Monday, January 12, 2009

Post-Fireclown Or "The Stymie Story"

Two posts ago I wrote about Fireclown that after they split up,at the beginning of '92 Adem,Jeff and James got back together and formed Stymie. Now, I can't understand why Stymie was so little ...... compared to other bands...weren't they grunge enough?(they are grunge enough for me)...Some investigation taken to the corners of the internet, showed that the only place where the band's history is mentioned is their myspace, which, although gave me a lot of answers, raised other questions. So, I managed to track down Adem Tepedelen(one of the band's guitarists), who was kind enough to answer some questions:

Me:Stymie sounds quite different from Fireclown, how have your musical interests changed?
Adem:I think Stymie sounded different for a couple of reasons: some of the people involved were different and were into other styles of music and I think we consciously wanted to play stuff that was less metal and more grunge. Even though we dropped the tuning down to D on the guitars, we also started writing poppier songs--so it was a pretty dramatic change. Another contributing factor is that when I started Stymie in early 1992, I wrote most of the songs, but by the end in 1994 Jeff Kleinsmith wrote most of them. So even Stymie's sound changed dramatically from early songs like "Girl" to later songs like "Creepy Boss."

Me:On your myspace is mentioned that one of your songs was featured on "Things that are heavy", can you tell me who released the compilation and what other artists were featured there?
Adem:Jeff and I started our own record label, New Rage Records (you can find us on MySpace), when we moved to Seattle with Fireclown in 1990. So, we not only put the Fireclown single out on New Rage, we put several Stymie singles out, as well as the "Things That Are Heavy" compilation 7" EP. The other bands on that are Bone Cellar, Sleep Capsule and Unearth (NOT the metalcore band). It's one of my favorite New Rage releases. New Rage also put out several Unearth releases and Stymie's original bass player was actually also in Unearth. He later switched to rhythm guitar in Stymie when Patrick Barber joined us on bass.
Here is a discography of everything we ever released:
• Various artists — "Things That Are Heavy" 7" (New Rage): "Same"
• "other" three-song 7" (New Rage): "Pretty Now"/"Willy's Gone"/"Frogs"
• Various artists — "Choice Bovine Cuts" CD (Bovine): "Girl"
• Two-song split 7" w/Lab Rat (New Rage/Apraxia): "Systematic Break"/"Toil & Folly"
• Split 7" w/Control Freak (New Rage/Cavity Search): "Hair of Gold"
• Various artists — "Teriyaki Asthma Vol. IX" (C/Z): "One Proud Stout"
• "Debut Posthumous" 7" (New Rage): "Creepy Boss"/"France"

Me:With whom have you had shows, besides Flop and The Presidents Of United States of America?
Adem:We played with a ton of different bands over the years--everything from metal to punk. That list includes: Buffalo Tom, Superconductor, Alcohol Funnycar, Silkworm, Sleep, Forced Entry, Gruntruck, Mono Men, Ace Frehley, Love Battery, Everclear, Hazel, Crackerbash, Engine Kid, and many more I can't even remember right now.

Me:Do you remember any remarkable scene during a recording session or even during a show?
Adem:One funny thing happened when we were playing at this big, free outdoor show called Pain in the Grass in Seattle. We were opening for My Sister's Machine who were friends with Alice in Chains. Anyway, Jerry Cantrell came up to us and asked if he could borrow an amp so that he could play a song or two with My Sister's Machine. We were happy to oblige, and since there were three guitarists in Stymie, he could have his pick. He looked at all three, made a face of disgust and disappointment and just walked away. I don't know whose amp he used that day, but it wasn't one of our shitty units!

Me:What happened after Stymie? Did you perform in other band?
Adem:Stymie basically ended in late 1994. We recorded one last single ("Creepy Boss"/"France") in early 1995 and that was pretty much it. Jeff and I tried to kind of keep it going for a little while after that, and we actually had some really amazing songs that Jeff had written, but we just didn't have the enthusiasm to fully get it all going again. We did a couple of reunion shows in 1997 (without Patrick, unfortunately), but that was pretty much the end of the story. Patrick and I played in this improv/noise band called Blowhole for a few years after Stymie (we even got to play Lollapalooza, thanks to Sonic Youth who were the headliners that year). No one else really did anything serious after that. I played drums in a couple of different bands and our drummer James continues to play a couple of times a year in a cover band, with Fireclown's old bassist Karl. We're all still very close actually.

Choice Bovine Cuts (Compilation)

Things That Are Heavy 7"(Compilation)

Debut Posthumous 7"
Creepy Boss

Thanks again Adem...


Don't MIND ME said...

Man! New Rage Records had a lot of great bands,you know, like Daddy hates box, Alcohool, Funnycar, Sweet water, but Stymie were the shit.

Daniela said... guess I'm falling for the author of this blog :P
Great post, you are a natural talent! ;)

Anonymous said...

The "Girl" song is very touchy and very grungey.
Nice job with the post!