To some people, 1997
may recall a memory of good things past. For one particular Victory Records band, 1997 will be the harbinger of great music to come. From Chicago comes this young quintet, who creates an effervescent, yet passionate brand of pop-rock that will linger in one's mind like the best of memories.
Belying their age, the members of 1997 have spent significant time in several Chicago area outfits, including suburban emo giants Constance, metal core/screamsters Funeral Etiquette and the nationally touring pop-rock act October Fall. However, as soon as they found themselves playing together for the first time, it became readily apparent that something special was happening. "We just knew," singer Kevin Thomas states. "The music we were putting together was flowing so perfectly. When we all started playing together, we knew we were going to do something with it."
They quickly realized this in spite of rather humble beginnings. "It all started off in a decrepit attic apartment in [suburban] Lombard," Thomas recalls. "[Guitarist] Caleb and [keyboardist] Kerri Pepp were newlyweds, who moved into that attic apart- ment above an elderly lady who was completely deaf. It was the perfect place to play music all the time." "That's pretty much exactly what we did," says Alan. "Long nights in a small attic with acoustic guitars, harmonicas, a keyboard and maybe a tam- bourine--that's how this whole thing got started."
Ironically, 1997 almost lost drummer Nick Coleman at the get- go, until good karma kicked in. "I was sick of playing in bands that went nowhere--all the hard work just wasn't paying off." h said. "Right before I started jamming with this band, my girl- friend was talking to her teacher who claimed to have a talent for fortune telling. The psychic teacher said, 'Your boyfriend's next band is going to get really big'--and my girlfriend at the time didn't even know I was about to jam with this band. When she told me about that, I decided, 'What the heck, maybe I should give this a try.'"
That he did, and after several months of writing and practicing 1997 started playing out. The band put as much energy into cre ating provocative songs as they did in putting on a great show. "We put a lot of thought behind what our songs mean," Thoma says. "They tell stories about what's going on in our lives. There's a lot of growing up from the significant events happen ing in our lives. You think you know something about what's going on around you, but really don't get all the subliminal me sages and the strings that are attached to everything."
In the course of their year together, the band has grown so muc that they became a staple in the local scene and have attracted the attention of Victory Records. Their debut album, A Better View Of The Rising Moon, was produced by Cameron Webb (Silverstein, Social Distortion, Zebrahead) and will be released April 17, 2007. "We wrote 15 songs for the album and 12 mad the final cut. You can tell how much tighter we've become and that we've been developing our own sound," Thomas says. "W don't ever want to play the same music. We always want to grow and try different things."
Only on Victory Records can one be rewarded for looking ahead. .to 1997.