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February 1st, 2006 Sam Dodge Soule | Riff City
 

Crack Up

Crackerbash, one of Portland's greatest bands ever, breaks up. Again.

     
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Breaking up is hard to do: Crackerbash 2.0 at MusicfestNW 2005. Now headed for Splitsville.
IMAGE: CHRYSTAEI BRANCHAW
When Crackerbash reunited for MusicfestNW last fall, the result was as gloriously explosive as anything the Portland band wrought back in its early-'90s heyday. We wanted more—and we got it. On Jan. 21 and 22, Crackerbash continued its hot streak with shows at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle and a return to the Crystal Ballroom. There had also been speculation that Crackerbash might agree to a high-profile tour with Modest Mouse this summer. But by the Monday after the shows, reports were coming in that Crackerbash was history, again. On Tuesday, Sean Croghan confirmed as much by phone, and last Wednesday, Crackerbash's spasmodic singer-guitarist sat down with WW to share his thoughts about his band's impressive—and mindful—comeback run.

WW: Word is you guys were considering doing dates with Modest Mouse this summer right up until this weekend.

Sean Croghan: I think I was the only one who was seriously considering the Modest Mouse dates. Scott [Fox, bassist] and Ted [Miller, drummer] are both family men now, and they both have serious careers. I would have been willing to drop everything and just take off. But I think after we played together this weekend, we kind of decided, Crackerbash had its time—and that time was firmly grounded in the early '90s.

An admirable stance.

Admirable or not, I think it's just being realistic. Ted lives in Memphis, and we don't get to practice.

As fun as it was to go back and reexamine those songs and kind of get a new appreciation for them, we had to let it go. It wasn't the same throwing myself around the stage as it was 14 years ago. For one, it was harder to do. And for two, it didn't mean as much. Why was I throwing myself around? I'm not that mad anymore. I'm not that bummed-out. I'm not even that sad.

I mean, I'm sad, sure. I'm going to be sad for the rest of my life about one thing or another, but not with the intensity that I had in the early '90s when I thought, you know, that if this girl didn't go out with me I was going to die.

Were the technical problems you guys experienced at your second Crystal show the point you said, "OK, this really is it"?

No. The technical problems made me even more excited, because that's kind of how Crackerbash was. We were like a rattling car—a very sonic rattling car.

So how was taking the car out for a second ride?

It was great. I got to hang out with two guys who are just such a giant part of my life. One of the best experiences I ever had was getting to be in that band; it was definitely the pinnacle of my music career.

Is the rest of the band in agreement that it's over?

I think so. I misunderstood Teddy when we were getting on stage Sunday when he said, "This will probably be the last time you're going to see us for a while." I just heard, "This is going to be the last time you're going to see us." And I was like, Amen to that. Let's just leave it here.


Music Editor Mark Baumgarten is taking a vacation from Riff City, because he deserves it, dammit! He'll return to the R.C. next week.
 
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