Ocupado, Mel and The Tall Boys, Astra the 22's
Ocupado is the collaboration of childhood friends Peter Vartan, James Avallone, and Matt Dougherty and recently joined by Ray Mazza.
The singer, and multi-instrumentalist, Peter Vartan was the drummer for the experimental project Swept To See along with Ocupado bassist Matt Dougherty for a few years in the early 2000s before he released a solo album called “Negative Attidude!!!” under the name “Vartan”. After that Peter was playing guitar for Hesta Prynn of Northern State . He played on her studio tracks with the likes of Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav on “Easy Bear” and Shawn Crahan of Slipknot on a cover of the Butthole Surfers song “Pepper” . Then he was the bassist for post-punk alt 80s influenced band The Dead Letters for a few years before deciding to self-produce a home recording album called “Sunshine Kills” which came out in December 2019.
When James Avallone moved back from LA after a long stint in the movie business, directing indie flicks (Spinning Dry, Playback, 80 Proof Cotton and a Pigskin ), he and Peter Vartan decided to start Ocupado along with Matt Dougherty and Ray Mazza on drums. Ray’s known for Apollo’s Ghost , Ray Mazza , Ray Mazza and The Gutter Bandits , The Spines (Radiolarian album) , Kevin Harrison & True North , and Victor Made A Time Machine.