Better Than Ezra Biography

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Better than EzraMembers

Current:

Kevin Griffin, Vocals, Guitar
Tom Drummond, Bass
Travis McNabb, Drums

Former:

Cary Bonnecaze, Drums
Joel Rundell, Guitar

History

Better Than Ezra was formed by Kevin Griffin along with original members Joel Rundell, Tom Drummond and Cary Bonnecaze while attending college at Louisiana State University sometime in 1987. Better Than Ezra began as a quartet band that played cover songs around campus bars at LSU and the neighboring fraternity houses. By 1990, they were able to record and release their first cassette-only EP, Surprise, which was well received and was positively reviewed by the press despite being an unsigned band at that time.

But just as the band was taking of in terms of getting a wider audience, tragedy suddenly struck. Better Than Ezra was hit hard by the untimely demise of their guitarist Joel Rundell who comitted suicide on August 8, 1990, just shortly after the release of their first album. This sad event in their lives prompted the band to take a temporary hiatus from the music scene. But it was only months before the remaining members decided to go on as a three-piece band and started to perform again.

Sometime in 1993, the band decided to move out to Los Angeles where they were able to record and release their very first full-length album named Deluxe from an independent label. As the album went around the different music circles in the area along with the constant gigs that they perfomred when they can, Better Than Ezra began to create a buzz around the indie music circuit that was great enough to get noticed by Elektra Records. They were eventually signed by the major label and their Deluxe album was reissued in February of 1995.

It began to rise up the music charts peaking at number three on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart listing during that year. Their single, Good, reached number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts along with other songs in the album that fared well also by hitting at least the Top 30 of the Billboard Modern Rock List.

After the release of their first album, drummer Cary Bonnecaze decided to part ways with the band and was eventually replaced by Travis McNabb in time for the release of their next LP named Friction, Baby. Their second album was never able to match the incredible rise up the charts of their first one, with only two songs able to reach the Top Ten of Billboard’s Rock Charts. Their subsequent releases fared no better than their first two albums.

Better Than Ezra was a band worth noting in that they were able to outlive similar other bands who went through a number of conflicts that finally went through the disbandment route. Better Than Ezra was able to survive through the years as a band by building up a wide and very loyal fan base that cared to hear their type of music regardless of radio play or chart listing.

Notable Songs

Good, Desperately Wanting, In the Blood, Rosealia, At the Stars

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