Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's Drugs Got to Do With It?

I spend a bit of time now and then searching the net for write ups or old reviews of Stompbox. What can I say, I've got some extra time on my hands, I guess.

One recurring theme I've found in many of the things I find online is the notion that Stompbox broke up because of drugs, or more specifically the use of heroin by one of the band members.

For some reason, this annoys the shit out of me.

 I'd like to say that that is not the reason we broke up. It barely even figured into it, as far as I can remember. I'm not saying that there wasn't any drug use, just that it had pretty much zip to do with the breakup of the band.

The main reason (aside from personality conflicts) was this: we had some very fundamental differences in what we wanted to do musically.

Erich was in favor (and in hindsight, he was probably right) of “giving the people what they want”. All the kids that came to our shows really wanted the “big riff” so they could get sick in the pit and hurt each other, and he was perfectly happy with that. Except for the part about hurting each other…we were very “Fugazi” about that and stopped a lot of shows when fights broke out.

The rest of us wanted to be “artists” and “express ourselves musically”.  Again, hindsight (or maybe cynicism) tells me that we were probably foolish.

So, we gave him the boot and changed the name of the band to Slower, which was a play on Slayer.  We wrote a bunch of new tunes and did a couple more tours.  We added a second bass player (Mikey Welch, who later was in Weezer for an album) and I took over vocals.  

We did one tour billed as Stompbox still, and used that to introduce the “new sound” to people who were into Stompbox.  Some people liked it more, some liked it less.  Then one more tour just as Slower.

On one of those tours we played with Jesus Lizard at Peabody’s in Cleveland…David Yow drank me under the table and then went out and played their show. I guess he’s got what’s called an “iron constitution”…Ha! I was so tanked I had to pass out in our van after about two Jesus Lizard songs. Good times!

After those two tours, we just sort of imploded.


LEstes65 said...

So didn't break up because you were all fighting over ME?! Dang.

But seriously folks, this is actually cool info. I had never really known what happened. And still love every single one o' yooz.

And I'm hoping to dig out more StombBox negs as I make my way through the plethora of photo bins.

tim schwallie said...

hey don't remember catching you guys back in the day as you prob never caught us i am in the wolverton brothers i got drunk with david yow at a show we did with them in baltimore but i got really drunk because i was hitting on the bartender and her boyfriend showed up to help her out and figured the best way to stop me was to pour me more and he did ...long story short i am pretty sure that i freaked david yow out kind of an acomplishment..later he played in my home town i arrived quite late straight from work just as they were finishing he came off stage and went outside as was his custom and ran into me coming in.. he screamed when he saw me and i swear i saw true fear in his eyes it took me at least ten minutes to calm him down and convince him that i was both sober and sane