There are those specific dates, in life, that just really do a number on us. Positive or negative, when that date rolls around each year, you find yourself in a state of reflection. A birth, a death, a marriage, a divorce, a first date, a break-up… For me- it’s album release dates and specific concerts.
May 22nd, especially, brings me to that reflective place. In 2005 it was a birth, and in 2012, a “rebirth.”
I started the year 2005 off in a rut. Fresh-faced at 19, and I had gotten kicked out of college after just one semester. I was deep in the thrall of an off again on again relationship, that worked as best as it could from middle school through junior year of high school, but was well beyond recovery. Once so excited for a future as a writer with a brilliant husband who was bound for the world of Politics, I found myself at a loss over a dream to strive for. I had zero belief that I could ever impact anyone or anything in any way at all. I was just a shy, minute cog in the big ol’ universe.
Enter: my deep love of music.
At this point in time, I mainly listened to bands like Thursday, Matchbook Romance, The Movielife, Glassjaw, Midtown, Taking Back Sunday, Finch, New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Brazil, Brand New, Catch 22, Less Than Jake, Saves The Day, The Get Up Kids, My Chemical Romance, Jimmy Eat World, The Used… but I felt a distinct pull toward a local band. Despite being too young to have really experienced the band when they were performing locally, I was completely enthralled with their visible climb. In fact, I joined their street team to help out in any way that I could.
The Coheed and Cambria Street Team.
The main resource was a forum board for those of us interested in helping, to connect and share ideas, separately from the disastrous main board. Seriously, the main board was a COMPLETE DISASTER. It was overrun with jerks who felt the need to shut down anyone who had a question. Mind you, this was when there were only 1 or 2 comic books out, and that aspect wasn’t so widely known about… even among fans. A good majority of questions asked were basic things about lyrics, shows, tabs, merch, the likes. Pre-social media, we’d get an update from the band once every few months or so on the main website. To stay in the loop though, we had to depend on each other.
Cryptic music, man. People have questions. They have a right to ask and not be belittled.
This atmosphere wouldn’t stand. Things couldn’t stay the way they were. It was an abrasive environment and reflected poorly on the band, who had NOTHING to do with this forum. It’s not like you can just suddenly implement rules for politeness either. That creates an outlash because longtime users feel attacked and undermined.
When a fellow street teamer asked for input with a fansite he was developing on the street team board, I jumped at the opportunity without hesitation.
I had started to help out at the end of 2004 with information on the website itself, but January was when I assumed a much bigger role. I joined the Cobalt and Calcium forum, and became the local eyes and ears- beginning with recordings of 3 brand new songs that were performed at a one-off benefit show in New Jersey. Keep in mind, this was also before YouTube existed. MP3s were ripped from the videos I took on my digital camera, and posted up on Cobalt and Calcium for download (this was also before embeddable streaming songs was a thing). This news was so big, AbsolutePunk.net posted our link. Cobalt and Calcium was on the map!
So now, our little fansite grew alongside the band, as a main resource. By the way, those songs became “Welcome Home,” “Ten Speed (of God’s Blood and Burial),” and “The Lying Lies of Miss Erica Court.” Coheed and Cambria had been in the studio working on their major label debut, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, and decided to test the tracks out on this mixed crowd. MTV summed up the crowd response pretty well.
Anyway, fast-forward to May 22, 2005.
Did you know Coheed and Cambria’s drummer put out a rap album 2 months ago? That seems so strange and out of place. The first side-project we hear from the band… is rap? How can this be! It must be a joke. This has gotta suck.
Nah. Peep this set from May 22, 2005 at CBGB’s.
I first heard about Weerd Science on the devilish main board. Some demos were posted up late 2004. That December, Josh Eppard (Weerd Science) and his ragtag group (The Super Posse of Awesomeness) embarked on their first tour (PA, NJ, NY) with support from Gym Class Heroes. I happened to be in PA on the date they were there, and had planned to go (I was staying at a college a few blocks away), but the aforementioned first love scored tickets to a 76er’s game… so I missed out. The first time I really started to bond with the project was on the day Friends and Nervous Breakdowns was released (March 22, 2005). From the moment I put the CD into my car stereo, I was SOLD. The music wasn’t a joke, although Mr. Weerd Science certainly poked fun at himself. He had real shit to say, and he said it with skill, over really dope beats. No punches pulled, just straight up honesty about the world around him.
A second Weerd Science tour was announced. They’d be providing support for Bane on the Northeast leg of The Note tour.
Interesting line-up. A Hip-Hop group opening for a Hardcore group. The NYC date though… that was set to be at the legendary punk venue, CBGB’s. If any place would accept that, it was absolutely CB’s.
Being the local eyes & ears, I was on this like mayo and sriracha on rye. Wait, that’s kind of weird, isn’t it? Anyway, I was so ready for this show.
The line outside the venue was remarkable! Oh man, there was a photo on MySpace. Damn you MySpace for taking down the band photos and shit! Oh wait, it kept the photos… but this one wasn’t there. Shit was it one of my shots? I can’t find it. We’ll move on.
One of our Cobalt and Calcium mods, Nathan, was a film student. We organized with The Super Posse of Awesomeness to a) film the set and b) interview the guys. I was nervous beyond belief. I hadn’t met Josh Eppard before, and was such a big fan of his music. I’m pretty sure that was the first time I met Nathan too. We were prepared with questions, but had no idea where to go. We’d never been guestlisted to a show before. Of course, we arrived early. Nathan and I explained to the venue staff that we were on the list (what list? There was no list turned in. The guys weren’t even there yet.) and had gear to set-up for the video interview. Eventually the keyboardist (Dave Parker) showed up and we were escorted to put our stuff down in their backstage room.
Please, I’m talking like CBGB’s was so fancy. It was an open room on the way to the bathroom. We decided to conduct the interview right there and set-up. Josh and the rest of the boys strolled in not long after, and we sat down for this super awkward filmed talk.
In retrospect, it was damn insightful, on so many levels. Really, a great introduction to the project that is Weerd Science.
I was sooo nervous that I let Nathan field most of the questions. I think I maybe got 2 in. I wouldn’t have even been a good interviewer because I wasn’t retaining any information. Very little that was said, stuck in my mind. I was just so absolutely afraid, facing these people. I was sure I’d say something wrong or dumb. You can hear the shakiness in my voice. Plus, Josh is such a great speaker, you don’t really have to ask many questions. He covers so much of what you want to know in his detailed responses.
One thing that’s way crazy is, about 3:40 in, Josh mentions in passing that he wants to record an “Illogy,” and everyone laughs it off. Truthfully, I don’t think anyone knew it truly could be possible. Not to say they wouldn’t want to do it… just the likeliness of pulling something like that off- while Josh was touring the world with Coheed and Cambria… and putting out a potentially huge album. Seems kind of far-fetched to put out a triple album. I mean, this was RIGHT before Coheed and Cambria released their first major label album.
The Illogy is a thing now, in 2016. Three separate albums were released from 2013-2015 (Red Light Juliet, Red Light Juliet Broadcast 2: Steady Straight Lights/Sudden Dark Turns, Red Light Juliet Broadcast 3: The Seer)- first just digitally, and then on limited CD. The triple vinyl is now available, and there will be a release show to celebrate in Kingston on June 18th.
Man, this was just SUCH an exciting time. The very beginning of the Weerd Science animal. The “Conspiracy Theories w/Out Mel Gibson” music video wasn’t even completed yet!
Few more thoughts about the interview, in retrospect:
There’s talk about how they want to get to the West Coast. Weerd Science has gotten that chance, but not with his own crew. In 2011, during an era when he was not with Coheed and Cambria, he performed on the full Warped Tour. Josh Eppard was there with the band Terrible Things, and on the Weerd Science end- he shared a set with MC Lars. I believe the farthest Weerd Science has gotten, with his crew, is Michigan (a few years ago) and Louisiana (recently on a tour with Sadistik and Upgrade).
“Shit Happens, For Free.” There hasn’t been a Weerd Science release with that name, quite yet. I mean, it’s not as remarkable now as it would’ve been in 2005, to put out a release for free. There was, however, the “Weekend At Dirty’s” mixtape from 2011.
“Eat some pills.” Nice foreshadow there, given the future ahead. *ahem* Sick Kids. Josh has always been brutally honest in interviews, ey?
Oh shit, the Weerd Science Facebook page is streaming the Coheed and Cambria set RIGHT NOW from right behind Mr. Eppard!
Shit, I’m as distracted writing this, as that interview was.
Yes, I used to bake cookies.
The May 22, 2005 Weerd Science show at CBGB resulted in me starting to go by my middle name (Neesh). Before we started recording, I introduced myself a few times with my first name, and dude kept forgetting. So right then and there, I started going by Neesh. That situation also created so many new opportunities for me, resulting in becoming good friends with the Super Posse of Awesomeness, and ending up becoming part of that ragtag group. I worked rather extensively with the Weerd Science group, starting… well, a month later… until about 2011. That chance interview, made me the Neesh I am today.
What the hell. That’s a fucking statement. Hey, give me a break. I haven’t written in a long ass time. I’ve just been talking weekly between playing songs.
Regardless, the May 22 in 2005 was majorly impactful in my life. It lead to dreams to strive for, and a sense of belonging. I found myself immersed in shit that just felt right. I couldn’t possibly have imagined where my life would go, back in high school or when I first started college.
Fast forward to May 22, 2012.
I was trying my hand at managing an artist. My best friend, Anthony Masington. We put out his debut Session 606 EP “Rebirth” on that day.
We both worked hard on our respective ends to put that together. Obviously Ant moreso than me since he wrote, sang, played guitar, synth, violin, percussion, bass, programed, and engineered some on his own. This was the big day though. The day all his hard work was unveiled to the world. We self-released and to celebrate, did a livestream under the Neeshcast moniker. I had 3 Neeshcast podcast episodes under my belt, and ran out of free space on the site I was using. The future of the show was up in the air. I had no idea what to do next. This was, of course, before Radio Xenu asked me to join the team.
I was just so damn proud of Ant, and wanted to find any way to share the music and introduce people to the remarkable person he is. So livestream it was. It now lives as Neeshcast #4.
Definitely an experience. We just ran it from my laptop, so the sound isn’t the best. It was really fun though, and a memorable release party. The whole thing started out with him playing each song on the EP acoustically, and then we just had a freeform chat afterward, with his guitar in hand. There was sort of an audience too, but that was weird.
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to “Rebirth,” please take this chance to. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since the release.
Long. Live. King Re-Animator.
P.S. Currently, in 2016, The Neeshcast is a 5 hour LIVE interactive radio show. I’m on Wednesdays from 7-midnight CST on tunein.radioxenu.com. I just celebrated the 4 year anniversary with a concert at Olive’s in Nyack, NY on April 30th with: Joey Eppard & Friends, Weerd Science & Upgrade, and First Mountain. Maybe now that I broke the ice with writing a thing, I’ll write a thing about that. I did a show the following week and took calls from attendees. Posted that up for anytime listening.
P.P.S. I covered some of this stuff in Neeshcast #43 back in 2013.
P.P.P.S. Yes, I desperately need to revamp this website.
P.P.P.P.S. Cobalt and Calcium is still around! It’s was relaunched in a format that’s more of-the-times.