By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Seven years ago the car did swerve out of control, taking the life of Tim Childs, 17-year-old drummer of the Kanker Sores, which was the band Cardamone, DeGuzman and North were in before they morphed into the Icarus Line.
"It was really sad, obviously," says North. "It was horrible. It felt, in a weird way, like all of us died, too. The band was what we did, who we were, and to have that taken away from us suddenly—we felt like we had to start a new band right away or we'd be dead, too."
"Meatmaker" from Penance Soiree is an odd little industrial gutter squall with an insistent hammering beat and paranoid lyrics about voices that talk about choking you in your sleep. It's something of a cautionary tale about someone who falls in love with speed, or, says Cardamone, "It's about anyone who falls in love with anything that gets on top of them and takes away who they used to be."
But doesn't Cardamone, clutching his phone, waiting for a call, ever worry about losing himself?
"I have very strong will," he says. "At least I like to think that."
He looks out into the street.
"On tour, the less of a conscience you have, the more happiness you can have. The more open you are to making yourself happy, the easier happiness is to obtain."
Later that night at the after party at the Beauty Bar: there is a group of five or six fashionable young things who cluster into a bathroom stall and then spill out, vacant-eyed and numb-nosed, again and again, before returning to their perch, less than 10 feet away from the bathroom. One grips her nose, holds her nostril for a second with the pad of her acrylic-nailed thumb. Apparently, there's no lock on the bathroom because bar patrons keep opening the door and then, embarrassed, shutting it quickly. One of the youths is a conspicuous member of a famous New York City band.
Same shit, different coast.
North, who sits in a booth on the other side of the bar, says he doesn't mind being the one who doesn't partake.
"I'm not anyone's dad," he says. "I don't give a shit what anyone else does. Even if I wasn't in a band with people who do it all the time, I'm from Hollywood. Everyone I know is fucking doing blow. Everyone my age is always drinking. You can't escape it. But it doesn't bother me."
Cardamone isn't inside the Beauty Bar, turning up instead about half a block outside the club, sitting on the sidewalk, talking to some friends. As he waves goodbye to you, you notice that, for the first time today, he has a relaxed, genial look on his face. He looks content. He looks happy.The Icarus Line perform with Battles and Evaporators at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067; www.allages.com. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $8. All ages.