Desert Legend SEAN WHEELER is an American musician and singer-songwriter whose music is generally characterized by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences, and theatrical, charismatic live performances. He is best known as the frontman of Throw Rag.
A lifelong resident of California’s Coachella Valley low desert, Wheeler began his musical journey in the early 1980s as the frontman for Mutual Hatred, one of the area’s seminal hardcore punk bands. As a pioneer in the Palm Springs underground music scene (well documented in the award-winning film DESERT AGE), he went on to helm a number of desert bands that explored ska, sleng teng, glam, and biker/sleaze/space rock. Summoning the spirit of the Salton Sea, Wheeler launched the punk n’ roll band Throw Rag in 1993. Several albums and international tours later, Throw Rag continues to thrill audiences when they play occasional shows.
2007 marked the beginning of a collaboration between Mr. Wheeler and Zander Schloss (Circle Jerks, Joe Strummer) that produced the acclaimed WALK THEE INVISIBLE album, and marked his first full foray into acoustic Americana. Concurrent with that project, Mr. Wheeler began writing, recording, and producing (with Troy Van Leeuwen) the SUN TRASH album. The deranged, heatstroke-addled pop/rock of SUN TRASH features contributions from musical stalwarts Jesse Hughes, Joshua Homme, Dave Catching, Chris Goss, Mark Lanegan, Joey Castillo, Gene Trautman, and Eddie Nappi. The album was recorded in 7 days over the course of 11 years and is set for a 2017 release.
In 2016, Mr. Wheeler contributed his inimitable vocals to the YOUR DESERT MY MIND album by punk rock supergroup The Mutants featuring drummer Rat Scabies, with whom he continues to make live appearances in 2017. He is also currently featured as a live guest artist on tour with Brant Bjork (founding member of Kyuss).
In 2017, Mr. Wheeler is set to release SAND IN MY BLOOD, his first proper solo album, on the Little Village Foundation label. Backed by BILLY PITMAN (Jimmie Vaughn), JIM PUGH, and Kid Andersen, the album showcases both originals and unique, indelible interpretations of relatively obscure songs from the American canon. Exploring the country, folk/traditional, gospel, and soul idioms, Mr. Wheeler demonstrates a storyteller’s love of a good tale and an understanding that there is nothing separating classic American musical forms — it can all be played together, and often in the same song. The tour-de-force vocal performances on SAND IN MY BLOOD mark a departure from Wheeler’s earlier projects and signal an exciting new direction in his musical journey.