White Label Series
The Jade Shader 'Sea Stacks and Sleestaks'
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"I knew Jade Shader was gonna be great. I just didn't know in what way. A few things I knew for sure:
1. Terrin Durfey was in the band.
I knew Terrin (since before he was in Boilermaker) as an affable yet determined kid who seemed to enjoy making me uncomfortable in a cheerful way. The first time I met him, he snuck up to me in a local record store with a grey hoodie pulled over his head, and tapped me on the shoulder like he was gonna start some shit. "You know what I really like?" he asked gruffly, brandishing his Walkman like a concealed weapon and revealing the cassette inside to have the words Heavy Vegetable Demos scrawled on it.
As with anyone who ever met him, we became fast friends. It was instantly obvious that Boilermaker was going to be a big part of the wave of interesting music that was happening around then. I got to book their first show and was even in the band, briefly, till they realized my "style" was just a distraction from their true purpose.
Terrin's powerful voice and linebacker-style bass playing were a force to be reckoned with and those Boilermaker LPs were filled with innovative emotional gut-punching hooks that still hold up. My own sons have organically gravitated to those records, and often listen to them when they lay down at night.
2. Chris Prescott was in the band.
Not only was Chris the drummer of lunatic local band Fishwife (which later became Tanner), but he had also penned many monster riffs in Hemlock, a group in which he shared singing duties as well as sculpting amazingly perfect guitar tones.
I was at the old Casbah the first time I met Chris. He creeped out from the shadows of a nearby doorway with a grey hoodie pulled over his head, acting like he was gonna start some shit and said gruffly, “Hey, I really like your band.”
Like Terrin, we made fast friends. Chris would often spend his lunch breaks at the apartment I shared with Travis Nelson and Elea Tenuta, all of us playing each other our current ideas and sharing new musical discoveries.
Fast forward many years to a night when I was playing the last show of a long US Pinback tour in front of one the largest, craziest crowds I’ve ever performed to. But the only thing I could think about was that after the show, Chris and Terrin were playing at the Casbah for the first time ever as The Jade Shader and I absolutely could not miss it.
Like I said, I knew it was gonna be good.
Thereafter, I never missed an opportunity to see them play. ABSIV and I eventually drafted both Terrin and Chris into the live Pinback touring band. I can’t tell you how excited I am to FINALLY HEAR THESE SONGS AGAIN after all these years. Terrin was one of the kindest and most inspiringly fun people I have ever known. When he passed, he left a lot of amazing memories behind for the rest of us, and now—somehow—he’s still creating new ones.
All right, for real now.
I'm sorry if the above description is too self-referential, but I was trying to think of a fun anecdote to draw away from how much of an incredibly emotional impact this album has had on me and sometimes it's difficult to write about something you really care about without sounding like an asshole.
It's curl-up-into-a-ball good.
I miss Terrin and they were such a fucking great band. It was an honor to sing on “From Above,” but I know how much better Terrin would have sounded. I gotta hand it to Allen Epley for putting his spin on there, yet nailing the context of the songs he sang on (“The Sky is a Sea” might be my favorite song on this album). I literally haven't gotten these songs out of my head since hearing the masters. They really do speak for themselves, even after all this time and all the work Prescott and company did to patch it all together into something tangible. It's so fucking good. I hope you hear what I hear."
Never be afraid to tell your friends you love them,"
— Rob Crow