THE QUARTER AFTER
It’s been about two years since the release of the debut album by California’s own The Quarter After, flag wavers for all things melodious and harmonious in the vocal department, combined with the jangle, fuzz, and noise of their soaring guitars. In the grand tradition of many rock’n’roll “brother” bands, the Quarter After is led by the two Campanella siblings- songwriter/singer Dominic and guitarist/producer Robert. The band greets the new year of 2008 with their second release, Changes Near.
The Quarter After was formed in the first year of our young century in the Campanella’s home town of Los Angeles. The brothers started jamming with a young bass guitar wizard from Ohio, Dave Koenig (ex- Brian Jonestown Massacre, currently Spindrift) and dynamic veteran east coast drummer Nelson Bragg (now in the Brian Wilson Band) to create a propulsive and sympathetic rhythm section to complement their psychedelic/folk sounds. The quartet came of age in the burgeoning L.A. psych scene along side such bands as the Beachwood Sparks, the Warlocks, and the Tyde. After honing their live show playing gigs up and down the West Coast, The Quarter After were personally chosen by Arthur Lee and Love to be the only opening band for his first show in seven years after his release from prison. After such a triumph and upward momentum the Quarter After did what any decent band would do—break up for almost two years.
But in 2003, inspired by an invitation to open up a show with their friends, Dead Meadow, the band reformed and the reconvened in the studio to finally put together their first album. Their eponymous debut was released on Ric Menck’s Birdsong label and earned impressive reviews. The record confounded only those critics who couldn’t wrap their heads around a band that could write near-perfect 3 minute pop songs and have them co-exist alongside extended, spiraling, psychedelic epics. One person who understood where the Quarter After were coming from happened to be musician and DJ, Steve Jones, who began spinning songs from this record on his influential and popular radio show, Jonesy’s Jukebox, on LA’s Indie 103.1 FM. Jonesy not only regularly began playing “A Parting”, one the finest examples of Dominic’s songcraft, but also the band’s nearly 12 minute psych tour-de-force “Too Much To Think About”— a highlight of The Quarter After’s live show.
Along with new bass player Victor Peñalosa, and substitute drummer Joel Williams, national and west coast tours followed, sharing the stage with bands such as the Black Angels, the Lovetones, the High Dials and the Brian Jonestown Massacre (of which brother Rob is an on-and-off-again member), as well as an appearance in 2006 at SXSW. The band is now looked upon by those in the know to be one of the leaders in the “3rd Wave Of Psychedelia,” and selections from the band’s first record were chosen to be on the “Turn On Your Mind” compilation put out by Psyilocybin Sounds and Northern Star Records’ “Psychedelica: Volume II” compilation.
Throughout all of this activity, the last couple years saw Dominic writing and demo-ing new songs while Rob remained an in-demand producer, working on recordings by the Tyde, the Black Angels, Mia Doi Todd, Scarling, Goldrush, the Morning After Girls, as well as upcoming 2008 releases by Dead Meadow and Innaway. The naturally symbiotic combination of Dominic’s songwriting and Rob’s producing has resulted in the new Quarter After record, Changes Near.
Changes Near is still the Quarter After as we know them -- Dominic’s prominent twelve-string Rickenbacker and rich melodies set the tone for songs that range from dense guitar-driven psychedelic attacks to further explorations into down home country in the grand tradition of West Coast rock. There are more “roots” influences present, from country to gospel to English folk to garage rock. The songs are tighter and more concise though there is still no shortage of the droning psych, eastern scales and proto-punk noise created by Rob’s guitar.
All Quarter After members past and present make appearances on this record as well as a fantastic collection of LA musicians including friend and mentor Ric Menck (Velvet Crush, the Tyde), Matthew Sweet, Miranda Lee Richards, Mara Keagle, Eric Heywood (Son Volt), Christoff W. Certik (Winter Flowers), Kirk Hellie (Meow Meow), Probyn Gregory (Wondermints, Brian Wilson Band), and Matthew Sigley (Lovetones, Daytime Frequency). There’s also help from Anton Newcombe and Collin Hegna of the BJM, who helped steer some of the mixes with Rob.
The Quarter After recently completed a late summer tour of the U.K. with fellow compatriots the Asteroid #4, creating their biggest buzz so far and plans are currently being made for tours of North America and Europe in support of the new record. Changes Near is being released on newly revamped label the Committee To Keep Music Evil, a partnership between Rob and Anton of the BJM, manufactured and distributed through Cargo U.K. Look for other bands and new releases from the Committee in the coming year.