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Reno Divorce

Brent Loveday – vocals, lead guitar
Andrew Erich – drums
Tony Owens – guitar, vocals
Seth Evans- bass, vocals

“Let’s face it. Rock music today is boring. Countless bands on radio and MTV are either making tuneless jock rock or writing whiny ballad after whiny ballad, both appealing to audiences that are anything but rock n’ roll.”

This taken from their web site bio, you know where Reno Divorce is coming from. After the honeymoon is over, Brent, Andrew, Tony, and Seth, offer a raging does of rock reality. A quick and painless break from the monotonous marriage the music scene has with the diluted and manufactured belly button pop that seems to flood the airwaves, both in radio and on TV.

Reno Divorce’s gritty, down to dirt punk rock mantra grabs hold of your metal studded belt, spinning out vocal and guitar energy with the passion of a straight whiskey shot, warming you on the inside while your face clenches on the outside. Their new CD, “Naysayers and Yesmen,” took its title from Brent’s “every day life. Some people saying, ‘You’re stupid to be in rock band. I can’t take your seriously.’ And then there’s the other end of the spectrum, ‘I really like that. You’re doing a great job.'”

On the night we got to rap, the meeting place couldn’t be more rock n’ roll. Sitting in a 60’s Detroit American auto-mo-beel just outside of the Crowbar, with the sound of heavy rain and the aroma of Marlboro Lights permeating the car, the discussion burst right out of the shoot. Tony asks, “So how did you hear about us? Total Request Live? Cover of Spin?” and I couldn’t help but think of some of the fashion layouts I’ve seen in some music magazines, so I had to play along. And so did the rest of them.

“Yes, I think it was that underwear layout you guys did. My girlfriend’s love it. They’ll be so bummed to find out you’re married,” I said to Andrew, Seth, and Brent. Not that Tony doesn’t have it goin’ on, but I found out he’s just the only single guy of the group.

Seth popped in, “Andrew had a cucumber stuffed in his pants though.”

“It wasn’t my cucumber. I borrowed it from Tony,” Andrew admits.

Yikes. No wonder I’ve always lingered in the produce section. Anyway. Who are these jokesters? “Well you spend twenty hours a day locked in a car with these bastards, you get a little crazy,” Brent

 Tony and Brent have actually known each other since childhood, which could explain why brotherly razzing occurred throughout the entire interview. But the others fell right into the family when Seth and Andrew joined the group a year ago, finding them through an online musician dating service,

Reno DivorceSince then they’ve been fine tuning their material and working relationship to play more gigs and release their new CD. “Naysayers and Yesmen” is compiled of older tracks written by Brent, including “Good Luck,” in addition to new material. And as with most bands, they’re struggle was to find a label to release it. Andrew ended up landing the deal through, “lots of emails and harassment.” They discovered Boss Tuneage Records out of the U.K. while they were on tour with The Pavers, now their band label mate, who recommended they send in their demo. From there, Andrew just kept bugging them until they caved in. Now the label is, “really wanting to work with us. They’re getting us over there for a tour, in hundreds of magazines and distribution all over Europe. But as far as U.S. distribution goes, it’s all up to us.”

Although they are on a label, U.S. distribution is only one aspect of their DIY efforts, “As far as artist development, we did the whole CD our ourselves. But what the fuck do we know about development. It’s pretty obvious now. It’s nothing,” adds Brent while chuckling.

“As far as DIY, it’s hard. [Brent’s] thinking about the songs, I’m thinking about the CD cover,” says Andrew , who had to go through five different versions of artwork before it was all over.

Although their individual musical preferences range from Hank Williams Sr., to DMX and the soundtrack to Mary Poppins, Brent doesn’t think, “the influences really mess with us. I think we have an idea of what Reno Divorce is.”

Tony has to add to that, “Brent writes the songs and tells us what Reno Divorce sounds like.”

Joking aside, Seth knows, “that Reno Divorce isn’t going to break out into some pop song.”

So what about a DMX influenced song? “We might,” Seth replies, “never say never. But where I think the music influence come into play is when we’re riding around in the van, listening to each other’s music…music that we wouldn’t normally listen to.”

Brent continues, “We just want to play punk rock music. And with that, you are in a certain mold. Whether you’re conscious of it or not.”

They were planning for a jaunt out to the Mobb Fest in Chicago, where major label big wigs/clip on ponytail execs were going to be present. Whether their goal to get a major label deal or not is still under discussion, “[We’re] not something you hear on the radio and I don’t think it’s going to be the next big thing. But it’s rockin’ and people need to hear it. If a major label can do that, then…” Brent says.

Andrew on the other hand, had a different view, “I’ve had friends who were signed to MCA. They did one CD and they were dropped. They didn’t even get royalties. They just got one pay-off and they were done. I don’t want that to happen to us. It’s bullshit.”

Reno DivorceAt the end of the day, Reno Divorce just wants to play music full-time, without punching a clock at their corporate office or underwear modeling jobs. These are basically the same desires of hundreds of other bands and musicians from all over the country, or the world for that matter. “I don’t need to be a millionaire, I just don’t want to go into the office anymore. I’m tired,” Andrew says.

“Yea, we don’t need elevators in our house,” Seth explains.

“What about a stripper pole with Pamela Anderson?” I ask.

“No way. She’s more plastic than flesh.”

Andrew adds his two cents to our catty discussion, “One day she’s just going to melt.”

Tony, who has been quiet this entire time with the exception of some grunts and grumbles, subtly adds, “She’s just a robot. But I’d have to say, my cucumber could stand up against Tommy Lee.”

The discussion continued down the tawdry path of those Tommy/Pamela videos, Black and Becker vibrators, commercials for Climatique female stimulant, “Which could be the name for our next record,” Brent pipes up, going on to reveal the details of Seth’s huge porno collection, “It’s gotta be illegal. It’s just the bottom of the barrel.”

Before they head into the dark, and cavernous depths of the Crow Bar, Brent finishes our chat with some last thoughts, “None of us are from here. We haven’t played together since we were 14 years old. We’re not scene-sters or pompous. But there’s definitely an unwritten law that you have to go to and play at certain places. And we just don’t subscribe to that. ”

Although Brent accredits this philosophy to their lack of airplay on 1190 or other college stations, it doesn’t seem to be impacting their ability to get booked at venues that are at the center of the music scene. This weekend they have two shows – Friday June 21 at Lion’s Lair, and their CD Release party at 15th Street Tavern.

If you check out either of the shows, you can pick up their new CD, “Naysayers and Yesmen,” or if you’re having a Blockbuster night, go online and buy it at Andrew is also looking to place it at local independent records stores. Hint, hint.


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