In 1995 Jennifer Finch (aka Precious) and Xander Smith, both looking to start something “different” then what they had been doing musically in the past, found each other one day while walking on the Santa Monica Promenade. Although the two had met some years earlier while co-promoting a Rock for Choice event, they had never stayed in touch. The chance meeting inspired them to discuss a possible side-project together. Finch explained to Smith her vision of a boy/girl, guitar/vocal team and Smith played Finch 4 track demos he had recorded in his garage apartment of what is now “Drip”, “GoTo” and “Lust”. Originally wanting to do a dance project, something totally different then what they were known for, they found the equipment needed to be too costly. They quickly changed gears to what they knew best; song driven rock/pop. The two added Junko Ito, a bass player Smith also met on the Promenade, and Chris Bratton, a drummer friend of Finch’s. Bratton and Finch had become good friends when her band L7 and his band Wool had done extensive touring in Europe and in America together for a year prior.

The addition of the live instrumentation to the dance concept with the combination of both Smith’s and Finch’s diverse influences and personal style created a cool sound described by press as both Dark Wave and Heavy Wave and described by OSP fans as the CaliPhonic Sound.

Originally the group went by the name Lyme, but had to change it to avoid conflict with a heavy metal band in Florida with the same name. After struggling to find a name that would not already exist somewhere in the world, and that could at least please 3 of the 4 members, the band decided to let Ito come up with the name. The reasoning being that since Ito’s native language was not English (she is Japanese), just may come up with a name that was either so simple no one would have ever thought of it or something so unique that it just may work. She delivered- OtherStarPeople.

Before the name change, while the band was still Lyme, they caught the attention of A&R guru Jeff Suhy of A&M Records. Although Finch and Bratton where still playing full time in their other bands, Suhy made arrangements for them to sign a deal with A&M and to be able to promote the group as a “side project” . He and the band also painstakingly put together a schedule that would not conflict with L7’s or Wool’s recording and touring schedules.

In preparation to record and because they love to play live, OtherStarPeople did many shows and mini tours. Some of the early bills they played included the Beastie Boys, Rancid, Redd Kross, Fu Fighters and more. One of these live performance was witness by mega-producer Roy Thomas Baker, of Devo, Cars, Queen and Local H fame, who the band signed on to be the producer of their A&M debut recording.

By the time Roy Thomas Baker was in place, Finch had already quit L7 In July of 96’ due to creative differences and to go back to school. Bratton left Wool a few months later. As the band began the recording process Bratton announced that he wanted to leave the group to pursue a career as a guitarist (his first love). Bratton recorded most of the album tracks as to not leave the band high and dry. He was then replaced by Todd “Player” Philips. Finch and Philips had met in the late 80s in a Hollywoo+d night club while Philip’s band, Bullet Lavolta, were recording in LA. Like the situation with Smith, they never kept in touch, but eventually destiny brought them back together just in time to replace Bratton. Philips had just quit playing with Julianna Hatfield, who he was with for ten years, the timing was perfect.
With all members in place, the band is looking forward to releasing their Roy Thomas Baker produced album (which due to a corporate merger is now on Interscope/A&M Records) and doing extensive touring of the the World (and beyond!)

Other Star People "Diamonds in the Belly of the Dog" Front cover.

Other Star People “Diamonds in the Belly of the Dog” Front cover.

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