Thrillhammer, Hazel, Pete Krebs and the Gossamer Wings
My musical history thus far has taken a lot of interesting turns and gone in some unexpected directions. In 1987, when I first moved to Portland, the center of my musical universe was the legendary Club Satyricon. Every night I would go there and see bands from all over, soon branching out to the Pine Street Theater across the river. Before long I started playing in groups performing at these same clubs, often opening for my heroes. In 1989 I helped form the first band of note that I played with, Thrillhammer. Ben Munat, Dave Triebwasser and I had a sound that was heavily influenced by Big Black, the Melvins and the heavy sounds coming south from Seattle around that time. I had my first experience of touring (and starving) on the road with this band, playing clubs like the Gaslight in LA and Covered Wagon in San Francisco, where we played with punk rock legends Flipper. Before the band imploded in 1991, we had a chance to share the stage with Mudhoney, Nirvana and the Melvins. We also recorded a single CD for Rough Trade Records, produced by Steve Albini of Big Black. The record has recently been re-released digitally, and is available on iTunes. In 1991, along with Brady Smith, Jody Bleyle and Fred Nemo, we started Hazel. Hazel's sound was rooted in the harmony singing of Jody along with my own lead vocals, and has often been compared to the band X. We were influenced by Husker Du, the Minutemen, Shocking Blue and the Pixies, and the live shows were a mix of frantic energy, blurred motion and precarious heavy objects. We cut two discs for Sub Pop Records in Seattle, made a few videos for MTV and toured extensively in the US, Canada and Europe. After recording a final EP for Jody's label Candy-Ass Records in 1996, the band called it quits (several times). In 1995, I also began to write and record my own solo records for the Cavity Search label out of Portland. The first two albums were made with the help of Elliott Smith, a good friend, who produced and performed on the second of the two, 'Western Electric'. I reciprocated by playing drums on his second self-titled record. After a 5-song EP, titled 'Bittersweet Valentines', I put together a back up band called the Gossamer Wings who appear on my last two solo discs, 'Sweet Ona Rose' and 'I Know It By Heart'. Gossamer wings alumni include Ben Shepherd from SoundGarden, John Moen from the Decemberists, Paul Brainard from Richmond Fontaine, and Northwest legends Billy Kennedy on guitar and Sam Henry from the Wipers on drums. During this time, I toured and performed across the country and appeared at the CMJ, SXSW and Bumbershoot festivals and shared the stage with artists as diverse as Sky Saxon, Peter Case, Exene Cervenka, John Doe and Mark Lanagan. All of my solo discs have recently been re-released digitally. Plans are currently in the works for a retrospective CD as well as a new solo/Gossamer Wings CD to be released on my label, Elko Records.