Before there was emo, there was screamo. And before there was screamo there was Gravity Records, the genre-defying San Diego label that put out bands that sounded like Antioch Arrow—that is to say, that sounded like nothing before or since. Faster than hardcore, more artsy than punk, and too spazzed out to define, the only label people could come up with for Gravity Records bands was the name of the label itself. Antioch Arrow put out three records from 1993 to 1995 before disappearing as fast as one of their breakneck paced tunes. Two of their members are in Get Hustle—now situated in Portland—and when someone told me that Antioch Arrow's former frenetic frontman Aaron Montaigne was working at Rotture, I thought they must be kidding. They weren't. Not only does Montaigne live here, he's performing at the NO WAR USO #1 event tomorrow night at Rotture. Here's the interview:
LocalCut: Most readers know you from Antioch Arrow. What have you been up to in the fourteen years since AA broke up?
Aaron Montaigne: Since Antioch Arrow, Ive played in many bands including: Crash Worship, Tarot Bolero (with then betrothed Myra Power of Slant 6), The Chandeliers, the Vanity Set (with Jim Sclavounos of The Bad Seeds), and the Dearly Departed (with current wife and singer of Magick Daggers Jessy Montaigne). Lived in New York, San Francisco, and LA. Out of boredom of "independent music", nightlife, the razzmatazz, and a natural starvation for adventure and excitement, I enlisted in the US Army where I did a 12-month tour of Iraq in 2003-2004, and a 15-month tour of Afghanistan in 2006-2007.
And now you're in Portland?
I have been in Portland for about a year living above the Pied Cow. I am apart of a trend of people who think living in huge expensive cities is incredibly passé', and stupid. There is just enough (if not more) glamour, and mystery in Portland than there is in New York, or San Francisco, and it's affordable. I am inspired by the large creative circuit here, and the mind-blowing musical talent. I am often seen walking in the rain, and stealing flowers from my neighbors. I spend a lot of my time writing, and driving dangerously fast down MLK.
What can folks expect from your performance for NO WAR USO #1?
For the "War Time" event I am trying to communicate to people who are interested in a slightly different, and un-conventional approach to the old-fashioned "war story." I will be performing with Mark Burden (of Silentist). Mark will be accompanying me in a musical / spoken word piece written as an article for a publication dealing with Veterans against the war. A lot of former "GI" writing is cliché' and boring, and I would like to try to do something that is a bit more interesting. Because of my very personal experience in these endeavors, I am very opinionated on the subject, and am happy to share my experience to others.
What can we expect next from Aaron Montaigne?
Right now I am working with my "high school sweetheart", and former collaborator Mac Mann on a super exciting musical project. I am the singer, and Mac is playing a secret, suped-up Vox organ. "Mann/taigne" (as we are jokingly calling it now) is finishing up a recording at the little fawn, and plan on playing live this summer. As far as political projects, I am working with Sam, and Gabriel on this project, and am looking forward to other projects that may come my way. There are wars going on right as we speak, and no one in America seems to give a shit. The days of sit-ins, and protests seem to be tired (unfortunately), but the youth of today need to understand that people just like me, and you are being killed everyday. Why? Money.
Montaigne performs tomorrow (Thursday) at Rotture alongside the Shaky Hands, Tara Jane O'Neil, Fred Nemo, Dark Yoga, Illyas Ahmed and ...worms. 9 pm. $5.
Back in the day photo courtesy of Antioch Arrow's MySpace site.