Monday, December 19, 2005

Post excerpt

Here's a little bit from the Jawbreaker chapter. The line about the merry-go-round seems to echo my current mood:

DGC was behind the record and got the band a lot of publicity, but they couldn’t wait forever for Jawbreaker to break out. “There was definitely a six-month wait-and-see period,” Schwarzenbach told Punk Planet years later. “We were doing a lot of big press with newspaper columnists and, almost always, they had no familiarity with the band and none of them would say if they even halfway liked our record.” The band kept moving along and they had a few new songs in development, but overall, their shot on a major label had passed. “Our intention with a major label was to try to move it up to a new level and to do something different with the band,” Bauermeister said. “After a year of trying to market ourselves, we were still in the same place we were before. It looked as though nothing had changed. We would have to tour even more.”

The band was on a constantly moving merry-go-round, but a much bigger one than when they were on an indie label. “During that time I was worried so much - the joy was often only in hindsight,” Schwarzenbach said. “Like the tour we did with the Foo Fighters: it was fun to be with them, because we had friends in the band, but generally it felt like we were being pulled along. We were riding something that was really disorientating. That’s when I felt like I was worried over everything. I was constantly looking forwards and backwards. I was incapable of actually being there. In a way, I don’t think we could enjoy it because we didn’t know where we were.”

The more touring they did, the more the tensions between the three of them, especially between Bauermeister and Schwarzenbach, worsened. Bauermeister harbored a grudge that Schwarzenbach had taken over the band, feeling like Jawbreaker was Schwarzenbach’s show with a backing band. When time came to do press for Dear You, the focus was on Schwarzenbach and his lyrics, often making light of the other two’s contributions. In Bauermeister’s eyes, he felt he had hit a glass ceiling with playing in Jawbreaker. Here he was, about to turn 30 and still playing teenager music.

After playing a show in Eugene, Oregon, Bauermeister wanted to get home as soon as possible. “I had asked whether we could drive down that night, but after taking Adam to the airport in Portland, I was told we were staying,” he remembers. “More correctly, I came back to find Blake and our roadies partying with the other bands and was then told that we weren’t driving back. When I tried to make my argument as we were driving back to the motel, Blake’s response was to spit gum in my hair, so I threw the van in park and went for his throat.”

The two of them ended up getting out of the van and fought on a sidewalk. A house party was going on right in front of them and people were yelling at the two of them to get out of there so the cops wouldn’t come. Driving to San Francisco after their scuffle, the two had a lot of time to talk. “Blake and I had a long talk that evening and on our drive down [and] the fight served to diffuse a lot of tension that was happening between us,” Bauermeister says. “And then we continued our tour.” Doing a few more sporadic shows around the country, their final show of the tour was in Olympia, Washington.

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