Nominee – 1996 6th Annual LA Music Awards
Guitarist in ITIS
“-itis” is a pop-rock band from Colorado Springs, CO. They travel non-stop from state to state and play 150 shows each year. “-itis” has released 11 CDs and a live DVD with over 4 hours of footage. “-itis” has been a band for over 15 years and consists of four members:
Craig Soderberg – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, originally from Gaylord, Michigan.
Michael Glaser – bass guitar, backing vocals, originally from College Park, Maryland.
Tom Segel – drums, originally from Bellingham, Washington.
Mark Alan Rodio – lead vocals, originally from Schaumburg, Illinois.
“-itis” formed in August ’94 in Orange County, California, when Mike and Craig recruited Mark to finish 3 weeks of shows for their band whose singer had left them stranded in the middle of a tour. Shortly after this tour ended, “-itis” toured Europe for six weeks to finish off the year. Nobody knew at the time that this would be the beginning of a very long & exciting journey.
“-itis” toured for most of ’95 then wrote and recorded a 21-song CD entitled “Tastes Like Chicken!” They released the CD on Hat Light Recordings (their self-owned label) in December of ’95 and followed it up with a nine-week tour in Europe. After returning to the U.S. in March ’96, the band continued to tour in support of “Tastes Like Chicken” throughout the western U.S. in such states as California, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona.
“-itis” released their second CD, entitled “it IS…isn’t it?” in January ’97; a 17-song disc including their own modern versions of the Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” and the Little River Band’s “Reminiscing.” This CD features several strong cuts, such as “YOU” and “BE YOUR FREEDOM.” Three of the tracks include electric violins from Grammy-winning artist, Jamii Szmadzinski. After completion of this album, “-itis” took on a five-week tour in Europe during January & February of ’97. They then toured eight months all over the U.S. during ’97 and finished off the year with a four-week tour in Europe.
Since touring became a full-time deal, “-itis” moved to Colorado Springs, CO; a more central location to all the cities they were playing. They also got a new drummer from Rochester, MN named Mike Berg. With a week off here, and a week off there, “-itis” recorded and released their third CD entitled “eatus” in December ’98; a 20-song disc combining the subtle humor & diversity of the first CD with the commercial sound of the second CD. Their perverted cover of a Wizard of Oz tune named “If I Only Had A Dame” (based on “If I Only Had A Brain”) became viral on the internet and was the soundtrack to many computer animated versions of the tune.
1999 started out with a non-stop tour of the states in support of “eatus” and a quick trip to Europe in June. Again, finding time in between dates of their extensive schedule, “-itis” managed to finish their fourth and most commercial CD to date at the end of October entitled “Disconnected.” This album helped define the “-itis” sound, with catchy guitar riffs & lyrics. After its completion, “-itis” took it’s first journey into “the south” playing in Jackson, Mississippi, and headed north for their first trip to Michigan, the homeland of their guitarist. After shows in Minnesota, Missouri and Arizona, “-itis” finished 1999 onstage in their hometown of Colorado Springs, CO.
2000 was a non-stop tour, just like the last few years. Also in between gigs, the guitarist managed to record and release his fourth solo CD entitled “Going Through The Motions.” “-itis” began writing music for a fifth CD. “-itis” never stops working, writing and touring. The band was averaging over 200 shows per year at this point.
2001 marked the release of their fifth CD, entitled “Nutbag.” The first track, “Don’t Read My Diary,” instantly became a huge hit with -itis fans, and continues to be their most requested song to this day. “Out of Time” features some of the great lyrics & outstanding guitar work on the album. This CD best displays their overall sound: songs that you can sing along to, songs that everyone can relate to, and a twist of humor & wit to top it off.
Travel, play shows, travel, play shows, travel, play shows…oops, time for another drummer change. Mike Berg, after being in the band for over 4 years and traveling in road bands for over 14 years, left the band. “-itis” recruited Tom Segel, who was living in Brainerd, MN at the time, a frequent stop for “-itis”. Ironically, Tom’s last band was the same as Berg’s last band, “Avoiding Tom.” With Tom as their new drummer, “-itis” began recording for a new CD, and continued traveling and playing shows.
“-itis” released their 6th album, entitled “Laid” in January of 2003. Their 7th album entitled “-itis ALIVE!” was released in July. It is a collection of some of their most popular cover tunes recorded live at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix, AZ. “-itis” went into a studio in Las Vegas in September to record a “greatest hits” CD. This CD has 14 of their most popular tunes.
“-itis” released their greatest hits CD entitled “Love Songs & Life Lessons.” They also released their G rated greatest hits CD entitled “you know, for kids”, which has no profanity or questionable subject matter on it, which was tough to do. Although many of the songs chosen were already kid-friendly, others had to be re-recorded with alternate lyrics. Now, parents don’t have to wait until the kids are in bed to listen to “-itis.” In September, “-itis” finally got to meet one of their idols, Larry Pierce. Larry is a dirty country songwriter. Before meeting Larry, “-itis” had done a cover of his on both their 5th & 6th CDs. After a weekend of partying in Indiana, Larry agreed to do a big show with “-itis” in Minneapolis in January 2005 with “-itis” being his band. In December of 2004, “-itis” released their tenth CD (7th original studio album) entitled “DUNCE.”
“-itis” did the big show with Larry Pierce on January 22nd, and the concert was filmed for Larry’s documentary. In March, “-itis” made its first trip to play on the beach in Negril, Jamaica at the CocoLaPalm Resort. Craig released his fifth solo CD entitled “Turn My Heart On” in the summer of 2005. This CD is a rocked up version of all sorts of love songs from the 70’s & 80’s. “-itis” continued to tour and also played a few more shows with Larry Pierce in Minnesota and Colorado. “-itis” ended 2005 at the Union Station in Colorado Springs with another sold out New Year’s Eve show.
Though taking a six month break in 2006 to allow Mark’s eardrum to heal from a monitor accident, “-itis” played 3 nights in Negril, Jamaica again. Over 100 “-itis” fans took over the CocoLaPalm Resort for this second annual trip to Jamaica. During these six months, Mark traveled throughout Europe, Mikey finished the “-itis” double live DVD, and Craig finished his 6th solo CD entitled “Looks Good On Paper.” “-itis” resumed their regular travels in late June, and life on the road continued as normal.
“-itis” started off 2007 as normal and made their first appearance at The Viper Room in Hollywood in January on a Saturday night with their good friends, Warner Drive. Larry Pierce went on the Howard Stern Show to announce the release of his 14th album “Pussy Whipped”, which “-itis”played all the music on. Later in January, their drummer, Tom, tore a ligament in his right knee. After a few temporary drummers, Jameson Becker, who also lived in Colorado Springs, took over. In March, “-itis” made their first appearance at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, celebrating the release of the Larry Pierce documentary, “Dirty Country.” In April, “-itis” played the Viper Room again to another packed house. Also in April, “-itis” started working on their 11th CD (8th original studio project), entitled “EXIT 420.” In November, “-itis” went to NYC to do a live show with Larry Pierce at “Arlene’s Grocery” after his second appearance on the Howard Stern Show and after his movie had been shown for the first time in Manhattan. To finish off the year, “-itis” had their “EXIT 420″ CD release party at The Viper Room in Hollywood, then played one of their favorite clubs called “Joe’s Grotto” in Phoenix, and returned home for another New Year’s Eve show in Colorado Springs.
“-itis” started off 2008 with a trip to Minnesota where temperatures reached -17 degrees…one of the fun parts of winter touring in the midwest. As tougher DUI laws, smoking bans, and an overall bad economy continue to hinder bar businesses everywhere, “-itis” still travels and remains hopeful that people will still come see them play.
“-itis” is in the studio working on their 12th CD (9th original studio project). “-itis” continues to play around the calendar anywhere there’s a bar that will take them. In July, “-itis” got to play with Larry Pierce again near his hometown for their 3rd annual 4th of July Bash, and also played downtown Chicago shortly after that. In August, “-itis” got their longstanding drummer Tom Segel back from his 2007 knee injury. “-itis” is planning to play another show with Warner Drive at the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood in December. “-itis” is planning to disband sometime in late 2010, so you should come see them before it’s too late.
“-itis” will play their final show.
“-itis” has sold anywhere between 30,000 & 1,000,000 CD’s at their concerts and over the internet. Their eleven albums, along with their extensive touring history, proved that “-itis” was prepared for anything. They always tried to make every show entertaining, because if the band was having fun, the crowd was having fun. But, unfortunately, if there’s no crowd, there’s no “-itis.”