When the Killingtons perform a reunion show at the Glass House this Sunday, they'll have another band from the class of '00 alongside them. That'd be OC's much-loved Teen Heroes, who rated number 79 on this paper's list of the best local bands ever and whose Weezer-style power-pop got them just about to the point where you'd think they were gonna break nationally... and then they broke up in the parking lot of Chain Reaction in the summer of 2000.
After the jump: A Q&A with the band, show info.
On their only full-length, Audio Satellite, they were Jesse Wilder (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Pete Berberich (guitar, background vocals), Alexis Haretakis (bass), and Jeremiah Farchik (drums, background vocals), but keyboardist Ikey Owens was a crucial member, too, years before he'd go worldwide with the Mars Volta. He's interviewed here though he won't be appearing Sunday. (Bass will be covered by the Hunting Accident's Nate Greely.)
This is just a one-shot for the Heroes, but loyal fans--like the suicide bomber in their decidedly pre-9/11 video for "Radio Listener"--will still get a special treat. The band promises a brand-new still-untitled song and two never-recorded oldies for download in honor of this weekend's little trip back in time.
What would the wise old Teen Heroes of today most want to say to the young naïve Teen Heroes of the year 2000?
Jesse Wilder: Oh, Jesus ...
Ikey Owens: There's so many things I'd tell Past Ikey. That'd be a book.
Pete Berberich: Roll with the punches. Don't take everything so seriously. That was one of the big problems. Me personally, I took everything a little too seriously and sometimes it probably got in the way of creative potential and possibly alienated other members of the band.
JW: I might have said the exact opposite.
'Alienate more people?'
JW: You know--you're young and you got lead-singer syndrome and the cockiness thing going on. 'I'm gonna keep writing songs and everyone's gonna keep loving it! The band broke up? I'll start another! Oh wait--nobody cares about this band! I shoulda stuck with the old band!'
IO: That IS what Future Jesse would say. It's like right out of Back To The Future.
What would the young Teen Heroes be most shocked about if they met you all now?
IO: I'm getting into boxing. That would surprise Young Ikey.
Jeremiah Farchik: I'n surprised I still work at my job. This isn't what I was supposed to do with my life! I still work at a hell hole! But I'm a rocker!
PB: This isn't how shit was supposed to go down! I was pretty sure I was gonna be doing music for a living. It's kind of a kick in the nuts a little.
How does the music of Teen Heroes fit into the world of 2010?
JW: It doesn't at all! I never thought I'd say it but wow--these songs are so '90s! People going to the show are gonna love the nostalgia of when they owned the record, but I don't think if someone had never heard us that they'd be like, 'Wow--that's cutting edge!'
PB: But there's stuff we never got to record that I think could hold up.
People say the '90s are coming back.
JW: Oh no--does that mean I have to be in a '90s cover band now?
IO: I disagree. The way the record is recorded and mixed--the vocals real loud and kinda bright--that didn't come til later on in rock music. If you listen from a pop perspective, it was mixed--by Jesse!--like a record you'd maybe hear come out much later. Back then, especially in underground bands, people would bury the vocals and everything would sound dull. And I'm not really agreeing with '90s songwriting--to me, songwriting is songwriting. A lot of what Jesse was doing production-wise to me wears fairly well.
PB: At the time, we thought he was crazy. Now we KNOW he's crazy!
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Are you resisting the temptation to change the songs?
JW: I kind of wanted to revamp them in the beginning but getting the material down was hard enough! But we've got different dynamics here and there, and I'm playing one song on piano which I normally wouldn't have done.
JF: I think we've all grown as musicians a little bit. We're a little more mature. Everything's coming together extremely well in the short time we've been together. We've all been recording and performing for years, and so it's just that much easier. It's gonna sound great--we're real excited!
What's something about Teen Heroes that can finally be declassified? The 'now-it-can-be-told' story?
PB: Jeremiah, didn't you record the entire Audio Satellite record naked?
JF: If it wasn't the whole record, it was most of it.
PB: He started recording and then said, 'Hold on, guys!' He ran out and ran back in buck-ass naked and played the record.
IO: I was out of the band by then, I think!
JF: That works for life in general! If the situation's kind of stagnant, someone's gotta throw some excitement into it!