Spotlight: American Music Club
Of all the rock bands of the past 20 years, one of the most distinctive sounds is that of the American Music Club. Formed in San Francisco in 1983, singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel, guitarist Vudi, and bassist Dan Pearson synthesized rock, country, blues, folk, pop, and punk into something that defied description.
When they split up in 1995, they left behind seven albums, including what many consider their masterpiece, 1991's Everclear. They've since gone on to solo careers, with Eitzel being the most prolific, retaining a great deal of the band's fan base.
Nearly 10 years on, the American Music Club has regrouped, currently recording a new set of songs and taking their act back on the road. According to Eitzel, the original split was amicable, and each of the individuals kept in contact over the years.
"I didn't ever want to break up the band. I want to say that up front," says Eitzel. "Even though I did actually."
The reunion began in earnest when he was recording a solo record in Chicago.
"As an experiment, I came to San Francisco to record one song with Danny and drummer Tim Mooney," he relates. "This song that took several attempts with my band in Chicago, they got the second time around.
"For me it was like, 'Oh, I forgot how good you were.' They understand the kinds of songs that I write. As we continued, it raised the bar on my songwriting."
And what can the fans expect live?
"We're trying not to be assholes. We have about 18 new songs, but we've also learned about 20 old AMC songs. We're working pretty hard. There are fans that have loved the band for years, so we're trying to please them.
"Oh, and I don't talk in between songs any more," he deadpans.