When I was in high school, I was in a band with my two best friends: Jonathan and Rob. We didn't do much more than spend hours sitting in the basement, screaming into headphones that had been plugged into an amplifier's input while one of us turned the knobs on a delay pedal. Basically, we were great.
Unfortunately, we didn't make it big. Frankly, we didn't even make it small. We played on ill-fated show in a pasture that is best not spoken of.
After high school, Rob went off to college at Guilford College, home of the Fighting Quakers ('Fight fight inner light/kill, Quakers, kill') and became friends with a young man from Goldsboro named Robert Biggers. This was during a largely pre-email era (we had email addresses, but we didn't use them for anything other than subscribing to Sebadoh-L).
It wasn't until after graduation from college that I met Robert. He and Rob were passing through Louisville, where Matt and I were living at the time, and spent the night. We had a jam session in the basement of our house with me playing the drums. Nothing musically fulfilling came of the evening. To be honest, Rob and I both sort of need to stay as far from the drums as humanly possible.
I remember Robert telling us that despite the fact that he was clearly a very talented guitar player that he had just joined a band as their drummer. This band was called the White Octave, which also seemed like really cool name for a band, so I was totally jealous.
"Why can't I be good at things and have a good band name?" I asked Matt.
"Would you please put on some pants?"
By pure chance, Jennifer decided to apply to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill for graduate school. Within a few months, Matt and I were living in Chapel Hill, just down the road from Rob and Robert. The band Matt and I started the day we rolled into town, V. Sirin, practiced in their house on the nights that the White Octave wasn't practicing.
That house was our home base for a few years, the locus of many rambunctious parties, one which even had a child's moonwalk that nearly killed me when it deflated while I was inside. It was where we all met up for my bachelor party, Rob, Robert and Matt yelling surprise and then putting a copy of "Spice World" in the VCR. I have to admit, I was sad when Rob and Robert moved out, to some house on Huse St. in Durham. DURHAM! It was the end of an era, my youth gone! I was certain we'd never hang out again or have fun parties or anything.
After V. Sirin broke up and after I asked Matt to join my new band, named Audubon Park on Jennifer's suggestion, I asked Nick Petersen and Ben Dunlap to be in the band. The four of us played once, and it went well, but they were far too busy to be in Audubon Park.
In another stroke of luck, The White Octave broke up around this time. I realized that I had no desire to be in a band that worked hard and promoted itself and tried to be good. I just wanted to be in a band with my friends. So I asked Robert if he wanted to play.
"Sure. I just got this keyboard and it makes these strange sounds and I don't really know what it does. Listen." The keyboard made and uncontrollable noise like a Valkyrie dying.
"It sounds perfect to me."