We were formed in January of 2000 by Emmett Knox (bass) and Matt Spitz (drums) to do a song, Dispatch's "The General" for a talent show. Joining the duo would be vocalist Darren Panis, Vocalist Tomas Watler, and pianist Jeff King. But a guitarist was needed to supply the song's trademark riffs. For this, Matt harassed the only guitarist at their school, Greg Smith, into joining. The bands of the show were opened by Patty O'Mac and the Abbey Normal Connection. fronted by Pat Mathews with Mark "Squid" Desrosiers on bass, Matt on drums, and Matt's brother, Greg on guitar. The band, now called Spitz's Basement, closed the show and stole it with a fine, energy-filled performance.
The show was over, but the band would continue. They dropped the name and Tomas, a great singer, but was never really close to the rest of the group. Later, Darren Panis also left due to clashing with the rest of the band memebers, who found him too controlling. After these big changes we added a new member, Matt's brother Greg. After practicing with the new guitarist and future vocalist, the band knew that he fit in perfectly. The chemistry between the five members was all there. (Maybe not between Emmett and Jeff, but we'll get into that later on).
It was all set after that point. The band got an invite from a fellow classmate, Alex Smith, to play at her end-of-the-year party. After this was announcement was brought to the band, we got to work right away, learning about 3 songs each practice. Then another invite came to us, from the head of the middle school, Ms. Reuter, to play at a special event called Spree Day. When the show came around, we were excellent, except for the poor acoustics in the gym. Even some of the Upper Schoolers came to watch us. We were a success.
With the energy of our success we went to work. When the party came around, we were all set. We played our set and stopped. They wanted more but we had no more . This was a disaster. People who I will not mention (Aisha) threw tomatoes at us. The night was a disaster, while some of the band kept playing , others went in the pool. So only part of the band was up there at once.
After this tragic event, the band went underground for the summer and the beginning of the next school year. We were loners, writing music at 3 or 4 in the morning, coming up with depressing lyrics and music, such as "See You Tomorrow", "Mrs. Smiths Empire", and "Purple".
After this depressing period of time the band once again, got an invite from Ms. Reuter. We were to play at the middle school's holiday assembly. This "pulled us out from the dark" and we worked on three songs to play. We had to polish "#1" which we already knew,and we had to learn "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd and "Carol Of The Bells", a great christmas tune. We performed and blasted out the kids in the front row's ear drums. Our closer, "Carol Of The Bells" went into the end of "Stairway to Heaven", and blew everyone away. They loved us. Despite the tension before the performance, we came through and we were pretty good.
We went back into hiding for a little while, writing songs in the barn and in Spitz's Basement such as "I Die", "Adequate", "Italy", and "Swan Song"; some of the best we've ever written. We were brought out by Mike King, Jeff's brother, who asked us to play at the high school's spree day on May 2, 2001. Going under the name Ocham we performed and gave a luke warm show; we were a bit intimidated by a crowd older than any one we had ever played to. Greg Spitz, who had to sing on three of the six songs was the youngest person there. Another problem with the show was that we did material that wasn't finished yet, such as "Adequate", which didn't become a good song until we tinkered with it after this Spree Day. Slightly dejected, we went back to practicing and finishing school.
We didn't have much time however, as Mr. Spitz hired us to play in the Spitz's backyard on Independance Day. We practiced thouroughly for two months, wanting to do the best show we could.
We only wrote two songs in this two month period-- Jeff's piano solo which he'd been working on for a while, and the song that can compete with "SYT/12" and "Swan Song" for the title of our best song. It was written mainly by Emmett and it was named "Drift". It was an intresting song to work on, as everyone had a part in the creation of it, whether it be Emmett's vocal and chord progression, Matt's odd drumwork, Greg Smith's subtle riffing, Jeff's creation of the second half of the song, or Greg Spitz's solos and harmonies.
By July we had roughly 24 songs ready to play for the party. We added many new covers, as we tire of playing the same covers at more that one or two shows. So we had some Phish, some new Dispatch, Reel Big Fish, and some classic rock to complement the eleven original songs we played. The show was our best ever, as we played well as a group and as individuals (everyone except Matt was given a solo song (Matt took a drum solo when the power went out during "Drift)). We also earned $260. Not too shabby. The whole band was psyched after the show, and Mr. King had the foresight to record it, so we made a live tape which came out to be pretty good.We continued to write for a little while, and then at the end of August, began to record a few songs. We got down "Drift", "Swan Song", "Homesick", and a completely re-hashed "Italy", but then we didn't practice for the next few months as Matt and Emmett were playing football and everyone was getting adjusted to school. Right now, we're preparing for a talent show at Thayer; we'll be playing "Drift" and "Swan Song".