Earaches emerge at Whiskey Dick’s during Seattle revival
Loud Seattle rock didn’t begin or end with so-called grunge, and South Shore audiences can hear the proof Thursday.
“There was a really healthy, vibrant garage rock scene here that had its seeds at the time of the big grunge explosion, but as that died, I think it kind of filled in the vacuum there,” said August Henrich, the lead guitarist and vocalist for the Earaches, who make their South Lake Tahoe debut Thursday at Whiskey Dick’s.
“I’ve heard good things about the place we were playing,” Henrich said. “I’ve heard it’s a pretty good time, that they get a good crowd.”
Back in Seattle, the closing of the Crocodile Cafe in December represented “the final nail in the grunge coffin,” Henrich said, adding that the city has lost a lot of its small-town charm. But the end of grunge didn’t leave Seattle with only coffeehouse world-music compilations to listen to. The city is experiencing what Henrich called “the big rock revival.”
“Now people are back to rocking out and having fun and putting on a good show.”
Such record labels as Estrus and Empty, featuring bands like Gas Huffer, have been leading the rock renaissance, and now the Earaches are taking the show on the road.
Over the past 10 years, the Reckless Bastards have morphed into the current incarnation of the Earaches: Henrich, guitarist Zak Schneider, Oni Timm on bass and drummer Steve Jones, who also acts as the band’s manager. Some classify the Earaches as garage punk, but that seems a narrow label for Henrich.
He cited classic ’50s rock along the lines of Chuck Berry as his influences, along with the Velvet Underground and the Minutemen, but said the whole band agrees on AC/DC and the MC5.
“We don’t like to limit ourselves so much with that label, because on every album there’s music that goes beyond those boundaries,” Henrich said. “I think we kind of go with the punk attitude of doing what we want and doing it ourselves, but musically, I think we draw from the whole map.”
The Earaches are also all over the map geographically: The Time For Fuzz 2008 West Coast Tour began in Seattle and will swing through Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona before ending in San Francisco on March 22.
Joining the Earaches at Whiskey Dick’s will be labelmates and fellow Seattle band Holy Name Dropouts.
According to their MySpace profile (myspace.com/holynamedropouts), Oni Yuck, Justin Butrick and Jones play stripped-down rock without the shtick.
That’s a commodity that’s gotten Seattle rocking again. Henrich joked that it’s finally safe to wear flannel there again but leaves the impression that the Earaches aren’t that interested in doing what’s safe.
“If I could say anything to people, what I’d say is whatever you stand for, get out there and stand up for it.”