And yet here we have San Francisco’s Stroke 9, happily celebrating over 20 years in the music business. In an industry notorious for churning and burning, Stroke 9’s continued success can be attributed to one thing: They’re too dumb to stop doing it.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
One of the first gigs we attended collectively as a band was G. Love and Special Sauce at the Great America Music hall in San Francisco, sometime in the mid 90’s.
This was during the incubative period of our band. We were living, rehearsing, and writing music in a one-room cabin in the woods of Sonoma County, near the town of Bodega where Hitchcock filmed the birds. To our neighbors in this quiet countryside we were a loud, smelly disturbance.
We would take occasional forays down to SF, like this one for G Love. We were blown away. So much cool coming of 3 completely unique personalties. Falling on the floor in disbelief when The Houseman was dropping beats. At one point Luke, in a fevered excitement, proclaimed, “These guys are going to be bigger than the Eagles!” Sadly, that didn’t happen, and we’re still stuck with the Eagles.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
One of our best ever Atlanta gigs was the Music Midtown when we were on the stage that Creed eventually headlined. The stage was gigantic, and the crowd was MASSIVE, it seemed to back beyond sight.
The best part of that gig was trying to dodge the open water bottles filled with dip spit being lofted at the stage. The worst was when the dicks in Creed kicked every other band out the backstage a half hour before those set. Arms Wide Open, indeed.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Our first tour after releasing Little Black Backpack was in a van, opening for Fuel for a couple months on the East Coast.
We are from SF, so we weren’t that familiar with Fuel. We’d heard Shimmer, and that was about it.
The first night we got to see them was jaw-dropping. This was with Brett Scallions singing. He was the most raw, balls out fucking rock singer we’d ever seen. Backed by 2 bald bad asses and the pounding drums, we were completely blown away. Opening for them forced us, and truly inspired us, to improve our live show.
They were in a bus. They didn’t notice us. For the first month they probably wondered why we were at the same club as them every night. The breakthrough happened several weeks in, when we were leaving the backstage to catch a flight for a one-night gig back in L.A. Out of the side of his mouth, Brett yelled at us, “I hope your plane doesn’t crash.”
It was the greatest compliment we ever received.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
House band at Cabo Wabo in Baja.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
We get the middle slot between Eazy E and Zeppelin. The show is running long so they bump our set, and we just hang out backstage.
Catch Stroke 9 Saturday, Jan. 19th at Peachtree Tavern