This is yet another long overdue post, but here goes…
Around August of last year, I started rehearsing and writing music with my friends, Adam Bones (guitar/vox) and Brandon Dickert (drums). The three of us had been serving as the rhythm section for Save Ferris for the bulk of 2018 (which was a blast, BTW), and we realized that we had some real musical chemistry as well as some common influences.
We got together and started “jamming” (I hate that word) and tossing ideas around and things clicked right away. There was a natural sense of democracy and a workable balance of egos, without effort, not to mention a complimentary set of strengths and weaknesses between us. We started cranking out songs left and right: some from scratch, and some from pre-existing demos brought in by individual members. After 6 months of writing and rehearsal, we had our first live show at the Hi-Hat, courtesy of our friend Jo at @BadassBandsLA. Since then, we’ve been playing out consistently and recording a series of singles, due for release this year.
Conceptually, the whole idea was to fuse our punk and hardcore influences with top-tier, power-pop oriented songwriting (that’s the ambition, that is). But rather than generic 3-chord punk, we’re drawing on the more groove-based post-punk and post-hardcore bands of the mid-80’s and beyond, like Fugazi and Husker Du. This wasn’t an entirely conscious decision; when we got together and started playing, it just sounded like 80’s punk-rock from the Midwest (Yes, I know Fugazi is not from the Midwest). This was kind of inexplicable at first, but I should note that Adam and Brad are from Illinois, my Mom’s family hails from Iowa, and we’re all 80’s kids, so there’s that. We kind of just organically proceeded from there… “Ok, this what it sounds like when the three of us play together, let’s go with it.'' On the songwriting side, we wanted to channel the styles of the more punk-leaning, power pop artists of the late 70’s, like Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, and The Jam. So… lots of hooks, both instrumental and vocal, and lyrically driven songs with singable choruses, all played and sung with an aggressive slant and general distaste for “normal” pop music.
I should note that both Adam and I are co-lead vocalists of this project. We alternate singing lead on songs, and often alternate on sections within songs. Alkaline Trio is a noted influence in this respect. We also lean pretty heavily on our own, throaty and rather unpolished, brand of 2-part close harmony. It’s more of tip of the hat to John Doe and Exene though than… I don’t know, fucking Simon & Garfunkel or whatever.
So here we are. Consider this my not-so-formal introduction to Compress Collide. Keep an eye out for shows and new music in the months to come.