Un-Cut oral history of inventive prog-rock-intricate twisters from the Spring Arbor area, Lone Wolf and Cub
They'll be having 2 reunion shows, 2/8 at the Jackson United Center in Jackson...and
2/9 at the good ol' Elbow Room in Ypsilanti...
They were only together a few years... These are lush, rhythmic compositions that set perfect grooves and beholding melodies like the northern lights. Their story has to be told somewhere...
Jay Meador - guitar
Stephen Dahmer - guitar, glockenspeil
Del Belcher - bass
Joel Skene - Rhodes, guitar
Aaron Quillen - drums, percussion
AARON QUILLEN: After playing our final show just over a year ago on January 4th, 2007, we are reuniting to play two shows, Friday February 8th in Jackson and Saturday February 9th in Ypsilanti.
What led to two more feb. shows?
AQ: Jay moved to China towards the end of January 2007. He is back in the states for the second half of January and first half of February. Joel is joining the Peace Corps with his wife in a few months. I figured if we ever wanted to play our songs ever again, even if just for the hell of it, we had this small window of opportunity to do it. Everybody else was in, thus, two reunion shows.
This band, for everyone involved, seemed to be a very electrifying, warm, exciting time, with chemistry in spades..., but now in 2008 for audiences in detroit who might not have gotten a chance to see you - how would you describe the band, it's styles and influences and, pretty much, the sum of its existence, to those who weren't lucky enough to see/hear you...
AQ: Well, the band was started with bands like Godspeed! You Black Emperor and American Football in mind, at least for Jay, Stephen and I. When we were first starting out, I'd say that we all had a mutual love for Sufjan Stevens and Michigan alums Anathallo. Later on in the game other influences really started poking through in our individual playing, such as My Bloody Valentine, The Sea and Cake, The Who, and Interpol (mainly in Del's bass playing). I can't really assign a genre to us. In some reviews we got tagged as a post rock band, which I completely disagree with. We are much brighter than that. I don't know, we played technical, instrumental indie rock?
JAY MEADOR: It's true that the chemistry of this band is amazing. Most of the songs we've written has at least a couple of parts in it where we never discussed what we should do... we would just have a guy that set his stuff up the fastest just kindof fooling around before practice and we would hear him kindof messing around and then we'd all try to set up our stuff as fast as possible to get in there and add what we could to his part and we'd all be playing along with that for a while and then magically all come to the decision at the same time that we should bring in a different part and do it... really weird. Some of the songs we've never even talked about the structure, we just felt it out. The band's songs are products of us being stoked on what one guy was playing... so if you listen hard you can tell that the "movements" of each song have an underlying part that is kindof the backbone for everything... but some songs it's impossible to tell who came up with it... i forget myself now about who came up with the ideas for each song. In terms of influences, i'll put us all under the blanket of "indie" rock... but we all know that that so called blanket is massive. In reality we all like our own stuff, but in terms of this band, we all are familiar with our own sound and know what we should and shouldn't do. We all listen to so much music that in reality we probably couldn't pinpoint where our own individual influences come from. People are always trying to relate our band to other bands... they shouldn't try that too much because they'll get stuck on the idea that we are being influenced a lot by that band's music... what I've come to realize is that we are influenced from our own music. hahahaha. And the sum of its existence is to kindof see how far we can go in terms of writing music that we can look back on and be proud of what we made.
DEL BELCHER: The chemistry in this band is amazing without a doubt. Each member of this band is the best musician of their instrument that I have ever met, and some how we all fit together so perfectly. I came into the band last, and when I heard the four guys playing for the first time, I thought I was surrounded by wizards, it was incredible. But all of that chemistry doesn't end there, when we play live there is just this crazy energy that I can not explane. Maybe that is just me, being in the band, but when we play we have fun, we play and create this music for ourselves and people just happen to like it and I think that is where the electricity comes from.as far as our sound? who knows. People have said some crazy things like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Save Farrris (that one still stumps me), or that were this spiritual experiance and I can remember one person saying that our music could cure cancer or something, I don't know, people are crazy. I don't know if your could define it, all five of us come from pretty different musical backgrounds, durring college we were all doing Lone Wolf and Cub, but were also doing our own way different music stuff too... we all like some of the same bands, but at our core we each love our own music and I think LWAC is just a mix of all of the bands we love mashed into one. Our music and our band deffinatly has an indie vibe, whatever that means, but each song is its own song, its own story, its own little experience. I think live we just try to take whoever is there on the same ride we go on when we play. I have never heard the same thing about our band from any two people, it is always different. I think I once told someone that our music was kind of like Sigur Ros, but with more rock 'n roll, a lot faster, and way more happy. If I was going to tell someone what to expect from a show I woud say be ready to see some dudes rock out harder than thay have ever rocked out before and just be ready for some good music.
AQ: Lone Wolf started writing and practicing in September 2004. Jay and I were in different bands on Spring Arbor University's campus somewhere between 2002 and 2004. Joel had another thing still going, and the three of us decided to jam. We knew Stephen from the year previous, and asked him to join on right away. Del was a transfer student and we met him in late September maybe, and after we got to buds with him, he was the final piece to the puzzle. Interesting note: Before we even played our first REAL show, we practiced for a couple of weeks for a Daft Punk cover set that we played at a Halloween show.
AQ: Lone Wolf was not a starting place for any of us. We had all been playing music in our own way for quite a long time, and I'm pretty sure we all had been in bands before. As far as what's been going on most recently, I'm not sure what Jay and Del have been up to musically. Stephen lives in Philadelphia now and has been writing and recording folk tunes under the moniker Friends and Foe. Joel has had a folk project for quite a while with his wife called Segernomics. Jay, Stephen, and I used to play for them as well. They just put out an EP back in October. During Lone Wolf's last stand, I was also playing drums in a pop/rock band called Natural Monuments, and that lasted through August 2007. We recorded an EP in a ridiculous studio with a dude who used to play in Brownsville Station back in the day. We released that in June, went on a short tour with The Word Play and then by ourselves, and that was that. Alec Jensen, our singer/singwriter/guitarist is opening up the Ypsilanti reunion show solo style. Most recently, I just started playing drums for Deastro.
JM: I don't think LW&C was a starting place for any of us... we had all been in bands before... but maybe we came into realization of new abilities and ideas in that band that allowed us to take our imagination to new levels. When I started playing in LW&C my guitar playing was mediocre, if not well below average (i'll just say that I didn't know the names to the strings), but through playing with these guys who I honestly feel are all better than me in terms of musical ability, I gained confidence in my guitar playing and my capacity for writing my parts to the songs. I think LW&C allowed every member to look back on a band that started to have a reputation and kindof use that to jump into their own thing. We've definately done the "members of LW&C" thing in the past to promote other shows (Segernomics for sure... I don't know about Natural Monuments). hahahaha... kindof throwing our weight around a little bit, but it's all good. Natural Monuments and Segernomics are definately bands that came about someway or another because of LW&C (really obvious for Segernomics cause everyone but Del played in that band for a while) but one of the Natural Monument guys (Tom) was the guy who recorded us and that's how Quillen met Tom.
DB: I am really proud of the other guys who were doing stuff then, and are doing stuff now. I do think that the band was a great place to start because of some of the connections we were able to create and keep up with. Like both shows we are playing in Feb are with bands that we had really good relationships with and would play with us again in 10 years I am sure.
JM: I can't describe how awesome the reaction by our fans was, or how wide of a variety of people make up our fanbase. We've had loyal fans who were 40 and had their own things going on, but just randomly liked our sound or our technical musical ability. A lot of college professors came to our shows, including the drama professor who would reflect to us usually what he felt about the energy and atmosphere of the show instead of focusing on the music. Every fan has their own reason to like us, and we encourage that and find it a blessing to know that they like us for deeper reasons than simply we are a "OK" band. People would come up to us and tell us that they love to get high and listen to our music, or take a nice summer drive and look at the scenery, a couple people have told me that they love making out to it... it's all good. The people who loved our music all found something different, and I hope that they keep searching for what kind of inspiration our music can bring. They already know how grateful I am... I instead want to encourage them to get their own thing going, whether musical or not. There's nothing that feels better than having someone appreciate something that you love to do. Invest your time into something that might inspire someone else... you are the future... and don't spend your whole life living in the United States... hahahaha! Move to Shanghai and we'll get something going here.
DB: I feel so blessed that I was able to be apart of something that we did because we liked it and people inturn found their own joy in it. One person said that our music was like chasing after the icecream truck on a warm summer evening, my cousin played some of our music at her wedding reception, I have seen people crying at our shows. If there is anytthing I can say to anyone new who comes to these last two shows I would say find your own thing in us. If you don't like our music, that is cool, but just try to feel the energy, try to dip your toe into the experiance, or just let it be background music to your time with your friends. We aren't trying to make some statment, our song titles don't make sence because we thought they were funny...not for some deep meaning, we are just a bunch of guys who love music, we love how it can make someone feel and I hope that anyone who has heard our music or will hear our music , even for a second, will be ableto find something new and good in their life and pass it on.But most of all, thank you to everyone who ever paid to see us, and is even going to come to a show a year after we broke up! Thanks for buying a cd or t-shirt or supporting us in some other way, little kids, old guys, college profs. and everyone in between. We love you all!! Thanks for everything!