Justin Webb (vocals/guitars) and Christiaan Webb (vocals/keyboards) are the sons of legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb. After first attending Boston University, they later shared a one-room studio in their adopted hometown of Chicago, IL, and soon were playing local rock clubs and dives in the Windy City. By the summer of 1998, they felt they had gone as far as they could and began concentrating their efforts on writing and recording an album's worth of demos in the group's rehearsal space in order to get themselves a record contract. These recordings featured their longtime drummer Neil Ostrovsky. One thousand copies were pressed up and passed around to A&R reps, but no U.S. label seemed to be interested at the time. After their successful New Year's Eve performance in London, the Webb Brothers decided to try their luck in England, moving there in January 1999.
They caught their first break right away when Wyndham Wallace (owner of City Sling Records) decided to issue three of the demos -- "Cold Fingers," "The Filth of It All," and "I'm Over & I Know It" -- on his Easy! Tiger boutique label. Everyone was caught by surprise when the entire pressing of the hand-stamped, hand-numbered, limited-edition 7" singles -- issued with the title Excerpts from Beyond the Biosphere and featuring distinctive artwork by Jon Jordan -- sold out within a week. A brisk trade in copies of the rest of the demos thereafter led to an invitation to perform acoustically at the first public show at London's Water Rats venue, and soon they were attracting the attention they had not received in the U.S. The demos, issued as an unofficial debut, Beyond the Biosphere, were released in the summer of 1999 on Warners U.K., who signed the brothers and funded their own Mews 5 imprint. The Webb Brothers signed a worldwide deal to Warner Bros. International, performed at the Reading Festival, and began recording their proper debut album (with a much larger budget) with producer Stephen Street (the Smiths, Blur, etc.). The critically acclaimed Maroon was issued by Atlantic Records in 2001. ~ Bryan Thomas