- Gigi Iob
Love Battery guitar player Kevin Whitworth offered some more perspective on the band’s history and sounds.
I asked Ron Nine how “Between the Eyes" came together. And the tremolo. What do you remember?
Whitworth: Ron had the bones of what was to become “Between the Eyes” at the first practice in our living room, and it didn’t take us long flesh it out and get an arrangement together. But it still seemed to be missing something. Then we were driving around in Ron’s car and we heard that Smiths tune “How Soon is Now” and he had a revelation about the tremolo. It was tricky getting it right, since the drummer has to cue off the effect, but we were eventually able to get it together live. When went into the studio to record it, Jack Endino didn’t think that it would work, but somehow it did. He also had this old amp that was great at feeding back that I was able to borrow. I said to myself, hmm, I like this feedback thing.
What was that first practice like?
After Ron’s band Room Nine dissolved he was shopping around for new folks to play with. Jason Finn and Tommy Bonehead and I were sharing a house, known as the House of Squalor, a block from Ron’s. Jason had hooked up with him for a practice, and Ron mentioned that he wanted to have another guitar player, and maybe a better bass player. Jason said, well, check out my roommates! The very next day Ron wheeled his Twin Reverb up to our place and we set up in our living room and had our very first practice. Ron had a bunch of cool songs already, and I had some stuff, and things just jelled. Since Ron and Jason were already kinda big guys in the scene, it didn’t take long before we were able to get our first gigs around town. The first big one was opening for Swallow at Squid Row. I think it was the record release party for their first Sub Pop single. There was a line down Pine Street. It was awesome. Jon Poneman came up and shook my hand and said, lets put out a single, or something to that effect. Ron was already good friends with Bruce over at Sub Pop, since they had worked together at Muzak. It was around this time that Jack Endino started calling to say that he was recording this amazing band, that we should all go and see. There were a handful of people to see them a Squid Row that night, and I remember thinking, "Wow, that bass player is really tall." Not long after, we opened for Nirvana at the Annex Theatre downtown. It was quite a night. Chris Cornell came up and said, you have a really great band.
Love Battery play KEXP's Concerts at the Mural tomorrow, Friday, 8/17 with Absolute Monarchs and Wayfinders
Who did you play shows with after the single came out?
First thing we did when the single came out was to secure a booking agent. Sub Pop leased us a van, and we were off. A hundred bucks and a case of beer a night, opening for bands like Helmet and L7, all across the country. When we got back to Seattle we went into Egg Studio with Conrad Uno, and set about recording Dayglo, before heading out again.
One thing that was funny was that in interviews on the road people always asked, how do you feel about Nirvana’s success? We would say, “It’s wonderful isn’t it? People we know, doing so well, and helping us all.” They wanted us to say, “Should have been us,” or something to that effect. They were genuinely astonished that we would be happy about their good fortune.
Who are you listening to out of Seattle now?
I was stuck in traffic the other day and heard a song on KEXP and I said, "What the fuck was that?" Turned out it was Absolute Monarchs. The very next day I got an email from someone at the station asking if we would be interested in playing a show at the Mural with them.