My older brother, Kiran, was supposed to be the musician in the family. My uncle had given him a guitar. My mom had enrolled him in some music classes…. I loved music, so I wanted to try playing. But I never set out to do anything real or professionalhence my first, terrible band. At this point in time, my brother wasn’t super supportive. He was actually very territorial about many things at that time… especially of his friends and his interests. So, I was sort of surprised when he introduced me to Sam Bennett. In retrospect, I guess he and Sam weren’t exactly best friends, so I guess the introduction is a bit more understandable.
I don’t really remember how exactly Sam and I started playing. Sam was interested in recording live shows and putting out short-run tapes of them. He was also interested in dabbling in music. I was a beginner musician and owned a 4-track given to me by my grandfather. Anyway, the introductions are fuzzy, but I do know that our experience together with music started with DWAB songs. We recorded at Sam’s house sometimes, and sometimes at mine. Nothing big. Mostly stuff that ended up as part of Music for and About Gods.
Then, Spring Break came, and Sam and I decided to challenge ourselves to record a demo over the week. Surprisingly, we achieved our goal, though the end product isn’t anything to really brag about. We didn’t have a name for our “band.” Although DWAB was already in existence, this wasn’t DWAB. So, we decided to simply name the tape after its release number on Sam’s cassette label, Rotten Metropolis. This was the second release, hence the name. (See also: Rotten Metropolis #2).
Anyway, we evolved into Jeberrekenelle when Brian joined the team. We also tightened up a lot. Sam was the wild kid when we played live, jumping around on stage while Brian and I frantically tried to keep things together. Still, we were super cool.
Jeberrekenelle eventually broke up, largely because of laziness and differing priorities between the band members. Brian wanted to focus more on his other bands, and Sam and I were quite lazy about practicing. Towards the end, I don’t think we were practicing more than once a month.
After Jeberrekenelle broke up, Sam and I didn’t do too much with music for a while. I focused on writing DWAB songs, using a drum machine as back-up. Then Mike Ruehle asked me if I wanted to play bass in a hardcore band with him. I accepted and we started practicing.
Sam was also playing in a new band, 60 Cycle Hum, and both of our bands practiced at the Living Room. One day, the other members of both of our bands were late, so Sam and I decided to jam together with Sam on drums and me on bass. That was the start of Folk Songs.
Folk Songs sort of took over from where Jeberrekenelle left off. The main change was that there were fewer buildups and fewer transitions. Our songs were played loud and fast, almost like we were trying to make sure that we could finish playing them before we broke up. And we knew we were breaking up soon with Sam getting ready to move across the country to North Carolina.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve done with Sam. Although our styles are drastically differentas are our musical interestswhenever we get together to play, it always seems like really cool things end up being produced. And to be honest, without Sam’s lead, I probably would have never played seriously. I would never have been actively involved in the Santa Barbara punk scene. So, thank you, Mr. “Two Ts, damnit!” Bennett.
Check out Sam's personal (photography) site here.