ROCK AND ROLL UPDATES ARE GOOD WHEN THERE ARE ROCK AND ROLL THINGS TO UPDATE.
PART I: THE BEGINNING
I started getting into music around 20ish years ago when I joined a 'band' called BLIND UNTIL NIGHT. While by most standards people wouldn't really consider what we did as being music but then again I have never done things based on the standards or beliefs of others. We recorded 2 tapes "Pseudovegetarianismrehabilitation' and 'Steele your thunder' in a living room at a house on Holcomb Acres Road back in 1991. For me, being a part of this band was the most exciting thing in the world to me as it allowed me to express the creative side of myself with other like minded individuals. The point was not so much about whether we were making hits or getting popular in town, it was just a way to have fun and kill time on the weekends. The idea of doing shows never really occurred to us since A. no one really cared about us and B. people were just going to hate it anyways so what was the point. By the time we 'broke up' we had started work on a third tape , recorded a live cassette , and tried getting signed to Alternative Tentacles Records , and had only sold one tape [remember no one gave a fuck]. When I think back to these times I remember only the fun, the pure innocent enjoyment of life, and just trying to 'do something'. Myself and Chris Peyton went on to actually try to start a band and went through many permutations and alterations before things started clicking. Short lived bands such as CHALK DICK and SINESTRO'S BIG HEAD were mainly just ways for us to continue playing and attempting to get better. Video footage and memories from the time period suggest that we should have been practicing more but I swear we practiced every fucking day. For us, jamming with different guitarists and singers was nothing new to us and it was always a good time. Despite the sheer fun of just playing and hanging out, we really did want to find a good combination of people. Then…….two dudes entered the equation and it was in that moment that we were sure our ship to fame and fortune had finally come in. The two dudes in question were DEAN and DALE GROFF.
It seemed like our search for a guitarist was over since now we had two and both of them were killer players. The search for a singer was far more problematic because it was decided that we needed to have a girl fronting our hot new band. While I had no opinions on the matter whatsoever I always just felt like it was a way for Chris to get some pussy and had little to do with finding someone with actual talent. Now my memory may be skewed about this but, I swear at every audition I was subjected to having to play 'White Rabbit' over and over again. While there is nothing wrong with this song in and of itself, Spencer Dryden is not doing anything all that exciting in it drum wise which drove me crazy since I was a drumming machine [joke]. Anyhow to keep the story show, we eventually arrived at a singer and I promptly bailed out during a practice. Something pissed me off so I said 'fuck this I'm outta here.' I didn't talk to Chris again for awhile.
I spent the next several months playing with various people in different configurations, the object was simple: have fun. Now without further ado:
FUN LIST NUMBER I: IT WAS A BUSY TIME.
KENTUCKY FRIED CHILDREN [me: drums / rich meyers: bass / joel stehman: guitar / jesse clark: vocals]
DREADFUL LOAF [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / erik gidney: guitar / rich meyers: guitar]
SIX INCHES OR BETTER [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / rich meyers: guitar / tony jones: vocals]
BILLY WAS BORN DRUNK [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / rich meyers: guitar / jesse clark: vocals]
CUNTRY [me: drums / rich meyers: guitar / guy gallear: guitar / joel stehman: guitar / jim mclinton: bass / jesse clark: vocals]
BLIND HALF HUNDRED [me: drums / gary stephenson: bass / dean groff: guitar / chris peyton: vocals]
While I was off doing all these fun and wonderful projects, my old pals Chris and Dale [Dean had left or was fired but I wasn't there for that so I can't say what actually happened] were still plugging away. My departure was not seen my them as a setback but as an opportunity to put a real drummer in my place. Matt Jones is a drummer who has always had a way with making the art of playing drums look easy. The dude has always had the talent and the chops to jump into any situation and make shit happen. My feelings were somewhat hurt but then again I was the one that left so what where they going to do beg me to come back. Fuck no, when you get Matt Jones in your band you don't look back. However, it wasn't all smooth sailing for the boys as they went through lineup and name changes. So, with that said, here you go:
FUN LIST NUMBER II: FINDING A SINGER IS HELL.
ANAKRUSYS [chris peyton: bass / dale groff: guitar / matt jones: drums / bryan edmison: vocals]
THE ADICKT [chris peyton: bass / dale groff: guitar / matt jones: drums / dan hepner: vocals] 
SID KHATRYD [chris peyton: bass / dale groff: guitar / matt jones: drums / joey labard: vocals]
One afternoon I was hanging out with the old crew as they practiced. By this time they were doing the SID KHATRYD thing and were starting to play out a little bit. I had become a big fan of theirs as well because I really enjoyed the direction their music was going in. Their one weak link was Joey, whom although better than his predecessors still didn't have the pipes that their music warranted. In retrospect though, what Joey did have was charisma, good looks, and was a genuinely nice guy. Those qualities make it easy to overlook the sour notes. This practice was different though because Joey just seemed a little bit 'off', not in a bad mood, but not in a good mood either. After awhile he simply handed his microphone to me and that was that. I don't remember if he just stood there and watched or if he left but it was definitely clear that Joey was not going to last. We spent the rest of the time just goofing around while I sang jokey stupid shit. At the conclusion of the practice, Dale and Chris asked me to come back next week and 'audition.' Well goddamnit that's what I did. I was tasked with rewriting lyrics to one of their songs and learning 'Rock-n-Roll' by Led Zeppelin. While there is no existence on video or otherwise of my audition I don't know how it could have been very good but apparently it was good enough for them because I was in . This alliance was then dubbed STRANGLEFISH and we immediately got to work on rebuilding the set list and making new songs.
Our first appearance as a band was a halloween show where we played so many goddamned songs it was insane, but the crowd ate it up and everyone had a fantastic time. I look back at this show as the very essence of what so called punk rockers refer to as D.I.Y. The halloween show was a D.I.Y. affair as we built our own stage, lights, sound booth, printed / sold our own tickets, and spread the word [pre-internet where you actually had to tell people in person about stuff]. We bought a bunch of pizza and soda and proceeded to rock the fucking house. We ended up making money and it was one of the few times where a profit was turned in any band I have ever been in. For the next 15 months STRANGLEFISH played shows, wrote songs, had fun, and made friends everywhere we went. Then……it ended……..I joined the military and ended up moving away. This was an incredibly heartbreaking thing for me but it was something that needed to be done and proved to be a fun experience in its own right. However, it could never replace the fun I was having with my friends doing what we loved to do. From March of 1994 to spring of 1996 we would get together when I was in town and the magic would immediately return each time. During this period we played 2 shows, one at the shed in June of 1994 and sometime in 1996 at Nic Rheaume's garage. Then……once again…..it was over because life has a funny way of calling at the most inopportune times. Sometimes growing up means growing apart.
After returning from my sojourn in the Air Force, there was no band to come back to, in some ways there was very little to come home to. Most of my old friends were either gone, or doing drugs, or just didn't have time to hang out anymore. Shit had definitely changed and I was not a fan of those changes. Eventually I ended up playing in some cool bands with some good friends over the next 15 years……but I always felt like STRANGLEFISH was the foundation for everything I ever did.
PART II: A NEW BEGINNING
In 2005 I was approached by former STRANGLEFISH guitarist Lee Bennett about the possibility of getting the band back together to play a show. I said yes immediately because it just seemed like such a fantastic idea. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want to get back together with some old friends and do the thing you so enjoyed doing? To be able to go back and recapture a feeling or a moment is a rare thing to be able to do. Certainly one can look at pictures and watch videos but to actually live it and breathe a moment in the past is something too irresistible to pass up. By all accounts everyone was on board and we were ready to go but…..something happened or didn't happen. Whatever the case may be we never did manage to put this thing back together. I don't recall ever feeling sad that it didn't happen as my adult life is a fairly busy one and I was already doing music related projects at the time so I doubt I took it as a major loss. Some things are just not always meant to be, and that is something that most adults learn to accept. We can't expect things to come back after we've let them go. There is no such thing as a time machine………..or is there?
As of last month…..I can honestly say….YES MOTHERFUCKERS THERE IS SUCH THING AS A TIME MACHINE. I am proud to say that STRANGLEFISH is alive and well and currently practicing all the old favorites. We have practiced a few times so far and it has been an absolute thrill playing with these dudes again. Yeah there's a lot of rust there but the magic is definitely there. I totally feel the old energy swirling around the room. Thus far I can say that it has been a fantastic time re-connecting with these very dear friends of mine. To me that is the most important part of it, even more so than the music, the opportunity to hang out with my friends and catch up on all the things that have taken place in our lives. Along with that, there is the reminiscing that we have done, which has helped refresh our memories about a ton of stuff from the days of way back. Then of course there's the music which is coming together quite nicely. We have a pretty large list of songs to choose from and we really want to play them all. Thus far we're coming along quite nicely and it's really sounding good and in some instances it's even better than it was. The first practice was funny because we just looked at each other and said 'well here we are'.
We have discussed a great deal of things over the coming months and yes there is definitely a show in the works at some point in the spring or summer. There has also been talk about recording which would be exciting but ultimately unnecessary for the richness of the experience. I for one would like to try and write a few songs just to see what we can come up with. I really believe that we could capture that old school feeling and make songs that fit right in there with all the old ones. Again, there is a great deal of stuff we want to do and we are going to do our best to get to doing all of it. One important thing I would like to do while we're active is dispel the old myth that this band was a joke. While talking about the old days, we started getting into some of that shit, how people didn't believe we were any good, or that we weren't punk enough. Yes it's true we weren't punk so whether we were 'punk enough' was never really a concern of ours. What we were was a band of explorers, taking our influences and throwing them together to make something else, something that made us feel cool, something that made our friends feel good. It was never about trends, never about being the flavor of the month, it was about friends doing something creative. While playing these songs again, one thing is definitely clear to me and that is none of the songs sound dated. It all sounds fresh to me and in some instances it sounds timely. So with all of that said what I want to do is go on a stage with these dudes and give a killer show that you will not forget. I want each person who shows up to say 'fuck yes.' To all our old friends from way back we wanna take you on a trip because this is just as much for them as it is for us. We intend to rock you all the way from start to finish.
For me this experience is something that makes me feel like I've come full circle. Each time I go to practice with these dudes I feel like I'm going home. I know for some that sounds kinda silly coming from me because I'm usually such a cranky person but it's true. In the future I'll be doing a lot less and focusing more on family life as well as my education. While going out and playing music is something that's important to me it is not the be all end all of my existence like it once was. I remember getting so fired up on the days that a show was happening. That is something that is harder to come by these days. Part of it is just plain old youthful enthusiasm. The other part of it is simply due to me finding magic in making music privately and for my own self. To me, the creation and building of a song is far more exciting than that presentation. This is by no means me saying that I'm going away, it's just me saying that I have a full life with varied interests and I would like to take part in all of them. You will be seeing me for a good while still and I will continue to make music even past the point where I no longer go out and perform it. For me, reforming STRANGLEFISH has taught me about the important stuff in life: friends, family, and music. I am living the old days right now and for me that is enough. I'd like to thank DALE GROFF / LEE BENNETT / ROBERT MOORE / and MATT JONES for bringing the good times back.
CHEERS. CHUCK ROAST
 The third BLIND UNTIL NIGHT tape had no working title and was only partially completed when I stupidly erased it because I needed to make a mix tape for a party. What a dumb fuck.
 The live BLIND UNTIL NIGHT tape was called 'Live and Live Again'. It featured several feeble attempts to recreate songs off our first tape along with a bunch of made up stuff. Also a notable event due to the fact that we had a 3 man horn section, who also were our audience. The tape has long since lost but I remember listening to it way back when and recalling how you could totally hear a band completely losing interest until all you can hear is the television which happened to be playing 'The Song Remains the Same'. Surreal and depressing at the same time.
We of BLIND UNTIL NIGHT really felt we had made some real progress on our 'Steele Your Thunder' tape. So much so that we decided we should send a copy of it to Alternative Tentacles Records, because we were sure we would get signed. We sent a tape off along with some promo pics [polaroids of us sitting on a roof with flower pots on our heads and other stupid shit] and eagerly awaited a response, which unsurprisingly never came. We then realized to our horror that we had sent the ONLY FUCKING COPY of 'Steele Your Thunder' so now none of us have it. Several years later I wrote to Alternative Tentacles and inquired as to whether they might still have our tape. I was happy to receive a letter from Jello Biafra and he stated that he looked for it but couldn't find it. This could quite possibly be the stupidest move in all of music. IDIOTS.
 Me and Chris started being friends again when we did a version of 'Night of the Living Rednecks' for drama class. Reed Barker was Jello Biafra and Chris and I were Klaus Flouride and whoever the drummer was in the DKs at the time that song was made. Teenagers are such pussies I swear.
 I gleefully informed them that there was a band on Metal Blade Records called Anacrusis. Bryan got kicked out because he couldn't memorize lyrics. Boner face.
 Dan was kicked out after fans say stuff like 'You guys are really good but your singer sucks.' Most of the time fans don't know what they are talking about, but in this case I think they nailed it right on the head.
 Dale recently relayed the story about how they were auditioning singers at the time. He said they had really been scraping the bottom of the barrel with a cavalcade of shitty singers. It was decided that they should go with me because they knew me and I couldn't possibly be any worse than the dudes they were auditioning.