"Tuatara" is a Seattle-based collective experimental band, featuring members of R.E.M., The Minus 5, and the Screaming Trees.
The band was formed in 1996 by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Barrett Martin of the Screaming Trees, Justin Hartwood of Luna, and jazz saxophonist Skerik. Originally a project to get some musician friends some soundtrack work, the project evolved into an experimental instrumental project, doing some live shows from time to time and recording their first album ''Breaking the Ethers'', encompassing a sound influenced by various styles of music, from Lebanese and Asian music to more traditional Western folk music.
The band expanded in 1998, adding Scott McCaughey and Los Lobos horn player Steve Berlin, and released ''Trading With the Enemy'', which added more exotic instrumentation while sticking to the familiar formula of borrowing from a variety of styles.
The band had 11 members at the time of 2001's ''Cinemathique'', which was intended to fulfill the original desire of creating music for soundtracks. A remix album, ''The Loading Program'', was released in 2003.
*''Breaking the Ethers'' (CD) - Epic Records - 1996