Posts Tagged With: Pure Scum

Future Binds: The kids are alright

FutureBindsSo my oldest son, Aaron, turns 18 years old today. Happy birthday, kid, even if you’re too old (and tall) for me to get away with calling you “kid” anymore. But please indulge your proud papa.

Aaron has been playing bass in rock bands for a couple of years now, a process I have watched with a mixture of pride, admiration and apprehension. I mean, he’s my son, so I’m going to think anything he does is pretty great. But I’ve watched so many bands crash and burn over the years, I can’t help worrying.

So even though I’m obviously not an impartial observer, I think Aaron’s latest band is fantastic. They’re called Future Binds, consisting of three-quarters of his former band, Pure Scum; same lineup, except for the guitar player. The picture at right is from the first Future Binds show, which happened back in January at the Berkeley Cafe in Raleigh (yes, the same Berkeley Cafe that figures into the “Losering” preface, as the first place I interviewed Ryan Adams).

I don’t go to every Future Binds show because I don’t want to cramp anybody’s style, plus it can get weird having the music critic from the local paper showing up all the time (not to mention the fact that I’m too old and brittle to participate in the moshpit). But I’ve been to a few of their shows, and they play loud, fast and very brief punk rock; I don’t think I’ve seen a Future Binds or Pure Scum show last longer than about 10 minutes.

Since that Berkeley Cafe debut, Future Binds have gone on the road a few times, including a recent spring-break weekend jaunt up to Richmond and D.C. Aaron has learned plenty about just how little money there is to be made in music; I’ll never forget the text he sent after finding a $10 bill on the street in Asheville, which excited him because it meant he’d be returning home “with more money than I left with!” That counts as a win, for sure.

Meanwhile, Future Binds have also done their first demo recordings, which are available for free download here. The five songs clock in at less than seven minutes, so this won’t take up too much of your time. But it’s quite good, especially the last song, “One Less.” Always nice to have a hook, even in one’s hardcore.

For obvious reasons, I can’t write about Future Binds in the newspaper. But it’s mighty nice to be able to do so here.

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More from the supporting cast: Brian Walsby

While I was reporting “Losering,” I wanted to talk to a bandmate of Ryan’s from his last and best pre-Whiskeytown group, Patty Duke Syndrome. That meant drummer Brian Walsby because the third member of the trio is no longer with us. Bassist Jere McIlwean died in a 1996 drug overdose, which inspired the 1997 Whiskeytown single “Theme For a Trucker” (named for McIlwean’s post-PDS band Trucker).

So I asked Brian if he’d talk about the old days and we had the same pre-interview conversation about Ryan that we always do, in which he expressed hesitancy about reopening that can of worms. But then we talked and it was fine, and he had many interesting things to say about his old bandmate; most of them fond, some not so much. Both kind of quotes are in the book. Still, nothing Brian told me on or off the record was as harsh as a graphic essay he composed in 2003, which is nicely summarized by the headline:

RYAN FUCKING ADAMS OWES ME, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!
A twisted tale of almost obsession

Even leaving Ryan aside, Brian has an interesting history. He’s a fine drummer who has played in a dozen Triangle bands since the mid-’80s (highlighted by Polvo and Double Negative, who had some discussions with Ryan about signing to his label Pax-Am Records a year or two ago), and he’s also¬† an excellent cartoonist of semi-legendary repute in underground metal circles. I’ve written about some of that history in a couple of features for the paper, one in 2004 and another in 2011.¬†Honestly, though, Walsby is his own best chronicler, as set down in countless cartoons and compiled in his “Manchild” series of books. Volume Six is the latest and it’s subtitled “Bye Bye Punk Rock..Hello Adulthood!!”

Some of the inspiration for that mindset comes from Walsby’s young daughter, Willow, who has Down Syndrome — which he and I have bonded over a bit, since I have a daughter with Down Syndrome myself; that’s Claudia, age 13, and she rocks just as hard as her twin brother Edward and big brother Aaron (a budding rock star in his own right, dig his work on bass in the Raleigh teenage hardcore band Pure Scum).

Nevertheless, Walsby still gets out to rock a good bit. He’s been on the road a lot with Seattle proto-grunge band the Melvins in recent years, handling merch sales as well as drawing what he sees and selling his own wares. Get his attention when the Melvins play Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro Wednesday night, and maybe he’ll draw you.

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