It has been one year to the day that a small pile of shingles hit my head and I started writing this book. Sounds like a strange form of inspiration but that's what happened. Here is an update on what all has gone on since the last March 1st . . .
My initial intentions were to showcase various bands that made an impact on what is sometimes dubbed post-hardcore, rarely dubbed whatever-you-call-it-core, but often dubbed emo. My intentions are still intact but there is a whole lot more to just retelling a band's past. Inspired by the idea of "art and community" (as Zach Barocas put it), this is a serious look at creating art on your own terms, being part of a community and why those are still important today. I'm not trying to sound bitter, but after seeing a form of underground music be molded into something simple and marketable, I feel I should speak up.
So far, I have interviewed the following (this is not for bragging rights - this is to show how extensively I've gone to get facts straight from the sources, not just from articles and interviews):
Ian MacKaye, all of the members of Jawbox, all of the members of Braid, Adam and Chris from Jawbreaker, William Goldsmith from Sunny Day Real Estate/The Fire Theft, Dan and Davey from the Promise Ring, Jason Black from Hot Water Music, Matt Pryor from the Get Up Kids, Jim Ward from At the Drive-In/Sparta, Jarrett Wrenn from At the Drive-In, Zach Lind from Jimmy Eat World, engineer/producer Ed Rose, Dave Marsh from WHFS, John Davis from Q and Not U, Matt Lunsford from Polyvinyl Records, Elizabeth Elmore of Sarge/the Reputation, Norm Arenas from Texas is the Reason, Mike Harbin from Burning Airlines/Silverthree Recordings, Darren Walters from Jade Tree, Bryan Jones from Horace Pinker/OffTime Records and Ron Marschall from Christie Front Drive.
In addition to my interviews, a lot of my research material comes from back issues of Punk Planet, Alternative Press, Law of Inertia, Flipside, Maximumrocknroll, Guitar World, Rolling Stone, NME, various online articles, interviews and fanzines, along with films like Another State of Mind, DIY or Die, Hype!, Instrument, The Decline of the Western Civilization and what I remember from listening to Sunday night radio specialty shows and watching 120 Minutes on MTV. That's just the tip of the iceberg with research/inspiration; almost everything I watch/hear influences me.
The structure of this book is very similar to Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life. As in, the chapters are broken up by band/label. I am focusing on one crucial label and nine bands: Dischord Records, Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, Braid, the Promise Ring, Hot Water Music, the Get Up Kids, At the Drive-In and Jimmy Eat World. I'm not trying to be super-comprehensive; I'm focusing on bands/labels that you cannot argue their influence. Sure, there will be a lot of bands/labels that will get at least a mention, but those nine bands and one label are the main focus.
As of today, I have significant ground broken on all of the chapters (including an introduction and an epilogue) but I have no idea as to when this will be done. Watch this blog for updates. Feel free and leave a comment below or drop me an e-mail at this address (connect the dots here so I don't get spammed by bots): ejgrubbs at comcast.net