A genre-bending new wave outfit that sounds something like a cross between The Buzzcocks, XTC and Michael Jackson. Bill Gould (bass) and Paul Wims (lead vocals and backup guitar):
Billy Gould was the bass player for The Animated and Chuck Moseley was our keyboardist. The Animated was formed when 4 friends from high school (Hamilton High School in LA) decided to play music together who had the same musical interests, (Beatles, Stones, Yes, Sparks, etc).
Mark Stewart on Lead Guitar; Chuck Moseley: Keyboards; Paul Wims: Lead Vocals and backup guitar and Kevin Morgan; Drums. The common thread was, all of us really liked British music and underground LA type music (very unusual for our neighborhood). Mark, Chuck and I also liked writing music. When we still needed a Bass player, I suggested Billy Gould join the band because I knew him from guitar lessons. He and I had the same guitar teacher. Billy is actually left handed but was forced to play bass right handed because our guitar teacher told him he had to or he couldn’t take lessons from him. Billy however did not go to the same High School as us.
At the beginning, Paul and I were into stuff like Yes, the Beatles, probably your garden variety beginner stuff, but Chuck and Stew brought in a much more sophisticated element into the band. I think I heard the Sex Pistols album for the first time at Pauls house, at rehearsal. I also learned about bands like The Fall, Pop Group, XTC, Joy Division from them; to look back on it now, they probably saved my (musical) life! Meanwhile, I got into more aggressive punk stuff too, maybe a bit more than them, but it created an interesting dynamic that made the music part Buzzcocks, part XTC, part "I don't know what". It was a very strange band (compared to other bands in LA) and we really had a hard time finding anyone to play with that made sense.
We were all surprised that a bunch of 18 and 19 year olds could play so well together (1979 or so). We were all on the same page musically. We started out playing cover songs, but then started writing songs ourselves. Eventually we had enough songs to start playing shows. We would rehearse in the SilverLake (near downtown LA) area and one day a studio engineer named Joel came to hear us rehearse (the recording studio was across the street). He liked us so much that he recorded our first demo for free (5 songs) which helped us get gigs. I wish I still had those recordings but I do not.
The EP was recorded in 1981. We only had enough money to do 4 songs. We could have done 10 if we had the cash. When that EP was released, I was only 20. I am now 50.
High School: lyrics were written by a friend at my high school (not girlfriend). I wrote the music for those lyrics.
Looking At You: was written about my girlfriend at the time that she broke up with me.
The Animated mainly opened up for other bands. We opened up for The Bangs (now known as The Bangles), The Untouchables (LA based SKA Band), The Bus Boys (La Based new wave band), (The Troggs) just to name a few. We played at a lot of the local clubs that are no longer open (Madame Wongs, Hong Kong Café, Club 88, to name a few). The Whiskey and Club Lingerie I believe are still open (we played both of those too).
Billy decided to leave the band shortly after the EP was released and move to San Francisco to finish school at Berkeley. He was replaced by Jeff Kaufman (now known as Jeff Merchant). Art Terry joined the band a bit later. He played trumpet and percussion. At one point we had a total of 7 members in the band.
The band broke up December 1982. Eventually Stewart moved to NY to pursue his solo career, and Chuck Moseley moved to San Francisco to join Billy’s new band, Faith No More. The rest is history. I must say that I was very surprised to find out Chuck Moseley sang. He never sung in our band, just played piano. Many people don’t know this but Chuck was classically trained on piano and could play all styles of music. Plus he was a good songwriter/composer understanding harmony, key changes etc.
I really liked the music, these guys challenged me especially with songwriting in a way that has kept me always trying to keep the bar as high as possible.
I left the band when I moved up to Berkeley to go to school when I was 18 (1981), the same year I met Morris, Worthington and Bordin.