When I arrived in Denver in 2001, Tony Owen’s and mine’s first priority was getting Reno Divorce up and running again. We were lucky enough to pick up Andrew Erich and Seth Evans from an online add, one of which I can’t even remember now. These were pre-Craigslist days, and there weren’t any “drummer and bassist available for a heavily Social Distortion influenced punk band” ads floating around. It was obvious upon meeting each other that these cats were cut from a different cloth than Tony and me, but even though we may have not have looked the same or had the same musical taste, this band of misfits shared a very important common denominator; being outsiders.
Only Seth was a Colorado native, growing up on the mean streets of Montebello, which is where we would practice to the neighbors dismay and then later encouragement. Since nobody had any real connections in town, getting a gig was damn near impossible. Back in Orlando, the original members of Reno Divorce had recorded a six song EP and a few live recordings to compile a demo called “Web of Lies”, but to say it was rushed and poorly produced is an understatement. If you own a copy, it’s probably because you and me are very good friends and you’ve sworn not to proliferate it. Not that we were bad; in fact, we were years ahead of our time and a great live band. We just hadn’t learned how to make records yet. We heard about a studio in Denver called 8 Houses Down run by a dude named Matt VanLueuven. He operated out of an industrial garage off 3rd and Kalamath, if my memory serves me, and he lived there with his girlfriend.
Matt was a great engineer and somehow by the end of it all we walked out with an album called “Naysayers and Yesmen”. Originally intended as a demo to conjure up gigs, fate intervened when Scott Reynolds of ALL, Goodbye Harry, and The Pavers heard it and sent it to Aston Stephens at Boss Tunage Records in London. On Scott’s recommendation, Aston released the record and got it reviewed, probably through channels of the British mafia, in Kerrang! Magazine where it received four out of five “K’s”. Our first European tour ensued and the rest is history. This record captures the bravado and frustration of trying to be taken seriously in a local scene which at the time was very leery of outsiders. It was definitely the most polished and focused effort for us up until then, and we couldn’t have been prouder of ourselves. Since then, I think my songwriting is more solid and my guitar playing a little more sure-handed, but there’s no denying the hints of what’s to come on this freshman effort.
Along with this, we have coupled our 2005 EP “Laugh Now, Cry Later”, which to me shows us departing even further from the Social Distortion-based canvas but still painted with broad strokes of a Souther California brush. And if that isn’t enough, we’ve included the “Cowboy” Jack Clements penned Johnny Cash gem “I Guess Things Happen That Way” and a very early, yet confident, version of “Behind Closed Doors”, which would appear on our 2009 record “Tears Before Breakfast”. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past and we look forward to seeing you at a show where you can hear these tunes after being barrel aged for 14 years. I think you’ll appreciate the way we revisit them and preserve their punk rock spirit.