Friday, August 31, 2007
This is live shot from The Accused reunion show at Rckcndy. I love how I caught Tommy in a flying leap, and even if Blaine is pretty washed out, his long hair is standing upward!
My friend Charlie lived in a house in the CD around 18th and Cherry in the mid-'90s. He had one big party with bands, included the one pictured: Plywood. At some point the party got out of hand. A Jak's skater dude graffitied the Jak's logo on his kitchen wall and Charlie had to kick him and his buddies out. Then the cops showed up from a noise complaint and threatened a $250 ticket if they had to come back. They then backed their car into the driveway across the street and parked, waiting to bust the party if the bands started up again. So we cleared everyone out of the house. Charlie, David, Karen, Amy, me and a couple other people all cruised over to Rick's apartment on Republican to party more. I'm pretty sure this was the night David lit his hair on fire smoking pot and Charlie put it out, which is an incident that just came up in conversation last weekend and prompted this post. Fun night despite the cops. I know nothing of what became of Plywood or the band members.
Quiverpuss was an arty/gothy rock band from Seattle that played around town in the late '80s and early '90s. They were fairly unique, the band included a sax player and scantily clad female singer up front. As far as I can tell they only had one release, a 7" single entitled "Conjure Up A Man" that was released on Facebat Records in 1991. This photo is of the band playing at the Vogue.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I'll do a proper entry on The Hollowpoints in the near future, but I came across a fairly early photo I loved of them playing live at The Blue Moon Tavern in the U-District I wanted to post.
Scathed was a fun, but fairly short-lived Seattle band in the latter half of the '90s. Fronted by PV Jacquie, they had crusty screamed female vocals backed by hardcore/grindcore music. These shots are from a show at The Blackcat Cafe. As far as I know Scathed only had one release, a split 7" with Decrepit on Un-Yelliman Records. They were also featured on the compilation LP "Abscess Operandi" put out by Aborted Society Records in June of 2000.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I met Doug "Dick Thinker" Fedinik through the national Punk-List email list about 15 years ago. He was the bass player for this band in Pittsburgh called Submachine, who I'd never heard of. When he sent me their first 7" I was hooked, they were crass, funny, and had a great Poison Idea feel to them. Great old school punk and unashamed drunks. When they toured out to Seattle I hooked them up with Cameron for an all-ages house show at the Radio House and they rocked the joint. They played the Lake Union Pub later in the evening too... I remember them trying to score meth through bartender so they could get more fucked up at the end of the night. Doug later left the band and got married and became a dad, but the band continued on. They've put out a slew of great releases and I'm amazed they still are fairly underground and haven't gained the notoriety they deserve. You can hear them on their MySpace page.
Current line-up: Alex Peightel on vocals, Jeff Cherep and Rick Budway on guitar, Greg Mairs on drums, and Jay Nulph on bass.
- Mindless Device -7" ( 1991:, Rust Records)
- This Is Why We Are The Drunks 7" (1992, split w/Filth)
- Sex Deterrent 7" (1993)
- Now That I've Given Up Hope, I Feel Much Better LP (1994)
- Split 7" w/Pink Lincolns (1994)
- Shooting Blanks 7" (1995, split with Blanks 77, Six Weeks Records)
- That Hurt - 10" (1997, C.I. Records)
- Anthology Of Vinyl LP (1998, C.I. Records)
- Fresh Outta Give-A-Fucks LP/CD (1999, Radical Records)
- Cut on "Nevermind the Sex Pistols, Here's the Tribute" CD (2000, Radical Records)
- Live Fast Die Dumb LP/CD ( 2002, Six Weeks Records)
- Carpe Crochum 7" ( 2002, Republic of Chesterfield Records)
- Submachine "Loose At The Moose" DVD w/audio CD (2005, Da' Core Records)
Friday, August 24, 2007
The top photo is of Scared of Chaka, one of my favorite punk bands from the '90s, playing their first Seattle show at the Lake Union Pub (well technically second, I think they played at the Radio House the same day, then we all cruised down to the Pub to watch them again for their 21 and over show). Recognize the singer/guitarist? Yup, that's Dave Hernandez, the guy on the far right in The Shins photo below it. Scared of Chaka were fantastic, they played melodic "pop punk" but did it with such speed and energy that you could in no way compare them to a pop punk band like Green Day or Mr. T Experience. Wanna hear 'em? My friend Pete the Sticker Guy put out a lot of their music and has MP3's up, as well as their old CDs for sale at the 702 Records website.
Ursula Android and Jackie Hell are Seattle's two punk rock drag queens. I'll write more about the kick ass night Pho Bang they used to host at Foxxxes as well as their singing "careers." This is a photo from a Tablet Christmas party one year that we put on in the old Timberline when it was in the lodge-type of building that was City Beat back in the '80s. Sleestak old school skater and DJ, Bobcat, is smack dab in the middle of the drag queen sandwich.
This is a shot of The Quincy Punx live in the Radio House living room from the mid-'90s, the band hailed from St. Paul, Minnesota. I think I loved The Quincy Punx from the get go. Their name came from the infamous episode of the TV show "Quincy" that featured punk rockers, they played fast obnoxious punk like The Dwarves with hilarious lyrics, and first 7" in 1992 ripped off the artwork from The Germs GI album, only with a safety pin through it. I thought the whole concept and execution of the band was hilarious, although it dismayed me to later realize some people were offended by them and didn't think they were funny. Geeeesh. I interviewed them back in the day for 10 Things and was totally stoked when they played at Cameron's house. And they were super nice guys too, they even gave me some half-assed apology for the song "Nuke Seattle." Reccess Records has a bunch of their old vinyl and CDs for sale still, but they haven't put anything out since 1997. According to the band they are still together and will some day put out a double CD set of all their releases, but they are really lazy, so it may be a while. Ha ha ha!
Lyrics to "Nuke Seattle," which came out at the height of grunge grabbing the world's attention in 1993:
Let's nuke nuke nuke nuke nuke Seattle
It'll be a vicious bloody battle
Let's nuke nuke nuke nuke nuke Seattle
We'll slaughter em like a bunch of cattle
I wanna see Seattle in flames
Cuz their bands all sound the same
PearlGarden is totally gay
Let's just blow the fuckers away
Seatle gone in a mushroom cloud
I'll push the button and I'll be damn proud
(repeat chorus)Let's make a crater of the pacific northwest
We'll get Nirvana along with the rest
No more hyped up poseur scene
We'll start all over, wipe the slate clean
It'll be a quick and easy way
To make those stupid fuckers pay
Now that Seattle's out of the way
Let's go fuckin' nuke L.A.
This is a huge crowd shot at the Accused Reunion show at Rckcndy (which I think took place in 2003). I love crowd shots from punk shows that manage to capture the intensity of the moment, this one barely does, but actually lit up most the floor and balcony of the club. Who knew the walls were yellow with squigglies on them? I never looked back I guess. Some of my favorite crowd photography is from old DC hardcore shows where a few photographers really caught what was going on with kids bodies flying everywhere. I'd be insanely stoked if I had even one crowd shot like some I've seen from that era.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
This is a photo of F.U.C.T. live at The Lake Union Pub from the Summer of 1995. Their music was a blend of metally punk and drunk punk with fairly gruff vocals.The band began in 1985 in Tucson, Arizona. They released their first demo in 1987, a few singles in the following years, and on CD in 1995, when they toured from AZ to Seattle. I don't think they survived past the '90s.
I'm obviously knee-deep in the photos from one Summer of great shows at the Goathouse. This one is of Capitalist Casualties. Capitalist Casualties formed in California in November of 1986. They have 2 dozen releases and countless tours under their belts. Their music can be described simply as explosive. It's loud, fast and angry, and the covers of their records are brutal and harsh. Their blend of hardcore and grindcore became known as power violence by the early '90s. They are a band I never really loved on vinyl, but who were completely awesome live (well, when Paula from Whipped isn't elbowing you while you're trying to take a picture :)
Remember when you could see fairly big bands at house shows? Or catch a band at a small show just before they got huge? It doesn't seem to happen as much these days. This photo is of Davey Havoc of AFI rocking the living room of the Radio House to about 50 kids. AFI and The Swingin' Utters toured together and Cameron booked them in his living room. The great part about this show is the bands ended up playing on the same equipment and decided to trade off every 3 songs or so instead of playing traditional sets. It was crazy, the energy was super high, and both bands rocked the motherfucking house.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The Fumes blasted out of Spokane in 1989 with a fast and catchy brand of garage punk rock. Imagine The Supersuckers meets The New Bomb Turks and you’ve started to open the door to The Fumes sound, but they definitely have always had their own unique thing going on. It’s fast, it’s rock, it’s punk and it’s got hooks. The bulk of their releases have been on Empty Records, a label whose sound and locale seems like a perfect fit. While things have slowed down for the band in recent years, the band played Seattle as recently as June 2007. This photo is of Dee singing from their show with the Derelicts at St. Josephs Hall around 1993.
Band members: Dee Farmin sings, Norm Omegatron on guitar, Jon Swanstrum on guitar, Rob on bass and Bill Gibford on drums. Past band members include Gus Trapp, Lee Lee Fumin and Mason on drums, and Gabe on guitar. (Rob and Norm also play in The Blowouts)
- Ways to Enjoy Life 7” (1990, Empty Records)
- 3 cuts on “Fear of Dirt” compilation LP/CD (1992, Mysophobic Records)
- Knock Out the Axis LP/CD (1993, Empty Records)
- Tossin’ Plates and Forks 7” (1993, Empty Records)
- Spine Tingling Excitement 7” (1995, Empty Records)
- Self Appointed Guardian of the Machine LP/CD (1996, Empty Records)
- 1 cut on "10 Things Northwest Punk Compilation V. 1" (1997)
- Pure Bad Luck LP/CD (1998, Scooch Pooch)
As I dig through my piles of photographs and negatives to scan stuff in for this blog (on my spiffy new HP scanner!), I stumble upon things both in groups and totally out of context. Some are grouped by what issue of 10 Things zine they ran in, so it's easy to get a time frame on them, others seem completely random. These three Gits photos I think are the ones leftover after pulling out the best ones I had to give to Steve Moriarty for a Gits re-release. I remember pulling photos for him and handing him an envelope of them when I interviewed his later band The Pinkos at the Elysian Brewery about 4 years ago. So I think these are the sloppy/bad Gits photos that have never seen the light of day... but of course, they are the only Gits photos I've stumbled across so far and while not so hot, they do capture three different live shows.
The first photo is from 1993 at The Offramp, it's a weird close-up of singer Mia Zapata.
The second photo is The Gits live at the Weathered Wall (on 5th Ave downtown) from September 1992.
The third photo is from July 1992 at The Offramp (The Offramp later became Graceland and now is called El Corazon).
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Chicken played around Seattle in the first half of the '90s (1991-1995), mostly at the Lake Union Pub, as seen in the photos (from I think 1993, shot by Amy Halligan). I always thought of them as a punk band with a metal singer and funny name and lyrics. They played fairly metal leaning punk, it would probably be easiest to call them thrashcore. There was a great review of one of their live shows on the KBD list recently:
"They played a short set at the Che Cafe to a really unresponsive crowd. The singer cursed us out and stormed off the stage. It was great! Even as a metalhead, he was more punk than that horrible emo crowd."
Band members: Jimmy on vocals, Tim on lead guitar, Toe on bass, Chris on guitar and Deva on drums.
- Self-titled 7" (4 songs, 8"x"15" bag cover w/silk-screened chicken on cover)
- Aspirin Feast/Chicken split 7" EP (Outcast Records #004)
In the mid '90s (I'm guessing 1993-1995) The Goathouse became the main venue for house shows in Seattle. It was one of the first punk houses I remember started by the next generation a few years younger than me and my friends. Ty, who contributed a lot to 10 Things, had a younger sister that first lived in The Freedom House (I love the silly house names), and some of those people moved into what became the Goathouse, halfway between the Central District and U-District on 23rd. It was funny to watch the migration of the house shows there, they started out with no alcohol allowed inside and more emo bands like Christopher Robin, Red Stars Theory, Lunchpail and Area 51. I remember Pat and I being about the only people drinking between bands, and we were only allowed to drink in the back yard. Later after everyone in the house turned 21 it became less of a straight-edge haven and the shows had a lot more partying going on. Oh, and they added a trampoline to the backyard that made for some funny moments as well. I remember Northwest bands like the Murder City Devils, Modest Mouse, Behead The Prophet No Lord Shall Live and Submission Hold playing there, along with punk bands on national tours like The Pist, Toxic Narcotic and Los Crudos (pictured above).
I'd love for a longer list of shows that went down there if anyone has more details, it's a bit foggy for me, and I know I went to a couple dozen shows at the Goathouse.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Update: Mystery solved thanks to Zaac in the comments, this is Two Minutes Hate opening for Los Crudos at the Goathouse. I think I have a Two Minutes Hate demo, I really liked these guys and wrote about them in a few old issues of 10 Things, so I'll try to find it and give them a proper entry with some music.
Dave Hernandez playing live in Broadcast Oblivian, his band between pop punk icons Scared of Chaka and pop superstars The Shins.
One of my rockstar crushes in the early '90s, Bliss Blood of Texas band The Pain Teens from their show at The Off Ramp. The Pain Teens did a great cover of "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," originally done by UK punk band The Adverts. I totally thought the band broke up a decade ago, but apparently they still exist.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Sometimes I think I was only one of the dozen or two people who were really into Seattle's Monster Truck Driver. They were around in the early '90s playing The Storeroom and The Lake Union Pub alot and had the great ability to float from pop punk to more metally hardcore. When the band played live, lead singer Jay (pictured, I think performing at Uncle Rockey's around 1995) was totally into it and a kick in the pants to watch. It's always great to hear a guy that's looks kinda crazy singing "So what if I'm a psycho!" I probably saw the band a dozen or more times and they didn't disappoint once.
Discography (I need some help here, this is the best I could do):
- Self-titled 7" (songs: Brodie Session/Again/Expectations/Kicker, 1994, Carving Knife)
- All Greasy and Grimy" 10" + patch (1994, Carving Knife)
- "This Germ" 7" (1997, Beer City)
- "Winner Takes All" picture disc LP/CD (1999, Carving Knife)
A few weeks ago I went to a BBQ at my friends house and Ean Hernandez (ex-singer and guitarist for Sicko) was there. I was recalling with Ean hanging out at barbecues with him 10 or 12 years earlier, and look, I actually found a picture from one! Blake and Meghan from Empty Records used to throw bbqs occasionally attended by a bunch of bands on their label. I remember grilling burgers with bands like Sicko, The Putters, Scared of Chaka, The Motards and Gas Huffer, with people like photographer Alice Wheeler and artist Pete Bagge hanging out. Good times!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Zoinks! was both the expression Shaggy would make on "Scooby Doo" and a great pop punk band from Reno, Nevada. The band formed in 1993 and began playing basement shows, releasing their own singles and booking their own tours soon afterwards. This picture is of the band arriving in Seattle on their first Northwest tour, they crashed at my apartment in the U-District. At the time they were a three-piece with Zac singing and on guitar, Rob on bass, and Bob drumming. Zoinks! eventually got pretty big and released quite a few records on Dr. Strange Records, they also had cuts on a few big mid-'90s punk compilations on Lookout! and Epitaph. They were a great catchy band with often funny lyrics, not unlike Seattle band Sicko. The band broke up on 1998.
Zac went on to be in Screeching Weasel for a while ("Major Label Debut" and "Television City Dream" albums), Squirtgun, Crushstory, Common Rider, and currently plays in Big in Japan.
In 2007 Zoinks! reformed and has played out a few times live again. Check out their MySpace page for more info and song samples (the song about being in love with Uma Thurman is still awesome 12 years later). Zoinks! stayed with me on at least two tours and I've hung out with them multiple times in Reno, they are great guys!
Band Members: The current line-up is Zac Damon on guitar and vocals, Arne Cherkoss on guitar and vocals, Bob Conrad on drums and Shane Forster on bass. Rob Borges was original bassist and on most (all?) of the recorded material, Colin Pantell drummed for a short time at the beginning of the band.
- Dumpeye 7" (1993, Satan's Pimp/Second Guess)
- Sapsucker Sluggo 7" (1994, Satan's Pimp/Second Guess)
- Split 7" with Narcissistic Freds (1994, Satan's Pimp/Second Guess)
- Cut on "Satan's Pimp Sampler" (1994, Satan's Pimp)
- "Soap Factory" 7" (1995, Dr. Strange)
- Split 7" with No Empathy (1995, Johanns Face)
- Split 7" with The Gain (1995, Rhetoric Records)
- "Bad Move Space Cadet" LP (1995, Dr. Strange)
- Cut on "Punk TV" 7" comp (1995, Red Dawg)
- Split 7" with Man Dingo (1996, Dr. Strange)
- "Stranger Anxiety" LP (1996, Dr. Strange)
- Cut on "Punk Uprisings" comp CD (1996, Lookout!)
- Cut on "All the Punk Fit to Print" comp CD (1996, Newspeak)
- Cute on "Better Read than Dead" comp CD (1996, Epitaph)
- "Panorama" CD EP/10" (1997, Dr. Strange)
- "Well and Good" LP (1997, Dr. Strange)
- Cut on "ABC's of Punk" comp CD (1997, Whirled Records)
- Cut on "Punk Fiction" comp CD/10" (1997, Wedge Records)
- Split LP/CD with Whatever (1998, Etichetta Punk)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Brian LaManna was the kick-ass singer for The Valentine Killers, who put out a few releases and played a string of great live shows in Seattle in the mid-to-late 1990's. After the band broke up, LaManna moved to Canada, got married and had a kid. Lame! Just kidding, I actually think things worked out quite well for Brian, but I still miss seeing him as the energetic front band one of my favorite Seattle garage punk bands ever.
Inspired by the 1977 hockey movie "Slapshot," members of Vancouver B.C. bands NoMeansNo and DOA teamed up in 1991 to form the side-project band called The Hanson Brothers. "Slapshot" was based on the true story of some notoriously dirty Canadian hockey players. The band dressed as hockey players and sang punk songs about Canada's number one sport. Their debut single "Brad" came out in 1992. It was a parody of NoMeansNo's rather serious song "Dad" about child abuse (from the great album "Sex Mad"), but they did it in such a way that it paid homage to the original song and still turned out totally hilarious. The Hanson Brothers continued as a band through the death of their drummer (Ken Jenson of DOA, who tragically died in a house fire in 1995) and put out a number of releases and toured Europe. They've played Seattle a few times over the years. This photo is from their first Seattle show September 4th, 1993 at The Off Ramp, Alice Donut and Three Day Stubble were also on the bill. It was a great show! We interviewed them for 10 Things at it, I'll run the interview later. Since the band contains all three NoMeanNo members, they never really officially ended. Although their last recorded material came out in 2003, The Hanson Brothers played out live about a dozen times in Canada during 2006.
Band members: Johnny Hanson (John Wright) on vocals, Robbie Hanson (Rob Wright) on Bass, Tommy Hanson (Tom Hollister) on guitar and Ernie Hanson (Ernie Hawkins) on drums. Past drummers included Kenny Hanson (Ken Jensen, from 1991-1995) and Kenny Hanson II (Ken Kempster).
- Brad 7" (1992, Wrong Records)
- Gross Misconduct LP (1992, Alternative Tentacles)
- The Hockey Song 7" (1996, Essential Noise)
- Sudden Death promo CD EP (1996, Virgin Canada)
- Hanson Bros/D.O.A. split 7" (1997, Musical Tragedies)
- My Game LP/CD (2002, Mint/Southern)
- All-Grain Brewing with Johnny Hanson video (2002, Blitzkrieg Hops)
- Removal with Johnny Hanson 7" (2002, part of 10 single series)
- Dee Dee Ramone vs. The Hanson Brothers "Positive" 7" (2003, Wanker)
- Dee Dee Ramone vs. The Hanson Brothers "Negative" 7" (2003, Wanker)
- Brad CD EP (2003, Wrong Records, 4 songs + video)
Take a couple Kent 3 and Los Hornets members, throw in a love of old school punk and skate rock, mix in a bunch of alcohol, and you had a syringe full of The Vaccines. The Vaccines were a fairly short-lived Seattle punk band that played around town in the late '90s and early 2000s. They played a bunch of fun shows at places like The Storeroom, Gibson's and Zak's and managed to put out one 7" before calling it quits. Jason, pictured (with Slim behind him) continued playing in the Kent 3 for a few years after The Vaccines.
Band members: Slim on vocals, Jason and Marco on guitars, Scotty on Bass, TB long on drums
- Self-released 7" EP
- Cut on "Straight From The Gutter And Into Your Panties" compilation (2000, Junk Records #42)
Thursday, August 9, 2007
In Pud's later years they changed their name to Hit Factor Five. I think Jon wanted a less offensive and less silly name that his parents would approve of. Solana and all of their friends were trying to convince them to change the name to Hearts and Bones. That would have been even worse! They ended up changing the name back to Pud because people like me kept calling them "Shit Factor Five."
- Cut on: "Play at Your Own Risk" Vol. 2 comp box set (1995, Recess Records)
- I Was a Teenage Rancor 7" (1995, Recess Records)
- Cut on: "Hot Curly Weenie" comp CD (1997, Recess Records)
- Cut on: "Hot Curly Weenie Vol. 2" comp CD (1997, Recess Records)
- "The One on the Wall is a Trout... I'm the Shark!" LP/CD (1997, Recess Records)
In 1999 amid the old school punk rock revival, the Social Chaos Tour was hatched. Nearly a dozen older punk bands and a few later ones toured the United States. The original line-up for the tour included T.S.O.L., The Business, U.K. Subs, D.R.I., Sloppy Seconds, Murphy's Law, D.O.A., Anti-Heroes, Vice Squad, Chelsea, One-Way System, the Vibrators, Gang Green, LES Stitches, and D.H. Peligro (of the Dead Kennedys). By the time the tour made it to Seattle to play a $25 all-ages show at DV8 on Tuesday, July 27, 1999, Murphy's Law, D.R.I., and Gang Green had dropped out. I love this description of the tour from Detroit's Metro Times:
"Social Chaos leans heavily on second-generation English, beer-soaked, politico testosterone outfits. The sounds and images coming from Social Chaos’ stage are much more likely to show up in a Budweiser commercial. The UK Subs, D.R.I. and such are the outsider version of punk rock that was co-opted by folks who wanted to look cool at the mall but didn’t want to enter into a contract with an underground culture. This is the punk rock that will look you in the eye, spit in your face and pick you up when you’ve been knocked to the mosh pit floor."
The photo included is of now Seattle tattoo artist Yushi hanging out with Becki Bondage of Vice Squad. Yushi interviewed a couple of the bands and took a bunch of photos that all ran in the final issue of 10 Things (#22). I'll probably put up the interviews and more photos in later entries.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Andres and I interviewed The Spits back in the Summer of 1999 for what was to be 10 Things issue #23. This issue never came out because I began working on Tablet instead. The Spits were still a recent phenomena in Seattle at the time, their first 7" had just come out... it was before they had put anything out on Dirtnap or had become very popular, but they already had a core following in Seattle.
When The Spits play live there are a couple things you can count on: they usually play in costume and they always put on a fun show. In these days with indie punk bands acting like rock stars, The Spits seem like a breath of fresh air, but really they are a flashback to the ‘70s punk scene with a raw garage sound, goofy antics, and they add in a keyboard (which most modern punk bands wouldn't do.) The result is great! Strip off the pretentiousness and strip down the music and you have pure punk rock. After seeing these guys a bunch of times live, hearing their great 7", and running into them at shows and parties, I figured it was about time 10 Things sit down and chat with them. The Spits are Sean Wood on guitar, Erin Wood on bass, Lance on drums, and Nicholas on keyboards.
10: So let's get some background info. When did you guys start out?
E: Was it '87?
L: Are you gonna tell them the secret?
10: Now that was in
S: '87 in
10: Did you guys play a lot of shows there back then?
S: Oh yeah.
L: Until we discovered time travel.
N: Tell 'em about the time travel, they gotta now know.
S: We pretty much got barred from
L: The whole western
S: So we had to move out here.
10: Now Sean and Erin are brothers… but when you started out was it the three of you?
L: Well, me and Nick are brothers as well. It's like a double-date kinda thing.
10: Lance, you are also from
L: We did. Sean's like four years older than me, but we were in the same grade. We graduated together. So we were hanging out, and I was playing in high school with Sean when he was 18 and I was only 14. So thanks to Sean, I got a little jumpstart on the scene.
10: Did you guys ever play at a high school or anything like that?
S: No, no…
L: We did play at a party on this pontoon boat on the lake with some chicks one time.
10: Did they have a generator on the boat?
S: No, we were just singing our songs and doing mouth guitar.
L: One of the chicks was Nick's cousin, we were out there with her and a lot of her friends. We were telling them how we were in this band and stuff.
10: So, does the "We're in a band" thing really work for chicks?
L: Well we all have girlfriends, so obviously it works. And we've been using that for a long time.
E: A long time!
10: So when did you guys move to
L: The thing was… we weren't doing so good back there.
E: Well in the early ‘90s, but in '87 we were pretty hot when we took off.
N: Let me mention again that these guys were time travelers. They introduced me to it, I'm from
L: All you have to do is take methamphetamines and head into the setting sun.
N: Let me tell you about the set up these guys have going on here. I don't know if they found it or if they built a time travelling machine…
E: We acquired one, let's just leave it at that.
N: So, they went in to the future and they seemed to like The Spits there, they like that kind of rock music. So they brought it back to the past, the stuff that they listened to in the future.
10: So you're saying The Spits are actually a futuristic band?
N: It is, it is.
L: No, no.
N: The material is futuristic.
S: Well, we're not from the future.
E: We're from
N: There is no
E: But the material IS pretty futuristic, if you think about it.
10: A lot of people would say you guys harken back more to the ‘70s "Killed by Death" kind of sound.
S: Well, we went back there, and we fit in pretty good with the other bands.
L: But we didn't do so well…
E: We tried it in the ‘70s and it didn't really go over.
L: People throwing fucking beers at us and shit. So we said let's go to a time when this kind of music is gonna be big. The thing was we miscalculated. We're here after the fact now and everyone's already done it. So we come on the scene with this sound and it's like...fuck! Great, it's passe now.
10: So if you guys have been around since '87, how come you only have one record out? E: Well, we just got HERE, in this time.
S: If someone wants to pay for the fucking thing, we'll put out twenty. Let me just say that I went into the future with Nick, to the year 2025. And let me tell you something, The Murder City Devils, they were no more. People never even heard of 'em. I didn't bother back-tracking a few years and find out what happened to them. But I can tell you, in 2025, they're gone. But when I was there, I saw fliers for the Spits.
10: So back to reality. Picking the name The Spits...
S: Me and Erin came up with it. We were on a road trip from
10: You knew people were gonna start spitting at your shows when you picked that name.
S: Well, we were trying to think of something cool.
E: And what's the coolest? A little spit.
L: That was pretty much at the top of the list right there.
S: It was either spitters or smokers.
E: Smokin' and spittin' is kinda cool. There was already plenty of smoke bands out there at the time.
S: Didn't Ozzy say smokin' and spittin' is all that I do?
(Confused looks on people's faces, followed by laughter)
L: I love that tune!
10: So does it piss you guys off if people spit at your shows?
S: No, but I hate it when people take a whole beer and just spit the whole thing.
10: I only spit a mouthful of beer.
S: Hey, fuckin' A, I've done it too.
L: Yeah, I hate it when you do it! Like, this interview's fucking over!
(Lance spits beer towards us)
S: I don't mind it if chicks spit beer, you know some pussy spit. But guys, man, fuck, I don't want you're nasty shit up on my ass.
10: But didn't you think about that happening when you picked the name?
S: Yeah. Matter of fact we have a little conflict with this arcade in Capitol Hill because of that.
10: I thought what they wrote about you in their paper was pretty funny. (Basically they played at the Hi*Score and then wrote this piece about how immature and unpunk The Spits were acting by spitting.)
E: That was good. That was good press, it was probably the best press that we've ever had. And maybe the only…
N: Well they did say we were a mediocre party band!
S: We were kind of mediocre that night.
E: That's kind of what we are! There's no denying it.
N: A mediocre party band that travels in time.
E: How old is that lady from Hi*Score anyways?
10: Probably around thirty.
L: So she's been around and seen party bands. And she knows when one is good or when they're mediocre.
10: Maybe she just didn't want bands spitting in her place like that.
N: But we don't spit, they spit on us! Girls especially.
S: Well, he let that girl spit on his keyboard so everything I hope is resolved.
E: Well she sounded a little hot…
S: Well, I went in there to play games, and got some evil looks.
N: No, no it's all good, she spit on my keyboard and it's all good now.
L: Nick ended up hookin' up with her later that night!
N: I told you not to say anything else! Goddamnit! I said quiet about that! It was just some guy who spit on me I said... it was a guy.
10: Have you guys toured much around the Northwest or the West Coast?
L: All over
S: We've played
L: We've also done Jack and Jills out there in
10: What was your worst show?
L: There was a show a long time ago where Sean and the bass player beat the shit out of each other at the Rendezvous. Sean punched him.
S: He kicked me in the back, man.
10: Was this you Erin?
E: No, I quit the band for a little while.
S: I ended up beating the shit out of that guy.
L: And I walked off stage and I was not gonna play anymore, but then Sean came back and got me and we went back on stage. Sean and this guy were kicking each other and he threw his bass down. And we were supposed to have all these big pyrotechnics and they were all wussy.
10: Now you guys have a little bit of a reputation of getting in some brawls…
L: People are always picking on us.
S: Yeah, they always pick on us. The thing is, you see a flier, and it says "Come get wild and crazy! Girls, hot rods, and burgers!" And we're like, fuckin' A, all right! And you get down there and start going crazy, the flier said come get wild and crazy, and I'm getting wild and crazy, and everybody's just standing there going, "Uhhh uh uh". And so it's like, "What the fuck, asshole?" You know what I mean? The way we do it in
N: Here's your fuckin’ burger!
L: Actually, it's just the fact that we're all drunks and so uh, people don't like that.
N: Maybe it's cause we've seen the future.
E: We've been picked on just a little too much. All of our childhood, all of our lives. Now it's time...
S: Now if someone says something, I can fight.
L: I'm thirty… two.
S: Our thing is though, people come to our shows we want them to be able to do whatever they want. Enjoy themselves at any extent, you know? ‘Cause I've been to so many shows where just for moving my head, I get picked up by three bouncers and thrown out, it's bullshit.
E: At least in
S: So come to our shows and have a good time.
L: But, unfortunately, a lot of the people around town here that have a reputation for being trouble makers are friends of ours from
S: Nick's from
L: But no crazy shit!
10: So what's the deal with this video "The Spits Meet Chuckie" ?
E: Number three is in the making right now, it's a public access show. The first one we did was at least three years ago.
L: Chuckie is an alcoholic hobo. Stumbling along the railroad tracks, he runs into Timmy the train chaser who gets his head cut off by a train.
E: So Chuckie takes the head with him and abuses it. So anyways, Chuckie keeps this head alive in a bucket, and they hang out and play records… it's kind of a variety show.
10: So you guys play in different costumes at every show..tell us about some of your themes..I've seen Sheiks, I've seen cops, I've seen Reagan masks…
S: Well we were The Lords of Atlantis.
10: What the hell was that?
L: Well were wearing capes and beards with big A's on our chests, and lampshades cut out to make really high collars.
S: And we wore diapers with stockings
L: Then we were The Sheet Guys, which everyone thought was The Sheiks.
S: But we cut the holes in the sheets too big… and wore sunglasses. Later we were The Sheiks.
N: Then we were The Cool Guys, that was innovative, we spelled C-O-O-L on our shirts.
S: We've been prisoners,
N: And the previous keyboard player was always, no matter what, Tim-Tim the Robot.
10: So you guys have been through a lot of keyboard players.
S: And we like Nick alot
E: He's number nine, lucky number nine. He's workin’ out great and we hope he sticks around.
L: But at the end of the interview, you should put a little asterisk saying "Nick is no longer with The Spits!"
10: So Nick you used to be in New Sweet Breath...
L: Spits interview, Spits interview!
N: I actually have a new movie coming out. It's 8mm, and I want to show it at The Rendezvous.
10: So why did you guys decide to do four different covers for your first seven inch?
E: We have more than four.
S: Everyone else just does one, that's boring.
10: And all the covers you've been planning since '87?
E: I'm guessing we have at least fifty different covers for our seven inch.
S: Plus, we're putting out a split single with The Briefs that should be out soon. Then we're putting out a single on Rat City Records. Then we have a full length CD that's coming out in three weeks or so on Nickle and Dime Records.
10: So, do you guys like any of the current venues in
S: We do, but we've played them too many times. There's only a couple dive bars left for us to play left. Gibson’s is good. We need to play more all ages shows in
L: Every show we've ever played is ‘cause someone else has asked us.
S: Did I tell you guys I was in jail for beating up a chick?
10: What kind of music do you guys listen to/are influenced by?
S: Well my father was in a punk band back in
10: What band?
L: They were called The Stooges. (laughter)
S: No, they were called Star. And they were kind of a glam punk band. And they played with Up, and The Mc5. Me and my brother we're always influenced by punk and rock and roll. And then we found Lance, and he had just beat up his sister, and we figured he could probably beat on some drums if he could do that...
L: I listen to a lot of harpsichord stuff.
S: I like bluegrass.
E: I like early Steely Dan, and some of that Yes stuff with that guy Bill Buxford on it.
L: I just got “Hemispheres” by Rush today.
N: I like the new Steely Dan album. And the Eagles.
S: I like
10: Any final words for 10 Things readers?
E: Our number is 547-1738, give us a call. We like to play parties!
S: And work picnics.
L: I just want to say that The Spits are going to break up soon, and then people will be really sorry that they didn't like us.
Monday, August 6, 2007
When was the last time you heard a band described as crossover? 1989? There was an era in the mid-1980s where a bunch of punk bands started playing a lot more metal and the genre got quickly labeled as crossover, mainly because D.R.I. (pictured above in 1986) released an album called "Crossover" in 1987 with a more metal sound and their skankin' guy logo made out of metal on the cover. Probably today it would just be called hardcore or thrash, but crossover was the blend of punk and metal that became prominent in the mid-'80s. Other prominent crossover bands included Suicidal Tendencies, The Cro-Mags, Corrosion of Conformity, S.O.D., The Accused (from Seattle), Nuclear Assault, Ludichrist, Attitude Adjustment, Cryptic Slaughter, Verbal Abuse... oh and Portland's Wehrmacht.
This is a photo of Lonnie from Bristle that Amy took back in 1995 at the Lake Union Pub. Bristle was a band I caught at the Storeroom for the first time around 1992 and thought they totally rocked. Drummer Graham was drunk and stumbling around yet somehow played with lots of energy. Bassist Tim was long-haired and I thought was kind of a mellow hippie guy until I saw him get up and play. And frontman Lonnie was super energetic and could go from sounding pissed and angry sounding to laughing and telling jokes in a flash. Bristle is a band who's songs on their first album I knew by heart long before it came out because I saw them live so many times. I've seen so many great shows with Bristle on the bill over the years it's amazing. I was more than happy to have songs by Bristle on both of the Northwest punk compilation CDs I put out back in the day because to me they were one of thee essential Seattle punk bands of the 1990s. The band broke up in 1999, but reformed four years later and have since released another album and still play out live occasionally. You can catch more band history and here a few of their songs over on their MySpace profile, but ultimately they are one of those bands that you gotta see live.
I'll do a proper entry for the Murder City Devils later, but this is a live photo of them performing at the Velvet Elvis. (Note, as with all the photos on this blog, if you click on them you will get a larger version).
It seemed like at punk shows in the '80s and '90s there was often a bloody guy in the pit. Someone that fell down and cut them self or accidentally got hit with flying elbow to the face, yet was having such a great time, that they continued to dance and have fun despite having a gaping bloody wound. My guess is usually was because they were so drunk they didn't care or realize how bad they looked, but sometimes they were just really into the band and wouldn't miss them for anything. This photo is of Jeff, one of the singers of hardcore band Cease and Desist, after he fell down drunk at a show and then continued to dance around banging into everyone. You can see he's bleeding pretty bad his head. Everyone was trying to keep him from falling over again, as well as push him away from them so he didn't get blood all over them. Ha ha ha!
I took this picture backstage when I was hanging out with The Donnas after interviewing them. I'd been a fan of the band since I first heard them on one of their early singles. Four 15 or 16 year old girls blasting out raw and catchy garage rock, what's not to love? As their career progressed and their taste in music changed, as they told me, "from listening to The Ramones all the time to listening to AC/DC and Judas Priest." The band definitely got more rock. Heavier guitars and production values, however, didn't completely change their music, they still had the same funny and simplistic songs about partying and boys. I found the transition or evolution of The Donnas pretty normal, although I know a lot of their earlier fans felt disillusioned by the direction they went. So when I was music editor for Tablet when they were touring in 2002, I lined up an interview with them at their October 26th show at Graceland. I ended up interviewing singer Brett Anderson (AKA Donna A, on the left in the photo) and drummer Torry Castellano (AKA Donna C, on the right in the photo) for quite a long time. They were hilarious,, telling me about their love of "That '70s Show" and a couple good growing up and tour stories. After the interview they offered me beer and food and we ended up hanging out for a while before they had to play. It was one of the most down to earth interviews I've ever done at a rock club, usually they are slotted with a very limited time frame and the band gives pat answers, so it was refreshing to hang out and talk with The Donnas, rather than have it seem very formal. The band put on a great show, it was the second time I had seen them (the first was at the Vegas Shakedown) and they were totally on that night.
Currently the band has parted ways with Atlantic and will be releasing their next album September 18th on their own new label, Purple Feather. It will be interesting to see how the band does going back to putting out their own music, but they've already signed a distribution deal with Redeye Distribution and are fairly popular, so I have to think they'll still do well. The new album with be called "Bitchin'" and ther are a few tracks up on their MySpace profile.
The Misfits broke up in 1983, a few years before I considered myself a punk rocker or really had an extensive knowledge of the the punk scene. I was just a kid, although I had an old Misfits tape I loved. Later I picked up some of their stuff on vinyl and got into them for quite a while, their catchy tunes and silly horror themes were a perfect amalgamation of my tastes in music and movies! When The Misfits reformed in the mid-1990's minus Glen Danzig on vocals I was pretty sure I would check them out live. Even though many of the punk reunion shows I had been to weren't so hot, I still was drawn to them part out of nostalgia and part to see if it would be a train wreck or not. November 4th, 1997 the "American Psycho" tour hit Seattle's Rckcndy. This was a smaller venue for a band as big as The Misfits, I figured it would probably be the best setting to catch them in. H20 and hardcore legends Sick of it All opened, neither were so hot by that point in their careers, although SOIA was fun to watch. Singing for The Misfits was Michael Graves, a young kid who actually did a decent job even if he was a bit of an idiot. He later became the spokesperson for the "conservative punk" movement with a website and became the victim in a hilarious segment on conservative punk on The Daily Show. The Misfits ended up being fun live. They put on a cartoonish punk show, did a ton of their classics and we all sung along, and when the show ended Jerry Only and Doyle hopped out into the audience and hung out shaking people's hands and thanking them for coming to the show (which seemed really weird, but also quite cool). I didn't see them on any of the subsequent tours as singers and band members kept changing, but for a moment I saw a glimpse of what the magic would have been like back when they were in their prime, which is really all you can ask for with a reunion show.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Brian and Davey went on to form the Tall Birds. Lars went on to become a male model.
No Escape 7" (Beer City, 1997)
The Kids Know How To Rock 7" (Empty, 1999)
The Catheters LP (Empty, 1999)
Put It Together 7" (Sub Pop, 1999)
It Can't Stay This Way 7" (Kapow, 2000)
Build A Home 7" (Sub Pop, 2001)
Static Delusions and Stone-Still Days LP (Sub Pop, 2002)
3000 Ways ep CD (Sub Pop, 2002)
I Fall Easy 7" (Sub Pop, 2002)
Howling... It Grows and Grows LP (Sub Pop, 2004)
No Natural Law ep CD (Sub Pop, 2004)
Moral Crux (self-titled, Velvetone, 1987)
Greatest Hits (Monitor, 1994, re-released as "I Was A Teenager" in 2001 on Coldfront )
Something More Dangerous (Lookout/Panic Button, 1998)
And Nothing But The Truth (Lookout/Panic Button, 1999)
Side Effects of Thinking (Lookout/Panic Button, 2000)
Pop Culture Assassins (Lookout/Panic Button, 2003)
Original drummer Jody relocated to Seattle a few years ago and joined The Lashes. He has since quit that band and now plays in a band called 1970.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
The Velvet Elvis was a theater in Pioneer Square located at 107 Occidental Avenue South. From the mid-to-late 1990's, The Velvet Elvis hosted quite a few punk, indie rock, emo and other types of underground music shows. The main booker was Meg Watjen, who went on to book Graceland after the theater closed. One of the many unique things about The Velvet Elvis was they would host Sunday matinee shows. I'd usually go down and grab a late breakfast somewhere in Pioneer Square, then wander over the to nearby venue to catch the shows. This photo is of Submission Hold playing one Sunday. Often the crowd would gather up on the stage all around the bands to watch them play, which totally broke down the divide between the audience and the band. While I saw way too many emo bands (what we called emo back then, bands that played fairly formulaic soft-hard-soft-hard, many were on Gravity Records), I caught some amazing shows on what would otherwise have been a lazy Sunday afternoon.