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The Theory of Funkativity

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The Theory of Funkativity fuses complexity and passion to bring you a melodic breed of California Funk Rock that Spin Magazine describes as an "onslaught of thick, catchy guitar riffs mixed with a tight, reggae-like rhythm section."
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The band consists of Pat Cleary on vocals, Michael Perl on guitar, Kyle Burkle on bass, and Sean Brust on drums. They have been playing music together for eight years, but their friendship goes back long before that. Pat and Michael have known each other since preschool, and Kyle and Sean have been friends since age one. From this bond comes their tight, vibrant live sound. In 2009, The Theory of Funkativity shared the stage with N.E.R.D., Iron and Wine, Sara Bareilles, Girl Talk, Motion City Soundtrack, and Shiny Toy Guns, and performed at the Sun God Festival, Kuncocshun Festival, Aztec Theater, Whisky A Go Go, Cat Club, Molly Malones, The Airliner, The Beauty Bar, and more. In 2008, the band won Spin Magazine's "Rock Pile" competition for best rock song with "Promised Land" and placed first in fan voting for's "On Stage" contest. With over 1 million online plays and downloads of their debut album, Self-Titled (2008), The Theory has been featured on,,, and San Diego's KPRI 102.1. Their music is also featured on the soundtrack for Realtime Worlds' "All Points Bulletin" for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. In 2010, The Theory of Funkativity is changing the way music is created, distributed, and consumed. In July, the band introduced the "Odyssey," a weblog in which they release a new song every Monday at 7pm PT. Songs can be purchased at any time for $1 and, with each release, The Theory of Funkativity discusses the significance of the lyrics, instrumentals, and engineering techniques used. Fans are encouraged to follow along by posting comments, downloading tracks, and engaging in discussion with the band and with each other. The Odyssey is an ultra-personal, interactive musical experience unlike anything in the history of recorded sound. Please, join The Theory of Funkativity in their Odyssey. For funk is its own reward.
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Patrick Cleary was pulled into this world, screaming and helpless, in 1987. He spent the first year of his life overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles including
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an inability to comprehend language and complete lack of control over his own body. He eventually came to learn that the sound for his birthplace was "bah-stin," that his dad was a "dahk-tuh," and that he would soon move west. By this time Patrick had mastered such skills as walking and feeding himself, and his parents decided to enroll him in preschool. This decision resonated with destiny, for in this school Patrick was fated to meet Michael. The two were fast friends, sharing an interest in Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, Sega Genesis, and all other manner of boyish delights. Sadly, their time together was limited as Patrick's family would have to move again, first back to Massachusetts and then to an Orange County town called Tustin. Patrick always loved music, but his first performance experience was as a drummer in elementary and middle school band. During this time he also picked up the bass and played in his first group, a garage affair known as Pog Mahonne. In the coming years, Patrick kept music a close part of his life, playing in a wide variety of bands. Patrick's musical tastes and influences are many, ranging from punk rock to jam rock to hip hop and even to electro. One fateful day he got a call from Michael who needed a vocalist for his band and wondered if Patrick would be interested in joining them. Patrick jumped at the chance, and two days later, after being randomly matched with Michael in an online game of Halo, Pat confirmed over the headset that he would indeed join The Theory of Funkativity. From the first jam session he knew that they had something special.
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Born in Los Angeles in 1987, Michael moved to San Diego two years later where he attended preschool with Pat. He played piano for three years before picking up the
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guitar at age nine. In 2010, he graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Music, Science, and Technology. Michael grew up listening to the Beatles, Neil Young, and Santana, from which he developed an affinity for classic rock. However, his love of music was piqued when, for his twelfth birthday, a friend gave Michael a copy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication. He immediately fell in love with the Chili Peppers and followed their roots back through artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Parliament, and Robert Johnson. Michael learned to play the guitar by jamming along with Chili Peppers and Hendrix albums. Since then, he has gotten heavily into the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and Rage Against The Machine. Michael's musical style is most heavily influenced by guitarists John Frusciante, Jack White, and Jimi Hendrix. In High School, Michael became fascinated with every aspect of the music making process. He began composing and jamming regularly with The Theory. He learned to record, mix, and master using the band's music. Michael also picked up woodworking and electronics, building a number of guitars and bases. Michael plays an '87 American Telecaster through a '77 Marshall JMP head and two custom 4x12 cabinets with Alnico Blue speakers. He prefers a stripped down effects set up, using only a Boss Blues Driver, Boss DS-2, and Big Muff Pi for distortion, with the occasional addition of an '80s Ibanez WH-10 Wah.
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Kyle was born in La Jolla in 1988 and has lived in San Diego for most of his life. In the third grade he attended an international school in
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Panama. Kyle returned home a year later to his old elementary school where he rejoined Sean and met Michael. Kyle's father regularly listened to a large variety of classic rock, including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. It was through these bands that Kyle found his appreciation and love of music. His interest in the bass guitar was sparked when he first encountered the work of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Flea's constant variation of both rhythm and improvisation, elements traditionally absent from the role of the bass guitar, captured Kyle's attention. When The Theory of Funkativity formed in high school, Kyle began to grow as a musician. He started developing his technique and composing his first pieces. Kyle's subsequent discovery of bassists such as Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, and Les Claypool gave him further insight into the potential of the bass, and heightened his fascination with the instrument. Kyle plays a 2001 Music Man Sterling through a Gallien Krueger 700 RB-II and two custom 1x15 cabinets.
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Sean was born in San Diego in 1988 where he resided until attending college at the University of Southern California.
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He graduated in 2010 with a major in Film Production. His interest in making music began at the age of ten when he started taking guitar lessons. In high school Sean taught himself drums so that he could join his friends as a member of The Theory of Funkativity. He wrote the lyrics for the band's first full-length album and contributes lyrics for the Odyssey project. Sean's drumming is influenced both by his love for the loud, raw sound of classic rock drummers and by his interest in the manufactured beats of electronic music. His musical influences include The Beatles, The Bloody Beetroots, Mr. Oizo, Radiohead, and Subtle. In addition to his role in The Theory of Funkativity, Sean finds a musical outlet as a DJ. Sean plays a custom stand-up drum set designed by himself and Michael. The set is built with Pearl shells and Tama hardware. Sean uses a Tama Iron Cobra kick drum pedal and plays on Evans drum heads. He plays with a Sabian Hand Hammered Raw Bell Dry Ride cymbal, Sabian AAH Hi-Hats, and an 18" Zildijan A Custom Crash cymbal.
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