Posies Biography – 1995

By Ken Stringfellow

THE HISTORY: This is our fourth album, maybe this is the fourth Posies bio that’s been tossed across your desk, maybe you’ve read the previous three and you’re wondering why the names of the people in our band keep changing. Maybe you’ve never heard of us before. If you haven’t, here’s a recap:

In 1988, my friend Jon and I recorded an album in Jon’s home studio that was picked up by Seaftle’s PopLIama Records. The album, Failure, was played on local radio stations, reviewed in local papers, and the offers for shows in local clubs followed — which was great, except that we had no band. With two weeks to go before the first show, we found Rick Roberts (a bass player) and Mike Musburger (a drummer). We played a ton of shows, and people started to like us. The Failure LP started to get good reviews in some magazines outside Seattle, and some bands in Seattle started to get popular, and some labels from big cities outside Seattle started to sign all the bands here. We took the opportunity to hook up with DGC Records and we released an album with them in 1990 called Dear 23. It was a very pretty album and some papers and magazines wrote some excellent things about it; we even got to tour the USA with Redd Kross and the Replacements. Bonny.

We took the next couple of years to write a lot of songs, and we.got a new bass player, Dave Fox. In 1993 we released the album Frosting on the Beater, again on DGC. This album also got a lot of nice things written about it (in Spin, CMJ and Melody Maker) and a lot more people heard this one. In France, the single “Dream All Day” was a hit, and after 21/2 months of touring Europe with Teenage Fanclub, we established a following there that has invited us back a half dozen times. We toured Japan as well. Not to say that people in the USA didn’t like us — radio stations and MTV played “Dream All Day” quite a bit — but it’s cool to go to other countries and eat their food, you know?

So, after 14 months of Posies’tours for Frosting, Mike Musburger quit. Dave Fox didn’t last either, and now we have Joe Bass as the bass player, and Brian Young is our drummer. In a lot of ways, these guys should have been here the whole time. We played plenty of good shows in the past, but Joe & Brian take the Posies up to a whole new level – they’re powerful, loud, intense musicians, and they’ve got soul to boot.

We recorded this album, Amazing Disgrace, our third for DGC, in Seattle, during most of 1995. It’s pretty embarrassing to describe your own music, so I’m not going to bother. A lot of people say that our records are pop (the Los Angeles Times compared Dear 23 to Abbey Road, fer Chrissakes), but that our live shows rock hard. I think that now they’ll say our records have caught up, but that doesn’t mean we sound like Stone Temple Pilots or MOtley Croe or anything now. No way. We like to mix loud & quiet, harsh & pretty, and we like lyrics that aren’t obvious on the first or 1,000,000th listen. Our manifesto is to cultivate self-expression and individuality in ourselves and others. And maybe that’s the biggest impediment to our success — that we don’t sound like everybody else. But I think that’s a good thing.

Here’s some other stats about us: Ringo Starr covered one of our songs (“Golden Blunders” from Dear 23); we opened for President Clinton. Jon and I play in one of our favorite bands-Big Star-with original members Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens. Jon mixed an album for Australia’s You Am I that entered the charts there at number one; Robin Zander & Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick sing and play on “Hate Song” on our new record; I’m married to the bass player (Kim Warnick) in Eddie Vedder’s favorite band the Fastbacks — with all this stuff going on, if we could just get famous, we’d be famous. See you on tour.