Published Jan 01, 2006Some bands just never learn. With very few exceptions, attempts by bands that have established themselves in the indie or punk ranks are unable to make the crossover to a major label. The pressure either breaks bands up or, in the more fortunate cases when bands survive the experience, they end up back on an indie label where they are understood and appreciated.
To wit: Since 1991, horn-y San Diego bashers Rocket from the Crypt put out a series of recordings on more than a dozen indie labels and were generally accepted as one of the best kept secrets in rock. But after a less than pleasurable four-year relationship with Interscope that resulted in two over-produced and under-promoted discs, the band is back on an indie for its fifth full-length record, Group Sounds.
It's an experience that bassist Pete "Petey X" Reichert says he'd rather forget, but was impossible to ignore, especially when they had reached the point where, after failing to live up to promises to promote the band and the whole Universal Music merger/ housecleaning shuffle was going down, they wanted nothing more to do with Interscope.
"It was turning into the worst experience of our life and we wanted to get out," says Reichert. "We heard on MTV all these bands were getting dropped and they mentioned us. We were like, Yes, we're getting dropped.' We thought they'd have to buy us out because we owed them one more record, but that was wrong. We called them up and asked if we were dropped and they said no. We owed them millions, we hadn't sold shit for records and they didn't want to drop us. We begged and pleaded and it took months to get out."
They're out now, and result of the frustration is their finest moment since their 1992 sophomore outing, Circa: Now! "There's definitely a desire to kick a little more ass than we have been lately," Reichert admits. "This record's probably the best thing we've done, if not ever, since Circa: Now! It has that big guitar sound but then you also have to throw in the fact that the horn lines are way more developed. It's that and better."