Favoring an aggressive yet melodic and intricate style of alternative pop/rock, Moodroom is a female-fronted band whose primary influences range from Belly and the Pixies to Garbage. Other valid comparisons include My Bloody Valentine, Veruca Salt, Portishead, Madder Rose, and the underrated Shallow. Moodroom was formed in Washington, D.C., in 1997, when female singer Stef Magro (who plays rhythm guitar and writes most of the band's lyrics) joined forces with lead guitarist Gene Diotalevi, keyboardist Jay Hardin, bassist Mike Wolpe, and drummer Sean Saley (formerly of alternative rock band Government Issue and punk outfit Starvation Army). Some of the musicians have been involved in activities outside of music; Magro is a graphics designer, while Diotalevi is an officer in the United States Coast Guard. (In January 2001, Diotalevi led an 18-man platoon in a ceremony for the inauguration of U.S. President George W. Bush). Hardin, meanwhile, has a background in social work and has participated in outreach programs for troubled teenagers in the Washington, D.C., area. In fact, it was Hardin's involvement in social work that inspired the name Moodroom; the "mood room" was part of a rehab facility where he worked in the '90s, and Moodroom is an appropriate name for the band because their songs tend to be moody and atmospheric. Moodroom first entered the studio in 1997, recording a self-titled EP for Solar Vixen Music. And in 1998, the alternative rockers provided their second EP, EP2 (also on Solar Vixen). It wasn't until 2001 -- four years after Moodroom's formation -- that they recorded a full-length album. That year, the band recorded Hung Up on Breathing, which came out on the Fowl label in early 2002.
by Alex Henderson