I moved up to Seattle directly out of college back in 1991 and set about to be in a rock and roll band and join in the scene going crazy up there at the time. I was still pretty green as a drummer and had been playing sax all my life, recording stuff professionally since '85. -- A Jazz guy wants to rock--pfffft!
I was sincere, though, in my desire to make killer recordings and play shows as well as to document stuff and to tour. Pretty early on in my life I decided that the underground music scene not only had the worst music, but also the BEST music, and if you dug around down there long enough you'd come with the most amazing stuff. I still think that.
By 1992 I was in several bands and like everybody else I knew, it seemed, was wanting to get on a compilation or put out a single or a split single to try and get the ball rolling & get signed to a label & start touring & hit the big time, & etc & etc... ahhhh!
But that wasn't happening. I wasn't cool enough, or something.
So, ppppfffffffftttttt: I decided to make my own compilation and put all my bands on it as well as a bunch that I was friends with and hanging out with down at the clubs... well, one club in particular, the STOREROOM TAVERN was the main place that a bunch of us played at and hung out. We were actually beneith the underground scene, even, not really cool enough to play the OFFRAMP or RCKNDY... well, except for just a little.
Nah, mostly we played the STOREROOM, the LAKE UNION PUB and other nasty little dives I don't want to name or give remembrance to, since the owners were, well...jerks. Of course, some places were weird, one-time only freak parties in lofts or warehouses, or apartments or basements, which was cool. The bands playing down at the STOREROOM TAVERN were just as good as the bands getting signed to labels and playing the good clubs with good PAs and stuff! Harumph.
So I decided to do one myself...
And actually, I successfully managed to get quite a few of the local bands that I was into at the time and thought should get more attention-- except for maybe, GORILLA. Oh, well, didn't get them but they ruled, too. I also wanted to have multiple songs by the bands, if they were willing, in order to give folks more of a taste for what the band was about than just one song.
It was a really cool separate little scene within a huge GRUNGE scene, and I really felt that it was worth documenting and preserving. But the feeling didn't last.
By 1993, I was pretty sick of Seattle and its saturated scene. Too much of a good thing, was too much. There were too many bands. Everyone and their little sister and their puppy was in a band and was a "musician". There were too many shows; a lot of really crappy shows mixed in with a few great ones. There was no way to stick out. I felt like I was spinning my wheels. Actually, traffic was horrendous. I decided to move.
So I decided I would move to the town where my favorite bands seemed to be coming from--bands that I would go and buy their albums...which was Austin, Texas.
Throughout 1992, though, I had bands over to my house to party and record them in my newly named little studio, FRUMUNDA, which boasted a DAT recorder and a Yamaha 8-track mixing board, a midi computer/synthesizer set up with Mac computer and floppy drives, several mics, a drum set, saxophones, bass and guitar amps, walls covered in egg crates, and, generally, a bunch of beer and weed. I have a lot of great memories from that old studio space, primitive as it may be by today's standards. We had a blast and made the most of it. Many of the bands were willing to share songs that they had recorded in better studios to be on the comp, too, which made me feel pretty 'cool'.
I forget how many copies I made, but they were on cassette, and they were pretty much gone before I moved to Texas. It was a bunch o tapes. Originally I wanted to put out vinyl. This was 1992, so CDs were out, but not cheap yet and vinyl was cool again...but...I found a dumpster behind an 'elevator music' duplication service place where they would throw out old muzak tapes. So I dumpster dove and nabbed a BUNCH of thrown out cassette tapes. How perfectly punk, and it did what I needed it to do. I made a nice little xeroxed booklet for it, and sealed the whole thing in a brown paper bag that had a sticker on it for $3 bucks. Duplicated by hand. Distributed by hand. Utterly DIY.
It actually got a 5 star review in the paper for being a great comp for all the right, good old fashioned punk reasons. I wish I had a copy of that review...it was probably the highlight of my time in Seattle. One of my few true successes at the time. I think it was a local alternative news paper called THE ROCKET. Shortly before I moved, we had a big party and IT CAME FRUMUNDA showcase at the STOREROOM. An event for the ages! I was happy, plus it mostly cured me of the desire to make compilations.
fast forward to 2017:
This whole re-issuance of the comp thing started for me when I hooked back up with Chris Ballew (Presidents of the United States of America) whom I had been in a band with back then called Creepy Stick. I moved back to Seattle from Austin in 2012 and started hooking up with old friends, and got to Chris. One thing led to another and we decided to start up Creepy Stick again...and yes, Creepy Stick had a song on the original IT CAME FRUMUNDA.
However, in this re-issue of the comp I feel like I just want to put out the stuff by bands that I was not in. Its a much better comp that way to me. By taking out my 'shameless self promotion' I think it actually accomplishes its goal of snapshotting an otherwise under-documented scene. Its also where I come from --BEFORE Texas-- even though I am generally associated with Austin now; My professional career started in Arizona, when I still lived with my parents...Seattle is where I cut out on my own and got started...but Austin is where I actually became a decent musician...
Then I remembered SORE JACKSON and how great they were and how there doesn't seem to be a damned thing about them on the net. Its like they never existed-- and that's a shame because they were such an old favorite. They really are a perfect example of a killer band that you'd never see 'above ground'. They were freaks. I'm surprised that they could even get it together enough to play local shows. Couple of them I heard are dead now. Stuff that potent usually can't last; you've just gotta catch it when it happens. That's a big part of the beauty of the underground music scene to me. Real shits there. I think all of the bands on this comp are great, under-rated bands. If I can get permission, I would remaster and re-release the Sore Jackson Demo along with some live footage...we shall see. At least I had permission from the bands to release this stuff back then, so I'm am assuming that it is still ok...
Remember to support your local underground art movements!
With all that said, if anyone in the bands BONE CELLAR, COLLECTIVE TENSION, JOHN THE BAPTIST, PISS DRUNKS, PLOWED, SLEEPCAPSULE, SORE JACKSON or THE SPLASHDOWNS objects to their old material being re-issued here, please notify me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and I will remove it.
Special cudos, by the way, to SLEEPCAPSULE for actually still being a functioning band all these years later! It was amazing to see them perform recently.
This would, actually, be the 25th year since its creation, so why not! In addition, I remastered it. Or, maybe I should say, I mastered it. I don't think I did that before-- somewhat leveling out the volumes and EQs and stuff like that across the entirety of the LP. Doing that and running the tracks through some current plug-ins in my protools rig really spruced things up I think.
As for the material from the bands I was in...some of that may come out other places, just not here. Hope that's not a bummer for anyone. Creepy Stick in particular...because that band just turned into a recording project. Dave, the other guy in Creepy Stick moved away to Ohio long ago, but his mom still lives in Seattle. So, those two kept jamming all these years whenever he would visit his mom and recorded lots of little snippets on hand held devices. Hopefully the world will soon hear CREEPY STICK, because it is an interesting band--worthy of an entire different disscussion. Until then, I hope you enjoy the 25th year re-issue of IT CAME FRUMUNDA.
This comp (c)(p) 1992/2017
Max Brody/Your Favorite Cheese Musick/BMI
Individual songs (c) belong to the artists
Frumunda Musick--dedicated to the preservation of MODERN RELICS.