Monday, November 21, 2011
Killing Children - Certain Death 7"
Scott somehow tracked me down, having heard that I was a decent drummer. He quickly hired me and North sophomore Dave Fortney, a wry, ironic kid with an impressive forelock, for bass duties. It was really unbelievable good fortune – Killing Children had something approaching a national profile, having been favorably reviewed in prominent national fanzines, and having played shows all over the Midwest. Of course there was the problem of the band name….
Scott was really a delightful guy. A tall, impossibly thin straw-haired nineteen-year-old, he possessed a sharp and irreverent sense of humor. Killing Children was really more a hardcore parody than a real hardcore band. Scott knowingly and mercilessly made fun of the strict hardcore sub-genres, such as skater thrash and death rock. Our live show often included a tongue-in-cheek death march through the crowd in funeral shrouds. Scott was a strong guitarist and an engaging front-man – on a good night, the trio of Scott, Dave and I could match the intensity of most headliners.
I can’t imagine what my parents were thinking, but they permitted me to go on short tours with Scott as the sole adult guardian. On our trips, in a particularly bizarre custom, we ate only Lucky Charms and drank only Little King’s Cream Ale, a barely-drinkable swill of a regional malt liquor. We slept on floors, if at all. I would return from these weekend trips exhausted and sick, wondering if I really had what it took to be a touring musician. It never occurred to me to try actually eating a proper meal or catching a few hours’ sleep.
Scott planned to record a full-length Killing Children album with Dave Fortney and me, and we saved every penny for the recording and pressing. Somehow the album never came together, and I assume the money went to underwrite Scott’s label’s many other projects. I might have been annoyed at the time by the album never coming together, but at this stage in my life I feel very grateful for the experience. Scott taught me about how independent labels work, and how independent distributers get the product into stores. He helped to instill in me a DIY ethic that has guided me throughout my life.
I can’t remember why we stopped doing Killing Children shows, but the band sort of gradually fizzled out after Dave’s and my senior year in high school. Although my musical focus remained hardcore, I started to become interested in certain select non-punk music, such as R.E.M., Lou Reed and the Velvets, L.A. psychedelic revival bands such as The Rain Parade and The Dream Syndicate, roots bands such as The Violent Femmes, Los Lobos, and Jason and the Scorchers, and vintage blues records. I spent more time practicing my guitar than my drums, and I made my first tentative attempts to write songs.
I Am Crazy, I'm Fucked In The Head