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Craig Wedren

Best known for his Freddie Mercury-esque vocal acrobatics as the frontman of Shudder to Think, Craig Wedren has also produced and recorded with other artists, in addition to penning music for movies. Although Shudder to Think has been linked with the Washington D.C. hardcore (later emo) scene, Wedren did not live in the area until he was 16 -- previously residing in New York (where he was born) and in a suburb of Cleveland called Shaker Heights. While still in high school, Wedren began recording with schoolmate (and eventual Shudder bandmate) Nathan Larson, before he was invited to try out for a local hardcore band, called Stooge. While the first few tryouts weren't exactly promising, further rehearsals with Wedren improved, resulting in the band (which also included bassist Stuart Hill, guitarist Chris Matthews, and drummer Mike Russell) changing their name to Shudder to Think. 1989 saw the release of the group's debut release, Curse, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses, before the quartet signed with the renowned D.C. indie label Dischord, and issued such further releases as 1990s Ten Spot, 1991's Funeral at the Movies, and 1992's Get Your Goat.

Musically with each album, the band shifted further away from their hardcore/emo beginnings, and more towards an artier, even prog-based direction. Soon after, half of the band split to pursue other careers, while Wedren moved back to New York, to attend acting school and plot his next move. But Shudder to Think was rekindled once more when Wedren's old pal Larson offered to fill the group's open guitar slot (Hill remained on board, while new drummer Adam Wade signed on as well), and resulted in a major-label deal with Epic. The new lineup of Shudder to Think issued Pony Express Record in 1994, and appeared to be on the path to breakthrough success (despite their challenging style sounding like nothing on MTV/radio at the time), while Wedren tried his hand at producing others, including a pair of albums for Cake Like, Delicious and Bruiser Queen. But after their supporting tour wrapped up, Wedren was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, which put the band on hold while he received treatment. With the condition in remission, Wedren was well enough to return to the band, and despite issuing a fine follow-up, 1997's 50,000 B.C., the album sank without a trace. Wedren and his bandmates then shifted their attention to soundtrack work, as they did two complete soundtracks (High Art and the all-star First Love, Last Rites), as well as contributing tracks to Velvet Goldmine, all of which surfaced in 1998.

This would prove to be the last gasp for Shudder to Think, however, as Larson's exit from the band signaled their end. Wedren resurfaced on other artist's recordings (the Verve Pipe's self-titled release), as well as supplying a solo song to the soundtrack for Down to You. In the early 21st century, Wedren composed the entire score for the hit Jack Black comedy, The School of Rock, as well as penning a song for the soundtrack, "Heal Me, I'm Heartsick." Additionally, Wedren formed a new band, Baby, which issued a self-titled EP in 2002 through their website (www.babynyc.com) and penned the score for another film, P.S.. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
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