Dr Mastermind Matt McCourt Deen Castronovo and Kurt James 1986





Dr Mastermind began as Evil Genius in 1984 when I was writing songs for the 3rd Wild Dogs LP.

KIp and I had recorded as Evil Genius in 1982 before Wild Dogs became a bonafide band ( with "the UNTOUCHABLES" rythm section(Dave Koneig and drummer Aschon Carter ( later with 90's sensation " Bang Gang" with Scott Earl from seattle band Culprit. ) We did 2 songs in the same studio(Ace Tunnel) after the first 2 MALICE demos

Evil Genius recorded a 9 song set in 1984 at Recording Associates with Bob Stoutenburg Engineer/Producer ( the songs appears on the Dr Mastermind Before and after CD. and Dr MASTERMIND MUST DIE

The group started out as a demo band so i cold take finished songs to the seemingly uninterested wild dogs to meet our next deadline for Shrapnel Records. It turned into a regional touring band who played the same venues as Wild Dogs ( i booked the Dogs and the promoters like Craig Cooke and others put us on many shows before this I had no idea the wild Dogs were planning a " hostile takeover" lol but were already recording with a number of other singers.That may have explained the disinterest in my new music. I had an album worth of tunes and a full band by the time i met my replacement,John Tejeda, so perhaps it all worked out for the best. The Next 6 months EVIL GENIUS played live, my future ex wife and i were living at the band house. My first experience living somewhere else with other people in a house that was schedluled for demolition and as an only child i was not used to living with anyone let alone 2 other guys AND my girlfreind i was 24 at the time, we both had jobs at this gas station/mini mart in the rough part of townspecialty which caiubut paying rent was not my priority . It didnt work out well. North porland at the time was much diferent than it is today, it was the ghetto. we drove past this run down hell house of an apartment every morning on the way to work and joked about moving there to save us the drive from where we weren't paying our part of the rent. Little did i know that we would soon need a job that came with an apartment and were hired to manage this very bulding full of squatters and some peopel who had lived there since it opened n 1928 Later it became the inspiration for The song "THE VILLA") excuse my venture into nostalgic waxing but it all adds up to this experience .

During the EVIL GENIUS time, Mike Varney had called me and liked the songs, but thought i would do better with a world class guitar player and if i could get Deen to play drums provide a guitarist. He sent me Paul Gilbert's demo, Paul still lived in Pennsylvania and we spoke a number of times but the big click did not happen besides,i had a band that was active and not wanting to break up that lineup, i was not keen on firing my friends . But by the time i was at the villa, the EVIL GENIUS lineup had dissolved and the idea sounded great and i was singing with MAYHEM.

We got another apartment managing job, this time in the suburbs and i missed the crips and the dealers and colorful people the crank labs and the criminals who were our in house gangsters i missed the city They were much easier to deal with than cranky stay home mommies of toddlers who complained about the slow draining tub.

I called Mr Varney and asked if he still was interested and he was But i would have to change some lyrics steer clear of the PMRC so i did to as i was told ( Much to my chagrin ( a phrase i learned from Paul Gilbert.)

Kurt James was the guitarist Varney paired me with.Kurt had taken Yngwie Malmsteen's place in the band Steeler. Kurt loved Jimi Hendrix( perfect) Deen had said yes when i called him and Mike offered him paid positions with Tony Macalpine and session work IF he moved to northern California The Dr Mastermind budget would pay for his move as part of production expenses. and voila! he was on the runway to the big time.

The Basic Tracks were recorded in Portland Or at Cascade Studio Rick McMillan, the engineer and owner of the studio WAS a good friend of Jeff from Wild Dogs' i WAS taking the best drummer ever away so.... hmmm yes, it was a conflict of interest OH WELL! i hated to see great talent wasted .

I met Kurt at the infamous Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati Ca where all the best shrapnel records were made and i had recorded there with Kip's Band in 1980 and Wild Dogs Man's Best Friend in 1984 the backing tracks were missing. (much to Mike Varney and Stefan Phillio's chagrin lol) i should have just done it all at the good studio then it was time for the photo shoot of the cover I love setting up those shots like Man's Best Friend i love photos for a cover sly abwe discovered that some key drum tracks were were not on the tape.

The Record came out on Shrapnel USA Road Runner in Europe and CBS/SONY in Japan i still am very proud of that record and it helped launch the career of my friend Deen. We did one show as the original lineup PLUS Mondo on bass so i could sing and be the frontman but i wanted the motorhead trio format

i Have released the record ON USMETAL RECORDS with live songs from our Starry night 1987 show( and DVD)

There has been a dozen lineups that played these songs with me but nothing like the original grouping below are some videos