Where are they now? 15 years, 15 bands from the past

Looking back, who were some of your favorite or memorable local bands? Our list is pretty long. We managed to find and catch up with 15 of the bands from years passed. Some people are still around, some have moved far away, and a couple are, well, read it for yourself.

 

 Idiot Pilot

Once upon a time, Idiot Pilot looked like the next big thing to come out of Bellingham- following the success of Death Cab for Cutie. It was looking pretty promising for a bit, as the duo of Michael Harris and Daniel Anderson signed to Reprise Records, collaborated with Chino Moreno from the Deftones, a show with the Smashing Pumpkins and a host of other bands. Yet, in 2011 the band broke up. Harris resides in Bellingham, plays solo as well as with My Dad Bruce and performs stand-up comedy. Anderson plays guitar with Hyro Da Hero (where he’s toured around the world) and his solo project Glowbug has appeared on TV. Last year he moved to Los Angeles.

 

USS Horsewhip

 There are few bands from Bellingham that brought the pain that USS Horsewhip brought back in the day, and not many bands that have been able to match it since. The band remains an influential part of the scene, although they only released one full-length album ever. Band members are now spread throughout the Pacific Northwest (Bellingham, Seattle, Portland, etc.,) but still remain in bands that are vital to the heavy metal and rock scene. Members have gone on to perform in Black Breath, Cold Lake and Police Teeth among other bands. Currently, guitarist Brian Slodysko lives in Chicago and is a writer for the Chicago Times.

 

   The Russians

In the glory days of 2007, the Russians tied with Black Eyes and Neck Ties for Best Rock Band at the What’s Up! Awards show, which was a feat in itself as BENt pretty much owned that category for the better part of a decade. These punk rockers were rowdy and talented and are responsible for at least half the tinnitus in Bellinghamster’s ears. These days, members are spread throughout the region. Bassist Jeff Johnson constantly tears it up as the bottom-half of Bellingham prog-rockers Dog Shredder. Drummer Shawn Stahlberger lives in eastern Washington and is pursuing his dream of being a groundskeeper at a major league stadium. Ryan O’Flaherty lives in Bellingham. Kevin Reed lives in Montana.

 

Shook Ones

This band was one I never had the chance to catch, but have heard about during my various voyages in and out of the scene. For one thing, they are one of the few Bellingham bands with a Wikipedia page- if that means anything. The band came up in the Bellingham scene and signed to Revelation Records along with bands like Sick Of It All and Quicksand. The band eventually relocated to Seattle (except for Bo), and is still heard from occasionally as they released an EP in 2012. But far too occasionally.

 

Karate Kitchen

Karate Kitchen was one of the most underrated bands that I’ve had the pleasure to see, and it seemed like one day they just faded away. Members included Rodger Brown on drums, Shawn Turnbull on bass, Shea Isely on guitar and vocals and Joe Metzger on lead vocals and guitar. Most members of the band have been off the radar since. Isely played in his band, the Sweaty Sweaters and in the Four Players- both bands have broken up since. One can only wish a reunion would be in order in the near future.

 

No-Fi Soul Rebellion

This was the first band I fell in love with in Bellingham (and the first one I ever got to interview.) I can’t say how many times I’ve seen this band, how many times lead singer Mark Heimer has humped me during his performances and how many times I have played the bass riff from their song “Lets Pretend” alone in my room and heard that god awful Enigma song that they closed with every single time. The husband and wife duo have been on hiatus, as Mark has been teaching elementary school and Andrea has been churning out some great art and teaching horseback riding lessons. My life would be complete if I could see them live one last time- it’s been too long!

 

       Racetrack

This band filled a niche in the early 2000’s, when Bellingham had a burgeoning indie pop-rock scene, which was soon engulfed by the heavier/ darker side of rock music. The band consisted of then adorable couple Meghan Kessinger and Jackson Long, with Chris Rassmussen on bass. The band quickly made a name for itself, which included their first album “City Lights,” which was produced by none other than Bellingham alum Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie.) All three members now live in Seattle – Kessinger continues to play music, Jackson Long drums with Boat, is a sound engineer at KEXP and drum tech for Death Cab for Cutie and a tech for the Postal Service. “Tall” Chris plays bass in Police Teeth.

 

Black Eyes and Neck Ties

Seriously, you already know these people, right? Well, in case you don’t the members are mostly still here and they are still rocking the shit out of Bellingham, and in plenty of other places. BENt- in all there sweaty, make-up caked, disheveled glory- put on a tremendously rowdy show and kill it every time (see for yourselves on March 1 at the Shakedown, if you don’t believe me!) There have been very few bands that did it as well as them. Lead singer Bradley Lockhart is now front man for the folk-punk band Baltic Cousins and lives in Seattle. Guitarist Josh Holland is now the shredder in Dog Shredder as well as playing bass for Hyro Da Hero, keyboardist Brenda Grimm, Ryan Greer and David Albert are all in the Bellingham punk band Rookery.

 

Reeks and the Wrecks

Along with BENt, the members of Reeks and the Wrecks have gone on to be some of the busiest mainstays in the Bellingham scene. The band rose to prominence as a weird collective of musicians who created psychedelic, surfy, punky, noisy cacophony that was the weirdest, raddest music west of the Butthole Surfers. Jason Sands went on to create Frozen Cloak, PRND and now plays with Bill Badgley (of Federation X) in Part Wolf. Andy Piper went on to form Sugar Sugar Sugar, Lonebird, the Party Favorites and drummer for Bar Tabac and the Slacks. One-time member Jordan Rain went on to be Bellingham’s funkmaster as Yogoman. Orion Satushek was killed by a drunk driver in the summer of 2003.

 

The Trucks

I remember first hearing about The Trucks through my first Bellingham roommate, who has their poster on his wall. Once he played me their album, I totally had a crush on every single member of the band, and when I finally got to see them, it only made me fall harder. The electronic band formed in 2003 and was one of the very few all-female bands in town. They broke up in 2008 after two albums and a ton of memorable shows. Kristin Allen-Zito moved to Seattle and is currently working on her solo career as a folk musician. Faith Reichel is in (perhaps my favorite band at the moment) Shit Machine. Marissa Moore lives in Portland and Lindy McIntyre is the co-owner (with her husband Justin of The Narrows) of a restaurant in Olympia.

 

Chuckanut Drive

There are not enough country bands that call Bellingham home these days. Chuckanut Drive was one of the few highlights in the scene and still stand out as the best alt-country offering from out fair city. Lead singer Stephen Ray Leslie went on to have a solo career with his backing band, the Crooked Mile. Yet, even with the new band, Leslie still calls Bellingham home and can still be seen playing shows around time from time to time. Chuckanut Drive members Stell Newsome (guitarist) and Ryan Roullard (bassist) also play in the Crooked Mile.

 

 Snow Cuts Glass

Bellingham pop music never sounded so beautiful. This band faded away, but left a lasting impression on any set of ears that had the pleasure to hear them- which I never did. Guitarist and vocalist Jonny McIntyre went on to be an integral member of the Rooftops. Cellist/ vocalist Anna Arvan went on to become a member of Go Slowpoke and formed her own band, I Love You Avalanche, which is set to release their first record ever in the next couple months or so. Keyboardist/ vocalist Aaron Tapscott now plays in Bright Weapons.

 

Kasey Anderson

Once upon a time, Kasey Anderson was an enigmatic, yet popular personality in the Bellingham scene. For a while, it seemed as if he was going to make it big- and for a while he was. His band, The Honkies, toured all over the world and formed his own music label. Then, in October of 2012, it was found that Anderson was on the wrong side of a $250,000 law suit. The law suit claims that Anderson was being sued for fraud when he took money from investors to supposedly create a benefit album for the West Memphis Three, which would feature the talents of Jack White, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, R.E.M and many others. The album never materialized, and now Anderson- who lives in Portland, at the moment- is awaiting trial on federal charges and could face jail time.

 

Axes of Evil

I remember when I first came to Bellingham, my friends from Ferndale dragged me reluctantly (I was very shy at the time) to a warehouse somewhere in town. Inside the warehouse was a large crowd of mostly underage people, kegs of beer and (up to that point) the loudest band I’ve ever heard. It was the first time I even stepped foot in a mosh pit, and it would be the last for a few years, as the floors were soaked in beer and I kept falling and getting crushed by drunken, wallet-chained punks. Either way, it was a memorable moment for me, and I never heard of them after that one night, bruise and booze-filled night. Members went on to play in the Hollowpoints, Anxieties and Serious Black. Mikel Evil (lead guitarist) went on to become a tattoo artist at Old School Tattoo.

 

 Pirates R’ Us

Was there seriously a band goofier/awesomer than Pirates R’ Us? I doubt it! All I really know about this band is that I saw them play once (and do not remember it very well) and I read an article about them playing a show at Walmart. Other than that, all you need to know is that they performed pirate songs that were reminiscent of Tom Waits, they played a lot of instruments and were entirely tongue-in-cheek. Lead singer David Ney is the crooner for the Lumpkins, guitarist Wes Davis is a local actor and singer/songwriter in Bellingham, Kat Bula performs in a variety of projects including Thimble vs. Needle, and accordion player Evan Bridges resides in Portland and still produces music.