Archive for the ‘Band Members’ Category
(Hey, REO is from IL, right?)
So we embark on our first road trip with the current lineup on Saturday morning, heading for Midwest Metal Anthem at Brauerhouse in Lombard, IL. Five guys in one Toyota Sequoia driving 11 hours and leaving at 5AM – what could possibly go wrong?
We haven’t been to Chicagoland in quite some time, given all the lineup changes of the past few years. My wife is even giving me a pass on our anniversary so I could make this happen! I’m hoping to see our usual cast of crazies (Lotesto and Such, I’m looking at YOU) out and having a good time, and, as always, a big thanks to Ray and John for hosting this thing.
It’s $10, for each night of quality metal – what reason do you have for NOT showing up? We’ll be playing a lot of new stuff, so if you’d like to check it out before you head down, you can hear some samples from the pre-production demos in the player below. C’mon out and bang some heads – we’re there on Saturday (right after Scar, Inc), so if you can make it for only one day, well, you know which one!
(With tongue firmly planted in cheek)
Last Saturday, James played his last show behind the kit with Division. His family and he are moving to Ohio to begin the next part of their lives, and we wish them all well. Well, we wish his family well; to hell with James, I hope he gets hit by a car and dies. If you’re reading this, James, frankly I’m surprised, since I thought you were too stupid to read. I wish Melinda and Hazel well with their new, improved husband/father, and I hope he plays a real instrument, like guitar.
It is a strange feeling to look back on nearly a decade in the same band, watching everyone else change around you. It seems only yesterday that I stood in the damp, cramped front room at Barco Rebar, auditioning through the shittiest Marshall JCM900 in existence, ultimately replacing founding guitarist Matt Crooks. That was a band at a crossroads; a principal writer was leaving, the local music scene was shifting in a new direction, and tunes were being penned for the first album to fully feature 7-string guitars. I won’t go into details, but there was a lot of tension and doubt in the band at the time, and it felt like a slow climb out of a hazy pit. Gigging helped, and as James, Mike, Nick, Ron, and myself slowly gelled as a live act, we became tighter, both musically and as friends. We had a lot of fun times opening for some of our heroes at Jaxx, and several very entertaining road trips, parts of which we barely remember. Playing with those guys made me a better guitarist, more knowledgeable of gear, and a better live performer. Ultimately, those days wouldn’t last, as Ron’s wife Meghan moved out of the area to pursue a new career. We sure do miss Meghan, and wish her all the best of luck in her future endeavors, and are delighted she took Ron with her. I hope he chokes on a burrito, stupid pasty-faced, prepubescent-looking hack, since bass is for people without enough talent to play guitar. He was obviously compensating for something, and we all feel real bad for Meghan on that count.
We picked up Tim, and soldiered on. Tim mainly played guitar before joining Division, realized he didn’t have enough talent for it, and made the switch to the big strings (I guess they’re easier for a tall goofy guy to grab onto). Tim joined during another transitional period, as we started playing more small clubs and bars. We got to watch Jaxx destroyed by the soul-sucking leaches at Outerloop, and discovered a truly awesome scene out in Loudoun County Tim banged away with us for a year, got married, joined fifty-seven other bands, took on a demanding new job, and quit like the quitty quitter he is. Your hair is falling out, loser, and we take pity on your wife for being stuck with a widow’s peak and your job working on boats. With sailors. I think we all know where I’m going with this.
Nick, who didn’t want to be showed up, also quit. I’m in two bands with Nick, so I’m waiting for him to quit that one, too, so I never have spend another waking moment with that egotistical, no-talent assclown. Maybe a stray meteorite will take care of that for me. Enter Scott and Dan, on lead prima dona and big dumb guy guitar, respectively. Having run out of talented people in the area to turn to, we were stuck with the retreads. This was obviously too much for James to bear, since he’s moving hundreds of miles away to Cleveland. You know people suck when you move to Cleveland to get away from them. It must be the bald quotient in the band or something.
After eight years, Mike is the only person left from the four guys staring at me in that grungy rehearsal room in Falls Church. Mike is like dirt, though: old, crusty, and around for the long haul. I’m still looking for the broom that works on Mike, but I guess he is punishments for the sins of a former life. All joking aside, I’ve shared some times, both good and bad, with everyone whom I’ve been lucky enough to play metal with in this band. Every single one of them brought something different to the band, as reflected in the gigs we played and the music we wrote. Now, we stand once again at a crossroads, replacing another member on the eve of writing and recording the next album. Who knows what direction the next FNG will take us, but I’m equal parts excited and trepiditious, just as I was when I was the FNG.
Yeah, that didn’t exactly go as planned. Dan and Scott were completely out of the music scene after their original departures. Neither had been in any sort of band, and in fact Dan hadn’t played much at all during his absence. It was a surprise to all three of us (James, Dave and I) how well both did in their auditions when we took that into account. We assumed it would be pretty easy to iron things out and get back out playing, oh, say in August.
Well, you can probably see this coming – while both of them have worked very hard, the combination of crazy summer scheduling and working through the bumps of two talented people learning how to be in a band again delayed our re-emergence a bit more than we would have liked. To paraphrase a great frontman I saw recently, we regret this – but we are back now.
You can catch the first two of many shows to come on either Sep. 29th at the Sunset Lounge in Hagerstown, MD (with Doom Syndicate, Cammo Shorts and Heimdall), or on our return to Monthly Metal at Balls Bluff in Leesburg on Oct. 6th, with our brothers in metal Pharaoh in a rare U.S. show, as well as Trihexyn and Death Penalty. Details can be found on our shows page.
In the spirit of The Old School, we’ve also decided to re-release 1998’s “Ascension to Eternity”, our long-out-of-print second album (and the last one to feature both Dan and Scott) via Bandcamp’s “Name Your Price” option. You can get it free – which we’re fine with – or you can pay what you think it’s worth, here. Enjoy it, and hopefully this whets your appetite for the new music coming towards the end of the year. We’ll be featuring several songs from this one live (along with the “Trinity” and “Control Issues” material, of course). This album contains some of my personal favorites from the Division catalog, and I’m looking forward to dusting some of them off and showcasing them again.