By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
That same third-story space in south city served as Jack Buck's practice space over the years, wherein the members would meet up for grueling day-long practices at a time, poring over alpha-numeric song structures on a chalkboard and constantly tracking demos. Sometimes, they'd track songs ten, or even fifteen times in a row, tweaking parts and making small revisions before settling on a completed composition.
"Part of the reason we demoed so much is because it required so much focus to perform the songs correctly that we couldn't hear them or feel them in their broader context," says Macri. "When you play a riff, sometimes you don't know what a person is thinking in terms of how the riff should flow or where the beats are emphasized. Sometimes riffs would feel backwards until we were able to listen back. It would take multiple demos until we were all hearing the song the same way."
After a full year of incubating, Jack Buck hit the ground running with a new release and four shows over the course of two consecutive weekends. Out of the total of 41 shows the band will have played by the end of this year, half were in St. Louis and half were out of town, in Columbia as well as the upper Midwest. Bills were shared with bands including Coliseum, Ken Mode and Jack Back's steadfast tourmates, Fake Limbs and Coward.
When asked which experiences stood out as most memorable throughout the traveling and performing, Macri says it's all about the friendships forged. "Being on tour with people you really like is fun. You get kind of giddy watching your friends' bands play for the third night in a row. After a show, we'd get drunk and tell each other our feelings. You get really cute and cuddly. That's probably my favorite part: the camaraderie," he says.
Looking forward, Webb and Gerhardt have new, nameless projects in the works, of the garage-rock and thrash varieties, respectively. Meanwhile, Macri learns how to repair and build guitars, and Ruder continues to break in his home recording studio. And who knows? The latter duo could find other successful musical Craigslist connections someday.
Until then, see Jack Buck's last stand at the spot where it got its start, at Apop Records on Friday. Local snark-rock group Black Panties opens, along with Chicago's Fake Limbs and Columbia's Coward. The same lineup will play the following day's show, with Columbia's Bald Eagle in place of Black Panties. Grab a piece of local history on vinyl, and look forward to hearing Jack Buck's last three recorded tracks sometime soon in a free digital release — also yet-to-be named.
"For the record," says Webb, "I hope it's called GONE."