Off-Topic Tuesday: My Band “Spindle”

Posted: September 2, 2014 by Crackin' Wax in Off-Topic Tuesday
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Yes, there was a life for me before trading cards, before charity case breaks, and before I met Literal Quirk. Once upon a time, I had a passion for a different hobby—music. Way back when, nearly 20 years ago, some high school friends and I got together to do something we all thought only stoners from Seattle could do.

Before all that, I had an interest in music before I could even talk. I knew I wanted to be a drummer at an extraordinarily early age when I heard the infamous DUN-DUN DUN-DUN DUN-DUN DUN-DUN DUN DUN DUN from Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight.” At the earliest age that I was allowed, I joined the elementary school concert band to play, you guessed it, the drums. I sat behind a drumset for the first time in the fifth grade and got to work learning “Come Together” by The Beatles. After all, what better drummer to learn rudimentary technique from than Ringo Starr?

For me, nothing else was quite as fun, fulfilling and exciting as drumming—not even playing baseball or soccer. Drumming was the one thing that I could do that other people could respect. As a kid that got bullied and picked on a LOT, drumming was my escape from all of that. The bullies never made fun of me for the way I pounded away on the drums. In fact, by the time I hit my senior year, they finally accepted me and thought I was cool—not as if that mattered to me by then. I didn’t get picked on any more. I didn’t get beat up any more. In fact, my class voted me Most Likely To Become Famous. That’s a heck of a turnaround over a long 13-year stretch (yes, I got beat up on my first day of kindergarten). I did not turn to music and/or drumming to be accepted. I turned to it to get away from the abuse, depression and pain. It was my escape from the rest of my life and it made me happier than anything else.

In the summer of 1994 between my Junior and Senior years, a few of my other musically inclined friends and I got together a few times simply to kill time, jam and have fun. At that time, we did nothing but covers. We had so much fun as a group that we decided to stick together and write our own music. We finally decided on the name “Spindle.” Up until then, we used a different name at each gig, such as “Chasing Parked Cars” and “Alder and the Albatross.” In Winter of 1995, we recorded two of our own songs for a demo tape which we would then spread around to try to score more gigs. From that demo tape, we were able to land a gig at La Crosse, Wisconsin’s premiere club, The Warehouse. We were actually able to pack the house that night just as an opening act and were subsequently invited back.

In late 1996, we headed into the studio to put together our first real album. Due to time and financial restrictions, we were stuck to no more than two takes per part and ended up only being able to record 9 songs. The resulting CD, titled “Henrietta’s Mix,” ended up being a collection of 8 well-written yet sloppily recorded and poorly produced songs (one song somehow didn’t get added to the master tape). Below is the first track from our CD, a song I wrote called “Flying Buttress.”

We were recognized by many of our local radio stations and had one of our tracks on rotation at radio stations across the country in 1997. We got to headline our own gig at The Warehouse and were starting to play bigger venues in larger cities like Madison and Minneapolis. We had garnered a respectable following by that point—in fact, I would often get recognized in random places back then. It was an incredibly cool and memorable time in my life.

In the summer of 1998 the band decided it was time to make a permanent move to Minneapolis. Our singer and guitarist were attending the University of Minnesota and it was too tough trying to be what amounted to being a long-distance relationship with the band. I felt that Spindle was something to do for fun, not something to pursue seriously. That was the last time we had done anything together as Spindle.

…until now.

For a little over a month, I’ve been working on tracks for the first Spindle release since Henrietta’s Mix. I haven’t been this excited about any of my projects since then and I really can’t wait for you all to hear it. It’s going to rock, it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be oh-so-90s (in an early Smashing Pumpkins kind of way, not in a Milli Vanilli kind of way). I don’t want to spoil too much about this project, but I hope that we’ll have it ready to go within the next couple of months (or less). Keep your ears out, and get ready to rock it out with your pocket out.



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