Moving on to Solids

Moving on to Solids

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Highlights
'MORE fun and more drunk than my real uncle. And that's saying a lot...' This is how Fleshtones drummer, Bill Milhizer, described NYC's pop-punkers, Uncle. 'Moving On To Solids' is the 1998 follow-up to their '95 debut, 'Thanks For All The Lemons', and the band's favourite. 'We grew up,' guitarist/singer Michael Wells says. 'Sorta.' Following two years of regular gigs around NYC, up and down the east coast as far north as Montreal and as far south as West Virginia, the band took their act across the pond for a brace of gigs in the UK including a show at The Orange in London, which proved to be British-born drummer Simon Braund's last. 'They wouldn't renew his visa. The State Department or The Home Office or whoever was responsible. I dunno who. Just we were about to fly back to play Mercury Lounge in a week and start the new record and suddenly we had no drummer.' Former Better Days and Patti Rothberg drummer, Yves Gerard, was quickly enlisted and the band reconvened at Brooklyn's Mission Sound knocking out basic tracks of 17 tunes in 10 hours. 'All the live shows for like 20 people who had never heard of us before, crashing on somebody's floor and then doing it again made us get our s*** together. We just got a lot tighter. Ya know? And we kinda knew what we wanted to do (recording) this time. The songs were better. And we remembered to like not start drinking til playback. That mighta helped.' And Yves. 'Joe Strummer famously said 'you're only as good as your drummer'. And no disrespect to Bruce or Simon but Yves just made an enormous difference, I think. We had to get better. Ya know? Like so we wouldn't embarrass him.' Of the 14 songs that made the final sequence for 'Moving On To Solids', 10 were written by guitarist/singer, Michael Wells, with 2 contributions each from lead guitarist Chas Milton Braun and bassist Gregg Rochman. 'Some of the stuff we'd been doing live for awhile, but a couple of 'em - 'Kinderlacht' and 'Nothing At All', I think - I wrote like that week we went in. And 'Thanks To You', which I guess is my favourite. Gordon Smetherhurst from Cementhead said he liked it because that's exactly what we sounded like live. It's also the most shamelessly Replacements-influenced.' 'It took awhile to mix. We wanted to try some new things. So, that's why there's three different engineers' - mixes are by Charlton Pettus, Oliver Strauss and Michel Sauvage. With mastering by Drew Lavene, 'we forgot that part the first time.' 'Moving On To Solids' proved to be the group's swan song. Uncle disbanded in 1999. 'People wanted to do other things. So, ya know, they did. It's a good record, tho'. I'm proud of it. And there's not like any bad blood. At least... I dunno. I don't think there is.' Meanwhile...Michael Wells and Yves Gerard have gone on to form a new band - Bipolar Explorer - whose debut, 'Go Negative' has just been released. 'You'll like that, too, I think. I mean, Yves's on it, right?'
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'MORE fun and more drunk than my real uncle. And that's saying a lot...' This is how Fleshtones drummer, Bill Milhizer, described NYC's pop-punkers, Uncle. 'Moving On To Solids' is the 1998 follow-up to their '95 debut, 'Thanks For All The Lemons', and the band's favourite. 'We grew up,' guitarist/singer Michael Wells says. 'Sorta.' Following two years of regular gigs around NYC, up and down the east coast as far north as Montreal and as far south as West Virginia, the band took their act across the pond for a brace of gigs in the UK including a show at The Orange in London, which proved to be British-born drummer Simon Braund's last. 'They wouldn't renew his visa. The State Department or The Home Office or whoever was responsible. I dunno who. Just we were about to fly back to play Mercury Lounge in a week and start the new record and suddenly we had no drummer.' Former Better Days and Patti Rothberg drummer, Yves Gerard, was quickly enlisted and the band reconvened at Brooklyn's Mission Sound knocking out basic tracks of 17 tunes in 10 hours. 'All the live shows for like 20 people who had never heard of us before, crashing on somebody's floor and then doing it again made us get our s*** together. We just got a lot tighter. Ya know? And we kinda knew what we wanted to do (recording) this time. The songs were better. And we remembered to like not start drinking til playback. That mighta helped.' And Yves. 'Joe Strummer famously said 'you're only as good as your drummer'. And no disrespect to Bruce or Simon but Yves just made an enormous difference, I think. We had to get better. Ya know? Like so we wouldn't embarrass him.' Of the 14 songs that made the final sequence for 'Moving On To Solids', 10 were written by guitarist/singer, Michael Wells, with 2 contributions each from lead guitarist Chas Milton Braun and bassist Gregg Rochman. 'Some of the stuff we'd been doing live for awhile, but a couple of 'em - 'Kinderlacht' and 'Nothing At All', I think - I wrote like that week we went in. And 'Thanks To You', which I guess is my favourite. Gordon Smetherhurst from Cementhead said he liked it because that's exactly what we sounded like live. It's also the most shamelessly Replacements-influenced.' 'It took awhile to mix. We wanted to try some new things. So, that's why there's three different engineers' - mixes are by Charlton Pettus, Oliver Strauss and Michel Sauvage. With mastering by Drew Lavene, 'we forgot that part the first time.' 'Moving On To Solids' proved to be the group's swan song. Uncle disbanded in 1999. 'People wanted to do other things. So, ya know, they did. It's a good record, tho'. I'm proud of it. And there's not like any bad blood. At least... I dunno. I don't think there is.' Meanwhile...Michael Wells and Yves Gerard have gone on to form a new band - Bipolar Explorer - whose debut, 'Go Negative' has just been released. 'You'll like that, too, I think. I mean, Yves's on it, right?'
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