Free Hugs from Sick Puppies

(PR) RMR / Capitol Music Group will release the debut album from Australian indie-rock trio SICK PUPPIES which will arrive accompanied by an unprecedented worldwide virtual group hug -- thanks to a video for the song / first single, “ALL THE SAME,” that’s become one of biggest viral sensations on the Internet sparking over 10 million views on YouTube alone and making it the #10 most viewed video of all time on the site.

SICK PUPPIES frontman Shimon Moore and bassist Emma Anzai, dubbed the female Flea, had relocated to Los Angeles picking up American drummer Mark Goodwin along the way, when Moore created a video to the band’s song “ALL THE SAME,” featuring a much-loved local Sydney eccentric, Juan Mann, who stationed himself at a busy mall with a hand-written placard offering unconditional free hugs. The local council attempted to ban Mann from the street over a “public liability issue,” but the story created a groundswell of support instead, and a 10,000-signature petition convinced the council to back down.

Subsequently, the appearance of Mann’s free hugs on YouTube.com in the SICK PUPPIES music video created an exponentially greater response: shot and edited by Moore as a cheer-up tribute to Mann, the “ALL THE SAME” video (viewable at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4) drew over 10 million views, and sparked a intercontinental movement, transplanting Mann’s free-hug campaign to such far-flung areas as Spain, Israel, Russia, Brazil, Portugal and Japan.

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