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.
In an era when hardcore bands were smashing together melodic elements with brutally aggressive ones, Grade stood out for the density of their sound and for taking an unexpected route. They weren’t the only band doing what they were doing, but they were a lot smarter about it than most, and they did a fine job of juxtaposing the personal with the political.
This interview with Matt Jones was, I believe, conducted over email–if not, my younger self was really fond of incorporating slashes into conversation. Separate the Magnets was recently reissued on Dine Alone Records, and the band has reunited; this 2014 interview conducted by Jonah Bayer is worth checking out.
This appeared in the gargantuan fourth issue of Eventide.
The first question I asked Jesuit’s Nate Newton when I interviewed him in 1998 was about his stint playing bass for Converge for a tour. Fifteen years later, that’s turned out to be a little more of a regular thing: I suspect that more people recognize Newton’s name as the bassist of Converge than they do from anywhere else. It’s worth remembering Jesuit as well, though — they were a brutally loud band, quietly pushing at the limits of what might be considered hardcore.
And, if memory is any indication, they were also a terrifically nice bunch of guys. I saw them in New Jersey a whole lot in the late 90s, and never saw a bad show in the bunch. More recently, I was able to see a reunited Jesuit take to the stage at Santos Party House, and show that they hadn’t lost any of the vitality that first impressed me. Magic Bullet Records released Jesuit’s discography in 2011. More recently, Newton’s other band Doomriders released a terrific album titled Grand Blood in late 2013.
This interview was conducted in spring 1998, and appeared in Eventide‘s fourth issue.
Few records have held up as well for me as Strand, the second album from The Spinanes. I first saw said band in their days as a two-piece — Rebecca Gates and Scott Plouf — sharing a bill at the Westbeth Theater Center with Elliott Smith and Versus. Two years later came Arches and Aisles, which found Gates working with a new group of collaborators, many of whom were associated with Chicago’s post-rock scene. I believe a feature version of this appeared in NYU’s newspaper — which may explain the haphazard transitions between certain questions.
Thirteen years later, I would interview Gates again; she continues to make and play vital, essential music, and her album The Float was one of my favorites of 2012. Also, it should be noted that Gates can play an absolutely stunning Lungfish cover.
This interview was conducted person in spring 1998, and appeared in issue 4.