Thursday, March 18, 2010
Jennifer "Precious" Finch - Vocals, Guitar
Xander Smith - Vocals, Guitar
Todd Phillips - Drums
Junko Ito - Bass, 4-3-2-1 vocals
OtherStarPeople was a short-lived L.A. based guitar pop band active from the years 1997-2003.
Founded by Jennifer Finch, the former bass player for all-female metal-grunge band L7 in 1997, the band was a far cry from what many anticipated to come next from the L.A. punk rock scene veteran. Embracing the nickname “Precious”, switching to guitar and sharing lead vocals with suave, charismatic (and male!) guitarist Xander Smith, Finch confounded expectations by leading a band that mixed elements of punk, alt-rock, pop and new wave. A milion miles away from the femme-grunge sound of Finch’s former band, OSP spotlighted more of Finch’s nuanced songwriting/crafting talents that had been hidden within the belly of the wail of L7, while still featuring her heavy rock chops front and center. To round out the band, Finch and Smith recruited Todd Phillips on drums (formerly of The Juliana Hatfield Three) and later, neophyte Japanese bass-player Junko Ito.
Keeping a low-profile initially in order to avoid being snapped up by Slash Records (L7’s label, which legally had first right of picking up the band under a leaving member clause in Finch’s contract), the band held out and after successfully evading that contractual mess, the band signed a high-profile deal with A&M Records in 1998. The band quickly went into the studio with 70’s superstar producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Journey, Foreigner) to record “Diamonds In The Belly Of The Dog”, just prior to the music industry imploding with the gigantic Universal/Polygram merger that basically closed down A&M Records (for all intents and puposes) for good. Surprisingly, their debut album was one of the few that survived the transition and earned an August 1999 release date during a time when most well-known Universal/Polygram artists were still trying to figure out whether they had a deal or not.
Sadly, probably due to Universal/Polygram still figuring out their internal marketing division, the record didn’t find the audience it deserved and after only one record, the band and A&M/Universal parted ways, with the group disbanding not much later in 2002. “Precious” went on to perform with Betty Blowtorch and formed the band The Shocker in 2003. She has also concentrated on her photography and in 1996 had a L.A. Weekly sponsored art show of her work called “14 and Shooting” on display at the Aidan Ryley Taylor Gallery in Hollywood.