The hardcore Christian rock group Beanbag was formed in 1996, way down under in Brisbane, Australia. The band, rightly nicknamed by some as "Australia's Masters of the Bizarre," is made up of drummer Phil Usher, vocalist Hunz Van Vliet, bassist Phil "Hirvy" Hirveda, and guitarist Michael Mullins. The explosive music these talented young men offer, filled with hip-hop grooves and metal riffs powerful enough to numb the brain, brings to mind groups like Korn, P.O.D., Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, and Project 86.
Beanbag grew a large fan base with the release of two demos, an EP, and a number of high-energy live shows in Australia before reaching the market in the United States in about 1998. In 2000, the foursome saw the release of a debut full-length album under the brand new Inpop Records label, backed by Peter Furler, Wes Campbell, and Sparrow Records. The album, Free Signal, carries punk metal tracks like "Bite the Hand," "Disturbed," and "Happy Dispatch." The impressive debut brought the group two nominations for Dove Awards: one for Best Hard Rock Album and one for Best Hard Rock Single for the tune "Whiplash."
Since the band formed, Beanbag has played at a large assortment of festivals in both Australia and America, always bringing a positive message to audiences. After a whirlwind introduction, Beanbag resurfaced in early 2001 with Welladjusted. ~ Charlotte Dillon