I think about Lance a lot. Always supportive, upbeat even if a little subtly dour, and made me want to do my thing earnestly. A friendly acquaintance more than a friend, it's not as if we were especially close, but from the first interaction in 1994 at a show we played together with CHRISTIE FRONT DRIVE (that sunburn on the drummer's feet still makes me cringe - pun intended) to sitting in John and Patsy's living room on Achilles in the mid-'00s with the last (and fiercest) J CHURCH line up, listening to Lance go off about how much he hated being around other people's farts ("It's like microscopic particles of YOUR SHIT, in MY NOSE" he yelled, before we realized he wasn't joking) which made us all wonder how he had endured nearly 20 years of touring. I was talking to my pal Chris the other day about their legacy, a conversation started by me blurting out that J CHURCH > JAWBREAKER, and Chris surmised that they "suffered" from Lance's steadfast DIY punk-ness. Tons of releases, heaps of EPs and splits, recording quality all over the map, always playing tons of shows that maybe people cared about or maybe they didn't, nothing calculated....just doing the damn thing. As a result, there's gonna be a bit of chud in the catalog, and there will be countless forgettable shows - but man I fukkn love that band, and they get even better in retrospect not in spite of that "don't give a fukk" approach...but because of it. I wish J CHURCH had made another record, I wish that Lance had finished his anarcho-punk book, I wish that we had gotten to hang out with him again, even once. So I hold my breath, thinking what we've lost just in the last month. Thinking about the life of Emma. And I keep that breath in, thinking about the last time I talked to Shawn and how he seemed so blissfully upbeat even in the face of struggles that I can't even comprehend. And I think about hanging out with Erik in the same living room where we all sat with Lance...drinking and laughing and sharing and LIVING, and I'm scared to exhale.
The first two tracks are almost hopelessly warped, THE SMITHS cover is a novelty at best, but "Lines" is a perfect-HÜSKER DÜ piece of magic and I feel it's important to celebrate every damn minute of life you can get your hands on. Not an easy task, by any means.