Lars Gotrich from NPR Music has hands down written and supported some of the best up and coming bands from the independent scene today. A fan his writing already, his recommendations on music were always a required listen. Halfway through the recording of the podcast I realized, some of our musical upbringing overlapped. It became clear then why I connected so well to his writing. Lars is a true independent voice on music among a quickly crowded scene of clickbait opinions.
On March 8th, the Washed Up Emo Podcast is going live and teaming up with Modern Vinyl for a double bill at Brooklyn’s Union Hall. We’ll both be doing our shows with some cool live twists, the further details of which we’ll be unveiling as we get closer to the show.
This is about the classic album "Through Being Cool" from Saves the Day. A one of a kind record that still sounds as new as it did back in the late 90s. What you may not know is where that red headed girl on the cover is. Washed Up Emo found her and guess what? She's awesome. Friends, say hello to Taryn Hickey, the girl from the "Through Being Cool" cover!
When not on iconic album covers from the late 90s, what do you do for a living?
That's a really hard question to answer. I never get sick of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Bikini KIll or Nine Inch Nails so maybe those are my favorite bands? Some days I feel the need to listen to the Subhumans or Blatz (or stuff like that) for hours on end. Other days I listen to nothing but oldies. Sometimes it's stuff like Rival Schools, The Get Up Kids or The Promise Ring. Whenever I cook at home I always listen to Big Band music or Django Reinhardt. I have a deep, deep love for power ballads/80's anthems. If you put on "After All" by Peter Cetera and Cher or Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" I will sing EVERY word on the top my lungs. My music taste is all over the place so trying to pin point to one group or genre is difficult.
How did you meet Saves The Day?
I was working for a record label called Blackout. A project I was working on at the time was the Punk Rock Jukebox vol 2. A friend of mine was a friend of Chris. She mentioned this project to him and said he wanted Saves the Day to record a song for it. I was so psyched about. "Can't Slow Down" had just come out and I was huge fan. They ended up recording "Cheer" by the Descendents (which never ended up making it on the record). I went to the (now defunct) club Brownies to pick up the tape from Chris. That was our first time meeting each other. He was 18 and I was 19 going on 20. He and Bryan were attending NYU and living in the dorms close by. We all became fast friends. David and I became the closest, probably because we were the same age. He was going to college in Massachusetts but he would come back to NYC area often for practice and to see his family in NJ. When he would drive home from Mass he would always make my parents house in Westchester a stop for him (it was a convenient stop for him between school and his parents house). One time he came with a cassette tape for me. It was an early copy of "Through Being Cool" (which I still have). He gave me strict instructions to play it for no one, which of course I didn't listen to and went right over to my friend Meredith's dorm at SUNY Purchase and played it for her. We listened to that tape for weeks straight. It was a really fun time for everyone. You knew after the first listen to that record....something big was about to happen, but we didn't know what yet.
How did the photo shoot come about for the cover?
I am not 100% sure who came up with the idea. I remember the guys talking about how they wanted to layout to just be all their friends hanging out at a party. Which essentially is what it was. Mostly everyone who was there that day were friends or at least friendly from going to shows. The the idea of all of them looking for David at the party came into play and I was the girl who David asked be in the photo with him.
Do you remember what you were doing the day before this shoot?
I wish I could remember!!!!! I was probably just being a teenager and hanging out at my parents house. If you were asking me about the day before the "Shoulder to the Wheel" video I could definitely tell you. That video was shot at David's parents house and I spent the day before baking a bunch of treats for everyone.
How long did it take?
I'm pretty sure it was just one day. It was shot at a friend of the band's apartment in Queens.....I think it was Queens. It was a really long time ago.
How did you see their career change after this record came out?
That was a really cool time for music. It didn't matter what genre of hxc you were. Bands just played with each other. A great example of this was a new years eve show at Geoff Rickly's basement in New Brunswick. It was Saves the Day, Kid Dynamite, Thursday, Poison the Well and The Movie Life. My favorite tour they did was Saves the Day, Fastbreak, Kid Dynamite and I think Snapcase was the headliner. Now a days that would make so sense. a pop punk band playing with a youth crew band, a more punk hxc band and a metal band. It was friends playing with friends. It was so much fun. There was a show at Manville Elks Lodge in NJ....Saves The Day, New Found Glory and The Get Up Kids, who were on Vagrant Records at the time. They invited Saves the Day onto their bus because they wanted them to sign to Vagrant. I remember everyone being like "Holy Shit....we went on their bus!" Busses weren't common then like the are now a days so it was a huge deal. Saves the Day signed to Vagrant. When they got their first bus everyone was so psyched. It was the feeling of we made it. It only grew from there.
What has changed most since this photo became so iconic in the scene?
What do you love about knowing you're on this cover? And what do you hate?
I love this cover because it is like a time capsule for me. Any time I look at it I'm reminded of a very specific (and fun) time in my life. It makes me nostalgic for my youth. The only I hate about this cover is not being able to see the people who were a part of it more often.
Do you still keep in touch with the guys in the band?
I still talk to Chris and see him whenever they play. The rest of the guys I'm friends with on Facebook. Same with the current members of the band, all who I absolutely adore. I think this version of the band reminds me most of the "Through Being Cool" days. Everyone from their manager to the members are such great people. It feels like the old days.
What are some of your favorite bands today?
My favorite new band out there is this band from Brooklyn called Sick Feeling. If Negative Approach got together with Andy Warhol and had a really bratty baby....that would be Sick Feeling. I listen to their new record almost every day. I've been listening to that Bleachers record a lot. I'm a big fan of Nothing. Cold Cave is another band I like a alot. That album "Cherish the Light Years" is incredible. I really like stuff like Hunx and his Punks and Shannon and the Clams. I am not ashamed to admit that I absolutely love the new Taylor Swift record. That girl killed it.
One of my favorite writers on today's scene is David Anthony. We sad down not long ago to discuss the state of music, his upbringing and thoughts on the scene moving forward. I learned a ton from this chat and I hope you do too. Fun fact: David was one of the first to check out the podcast and support it. Happy to have him on!
Starting February 2nd, we'll be on The Basement channel through DashRadio.com every week on Monday at 8pm PST/11pm EST. You can download the Dash Radio app for free on iTunes and Android or listen through the web.
We'll be playing the best of yesterday and today's tunes from the independent scene.