Our tale, appriopriately enough, begins with:

It all started when….

My friend Jordan’s wealthy parents bought a mountain cabin. Before then music and I had no sort of relationship beyond singing along with the congregation at church and singing church hymns in music class. I listened to whatever was on Top 40 radio (Z100 FM for the natives) without any strong emotions about the music. It was just background noise. I do remember liking MC Hammer and, yes, God forgive me; Vanilla Ice. At one point my parents bought me a toy guitar, but it got stepped on during some rough housing with my sisters. The first piece of Rock ‘n Roll that I remember truly obsessing over was Billy Joel’s “Keeping the Faith.” It was also my first 45-inch record. But that too was destroyed when I accidentally stepped on it. After the purchase of the aforementioned mountain cabin, Jordan, wanted to show me something he had found buried in one of the cabin’s closets. It was a Van Halen cassette. From the first opening melody lines of that distinctive guitar sound, I was hooked. My allowance went towards hunting down Van Halen cassettes and Guitar Player magazine. While snooping for Christmas gifts in the attic one year, I saw a dilapidated classical guitar. After telling my father that I was interested in learning the guitar, he quickly brought that guitar out and I started learning the basics from him. But it wasn’t enough I needed distortion. Luckily, the next Christmas I got my first electric guitar.

Right around this time the Grunge/Alternative scene started emerging on the radio, so after Van Halen it was Pearl Jam and Dinosaur Jr. During an afternoon of reading Dinosaur Jr. articles I discovered that J Mascis was a fan of a Portland band named The Wipers. I was stunned that a musician I respected was a fan of a band that came from my hometown. A hometown whose musical history I had no idea about, but was on the cusp of realization. I quickly found Wipers records and spent many afternoons at Music Millenium on East Burnside digging through piles and piles of records.

I was never interested in playing other people’s songs, mainly because I couldn’t figure them out easily, so I focused on my own song writing. Quickly I formed my first band with my friend John. We called ourselves Stihl Tree Branch and played one show at a defunct bookstore off of Hawthorne. We didn’t have a microphone stand, so we made one out of PVC pipe and duct taped the mic to it. In partial our set included a couple of original tunes and the covers: “Undone-The Sweater Song,” “It’s Good to be King,” and “James Dean,” by a relatively unknown band (at that time) known as The Goo Goo Dolls.

Throughout high school, I played random coffee shops and ripped off Elliott Smith a bunch. I was scheduled to play the last show at Thee O Cafe with Jordan (doing a set of acoustic Wipers songs), but due to others over playing their set list and protective parents, I was picked up before we could perform.

Now in college, I wrote and recorded under the name Ampere and played a bunch of coffee shops and open mic nights. The Ampere CD got me a show at the 1201 Cafe and an invitation to the CMJ (College Music journal) Music Festival in New York. But because I was poor and interning, instead of working a paying job, I couldn’t afford to fly out to NYC.

Eventually, I was asked to join my friend’s band as a second guitarist. Thus Society Club was formed. We recorded a small album and played some shows in the Seattle area. The rehearsals were the most fun since we had our own practice space. One week the drummer was out of town on business so the rest of the band went in and recorded a four song ep under the name The Rain Preservation Collective. Eventually, I was told that the band was breaking up, but 3 members were going to start another band and they might play some of the old songs. What a nice way to be kicked out of the band. But all for the best. Before I left Seattle, I recorded another ep under the name …That Which Binds Us.

Then I moved back to Portland and tried to post some ads to find kids to play with but to no avail. I then worked on another ep under the newly found name over creston. Then life got in the way and I found myself moving around a bunch over the next couple of years, but now I’m secure in an apartment where the next chapter of over creston is being written and recorded.


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