Spys4Darwin was an American supergroup established in 2001. The short-lived project featured members from Seattle-based groups Queensrÿche and Alice in Chains as well as the frontman of Michigan-based outfit, Sponge. Spys4Darwin began with guitarist Chris DeGarmo and drummer Sean Kinney, two friends who had both recently performed with Jerry Cantrell during his solo tour. They were soon joined by bassist Mike Inez and vocalist Vin Dombroski to fill out the band and began jamming in Binge Studios, an abandoned paint factory in Seattle. The project marked DeGarmo's first creative work since departing from his long-held position in Queensrÿche in 1998.
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, USA|
|Genres||Alternative metal, hard rock|
|Associated acts||Queensrÿche, Alice in Chains, Sponge|
|Past members||Chris DeGarmo|
DeGarmo claimed that the band's name came from a curious man named Darwin that stayed in a lean-to near their studio. He volunteered to act as security while they performed despite not being able to access the studio himself. One day, Darwin told DeGarmo and Kinney that he was to embark on a trip and asked that they look after his belongings. DeGarmo allegedly looked to Kinney and said "So I guess now we're spies for Darwin."
Spys4Darwin produced only a single album, a 6-track EP entitled microfish, which consisted of one week's worth of recorded jams. While all band members contributed to the songs, much of the compositions were developed by DeGarmo and Kinney communicating back and forth while all lyrics were handled by Dombroski. In an interview, DeGarmo cited hopes to release a full-length album of about a dozen tracks in early 2002. The band was also reportedly working on the album as late as February 12 that year. However, a second album would ultimately not come to fruition.
microfish consists of recordings from Binge Studios which were refined at Chris DeGarmo and Sean Kinney's houses before being mixed by Adam Kasper at Studio X. Spys4Darwin released the EP on their own record label, Pied Viper Records. Originally only available through the band's official website, microfish was promoted through the band itself and a modest grassroots approach. In January 2008, long after the Spys4Darwin had disbanded and their website expired, the EP was made available through CDBaby.com. The group performed one gig at KNDD's Endfest 10 on August 4, 2001. Other bands in attendance included Nickelback, Ours, and The Crystal Method.
According to DeGarmo, regarding the band's approach to microfish:
|1.||"Submission in Love"||3:38|
|3.||"Dashboard Jesus (Follow)"||4:49|
|5.||"Flood (Skill of the Kill)"||3:42|
|6.||"Cold Dead Hands"||4:23|
In 2002, the members of Spys4Darwin had begun to move on to different projects. April 2002, saw the death of Layne Staley, a longtime bandmate to both Kinney and Inez. This put Alice in Chains into official hiatus with Inez rumored to replace Metallica's Jason Newsted later that year. DeGarmo contributed to the Jerry Cantrell single, "Anger Rising," before temporarily rejoining Queensrÿche to write material for their eighth album in 2003. Meanwhile, Vin Dombroski and Sponge bandmate Joey Mazzola recruited three new members to record their 2003 effort, For All the Drugs in the World.