Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As Friends Rust







City: Pompano Beach/Gainesville
Years Active: 1996 - 2002
Type of Music: Emo-core
Myspace or Website: http://www.myspace.com/asfriendsrustrip

Okay before I let the band tell you their story, I just want to say I love As Friends Rust. I remember hearing the demo and being really into it but kinda forgetting them because they didnt do much for a while. After seeing them at a fest in Sarasota, I would basically drive all over Florida to see them. I still listen to them regularly and am working on going to see their reunion in August. August 15th, 2008 in Gainesville so mark your calender. Here's to hoping that Damien does another hardcore/emo-core band because the world of hardcore misses him. Also, if anyone has the original demo, hit me up because theres one song on there that didnt make it onto the Fists of Time and I want it.

Taken from the AFR Myspace:

Creation

In 1996, Jeronimo, Henry Olmino and Matt Crum - who were playing together under the moniker "Wayside" - recruited Damien Moyal, who had fronted Culture, Morning Again and Shai Hulud - and was also doing Bird of Ill Omen and Culture at the time - to step in on vocals. The sound was a distinct amalgam of Samiam, Split Lip and Gorilla Biscuits. Much screamier than the following efforts, the band wrote quickly and passionately, and in no time was playing, kicking ass and taking numbers across Miami. Actually, the band's first show was a Pixies tribute, where they covered "Hey" from the album 'Doolittle' and "The Sad Punk" off of 'Trompe Le Monde.' The band stepped into the studio to record the first of several efforts with acclaimed producer James Paul Wisner, and made off with a pretty impressive 6-song session. Four of these would later be released, while the other two remain unattainable. The band sent out demo cassettes (remember those?) to a plethora of labels, all of whom - including Doghouse Records (who later signed AFR) and Equal Vision Records (who released the band's finale) - turned them down. The band eventually split up, as Damien planned his move to Gainesville to pursue Culture, and the remaining members began to lay the foundation for Rocking Horse Winner.



Reincarnation

By autumn of 1997, Damien was settling into Gainesville to begin his new life. While things in Culture were going well, he craved the speed and fun of a less heavy, dogmatic outfit. It just so happened that Steve Looker, guitarist for Culture, was a huge fan of AFR's ignored demo, and suggested that they put together a new line-up of the band, provided the original members were cool with it. They were, and the search for a new line-up began. Ironically, Steve never ended up playing with the band, as he left Gainesville to play in Morning Again. In early 1998, the team was assembled. Timothy Kirkpatrick, who had recently joined Culture on drums, assumed the same duties in the new AFR. Kaleb Stewart, who nobody in the band really knew, but had mentioned to Damien once "Hey, if you ever need a bass player for anything..." stepped in on bass. The two guitarists at this point were Gordon Tarpley (also of Culture) and Joseph Simmons, who had played in Bird of Ill Omen with Damien, and had recently parted ways with Morning Again and moved to Gainesville to join Culture, in a strange "trade" for Steve Looker. Anyhow, this band quickly wrote a song - yes, just one - and hopped into the studio with Gainesville's famous Rob MacGregor. The song was "Home is Where the Heart Aches" and was added to 4 of the 6 songs from the original line-up's recording, and released on Good Life Recordings as "The Fists of Time" EP. Gordon left, and was replaced by Peter Bartsocas, who was an old friend of Damien and Joe, and had also played in BOIO with them back in Miami. The band learned those older tunes, wrote a couple more new ones, and immediately began to tour. Discount took AFR out on the road with them in the summer of 1998, covering the east coast and midwest, twice over. As AFR had no van, Jim Reed (known admirably as "Diggler") took them in his Astro van. At the end of the summer, Peter left the band and was replaced by James Glayat (who had played with Tim in Roosevelt, way back in the day) and a new EP was recorded, co-released by Good Life Recordings and Doghouse Records. This EP was intended to be self-titled, but was mistakenly referred to as the "God Hour" EP by Good Life in all of their marketing materials. By autumn of 1998, Europe had already caught on to the enigma that would become As Friends Rust, and the band made plans to tour there in the winter. They recorded one more song - "The First Song on the Tape You Make Her" - for a split with Discount, whom they brought along to Europe, to return the favor. The tour was a success. As the new EP's were just getting into fans' hands, the new songs proved to be bigger and catchier than the old, and the crowd response was deafening. This member roster would remain intact for several more years of touring, but unfortunately would record nothing else. Being poor, drinking and fighting ended up being what the band chose to do rather than actually writing songs or recording, so they toured virtually the same set for about three years. It never seemed to bother fans, though. Nonetheless, this era of the band would go down as the 'real' AFR, in terms of passion, performance and plain old fun. Cut to late summer of 2000. Following three years of relentless touring in the US and abroad (mostly abroad, actually), the band lost 3 key members in one fell swoop. Kaleb, Tim and James split, leaving only Joe and Damien to decide whether or not the pieces should be picked up, or the band should be laid to rest.



Resuscitation

At the end of 2000, with a point to prove, Joe and Damien brought in new members. Chris 'Floyd' Beckham (who had played bass in Culture a couple of years earlier) stepped in on guitar. Little Alex, an old friend of Floyd's from Ohio came in on drums, and Guy (of Army of Ponch fame) played bass. Determined to release a full-length LP, which had not yet happened for the band, the new version of AFR began writing. And write they did. Demo versions of two songs ("Morningleaver" and "This is Me Hating You") were recorded at Rob MacGregor's studio for a limited edition Doghouse Fan Series 7". Soon after, Tom Rankine (another former Bird of Ill Omen member) joined in on bass, and Zach Swain (previously of Orlando's Carlisle) took over on drums. Within a few months, an album's worth of material had been amassed, and the band - still signed to Doghouse Records - headed into the studio with James Paul Wisner to record its first and only LP "Won." Recorded in summer of 2001 and released in early fall, the band began touring the album diligently, and by autumn was in Europe (with friends Strike Anywhere) showing off its new material, members and sound. The album was widely acclaimed, and the band was attracting the attention of a more mainstream audience and press. During this tour, a sold-out show at London's Camden Underworld was filmed and later released as a DVD on Punkervision.



Termination

Upon returning to the States, AFR started writing its next work, to be released as an EP for Equal Vision Records, who had proposed doing a one-off several years earlier. The band entered the studio - once again, with James Paul Wisner - in February 2002 to record what would be its final release, "A Young Trophy Band in the Parlance of Our Times." Tension was high within the band, as personalities and musical directions clashed. This final EP ended up being the band's most praised release. One week later, Damien - the only remaining founding member - quit the band. They continued under the name As Friends Rust for a few months, but eventually gave it up to pursue other endeavors.

Damien has gone on to do a solo project called Damien Done
Tim continued on to the now defunct Moments in Grace
Kaleb went on to do Grey Goose, Bread Riot and the much missed Cro(w)s
Matt plays various instruments in Feathers as well as ROM
Tom and Joe morphed AFR into Salem, which has since disbanded.
Tom and some of the Salem guys are now playing in Currents
Floyd now plays in J. Page
Peter is the brainchild behind The Drake
James and Peter are bringing Gainesville to NYC with GATORS!
Zach went on to plays drums for How Dare You

You can still order just about everything right here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/103-3406571-3882222?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=as+friends+rust&x=0&y=0

4 comments:

sharkiemckay said...

link to a better quality cover for "Won":

http://ak.buy.com/db_assets/large_images/362/60507362.jpg

The South Florida Scene Past And Present said...

Thanks :)

billy white said...

See you at the reunion show, Chip!

Chris Bloom said...

Having moved to Sarasota over a year ago, I have to say I'm surprised to read there was a hardcore fest in Sarasota at any given point in the past. I mean, I love it here but definitely not for the music scene. Are there still any good hardcore venues in the area?