Fast forward to 1999 when Adrian and Scott, broke and jobless, reunited in a move to a ramshackle house in Washington, D.C. Their loose plan was to get some jobs, maybe play some music, and collectively get settled in the Nation’s Capital. The heyday of hardcore in D.C. had all but gone, yet there were still plenty of shows to see, and Adrian's ears started searching the radio waves for something different - anything that would speak to him.
On one of the hazy, humid D.C. Sunday mornings the country sounds of Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, and other early country artists and soon songs about rural isolation, love, redemption, and wandering started to fill the house. Adrian strapped on a thumbpick and began to imitate the sounds he heard on the radio, finding that the injuries to his left hand were not as limiting when playing this older style. Scott stripped his drum kit down to the bare essentials of bass drum and snare, and added an old pot from the kitchen, claiming it as his new, ugly, over-sized cowbell.
The original songs start flowing like water, the beat and guitar chug became meaner, and Shortstack began laying its first set of tracks. Mike Pahn, a refugee from Memphis, TN, caught one of the band’s earliest shows where they were seen banging out ragged versions of traditional songs. Any country music aficionado would have been appalled at the sacrilegious treatment of the material, but Mike saw it differently. He was smart enough to know that what he heard was proto-rock-n-roll emanating from a time before Elvis - the tonality and execution of early rock-n-roll without the pompadours and all such gimmicks through which it is commonly filtered and fetishized. Mike heard how Shortstack stumbled upon the energy of hill music and mutated it with the tension present in rock n' roll.
He knew that to really cook, it needed upright bass. He offered, and the boys readily accepted. The band played with punk bands, rock bands, country bands, and on their own at any venue that “got it.” But the band was hungry and soon their established sound wasn't enough. The members of Shortstack were ready to evolve and make the sound more their own.
The group invited punk veteran Mike Maran to join, grabbing a lap steel guitar and plugged it in through a fuzz pedal. The resulting sound blew the doors off, and the audiences began to grow. In 2002, Shortstack cut its first record in four days for Planaria Records and headed out of town, leaving the dumbfounded and the converted in its wake. In 2005 the band took another step in its evolution and headed to the Arizona desert to record their second full-length album. Mike Maran was replaced by Burleigh Seaver, a soloist choir boy heard in the score to The Exorcist III, who brought his talents on guitar, violin and vocal harmonies.
With the union of these four men, the future goal and mission of Shortstack took form: to give forth an individualized and contemporary expression of early American music that adamantly eschews all revivalist and retro clichés. Shortstack is a rock n' roll band indifferent to the year they live in and will continue to make rock n' roll, as long as they continue to love, destroy, regret, and repent. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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