Music News

Seems Like Old Times

Page 5 of 5

The rehearsals and tune-up gig have given the band renewed confidence. Further plans have been made. The upcoming show will be recorded for a live disc. There is also talk of working on a studio album, a second volume of Old Favorites & New.

Much of this, and any future efforts, depends on Larson's hectic schedule. The Peacemakers will be making their own record soon; extended touring is expected to follow.

While he ultimately holds the cards to the group's activities, the guitarist knows the real attraction of the band doesn't rest in the hands of any one member. "When people come to see us now, I know they're not coming just because I'm playing -- they want to see the four of us. It's the four of us being together that's really important. I don't have any illusions about that."

Much of the talk surrounding the group has focused on its local legacy -- one that's grown exponentially with time. Even 12 years after forming, Dead Hot's sound and style -- low-slung guitars, minor-key ruminations, crunching country chords -- are still being copied by each successive generation of Valley bands.

Larson's assessment of Dead Hot's stature is predictably guarded. "I never thought we were a great band. I thought we were a really cool, unique band with some really great moments. Maybe one out of every five or 10 shows would just stick out and I'd think, 'My God, this is it. This is why I play music.' That's why I stayed with the band so long -- because of those great moments. I guess that's part of why I'm doing this."

For Scott, the band's meaning has not been sullied by concerns of what might've been.

"The big thing is we're all still together and still alive -- and that the music's still intact. I consider that a success," he says. "Sure, it's too bad it didn't work out the way it's supposed to in the fairytale books, but that's all right."

"For us, the band was a dream come true in some ways and the heartbreak of our lives in other ways," says Grippe. "It's a very sentimental thing. But I would feel perfectly fulfilled and at ease if it ended tomorrow."

"That last gig at Long Wong's had a lot to do with that. I felt like we had something to prove, and we did. It really hit me at the end of the night listening to the audience's response. I realized they weren't just applauding for the last 45 minutes, they were applauding for the last 12 years. That was the difference . . . ," he says, trailing off. His voice choked with emotion, Grippe repeats the last part in a hushed whisper, "Yeah, man, that was for the last 12 years."

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Bob Mehr
Contact: Bob Mehr