September: come hell or high water6/19/2013
September’s been snake-bitten of late.
Last fall the interpersonal strife within the band — most notably between vocalist Lucas Brighton and keyboardist Joey Vice — reached a breaking point, and September split.
“I quit,” Brighton confessed. “We had six people in the band, all with their own personalities. It was basically a band of six front men. We all had our own things going on, and we were all at a boiling point. One day, I just said, ‘I’m out.’ ”
But September was an idea that proved difficult to keep down.
“(I) was considering moving to Las Vegas,” Brighton said. “(And) we’ve got a really big fan named Mike Perkins here in town who was determined to have one more September show before I left. I was getting the itch again, so I said I would do it. Then one day I got a text from (guitarist Kyle Christensen) that said, ‘If we do this, do you want to do one show, or do you really want to go for it?’ and I was like, ‘I want to go for it.’ And that’s all it took.”
Heady with the excitement of coming back, the band’s past squabbles were put aside, and September began rehearsing for its comeback show slated for June 15 at House of Bricks.
“We had a good running start until my basement destroyed our dreams,” said drummer Nate Anderson.
A scant 10 days before the band’s scheduled return last weekend, the heavy rains in the area backed up sewage lines around the city and flooded basements everywhere, including Anderson’s, where September’s instruments were being stored.
“We’d planned this big thing for (that) weekend where we’d get all our families together, practice, cook out; it was a big weekend. It started raining (Friday night), and I get up to go see how wet the floor is, and it’s damn near hip high. My fucking couch is floating by. I couldn’t even speak. I just kept thinking: All of our shit is under water.”
On the cusp of coming home to the local music scene, September’s whole voice had been silenced.
“Two sets of drums completely underwater,” Anderson lamented. “Three half stacks are destroyed.”
“Our whole worlds were centered around this show,” added Brighton. “We tried like hell to come up with a way to have the stuff be workable.”
It would have been easy to say, “That’s it, it wasn’t meant to be,” and pack it in. Nobody would’ve blamed them. But that’s not how these guys roll. And, thanks to a strong showing of support from the local music community, they’re well on their way to recovery.
“We’ve had an incredible amount of support,” said Brighton. “We set up a donation site (www.septembercircle.com), where people can donate. (As For You bassist Harpo Dunaway) got Guitar Center involved, and they’ve been incredibly generous, helping us try to recoup what we’ve lost. Kyle put together a remix EP which people can download and name their own price for (http://september7k.bandcamp.com). The outpouring of support from our fans and the people who believed in us has helped us rebound much quicker than expected.”
So now the band’s comeback date is scheduled for the Marcato CD-release party at House of Bricks on July 26, and it’s a date the band is determined to make — hopefully with new music of its own in tow. Now that everyone is rowing in the same direction, the focus is on putting September’s best foot forward.
“We want to take our time and put out a CD that we’re all happy with,” said Brighton. “We really want to showcase what September is really about.” CV
Chad Taylor is an award-winning news journalist and music writer from Des Moines.