Some of you might remember that I bitched & moaned a while back about the fact that local noise-rock dudes The Jonbenét are breaking up after their final show at the hopefully-moved Walter's on December 19th.
Anyway, after hearing the news from guitarist Dann Miller, I hit him up with a few questions about the death of the band, their legacy, and what the hell the band members will all be going on to afterwards; he was kind enough to answer.
SCR: What the hell, man? Why the breakup? I know you've been somewhat on hiatus for a while anyway, but didn't you guys add Bryan Jackson not too long ago?
Dann: There's not really a distinct reason for the breakup. After having another bass player quit, it really just slows down the process, and I told Bryan [Jackson] when he joined that he was jumping on a sinking ship. There's a lot of reasons why things slowed down for us, and rather than snail along, we'd rather just call it a day and have a couple last awesome shows.
Is this the absolute-and-total end? No hope of reunion shows or whatnot later on down the road?
Not at all. We're all great friends still; it's not like there's personal reasons behind this, but some of us want to go off and do other things for a while. These could be the last shows, and we're calling them the last shows, but you never know.
I remember seeing something about multiple projects y'all are moving on to -- can you talk about those at all? Glad to hear this isn't the end of all things musical...
Never! I aim to always be in at least one band. Bryan and I are in Black Congress, except he does vocals and I play bass. We are also in a Danzig cover band that I sing in called Dannzig, where I do vocals and he plays bass. We're going to try and play Halloween every year. I live with Mike Murland and his wife, and they've been writing songs for an electronic duo-type thing called Golden Snakes. Drew Ireland is intending on joining the Peace Corps soon, so I think he's slowing it down musically.
Weren't you guys working on some new stuff? Is there anything Jonbenet-related that's still yet to be released, like "The Sun"?
We have four recorded, unreleased songs. They're all up on Myspace right now. Then we have two more that were almost done, but I think we're going to leave them unrecorded, and I might use one for Black Congress.
What was the reaction to you guys' music outside of Houston, just out of curiousity? The Jonbenet was one of the few bands here to be signed to an out-of-town label, so I'd always figured JB shows elsewhere were pretty off the hook.
It varied. We've played shows that were fantastic with great turnouts and people driving from all over to see us, and we've played shows where we were booed and kicked out by bartenders -- i.e., Pittsburgh with God's Temple of Family Deliverance. You can usually tell if it's going to be a good show by the average dress code of the audience. If they have tight pants and Black Sabbath shirts, it's going to be awesome. If twelve of them are wearing basketball shorts and the same straightedge hoodie, it's probably not going to be so great.
Any regrets? Last words? Middle fingers?
Regrets: Well I always hoped we'd be a band like the Melvins and have like 20 records for sale at our merch table, but who the fuck wants to listen to 20 records of the same band? Especially if it's The Jonbenét.
Last words: These were great times of our lives. We saw a lot of shit. Met lots of cool people.
Middle fingers: Too many to think of right now. I can get back to you with a comprehensive database. END
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