Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mikey Fast Break part III

Chain Of Strength at Fenders, Photo: Mikey Garceau

Do you have any specific photos that you took which you really love?

The Chain of Strength photo from Fender’s with Ryan on his knees and Alex in the air is one. The shot of Judge from Gilman with Randy doing the double hang looses that I used for the cover of the photozine is another.

What band records were you most psyched to see your photos end up on?

I wish I could tell you. Honestly, I can only remember the cover shot from the “Words To Live By” compilation and some photos from the Outspoken discography. I don’t have any records anymore, so I can’t go back and look. Did any of my photos ever make it on a Revelation record?

Randy and Mikey with Drift Again at a hall in the valley, Photo: Dave Sine

You were sort of the New Age in-house photographer - any good New Age Stories?

Most of my memories from that time were just of shows and people that I had met. The first summer that Lifetime came out to California was awesome. I want to say it was 1991 and half the band stayed at my house and the other half up in the valley with the Strife kids. I just wasn’t into hardcore at the time and their bass player Justin Janisch wasn’t either. I had a Ride poster up on my wall and he and I sat around and talked about shoegaze bands in between shows. To this day, I still consider him my best friend and his family my second family.

Getting to meet the Turning Point kids was pretty epic too. Skip and I became pretty tight after that.

What role has photography played for you even after the early 90s?

It’s a love / hate relationship I have. Sometimes I get into shooting stuff and sometimes I don’t pick up a camera for months. Actually, I don’t know where my SLRs are. I guess they’re somewhere in one of my closets. 

Mike Hartsfield and Mikey with Drift Again, Photo: Dave Sine

How did Solitude start and what memories do you have form that particular band?

I was able to talk Mike Hartsfield and Dennis Remsing into doing a project band with me singing. Those guys were busy with Outspoken at the time and I wanted to do something that was a little less straight edge and a little darker.

I think we practiced a couple times before going into the studio to record that demo. I had never heard my voice before, so I remember being really surprised at what I sounded like on tape.

We didn’t really have a line-up until we got on a bill to play a show at Loyola Marymount University. There was this one guy, Jason Craze, from Texas that Mike and I had met from somewhere. He played second guitar and my friend from skateboarding, Micah Panzich, played bass.

After that, Micah and Jason left or something, I can’t really remember. We then got Randy to play guitar and Mike moved over to bass. That’s when we changed the name and became Drift Again.

Drift Again at Pitzer College, Riverside CA, Photo: Dave Sine

Same with Drift Again (memories, etc.), did Solitude simply morph into Drift Again and what were the differences?

Drift Again was a slight line-up change and a change of name. I remember someone telling me that there was some metal band from Europe that had the name Solitude, so I told the other guys and we decided to change it.

Randy brought along a certain creativity that I loved. He had this knack for picking up on little stuff on things he had heard that he could apply to hardcore. I’m probably wrong, but I think Dennis appreciated it too. It gave him a chance to play something a little different.

When we decided to record, I was so hell bent on not being a straight edge band that Mike and Dennis decided to create a new label; Network Sound. It was going to be the label for things that they wanted to put out that really didn’t fit on either New Age or Conversion. I think it was only the Drift Again single and the Stone Telling LP that were ever put out on it. I could be wrong though.

As for memories, the show with Rage Against The Machine at Claremont College is pretty fucking hard to beat. They hadn’t been signed yet, but that show was by far the biggest crowd we had ever played in front of.

What are you up to today?

I moved up to San Francisco in 1997. After brief stints in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, I moved back up North to Oakland in 2001, which is where I’m living now. I work for an elevator company as a Project Manager.

I’m still in contact with Dennis and Randy on a fairly regular basis. Most of my hardcore updates come from my friend Walter Yetman. I’ll occasionally get an email from him with a link to something I might find interesting. That’s how I got to the post on Double Cross about Turning Point.

Mikey with Vic Dicara's guitar after an Inside Out set at the Che Cafe, Photo: Dave Sine


Anonymous said...

that hoffman/alex pic is one of the best ever. ever.

Jon said...

As that Chain pic was being taken the head from my amp that Ryan was using was flying through the air. His guitar cord was about 3 feet too short for that move....

Mikey, I think I remember you and I talking about Simon and Garfunkel that summer in '91 too. A lot of people were moving on from HC in 90-91.

Damaged said...

Was it really "moving on" from hardcore, or just realizing that you, a fan of hardcore, were "allowed" to listen to other forms of music and have friends that were not into hardcore. My memories of the late 80's and early 90's were of people priding themselves on only "doing hardcore things" to just turn around and make seemingly deliberate attempts to distance themselves from the stifling pigeon hole they had landed themselves in. I remember at one of Token Entry's shows at the Anthrax, they announced their next song which was a Jimi Hendrix song. When Tim Chunks saw that some of the audience were not too happy with the song selection he commented, "What's the matter you guys only listen to hardcore?" Just sayin'...

Mike Garceau said...

It was a bit of both for me. Both recognizing that it was alright to listen to other music (honestly, how stupid does that sound?) and just moving on to other things.

The latter part was hard for me because my whole identity, for lack of a better term, was as a straight edge kid. I just remember waking up one day and realizing that I really didn't care about being straight edge anymore. That shit's hard when you like 17 or 18 years old.

Jon said...

Very true. As ridiculous as it sounds, people just didn't listen to anything but hardcore back then, that I knew at least. I think that feeling of being "allowed" to listen to other stuff spawned the change in sound in the early 90s, for better or worse.

For me personally, I still listen to HC, and many other kinds of music.

ERIC SXE said...

Great post! I love all the memories. I was watching all that from a distance as I was living in Nor Cal at the time but was totally obsessed with all things New Age Records and all the bands!

That last pic with Mikey and Vic's guitar is funny. What's funny is that I still dress like that now...Baggy shirt, baggy shorts, Vans and I'm still SXE! :-)

Anonymous said...

The Che' of the last venues with history left....RESPECT.

jCraze said...

Holy crap, are there some memories in this one! I still have photos of those early solitude shows around here someplace... And look at that, in still alive and kickin too!