“Time basically stops when you lose somebody,” East Cameron Folkcore chief wrangler Jesse Moore explains of the months following the death of longtime friend and bandmate Jon Pettis, who died in an electrical fire in Oct. 2009.
“Everything around you stops moving, and you’re within this cloud for a long time. At some point, you wake up and realize all this time has gone by. Internally, healing has commenced, and there’s a sense of having to move forward.”
Consider Sound & Fury healing’s first step. ECF’s 2011 debut, written and conceived entirely by Moore, became the 11-person local collective’s public coping mechanism, a riveting look into the grieving process of a community shattered by loss.
But it’s not what defines the band.
Today, Pettis’ presence is as much a part of ECF’s musical ethos as it was when he and Moore were splitting riffs in Bankrupt & the Borrowers. In fact, the grandiose punkchestral sound that pervades second album For Sale plays out as a testament to Pettis’ background.
“I wouldn’t have started listening to guys like Gustav Mahler if it wasn’t for him,” attests Moore.
That reverence makes For Sale sonically compelling, but it’s ECF’s keen eye toward the future that presses its political message.
“We recorded last summer in the middle of this huge, bought election where everybody was just throwing money onto the table,” Moore says. “Everything you thought was wrong with politics got brushed out into broad daylight and nobody seemed to care.
“It struck me on so many different levels. Everything has become for sale, and there’s no integrity behind people. It’s all about getting the money. Allen [Dennard, singer] had graffitied this tag that said ‘Everything you think is for sale.’
“It wrapped up the entire idea. Even the songs that weren’t written around that idea still carry this concept of being beaten down and needing to fight back.”– Chase Hoffberger