Kerosene 454 were a fantastic quartet out of Washington, DC. I’m pretty sure I have a tape somewhere around here with a soundboard recording of a show they played at NYU in 1997. Maybe not. Either way, they were a tremendous band who don’t get talked about nearly as much as they should. (Fun facts: the guy who wrote their bio on AllMusic would go on to co-found Kickstarter.) As a bonus, bassist John Wall was also one of the folks behind the excellent label Slowdime, who released plenty of music that challenged expectations about what punk-rooted DC music could sound like.
Also, please note young me’s awkward attempts to summarize the DC punk sound. “[T]here’s something in the music that sort of identifies some bands as being from DC.” You could have phrased that better, young me.
After this interview, the band would release one more album, At Zero, before calling it a day. Members went on to play in groups like Oswego and Office of Future Plans.
This interview first appeared in the third issue of Eventide.
In the summer of 1998, I talked with Roadside Monument bassist Jonathon Ford about his band’s recent album, Eight Hours Away From Being a Man. Roadside Monument’s albums came out during a period in the late 1990s when Seattle label Tooth & Nail began working with artists who appealed to a crowd outside of said label’s relatively Christian audience. Seattle’s Roadside Monument were a fantastically good postpunk band, equally capable of playing bliss-inducing instrumental numbers as they were heading into more chaotic, jarring territory.
Also, this interview was briefly interrupted by my parents’ beagles losing their shit, so there’s that.
After this interview, Roadside Monument released one more album, I Am the Day of Current Taste, before breaking up. Ford’s current musical project is the long-running instrumental group Unwed Sailor. I also have no idea what happened with the split with Ativin discussed here, save that Secretly Canadian’s description for Ativin’s 1999 album Summing the Approach alludes to it not happening/existing.
This interview first appeared in Eventide‘s fourth issue.