Cleveland-based band Morticia's Chair evolved out of a series of musical experiments hosted by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mark Kae as he was casting about for a new avenue of musical expression following the breakup of the band Screwtractor. Originally conceived as a fluid vehicle for his diverse artistic tastes and talents, Morticia’s Chair eventually coalesced into its current lineup, featuring Kae, drummer Michael J. Graehling who played with bands like Whatts Gnu, and The Bad Checks, guitarist Jesse Kramer, who spent time in industrial metal band Dread and his own project Loophole, and Frank Prpic, also of Center for Rock Research and formerly with bands such as Nameless Desire, the Tools and ADM, in which he also played with Mark Kae.
During the five years that Screwtractor was together, recording for MCA and touring the country with their powerful, dramatic music that blended metal, gothic and industrial influences, Kae was also developing a personal musical vision. When Screwtractor broke up in 1995, Kae started to work on that vision in his practice space, adding and subtracting other musicians based on their ability to relate what he was trying to do.
Morticia’s Chair’s debut CD, Maggie’s Carriage, released in 1998, laid out that vision and captured much of what the band continues to be about. It was both cynical and deeply romantic, pessimistic yet tenacious, laced with dark humor and a dash of mischief. It combined the dark, foreboding textures of Goth with the warmer ones of folk, marrying soaring melodies with evocative, even mystical lyrics that drew on Kae’s background in visual arts.
The band’s second album, Echolocator, released in 2000, featured more psychedelic keyboards and heavier guitars as well as more ambient electronic textures that used the recording studio as an instrument. The track “Paranoid Strain" attracted attention on college radio and on the web as an MP3 download. Always evolving, the band continues to expand sonically, adding Americana and world-music influences to its already fertile mix of sounds. It completed its 3rd album, Beautiful Monsters in 2006.
In 2010 Morticia’s Chair released its 4th studio album titled Trampled by a Muse. It is the band’s most diverse to date. This self-produced, 11 song disc features the paintings of artist Jaymi Zents. Morticia’s Chair has played steadily around the Cleveland area, at such venues as the Agora, the Odeon, the Hi-Fi Club, Pat’s in the Flats, Edisons, the Phantasy, the Barking Spider, Beachland Ballroom and the Winchester, accompanying bands of many different styles and genres.