800 Octane

Rise Again, again.

Rise Again was released 10 years ago this week, which brings back a number of random thoughts about the album.

In typical 800 Octane fashion, Dave didn’t have lyrics to most of the songs when we walked in the studio door. I’m pretty sure Dave wrote Lost At Sea first, in one pass in about 5 minutes. Never Sleep Again went pretty quickly as well. The strong songs always seem to write themselves. Other songs like Roads Less Traveled had lyrics being scribbled while being performed. Go For Broke was tough because the music was written at the last practice before recording. Paging Mr. Bronson almost got cut, while we were certain Now Or Never would be the most popular song. Totally incorrect. We did multiple takes of the spaceship noise in Destination:Space, however the howl in Bloodline only took one. Most people don’t know this, but the feedback in the middle of Dead Air is morse code for S.O.S. Subtle, but I love it. We also spent more than two hours discussing whether or not we should include Waving Goodbye on the album. Although factually correct, the song is still totally ridiculous.

As for the physical album, that was a labor of love and hate as well. Like all three of the ‘R’ albums the artwork and layout was hammered out by our friends Kevin and Robert in Seattle. Navigating the design electronically between people with good taste (them) and people with poor taste (us) took a long time. Another fun fact is that many of the pictures from the album were taken at a real mortuary (thank you Brent), while others were taken at an office building. Knowing that, it’s easy to tell which is which. The DVD was excruciating to create. Knowing nothing about how to author a DVD, we decided to author a DVD. With the assistance of Bryan, the former sound guy from the Paris Theater, we all stumbled through it one hard lesson at a time. At one point nearing completion the computer with the project crashed. The data was recoverable, but upon inspection we did find the computer had cockroaches in it. To say the DVD process was sketchy is an understatement.

Those are just a few things that come to mind. Every time I listen to it, something comes back to me. Hopefully if you liked the album you have your own memories associated with it. If you want to hear it again, or for the first time, we just made the album a free download at Bandcamp. Of course we still have physical copies for sale as well.

-Eric

Still here, still here, after all these f-ing years

It just dawned on us that this spring will mark 20 years of mediocrity. That is all.

The trials and tribulations of budget web hosting.

God dammit GoDaddy is awful.  Good riddance.  Dear BlueHost, please don’t screw up our site.

Show Journal 2013-10-12

That was a lot of rock packed into one show.  The Thorntown Tallboys were up first and played with some noisy rock and roll swagger.  We were up second and man, it was sort of a mess.  On the first verse of the first song, Dave breaks a bass string.  Dave never breaks strings so we had to scrape the cobwebs off his spare bass that literally hasn’t seen the light of day in over a year.  It only took two minutes but it felt like an hour.  Perhaps more disappointing was that Justin was left to “entertain” the crowd.  There is probably a correlation there.  Then again, I wasn’t rushing up there to say anything.  We started up again and three songs later we get to ‘Lost at Sea’ and I break the A string in the first verse.  Fail.  Trying to learn how to play a song of a different part of the guitar after so many years is a challenge, especially with an audience watching you suck.  There is also a part in the song where it’s just me playing for 20 seconds and I was desperately trying to remember where on the fret board to play it.  We muddled through it I swapped guitars and we moved on.  To complete the holy trinity of frustration, during the last song, Justin broke a string as well.  Eleven songs, three broken strings.  Very unusual.  Very annoying.  Despite all that guitar nonsense the set was actually pretty good.  Normally I write how people up front knew the words and sang along.  Not the case tonight at all.  We knew maybe 6 people in the crowd at best.  The first few songs ended with chirping crickets, but by the end people seemed to dig it so that was a plus.  The Spittin’ Cobras were up next and after 5 seconds it became obvious why we received such a tepid response.  They were energetic, fast, gnarly rock with a touch of thrash metal.  Motorhead meets AC/DC in a modern sounding package.  They had the look, the gear, the moves and even the roadie.  Very, very, very impressive set.  Last up was The Independents.  Sadly the influx of people that arrived for the Cobras bailed, the remaining folks were what I would call an intimate crowd.  Predictably they won over everyone that remained and half way through their set they had a very, very stoked crowd watching them.  All in all a very good night.  Thanks to the Ash Street for having us.  Best of luck to The Independents on the rest of their tour.

Show Journal 2013-10-11

Longview.  Thursday.  Bar show.  Given the criteria, I was expecting about 10 people and to my surprise there was probably 30.  This may sound like a bad night in the making, but given the tiny room and the fact that everyone knows each other it was not too bad of a night.  I still maintain we have more history with people in Longview than in Portland.  Unfortunately, we missed the first band perform because Justin can’t tell time.  Thankfully, we did arrive in time to see the Independents play.  It’s been a few years since I’ve seen them play and I always forget how good they are live.  They can rock it live in just about any situation, which is impressive.  Whenever we play with them I also can’t help but compare notes.  We’re almost the same age (they started 1-2 years before us) and they have been full time touring musicians from the start.  To say I’m jealous of them is an understatement.  They aren’t selling out every town or playing on TV, but they get to play with tone of great bands, have very loyal fans all over the place, get to see the country and play music most nights.  Invariably, I have that moment where I think, wow, what if we would have played our cards differently and gone full time?  That dream is short lived though, because the answer is we would have imploded and given up years ago.  The fact we’re all still friends and get to play music isn’t half bad.  I’ve digressed.  We played last, which was intimidating.  We can keep up on energy, but how do you follow a band with a bubble machine?  You don’t.  You just hope people forget and don’t hold it against you for not providing some soothing ambiance.  We did bust out a few oldies including Berserker, which hasn’t seen the light of day in many, many years.  After the show we headed out to a 24 hour Jack in the Box, reveled in the artery hardening goodness of the Munchie Meal (seriously, “exploding chicken?”) and with the Independents following behind pressed on back to Dave’s compound.  Small crowd, but a very fun night.  Thanks to all of those who came out on a weeknight and stayed late!

Bloody Night, Bloody Knife

Totally stoked to play with our homies in the Independents in October.  Flyer is up!

Friday the 13th radio plug

The guys from The Punk Rock Demonstration have been playing our music for several years now.  We haven’t thanked them in quite some time, so here’s a plug.  If you like your music free and streaming check ‘em out at punkrockdemo.com.  Clearly they have excellent taste in music.

Show Journal 2013-09-03

It’s been awhile since we’ve played a big show.  Big venue.  Big stage.  Big sound system.  Big headliner.  No disrespect to the bars and dives we normally frequent, but this was a nice change.  The best part about the evening was the fact I didn’t feel old at a show.  For the past few years we’ve been more and more frequently the oldest people in the club.  Tonight?  Not the case at all.  D.O.A. has been at it since 1978.  For the mathematically un-inclined that’s 35 years.  That’s older than two of our band members.  It was great seeing people ranging from their 20’s to their 50’s getting rowdy at a show.  The Clackamas Baby Killers were up first and I thought they were awesome.  Very fast, super energetic and just on the edge of out of control.  Circle pit during the opening band?  Yes, please.  Absent Minds played second and had a range of fun, catchy songs.  More rowdiness ensued.  It turns out we had played with them once before at a house show, however due to the tiny room I never actually knew what they looked like.  We were up third.  Pretty lively bunch of people up front, which was awesome to see.  Nothing too unusual happened tonight, except for the performance of New Song #2, which came out of its 5 year hibernation.  Highlight of the set?  Dave taking a song request via phone and then denying that request publicly.  Low point?  Dustin starting Requiem at half speed for our second to last song.  I only mention this detail because he was so ashamed of his actions.  He should be.  D.O.A. was up last and although I’d never seen them before I thought they were great.  Everyone joked that if I played music for another 20 years I’d probably look like the singer.  Black shirt, camo pants, red SG guitar, white hair and a slightly poor posture.  I can see that.  However, it would all be an illusion because he was a badass at guitar and I am not.  In fact, it was kind of inspiring see a band of that generation rock it so hard.  Most bands from the 80’s are phoning it in and these guys are still belting it out like it’s the most important thing in the world.  I’m so stoked we got to play this show.  Thanks to Thrasher Presents and the Hawthorne Theater!

Big show this weekend!

Just a reminder that we’re playing this Saturday night w/ D.O.A., Absent Minds and Clackamas Baby Killers.  We’re playing third, just before D.O.A..  Be there or be square.

Opening slots can be awesome

Just confirmed we’re opening for D.O.A. in August.  Stoked.