Wednesday, 21 August 2019

***SEPTEMBER exclusive interview***

Earlier this year I received an email from Ken. Ken stumbled across my review of SEPTEMBER when he was perusing information for Indian Summer. Ken played in SEPTEMBER and after a few quick exchanges, he and some other members of the band decided to answer some interview questions...ooohhhh, 20 years after the fact? Although very short-lived, the band's recordings speak for the emotional hardcore thriving in the mid 1990s.

An Interview with: SEPTEMBER 

1) What led to the formation of SEPTEMBER? And why the name?
Kim Shade and I had been off and on for a couple years, and in that time I convinced her to play drums, primarily so that I’d have someone to play music with. Eventually we got pretty good as a two piece and sought out a few other players from the Cupertino Library scene. Bassist Conor McCormack and I had played briefly together in the spring of 1994, and he joined that September—hence the name. Chuck McCamon was a kid Conor went to school with that was also on the scene. He owned a brown SG and a half stack and had a good haircut. He ended up creating a lot of the group’s texture and certainly screamed the loudest.


2) What were your primary influences?
We were way into Indian Summer, and hanging out at the Blue House in Oakland with them throughout '94. Seth and Adam turned us onto Slint, Codeine and Seam, and we drew the same logical conclusions that Indian had, soft and big, but with arpeggiated guitars and more quiet than loud. I’ll freely admit that I wasn’t a very good songwriter, which is why most of the songs are over seven minutes. I don’t think I understood the concept of verse/chorus, and instead just wanted to be able to freely prattle on for sixteen measures and then do that at a greater volume and then do something else.


3) Did you have any goals as a band?
We certainly wanted to follow in the footsteps of Still Life, Evergreen, Indian Summer, et al and take it on the road. We had ideas for a two month summer tour (and even had a van), and started booking it, but there just wasn’t enough energy being put into the idea. Conor and Chuck were definitely going to college in the fall of 1995, and Kim and I were definitely over. As a result I don’t think we could visualize a way to move forward.


4) Did you play many shows? Any memorable ones?
September played only two shows, both at the Cupertino Library. One show was with Animal Farm and Wind Chime Boy, the other with Super Static Fever and Janitors Against Apartheid. I doubt more than 200 people saw us across both shows. We played in near total darkness the first time, lit only by a blue light.


5) Do you think about the band semi-regularly or not often? What emotions does it stir?
I check into it about once a year. As it’s aged I like it more, but it’s not likely to creep into regular rotation. I keep meaning to put it up on Spotify, and perhaps will soon. It’s a neat document of four friends who all lived in the same house together and grew up and out of each other’s lives.


6) What was your biggest regret with September? What do you look back on with the most fondness?
The band definitely ended earlier than any of us would have liked. We were all living in the same house and had a lot of youthful hormones bouncing between us. It would have been nice to have played more than two shows. We were in the midst of planning an epic eight week tour of the States, but weren’t organized enough to pull it off. I suppose the only regret I have is that we recorded too early. But if we’d have waited it wouldn’t have happened at all…


7) Do you revisit "emo/screamo" in its early incarnation or even check out new stuff?
More so recently, as I’ve been involved in the Indian Summer reissue campaign. (Check this playlist I made). As for the new, I’m into La Dispute, but don’t pay attention to much from this genre. 


8) Any opinions on the words "emo", "screamo" or "skramz”?
Emo was a dirty word for us in 1994-95. It’s great to see a new generation of kids changing the definition and adding their own meaning. 


9) Which bands from the pre-2000 era would you recommend readers check out?
Allure was wildly underrated, and most of their stuff is up on Youtube. My top five looks something like this:

1. Navio Forge: As We Quietly Burn A Hole
2. Indian Summer: S/T
3. One Last Wish: S/T
4. Hated: What Was Behind
5. Evergreen: S/T


10) Did you continue to play in bands after September? What are you doing nowadays?
I made a record about a month later using the exact same set up: Bart Thurber, Alexandria Ln. house. It’s a very similar vibe, but just two really long songs. It was never released and probably should never be released. I stopped playing in bands shortly after and started producing records instead. I ran Tree Records until 2000, and then started Numero Group in 2003. I’ve made over 400 records in my life—no sign of slowing down.

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