The singer says that it took him some time to get off heroin, but he finally snapped out of it. "I came to my senses," he says. "I've been clean and sober for two years."

While the band members took time away from each other, they went back to work — LaCross at a design company. Addington managed a telemarketing office, Turner painted drywall for his father-in-law, Cole did vinyl graphic installations, and Woosley tried it all, even officiating rec-league hockey games.

It didn't take them long to return to music. Woosley joined the local act Giantkiller and, later, formed Paper Airplane with Turner. Addington and Turner reignited The Desperate Hours, a side project that remained dormant when Turner and Addington toured with Fivespeed. And Cole jammed with Art for Starters, the new band of former Before Braille singer Dave Jensen.

Fivespeed: Don't call it a comeback.
courtesy of Fivespeed
Fivespeed: Don't call it a comeback.


Fivespeed are scheduled to perform Saturday, August 15.
The Tilted Kilt in Peoria

"We had that bug again," Woosley says. "We weren't making music with Fivespeed, so we were all looking to other outlets."

But they never fully let go of Fivespeed.

"It took three years, basically, to get our lives back in order," Woosley says. "Everyone had little problems, whether it be drugs or alcohol or anything like that. I slept on Jesse's couch for, like, a year and a half."

After the wounds had time to heal, Woos­ley and Turner got the wheels turning for an unofficial Fivespeed reunion show by reaching out to the rest of the band. They began practicing again and found themselves jelling in no time.

"We realized we were on the same page again," Woosley says. "Once we were all in the same room, we decided to make it a full-time (gig) again."

"We all got along great, and we were joking and laughing," Addington says. "I don't think I stopped laughing during our first few practices."

The band was invited to open for the now-defunct Stereotyperider (which once included Addington on drums) at the Yucca Tap Room in February. It was their first show in nearly three years.

"We hopped onto that show, like, a couple weeks before it went off," Woosley says. "We had been practicing for two to three weeks. It was brand new that we were thinking about doing this again. We didn't promote the show at all. We just wanted to see what happened. It was awful. We played awful, but a lot of fans came out and so did a lot of our friends."

The band found that people were still interested in seeing Fivespeed perform. Fans from other cities drove in to watch their "reunion" performance, Woosley says.

"People who really cared came out of the woodwork," he says. "Before, we were too wrapped up in paying our bills or not paying our bills, and the stress and the arguments and the little things that we took for granted, to really notice how much people cared. We let those things affect the way we noticed a response from the people who lived in the same hometown as us."

And the group's MySpace page started blowing up on a national level, Turner says.

"There were people from out of state that were upset that we weren't going to their towns," he says. "We got a lot of 'when are you going to tour again?' We had comment after comment just asking, 'Are you guys back?' 'Tell me you're back,' 'I need to hear a new record.' There was a lot of that nationwide, rather than just a local response."

After all they went through individually, Fivespeed seems pretty fun, Addington says.

"I've always felt that music starts from people first, and, right now, we're all getting along great and we're all having a great time, and I think that's why it's so fun to write and to practice," he says. "We endured one of the hardest runs you could endure for a band."

"We lost our identity," LaCross says. "But now that we revisited and came back, it's like we do have an identity. We're playing for us again. It was like we were trying to make too many people happy and not ourselves. We forgot what we were writing about and what for, and everything started sounding mechanical and nobody loved it. It's kind of like that saying that, 'If you set something free and it comes back' — to me, that kind of holds true."

And as for a new disc, Woosley says one is in the works for 2010. This time, though, Fivespeed will go the independent route.

"We will never give up our rights ever again," Addington says.

"The only good thing that came out of all of that is that we really learned what we don't want to do," LaCross says of working with Virgin. "We let everybody else take control of our band, and we lost it. We went into it very naive. We thought these people were going to help us and guide us and give us direction and it was none of that . . . This is ours, and nobody is going to tell us the way we're going to play — ever, ever again."

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Eric Rivera
Eric Rivera

Hay that is so cool! Jesse this is your cousin Eric and I am glad to hear your ok! U know we haven't talked but I Did check in and ask about u! What you said is so true, I am glad to hear your back playing! God works miracles in our lives and blessed you and your friends with amazing talents! Use them and make all your dreams come true! Keep your hand on your heart and your eyes on the stars! God bless u! Send me a cd! Lol!

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