The demo did its job: it got us noticed. We had label offers, but nothing was greater than when Jared cornered Mark and I at one of the side bars in Limelight and told us we were destined to be an FCR band. We knew it too, but the reality was the contract offered was so bad that even Jared eventually told us to turn it down. Every band from FCR that we wrote to told us not to sign. Luckily, we listened. Had we signed, the first aggression album never would have seen the light of day thanks to FCR’s legal woes. During all this, a guy called The Emperor (real name Jeff Johnson) had been talking to us about his label, a New Jersey upstart called Tinman that was gaining some momentum. We liked Jeff and he booked one of our more infamous shows at a place called Lovesexy in Hoboken which was a riot of an evening in itself.
The FCR thing took a year before we realized it was a bust. But we didn’t waste that year. Based on the premise that our song ARENA 85 had to be re-mixed in order to bring it to Wax Trax…supposedly…Tom, Mark and I financed another jaunt to Chicago to re-do the song and do a few more songs while there before meeting with Dannie…supposedly. We had written some new songs and were raring to go. The three of us even recorded an acoustic song, THE CHICAGO DRINKING SONG, which was probably the best thing we ever wrote at that point (and it was the fucking hidden track).
What’s strange about the aggression is that we’ve never had to go find band members. They all just show up or someone knows someone and I think in 14 years we spent about 4 minutes recruiting people. Why? I don’t know. Perfect example was the addition of the Kidd. Believe this or not, of all the people in the story, I have known the youngest almost the longest. Long story short, I went to nursery school (seriously) with his older brother, reconnected in high school with the brother, thus leading to many nights having to watch the little kidd and then subsequently making him part of the band crew when he was about 13. Because of my relationship with the family, his parents thought “oh he’s with F.J., he’s fine”. Silly Silly people. He was crewing for us by the time Ash was on his way out. Can you imagine this little fucker seeing gigs at Limelight at 14 or him walking up to Pete Steele and handing him an aggression demo the day before the SAT’s? One day, The Kidd went up to me and said “I’ve been taking piano lessons, I love Gavin Friday, I’m going to be in the band”. That was it. Seriously. And he was a blast to have, a real positive force. Plus he looked good and the keyboardist has to be tall. If you ever saw the keyboard player in Suede, note that the Kidd pre-dated that gimmick. Anyhow, we were a band again and it felt fucking great.