Pleasureboaters' promising career ended as abruptly as their discordant punk songs do. Four or five years ago, the band's name was on the tip of everyone's tongues— local blogs and music fans couldn't shut up about Pleasureboaters' infamously chaotic shows that often devolved into nothing more than a noisy pit of sweaty bodies. Night after night, singer and guitarist Ricky Claudon thrashed around the room, eliminating the boundaries between stage and audience, while drummer Tim Cady often abandoned his shirt, standing up behind the drum set and jumping in the air in an effort to pound the drums as hard as humanly possible.
Once they released their fantastic full-length album, ¡Gross!, on local label Don't Stop Believin', everyone was hooked on their unrelenting and wonderfully cacophonous noise. And then they disappeared. Gone. Just like that.
While it's no longer surprising to see an old flame relight these days (what with reunion shows seemingly being announced every hour), Pleasureboaters delighted many when they declared their return, playing their first show since 2008 at the Funhouse on October 20.
But where the fuck have they been?
Cady and bassist Erik Baldwin resurfaced for a bit with a cool experimental electronic project called the Beats, Man. Baldwin also contributed to bands Wildcat Choir and Valley Fair. But Claudon remained an enigma.
Sitting in the same coffee shop we sat in five years ago, when I interviewed the trio just after the release of ¡Gross!, the men share stories about their adventures. There are tales about learning how to juggle and play harmonica, traveling around the world in a turquoise hot air balloon, befriending butchers and perfecting a homemade sausage recipe, recording solo a cappella songs while walking the dogs, and getting married and having a baby who likes dancing to jazz music.
Some of these adventures are true, some are not (dear God, please let the turquoise hot air balloon story be true)—but the three seem less interested in talking about where they've been and more amped to talk about where they're going now.
Will there be new songs? More shows? Are you going to release an album? Yes, yes, and yes!
They look forward to playing more local shows (Cady hopes to play an all-ages matinee so his 1-year-old son can come), and they've also been writing new material—one song's done and another "is really promising," says Cady.
"I want to move away from the feeling that I'm impersonating myself," says Claudon. "I think there's a temptation, obviously, in getting back together to think, 'How did we write Pleasureboaters songs?' I don't think those are the questions we should be asking."