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In 1982, Yow formed Scratch Acid, a crazy punk rock and post-hardcore band based in Austin, Texas. The original alignment of the band was: Steve Anderson (voice), David Wm. Sims (guitar), Brett Bradford (guitar), King Washam (drums) and Yow on bass. However, before recording an album, Anderson was fired, which caused Yow to move to singing and Sims to bass. After releasing two EPs and one LP, they split up in 1987.
That same year, Yow and Sims form The Jesus Lizard, along with guitarist Duane Denison. The trio moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1989. At the beginning of the band (and in its first release, EP Pure), the band used a drum machine, which was later supplanted by drummer Mac McNeilly. Along with The Jesus Lizard, Yow acquired some fame for singing incoherently, and very drunk. On touring with The Jesus Lizard, Yow says, “I enjoyed writing songs and acting like an idiot with them […] to make enough money to support ourselves.” Eventually, the band got a place on the Lollapalooza tour: they got a contract with Capitol Records, despite enjoying little commercial success. During the band’s career, three EPs, six LPs and a live album were released, before splitting up in 1999.
On September 9, 2006, Yow, Sims, Washam and Bradford temporarily reshaped Scratch Acid for the 25th anniversary of Touch & amp; Go Records. This reunion spawned two more concerts: one in Austin, on September 2, and another in Seattle, on September 16.
At the end of 2006, Yow officially joined Los Angeles duet Qui as a permanent member, after playing several shows as a “star guest”. About his two companions in Qui, Yow said: “Well, the two are fucking brilliant, you know? … Never in my artistic career had I encountered two subjects with so much talent, so much vision …”.
On January 25, 2008, Yow was hospitalized in Pittsburgh for a collapsed lung after a concert. He was discharged a few days later.
In mid-2008, the meeting of The Jesus Lizard was announced, with the classic lineup. Then, they embarked on several tours.
Yow also plays live with several bands, including Cop Shoot Cop, Shellac, The Dicks, Melvins, as well as collaborating on albums by Helmet, Melvins, Model / Actress, and others.
According to his close friend, musician and sound engineer Steve Albini, Yow is a talented cook, and has worked in several restaurants in Austin and Chicago. He is also interested in graphic design; He is known for his retouching of photographs.
Yow has mentioned his love for cats, especially the Maine Coons: he currently has at least two cats, called Little Buddy and Baby Boy.
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