Welcome to another “Flip the Script Friday”. Although The Serious Tip has been primarily a sports-related blog since its inception, on any given Friday I “flip the script” and blog about whatever I so desire. Today I am going introduce you to a band I hold near and dear to my heart, Illinois-based rock band Alternate End.
I’m a big fan of things local. I like local shops, local bookstores, local pizzarias, local breweries, and local stripclubs. If it’s local, I’ll give it a shot. Support your local businesses, right? Nowhere is my penchant for localness more evident however, than with local bands. Although I haven’t really gotten into the Tampa scene yet, every other place I have lived I knew some of the best bands to go see.
With this in mind, and because it’s Flip the Script Friday and it’s my day to blog about whatever I feel, I’d like to present an interview I did with a local band from Illinois. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Alternate End.
(Before you ask, why are you interviewing a band from Illinois? Aren’t you from Florida? Yes, I am from the Sunshine State. But I’ve known two of these guys for over ten years. They were there for my first shot of liquor (hey man, this ain’t no sippin’ tea!) and they were there when a stripper punched me in the family jewels (get up bitch!). So I interviewed them. Enjoy.)
Alternate End is:
Scot Schaumburg (Rifftageous Guitar, Backing Vocals)
David Burdick (Lead Vocals, Drums)
Aaron O’Claire (Lead Guitar, Harmonica)
Shelby Martin (Bass, Backing Vocals)
The Serious Tip: Who is Alternate End?
Aaron O’Claire: Alternate End is a cutting edge alternative Chicago-land group which consists of four members. Aaron O’Claire, Scott Schaumburg, Shelby Martin, and David Burdick.
Shelby Martin: Alternate End is a musical band comprised of four white middle class average dudes.
David Burdick: A band.
TST: How did you guys form? When?
Scot Schaumburg: I got out of the army I asked Shelbs to move up here to go to school with me. After that Shelbs and I met Aaron through the veteran’s fraternity. A little later we met this quirky drummer working at a bowling alley. Eventually we decided to learn how to play instruments and start a band. The rest is history.
Burdick: My parents got together one day (approximately July of 1981) and decided to make a baby, if I need to explain the logistics of it from there let me know.
O’Claire: We formed by random chance in April 2001.
Martin: We got together while we all attended Northern Illinois University. The band formed after we found out that we all had an interest in playing music.
TST: How did you come up with the name Alternate End?
Schaumburg: Band name was originally PrAnk. Good name that fit us at the time but we went through some changes that lead us to the name Alternate End. Alternate End is in reference too not knowing how things will end up.
Burdick: PrAnK was not serious enough, we had some restructuring of the band, wanted to make a bad ass road sign, ended up with Alternate End.
O’Claire: It took a series of months. Each of us came up with at least 20 different names and passed around our lists to each other. We then crossed out the ones that we didn’t like.
Martin: We thought about Alternate Route like in a detour but we came up with Alternate End. It sounds better.
TST: Influences as musicians? As a band?
Schaumburg: Wow. I guess you could call them influences although I am not nearly as good as them but my favorite musicians are Tom Morello, Tim Salt, and Jerry Cantrell. Favorite bands Doors, Pearl Jam, and Beatles.
Burdick: Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, Marvin Gaye, Jazz.
O’Claire: Dave Matthews Band, Weezer, Jimi Hendrix.
Martin: Personally I am strongly influenced by Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine-Inch Nails. As a band we all draw from multiple influences.
TST: Memories of your first show?
Schaumburg: Ahhh first show, I guess that is debatable. I remember our first being a pig roast at Aaron’s house. We didn’t have a PA so we sang through a bass amp. No one could hear the vocals but that was probably for the best. Dave bought us matching hats.
Burdick: The Chef was the shit, that guy is probably cracked out lying face down in a ditch somewhere. Oh yeah, and Shampoo girl was called the Harmonica Song.
O’Claire: We used to stand our amps on old beer kegs and sang through a Peavy bass amp head that was connected to some 15 speakers Shelby bought from Chuck Mitchell (Joni Mitchell’s ex-husband).We had a small crowd and we sucked, but it was fun at the time.
Martin: We started by playing a party for our fraternity. Some dude just walks in wearing a chef’s Hat. He jumps on the mic and starts rapping or some shit. It was hilarious.
TST: Most memorable show?
Schaumburg: First headlining show at Otto’s main stage. It was over Christmas break at school and campus was dead but for some reason the place was packed. A lot of great energy and the show rocked. Once in an interview Aaron said that he wanted to play the main stage at Otto’s so I guess that was the pinnacle of our career.
Burdick: Playing in Keokuk and having my stick break during playing a fundraiser for Shelby’s aunt. Only time in my career a stick has broken during a gig.
O’Claire: Probably the Maple Ave pub. Everyone was really into us and had a great time.
Martin: Our most memorable show has to be playing the benefit for my Aunt who passed away.
TST: Favorite fan story?
Schaumburg: Opening for Monky Cocktail in Indiana. Aaron hooked up with some chick that we saw at a restaurant the next day wearing the same clothes. I guess you could call her a fan.
Burdick: The girl in Valporaiso, IN hitting on me being passed on to Scoot, then being passed on to O’Claire and finally her making out with O’Claire. Then seeing her the next day at breakfast, in the same clothing.
O’Claire: Having bras thrown at us when we playing a show at a theater.
TST: Favorite Alternate End (or PrAnk) song? Why?
Schaumburg: My favorite is probably College Blues. It is the best collection of music, lyrics, and vocals that represents us in my opinion.
Burdick: I am a fan of College Blues, I think out of all of the songs we play it is O’Claire’s least sucky guitar performance, and the song itself is very catchy.
O’Claire: Shampoo Girl. Hilarious. My little Elliott brother who was in high school at the time walked up to me and said, “Dude, when I’ve been fucking my girlfriend lately I can’t feel anything.” He was dating a ballerina at the time. I said to him, “What are you talking about? She’s like a 105 pounds soaking wet.” He said, “Well she’s been telling me that she’s been masturbating in the shower with a shampoo bottle.” My jaw dropped. I said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” and just started laughing. I told the guys about it, and we wrote that song about the story.
Martin: My favorite song is Inner Voices. It is real dark and cool. We never play it though.
TST: Albums released? New releases coming out?
Schaumburg: Songs by PrAnk, Four and a High Chair, Alternate End EP. We are always working on new material.
Burdick: Kinda. Maybe.
O’Claire: We’ve self-released three albums, and are currently working on new material for a fourth.
Martin: We have three albums. One of those is only a five song demo that has two of our previously recorded songs on it.
TST: How can people check you guys out if they can’t see you live?
Schaumburg: Our myspace, our website.
Martin: Join our mailing list.
TST: Last comments, shout-outs, announcements, etc?
Schaumburg: Peace, we’re out of here.
Burdick: A:F6 and I love you, Scoot.
Martin: I want to give a shout out to Dave Chapelle, holla.