Wretched Success

The northern Colorado punk scene gets a boost from Wretch Like Me.

So far, these ideas haven't penetrated the commercial mainstream. The CD has been available since March 1998, but as Stevenson acknowledges, "It really hasn't come out yet; we're floundering at the label. But we're going to get our shit together. We're just putting out records that we're into, and we don't have a million bucks, like another label that got started by a million-dollar Kmart punk whose name I'm not mentioning."

As a result, the players are trying to build an audience by touring, and they had some luck doing so during a recent jaunt. "All the shows we've played were great shows," Brennan says. "There weren't a whole lot of people at the shows, but the people who were there were very receptive. We ended up doing pretty well as far as selling merchandise, and overall, the response was very positive."

There were some dicey moments, though. "It was about one in the morning, and Trevor was driving through Wyoming, where everything shuts down at, like, ten," Brennan recalls. "We drove by an open gas station, but we had half a tank of gas, and he didn't stop. But after a while, we were on empty, so we stopped at a closed gas station where there was an American truck with a gun rack parked out front. And since it was his fault, Trevor ciphoned some gas from it--and since we only had a gallon container, he had to do it three times. The rest of us were all in the RV laughing. But we did leave a note on the windshield that said, 'We're sorry. Here's five bucks.'"

Now that they're back in Fort Collins, the Wretches are eager to begin making a new disc. Brennan expects it to be more varied than New Ways to Fall. "It'll probably be more rock-sounding than punk, because Trevor writes more rock-based songs, and Jeff writes insane stuff--anywhere from a punk-rock tune to something that sounds like King Crimson. Roy's songs don't sound traditional, either--they've got weird diminished chords and cool dissonant intervals--and Jason's songs are pop-based, but some of the riffs are ugly. I'm really the only one who writes the fast songs that sound hardcore."

Like teacher, like pupil.

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