The Rizlas eventually exploded after a violent disagreement between band members, but after a while Tony, Joe and Mark met up again in Prague, where they got together with a bunch of other transient musicians to form the Oul’ Bogwarriors from Hell, an anarchic, Pogues inspired acoustic band. In 1996 Joe and Mark formed a new band, Impure Thoughts, with another one of the Prague contingent, New York guitarist Sean Condron.
The band formed in Prague, then moved to Ireland to write material, rehearse and get a vehicle. This done, they set off on a tour which took in 10 European countries and ended up in Berlin, where the van finally gave up the ghost, and the band soon became involved in the Berlin music scene, and recorded their first album there, “Life and how to Ignore it”. Sadly, not long after the release of the album, a series of family tragedies meant that Sean had to return to the US. Tony, in the meantime, had stayed in Prague, playing with the country/bluegrass band the Band of Jakeys, and moved to Berlin to replace Sean. The line-up was completed with the recruitment of Stephane, from Paris, whom Mark and Joe had met through collaborations with the late, lamented Nikki Sudden. Since then, the band toured extensively round Europe, both as Impure Thoughts, and as their acoustic alter ego, Two Dollar Bash, who released 4 albums.
The influences of Impure Thoughts are multiple, but a few of the bands that come to mind are: The Stooges, Television, Husker Du, The Replacements, Green on Red, the Jayhawks, Buzzcocks, Teenage Fanclub, The Band, The Undertones, The Byrds. The songs tend to be fairly simple, catchy pop songs, but there is a punky energy in the performances, and one of the strengths of the band is the vocal harmonies. Vocal duties are split between Mark, Tony and Joe, alternating as to who is taking the lead. The songs are mostly written by Mark or Tony, while Joe often contributes melodies, and he and Stephane are very active in the arrangements of the songs. The songs are mostly autobiographical, drawing on the years of experience of travelling and playing music, with all the exhilaration, excitement, frustration and at times despair involved – all the ups and downs of a rock’n’roll lifestyle.