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Mata hari

There is more than one artist with this name:

1) Mata Hari - American hard rock band
2) Mata Hari - Blues rock band from Brasilia, Brazil


Mata Hari was formed in August of 1989 in the back room of Ralph’s Corner Bar in Moorhead, MN. Since all the founding members were all in other bands at the time, a little secrecy had to be involved. The members were Marty Halgrimson (guitar) John Holland (drums) Karl Kreutz (bass) Jack Seaman (vocals) and Darren Skanson (guitar). Marty, Karl, Jack, and Darren were all MSUM students at the time and had some history with each other. Some of the previous bands played in were Rude Awakening, Sister Scary, Shyboy and The Street Band.

After months of rehearsal, the hiring of an Agent, and the purchase of an old School Bus, they were ready to gig. They decided to debut in Elizabeth, MN in January of 1990 under a false name to get a gig under their belt before exposing themselves to the masses. Things were about to get fun.

They hit the road in February 1990 and played gigs in Kirksville, Mo, Fargo, ND, Riverton, WY, Idaho Falls, ID, Pocatello, ID, and Casper, WY, among various other towns. The Casper gig would prove pivotal to the history of the band. After setting up and playing Monday night, Johnny became very ill. By Tuesday morning it was clear he needed medical attention, and would be out indefinitely. The band called the bar and was given the name of a fill-in drummer for the week. That man was Pat Hewitt, otherwise known as Patio Furniture. John was flown back to Fargo with Viral Meningitis, and obviously could not continue with the band. The band and Patio hit it off well, as Pat was a veteran of Montana rock bands. An offer extended to join the band was accepted, and they were off to Karl’s parents’ house in Sturgis, SD for more rehearsal.

By this time the band had started accumulating a strong following in the upper Midwest, the strongest of course was their home base in Fargo. The Good Music Agency of Minneapolis came calling, and the band signed with them for representation. Furious touring followed with stops in Kansas City, MO, Grand Rapids, MI, Cincinatti, OH, Panama City, FL, Pensacola, FL, Denver, CO, Minneapolis, MN, Des Moines, IA, Winnipeg, MB, and all points in between. It is rumored the band at one point played 340 days in a year. Phew!

That touring, however, provided the band with the ability to deliver amazing shows with difficult cover tunes, original tunes, and showmanship bordering on insanity that further solidified their reputation as a top touring club band. With outstanding musicianship and screaming vocals, along with a party atmosphere, the band was gaining fans at a rapid pace. By this point, the band decided that in order to go further, an album was needed. The band signed with Metro Records of Minneapolis, MN, and after some time in the studio in the Winter of 1991-1992, emerged with their debut LP, “Feel the Fire”. Sales of the disc were promising, both in local outlets and from the band direct at their shows.

More intense touring followed to packed houses across the Midwest, but was beginning to take it’s toll, and Karl decided to pursue other opportunities with Zwarte’ and Panama. Jack decided he was tired of singing, and the decision was made to hire former Zwarte’ frontman James Dane from the beaches of Florida. Although a killer vocalist, the band never seemed to gel with James, and after a two week stint without him in Canada, he was gone upon their return, never to be heard from again.

Their very next gig was an epic 8 day marathon at the 4-10 in Fargo, and the decision was made to soldier on as a 4 piece. Still highly successful, the band continued it’s relentless touring to satisfy the demands of their fans. Eventually, all good things must come to an end, and the band officially broke up in May of 1993.

Darren relocated to Denver to pursue a classical guitar venture, with which he is very successful to this day. Marty and Pat stayed in Fargo, while Jack moved to the Twin Cities. It didn’t take long for the call of the road to strike again, and Jack, Marty, and Patio decided to form again, with Bassist Rick Runde of Panama fame.

The band spent some time preparing, then it was off on the road yet again. This time the band focused primarily on North and South Dakota and Minnesota. The new lineup was rejuvenated and re-captured some of the old energy from the early days, and had a strong following in Fargo, Minot, Rapid City, Duluth, and Sioux Falls. After less than a year, Rick Runde decided to join Fargo Country band The Roosters, and former Ransum Bassist Nate Lofberg was tabbed to fill the void. The band decided that the time for a second album had come, and decided to record it themselves.

After a recording session that would produce as many stories as songs, “Dievolution” was released on the Raptor label. The disc was primarily sold by the band at their shows, and was well received.

The band continued to tour the Tri-State area successfully, but soon the changes in the live rock scene caught up with them, and the band slowly folded over time, doing a final show in June of 1997.

2) Mata Hari is a band from Brasilia, Brazil. The music is a mix of blues, rock and brazilian rhythms, and the musicians are Veronica Carrico (singer), Jimi Figueiredo (lyrics and guitar), Nelson Neto (bass), Nelson Guimaraes (drums) and Sylvio J.(guitar), besides Andre Moraes, who played during de decade of 1990.
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