On paper, the pairing might sound a bit puzzling: a seminal melodic hardcore-turned-pop punk band from the turn of the millennium touring with a darling indie-punk outfit born a full decade later. But it’s the yin and yang of Chris Conley and Barry Johnson – respective frontmen of Saves The Day and Joyce Manor – that make their two bands such perfect partners for a co-headlining tour.
In today’s oversaturated punk rock culture — one that includes subgenres and artists that have been commercialized, parodied and meme-ified – the legend of Jeromes Dream might sound like satire to an uninformed outsider: Performing with their backs to their audiences, with a singer who yelps without a microphone over frenzied guitar riffs and drum fills, the band released two albums in the span of two years, and promptly broke up with no sign of ever reforming. But any true hardcore punk fan knows that it’s the other way around: Jeromes Dream were the OGs, and all the watered-down “screamo” bands who followed just bastardized the band’s trademarked violent style….
For most rock fans, Woodstock ’99 is remembered within the frames of breaking MTV News updates, interrupting episodes of Daria with terrifying images of an apocalyptic hellscape in flames. But for a relative few, Woodstock’s third incarnation will forever live as a series of gnarly, grody, jarring experiences that they can feel as much as see in their memories.
I know – I was there. While Woodstock ’99 was a cautionary tale for a lot of rockers, it was three days of total madness for me. And looking back on it, what’s even more troubling than how gross it all got (the greed and lack of foresight of its promoters; the subsequent sexual misconduct, arson, and theft of its frustrated attendees), is that it was also the most fun I’d ever had in my life.
In Brooklyn’s industrial Bushwick neighborhood, Aphex Twin recently played New York for the first time in two decades, surely drawing one of the most diverse crowds a single artist showcase ever has. Yet, even beyond Richard D. James, electronic music has proven it’s no longer just for ravers and DJs. Hip-hop and heavy metal have both never been so mainstream; rock is much more than just guitar, bass, and drums. Thank the internet, the home recording evolution, or the endurance of the punk rock ethos: however you attribute it, music fans in 2019 — The Golden Age of Crossover — know no boundaries. Thus, it makes sense that here in Bushwick, at two-year-old venue Elsewhere, goth kids, metalheads, and indie rock fans would coalesce for a completely sold out show headlined by Los Angeles industrial noise rock outfit, HEALTH.
Jeremy Enigk is haunted by ghosts. They’re not all bad – some are quite friendly, in fact. And by talking to him backstage before his most recent performance at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge, one thing is for sure: he is at peace with all of them. The former frontman of seminal post-hardcore band Sunny Day Real Estate – often cited as inspiring an entire modern “emo” movement, a credit Jeremy has seemingly come to reluctantly accept – has parlayed a career as an enigmatic, brooding rock star into one as an accessible, demonstrative singer-songwriter. It’s a transition most hardcore, metal, or alt-rock musicians are unable to successfully make as they age, but Jeremy has done so with grace and beauty.
….When I finally meet Chris and Jeremy backstage before their show at Brooklyn’s Elsewhere, I can’t keep the feels from flooding back. Though Mineral now take up far less of my attention than they once did, the mere sight of them in the flesh reflexively brings up the longing, sadness, and frustration of my late teen years. Immediately and involuntarily, I find myself promising my heroes that I won’t punish them in the interview that’s about to transpire, despite the impact their work had had on me as an impressionable high schooler….