Chokebore trivia

Artwork

The picture on the back of Anything Near Water is a photo of the Silver Lake in Los Angeles, taken by Jon.

The photos on the It Could Ruin Your Day EP were taken by Kevin Hanley during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

There is a mistake in the credits for the song The Alaskas on the Days of Nothing EP: it is marked with a $ sign, crediting the recording of the song to Biff Sanders at Motiv in Los Angeles, with (miik) on drums. In reality, it was recorded during the A Taste for Bitters sessions, with sound engineer Peter Deimel, and drummer Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo. Therefore, the song should have been marked with the * sign, like the song Days of Nothing.


Bis Ende

It is Christian's "experimental" project. The name means "until the end" in German.

Christian writes the songs, plays the drum kit, bass guitar, toy instruments, etc... and does some sampling and hand drumming. Some songs feature guest vocalists like Doriandra Smith and Gitane Demone.

See his website at http://members.tripod.com/bisende/


Black Black

The album was named after a Japanese brand of chewing gum!

"Black Black" gum is a popular caffeinated chewing gum sold in Japan by Lotte Confectionery.

The artwork of the American release (Punk iN My Vitamins) was reworked, therefore it is slightly different from the European release (Boomba Rec) in color and layout.
On the back cover, the track listing has been modified, placing the track numbers before the song titles. On the European version, they appeared after the song titles, which is rather unusual and quite tricky. For example, the compilation Sampler Rock Sound Volume 20 mistakenly lists track 7 as Sad Getting Sadder instead of The Perfect Date.


Chokebore

"A chokebore is a mechanical device. I was looking for graphics in a book and I stumbled upon this story of the man who invented the chokebore shotgun, a device to make the shotgun shoot further and more precisely. It sounded nice, and it was a nice little story." (Jon in Salt For Slugs #1)

Dictionary definition:

  1. A shotgun bore that becomes narrower towards the muzzle so that the shot is not scattered.
  2. A shotgun having such a bore.

Christian

Christian on Chokebore after he left the band in 1997:

"When I joined Chokebore in 1995, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know much about the band itself other than they were on Nirvana's final tour.

Musically I was coming from a totally different spectrum. At the time I was in Trillion Stars which is more sonic than rock. I had just finished playing drums for Rozz Williams and his many projects, and finished up a tour with ex-Gang Of Four bass player Dave Allen's solo group. I was also working with Paris of Shadow Project in his experimental instrumental group called EXP.

So it took me a while to really understand where Chokebore were coming from musically since they couldn't understand any of the things I had done or was doing. You see, they have always been together. They grew up together as youngsters and have only been in that one band. So I was for sure the "odd man out". But I must say they were probably the best thing that could have happened at the time because they took me all over Europe, from Finland to Sarajevo and the South of France, etc.

The first recordings we did together were recorded by Polar Bear's drummer Biff "Barefoot" Sanders who I was a fan of since his days in Four Way Cross. These recordings were released as a split 7-inch with Hamburg's own Tocotronic for a tour we did together in 1996. They rock. The second set of recordings we did was for Chokebore's third album "A Taste for Bitters" recorded at Black Box where Shellac recorded "At Action Park". Anyone who has heard this record knows how good that studio is. Steve Albini called it "the best drum room in Europe". Recording there was so amazing. Beautiful French farm countryside, a great producer (Peter) and equipment.

We opened for No Means No, Killdozer and Beck, and made a video in Hamburg all on the same tour. When I was in Chokebore we were always busy during all this. Anytime there was time and if I could get my hands on a bass I would record little bass riffs on my microcassette recorder. This was the beginning of Bis Ende and the end of Chokebore for me. They are still touring everywhere.

I had a great time with them and learned a lot with them."

Christian has rejoined the band in 1999.

"Yes my ears are still fuct they will ring till I die but I have to keep drumming it's what I am not what I do."

He has also played drums for EXP, Trillion Stars, Pay The Man, Shadow Project, Daucus Karota, Heltir, Butt Trumpet, Raymond Pettibon's band Sur Drone, Roger Corman's "Caged Heat 3000" movie soundtrack, and played a human skull named Chuck on the Christian Death record The Path of Sorrows.


Clusterfuck

In the fall of 1993, following the release of Chokebore's debut album Motionless, the Clusterfuck tour took Amphetamine Reptile's three new recruits (Chokebore, Guzzard and Today Is The Day) across the USA: they played in 37 cities over a period of 6 weeks.

Then, in the winter of 1994, the Clusterfuck team made a 5-week tour of Europe, playing 30 shows across 11 different countries.

The limited edition Clusterfuck tour only 7" (featuring silkscreened art by Coop) and the Clusterfuck '94 compilation were released to fund these tours.


Dana Lynn

Dana Lynn was the band's name before they changed it to Chokebore when signing with Amphetamine Reptile Records in 1993.

The band recorded a demo tape in 1989 and released two 7 inch vinyl records.

Their debut 7" single Circle, holding the demo's first three songs, was released in 1991 by Dionysus Records. 1,000 copies were pressed on different vinyl colors. It is still available through the label's mailorder (catalog number: ID074514).

The second 7" (untitled, referred to as "guns") includes early versions of Chokebore songs (Nobody, Chokebore's debut single, and Sadavia, Van McCoy and Shine, found on the debut album Motionless). Released on the band's own Chokeboresound label, it is still available directly from the band.

Additionally, Dana Lynn contributed the previously unreleased track Line Crush (another early Chokebore song) to Thrasher magazine's 1991 Explicit Sk8rok Volume 10 compilation. The band also appeared in skateboard video soundtracks (among which The Acme Skateboard Video from 1992).


Doombuggy

A rock loving farmer from North Dakota released the limited edition Tractor Tunes Volume #1 compilation with issue #5 (winter - spring 2000) of his fanzine "Fresh Cow Pie". The last track of the CD is credited to Doombuggy, and includes a mysterious hidden track. As the liner notes explain:

Doombuggy is Vernon Rumsey. Borstal was written by Dale Flattum and Darren Mor-X and is performed by Doombuggy. The "hidden track" was written by a pretty popular group from England a long time ago and is performed by Chokebore and Doombuggy. Both of these tunes were recorded in November and December of 1999 at Mag Rec One by Vernon Rumsey. Vern is also a member of a pretty famous band and he runs an ass-kicking record label in his spare time.

Vern Rumsey is the founder of the label Punk iN My Vitamins (who released Black Black in the USA), and he played bass in Unwound (the band split up in 2002).
Borstal is a Steel Pole Bath Tub cover. The hidden track is a cover of the Beatles song Her Majesty (from their 1969 album Abbey Road), performed by Chokebore with Vern on vocals.

Interestingly, this cover ends the compilation the same way that the original song ended Abbey Road: as a hidden track after a long gap of silence, starting with a very loud chord. See All Music's review of the song Her Majesty for more details.


Hit Me

The 12th track from Chokebore's debut album Motionless is a re-interpretation of Rod Stewart's classic 1978 hit Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?. The music is quite different, but the lyrics remain the same, except for the chorus which was changed into the famous "Hit me" line.


Microinternational

"Microinternational is a group of artists that come together to execute various events, avoiding a concrete basis of identity while generating several concrete manifestations."

Jonathan is an active member of this group, together with Kevin Hanley, who designed the artwork of several Chokebore records.

The left-hand photo on the cover of A Taste for Bitters was taken by Nicoletta Munroe during a performance titled "The Twilight Waltz", which took place at the Acme gallery in Santa Monica, CA, on January 7 1995. In the album credits, the photo is referred to as "documentation of a performance by microinternational".

Here are some more photos of "The Twilight Waltz", taken by Nicoletta Munroe and Eo Harper.

See their website at http://www.microint.org/


The Rest of Your Evening

The Rest of Your Evening is the title of the 13th and last track on the CD versions of A Taste for Bitters and Black Black. On both records, this final track is quite long, its title inviting the nightly listener to enjoy a moment of calm after the sonic storm.

On the album A Taste for Bitters, The Rest of Your Evening is a recording of a Swedish girl called Zenobia translating the album's lyrics into Swedish over the phone (duration: 20:20).

On Black Black, it is a slow, peaceful tune played over and over again (duration: 15:10).

In the fall of 2000, the band (with Christian once again on the drums) recorded a new version of that tune, enriched with a stream of lyrics and a long lead guitar improvisation. This new version, entitled The Rest of Your Evening (Los Angeles) (duration: 18:47), was released in February 2001 on Chokebore's Strange Lines EP (Redwood Records), on CD and limited edition 12" colored vinyl. Redwood's boss Chris wanted to release this song on vinyl because it wasn't included on the LP version of Black Black.


Writing

Troy doesn't only write lyrics and music for Chokebore. He writes down every idea that springs to his mind, and he is looking forward to writing and publishing a book one day.

Unfortunately, the diary he was keeping was stolen in Spain during a tour in 1997, and an important part of his work has been lost.

The only writings that were published are short stories: "Squiggart Was a Fancypants" in issue #14 (December 1994) of Magnet, and "The Life and Death of Me in the Silken Arms of Pedro the Great" in "Bentime Stories", issue #28 (September 1997) of Ben Is Dead fanzine.