First, it was a church band: Josh, me, a guy named Chad, and our sponsor/trainer. Only Josh and I had synergy, but our sponsor was a great guy. Chad and I never got along.
Chad left after a while, so we invited a friend, John, whose friendship outweighed his never-having-owned-a-bass. Then there was “a guy that John knew that was awesome at guitar,” and Jeremy came aboard. That was 1997.
It wasn’t long before we wrote our first song (“HISD”), reveled in the fanfare it would receive, and were kicked out by our sponsor for not playing contemporary Christian (after all, he intended us to be a church band). I’m sure that was hard for him to tell us. But it made sense, so we left amicably. He even came to our first show (along with 200 other people!).
A friend described us as a mixture of Dave Matthews and Blink 182. But other than our own stuff, we played a lot of MXPX and Blink, and Jeremy arranged some neat punk renditions of other stuff (e.g., Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night”). Jeremy had the creativity, Josh had the talent, John had the gumption, and because I had nothing else to pay for, I had the money. I also sang the best, but that’s not saying much.
We found our own places to practice, bought our own equipment, had a friend design a cartoon mascot, played a bunch of local shows, recorded a freebee demo, and even recorded a semi-pro demo with Jason Anderson (formerly of Squad-5-O), whom we met through my brother.
We packed up my forest-green, 1997 Ford Explorer Sport and made haste from Houston to Denver. Troopers pulled us over only once. I pretended to sleep as Jeremy got a ticket for something like 105 in a 70. By the end of the trip, we learned a ton, and our first album, The Way Things Go, was on the way. Jason even got us on the radio up there. That was 2001.
But that was the last album. Jason mailed it to us a few weeks later, and together we listened on Josh’s CD player. Jeremy stopped coming to practices shortly after that. Part of it was a girl, but most of it was his disappointment in us. It took me a decade to agree (not about the girl).
We stuck it out for a little while, but after no new songs and only one show, we finally broke up. I’d had several girlfriends leave me, and it was a lot like that.
But it wasn’t all sad. After a decade apart, we instituted yearly games and drinks (and lots and lots of talking). These guys are still some of my favorites. And that’s the way things go.