983 Hootenanny album; the group decided to write songs that were, according to vocalist Paul Westerberg, "a little more sincere."

Dan Murphy (musician) American musician (born 1962)

Daniel David Murphy is an American musician best known as a co-founder lead guitarist for the alternative rock band, Soul Asylum from 1981 to 2012. He is also a member of Golden Smog.

<i>Hootenanny</i> (The Replacements album) 1983 album by the Replacements

Hootenanny is the second studio album by the American rock band The Replacements, released on April 29, 1983 by Twin/Tone Records. The album received positive reviews from critics.

<i>All Shook Down</i> 1990 album by the Replacements

All Shook Down is the seventh and final studio album by the American rock band The Replacements, released on September 25, 1990 by Sire Records.

Bash & Pop are an American alternative rock band formed in 1992 by Tommy Stinson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, following the breakup of the Replacements. It released one album before disbanding in 1994. Tommy Stinson reformed the band in 2016 with a new lineup and album.

The Shit Hits the Fans is a Twin/Tone Records cassette-only live album by The Replacements which was released January 25, 1985. It was recorded live at The Bowery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on November 11, 1984. The cassette J-Card cover art is by Chris Mars. According to the Twin/Tone website, 10,000 copies were produced, of which 9,276 sold immediately. The rest were given away as promotional copies.

Slim Dunlap American guitarist and singer-songwriter

Bob "Slim" Dunlap is an American rock musician. He is a Minnesota-based guitarist and singer-songwriter who is best known as a member of The Replacements from 1987 to 1991, replacing original lead guitarist Bob Stinson. Dunlap also recorded two solo albums in the mid-1990s.

The Replacements discography

The discography of American rock band The Replacements consists of seven studio albums, two live albums, six compilation albums, four extended plays, 16 singles, and 10 music videos. Formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by guitarist and vocalist Paul Westerberg, guitarist Bob Stinson, bass guitarist Tommy Stinson, and drummer Chris Mars in 1979, the band signed with Twin/Tone Records the following year.

I Will Dare 1984 single by The Replacements

"I Will Dare" is a song by American alternative rock band The Replacements, written by Paul Westerberg. The song's pop stylings were a departure from the bands punk origins and its lyrics reflected the band's willingness to "dare to do anything." The track also features guitar performed by Peter Buck of R.E.M.

<i>Dont You Know Who I Think I Was?</i> 2006 greatest-hits album by the Replacements

Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? is a greatest hits album by the American rock band The Replacements, released in 2006 by Rhino Records. It includes eighteen tracks spanning the band's eight studio releases from 1981 to 1990, as well as two new tracks recorded specifically for this release. The new tracks—"Message to the Boys" and "Pool & Dive"—feature the three surviving original band members: singer and guitarist Paul Westerberg, bass guitarist Tommy Stinson, and drummer Chris Mars. However, Mars does not play drums on these tracks: they were played by session drummer Josh Freese while Mars sang backing vocals.

Steven Foley was an American drummer who played for Curtiss A, Things That Fall Down, The Replacements, Bash & Pop, Wheelo, and several other bands in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He played live for the most part, but he recorded with songwriter Peter Lack, and he appears in a Replacements video, "When It Began," which received two 1991 MTV Video Music Awards nominations.

<i>75% Less Fat</i> 1993 studio album by Chris Mars

75% Less Fat is the second album by Chris Mars. The title refers to the rejection of his former bandmates in The Replacements.

<i>Tim</i> (The Replacements album) 1985 album by the Replacements

Tim is the fourth studio album by American alternative rock band The Replacements. It was released in October 1985 on Sire Records. It was their first major label release and also the last album made by the original line-up of the band: guitarist Bob Stinson was kicked out of the band towards the end of 1986.

Peter Jesperson is an American music industry businessman from Minneapolis, Minnesota, known for his involvement in discovering the Replacements, and for later serving as their manager. He also co-founded Twin/Tone Records along with Paul Stark and Charley Hallman, and managed the record store Oar Folkjokeopus during the 1970s and early 1980s.

<i>For Sale: Live at Maxwells 1986</i> 2017 live album by the Replacements

For Sale: Live at Maxwell's 1986 is a 2017 live album by the American alternative rock band The Replacements. Recorded at the famous Maxwell's at the height of the band's commercial and creative arc, it is one of the few good recordings of their live performances. The band's only previous live album—1985's The Shit Hits the Fans—was a limited cassette tape release which features poor audio quality and several false starts and stops on songs. In 2007, bassist Tommy Stinson stated that "There are no good Replacements live recordings", in part due to a lack of high-quality recordings and in part due to the band's notoriously sloppy performances due to alcohol abuse. The album was produced by Bob Mehr, who wrote the 2016 biography of the band Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.