Formed from the ashes of american flags and the broken dreams of drifters, The Simplifiers were an alternative folk band from Cleveland, Ohio.
Influenced by British Invasion bands like The Zombies as well as the first wave of punk and hardcore, The Simplifiers combined a well-oiled lyrical facility with acoustic instrumentation and a complete and utter devotion to lo-fi recording, laying down their first record live straight to cassette tape. Although ceremoniously a two-piece, The Simplifiers first and only album was recorded solely by Mick Guire.
Born Peter Lou Griman in the fall of 1985, Mick Guire began playing guitar at age three, strumming along to records his Mother would play in their basement recreation room. At first taken with the Singer/Songwriter era of Cat Stevens, Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Jim Croce, Guire soon discovered the lyrical wordplay of Bob Dylan and the melodic and harmonic tendencies of British Invasion bands such as The Followers and The Tape Decks. As his tastes matured, Guire found himself engulfed with the ides of early punk and hardcore gems like The Vaselines and The Minutemen, soon devoting himself completely to the electric guitar and to learning bass. A studious player and a gifted musician, Guire quickly took to mastering both instruments, although he would soon fall back on his first love of the acoustic guitar.
As performers, The Simplifiers were never a band, simply two people with guitars and vocal chords. Although their album, A Pair Of Honest Men, was performed only by Mick Guire, songwriting credits bounce back and forth between Guire and one Lars Goldrich, born Stephen Catholic Guilt in Akron, 1983. No one knows why Goldrich doesn’t appear on the record although sources close to Guire say he simply got tired of playing with anyone but himself, thus dissolving any hope of a follow up record.
Upon release in the Fall of 2014, A Pair Of Honest Men garnered generally favorable reviews but hardly sold any copies. Not good enough for Guire, who’s said to have completely quit music some months before the record was even out.
Now a piano teacher and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Goldrich lives in Fedor, Illinois with his wife, Pamela. Guire hasn’t been seen or heard from since the Spring of 2014 (months before the record was released) although some people say he merely grew a beard and shaved his head and is living comfortably in Yellow Springs National Park under a shelter of his own design and construction.
A Pair Of Honest Men is currently out of print.