For the better part of the 1990s, plaid shirts and Seattle grunge rock were king. I'm not saying Biggie Smalls and Jewel weren't top stars of the decade, but for me, I was all about that lethal combination. Back in the "pogs" decade, my late best friend Stephen and I would mosh in the pit -- whether it was at the Roseland or Randall's Island in New York City (it didn't matter where), wrap our plaid shirts around our waist 24/7, and would go out for beers (assuming bars would serve us) while rocking out to songs from artists like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Candlebox. Speaking of the latter, that Seattle band was caught up in the whole grunge scene even though the band admits now they weren't really a part of it. To paraphrase the band, whose members Kevin Martin, Peter Klett and Sean Hennesy sat down for an A-Sides session late last month, they made rock songs that just happened to be put out in grunge-Mecca of the world: Seattle. In other words, they were grouped with bands from the area but not once did they try to bite off their sound. Think about it -- how many Alice in Chains clones can you name? Dozens, right?
Anyways, the multi-platinum rockers are back with their first studio album in almost four years called Love Stories & Other Musings. The album features nine new tracks including first single "Believe In It" as well as five bonus recordings of past hits including "You" and "Far Behind." The band, who start the first leg of a 29-city tour tonight in Shreveport, LA, performed "Believe In It" and their classic "Far Behind" on A-Sides from within a studio at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY. Following the performance, the trio reflected on that latter song's timelessness, and their place in the world back when Steve and I rocked out and now. This one's for you --- Stephen Spruck.
"Believe in It"
Interview with the band
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.