Stillwater Black came together in 1991 when Chris Thayer met Ahmed and Sam Pierstorff while playing in the pit band for a high school musical production. Issac McCorkell was quickly recruited on drums and the band recorded its first EP, The Last Virtuous Lady of Athens.

In 1995 they signed with Cleaves Entertainment, a now-defunct independent label based out of Southern California's Inland Empire. Stillwater Black recorded their debut LP, Adam. They played frequently with local and national acts including Dishwalla, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, and IE punk/ska mainstays, The Skeletones.

In 1997 the members parted ways and the project lay dormant for two decades.

Monday, August 21, 2017


I first talked about Molly here. It was through her that Stillwater Black got introduced to an amazing community of kids in Moreno Valley. But more than that, it was through her that we came to record our first EP, The Last Virtuous Lady of Athens.

I was pretty doubtful that we would ever cross paths again. But the world is an interesting place.

Back on July 2nd, literally one day after the release of longshot, Molly woke up with another Stillwater Black song in her head. That song was Kingfisher, a song that I'm on record as calling the most underrated of the Adam LP.

I mean, that's like a very real, very cosmic connection. We release our first song in 20 years and Molly wakes up thinking about us the next day!

I'll let her tell the story.

Molly on reconnecting:

This is a serendipitous occurrence for sure. In my world, this is how it went down.

Sunday morning, I had Kingfisher in my head. I had to roll the dice and consult YouTube. If it isn’t on YouTube it didn’t happen, right? It was definitely a crapshoot.

IT WAS THERE!!!! I get nerdy-excited and listen to the song, and then post a link to it on my Facebook, throwing it WAY back. I continued flipping  through and start listening to some tracks from Adam, and I came across longshot. I listened to it and knew it was legit.

A couple years ago I’d found a Stillwater Black Facebook page, so I had to go check things out. And that's how I got back in touch with the guys.

In the process of reconnecting with Ahmed and writing this I have had the opportunity to reflect on that period in my life. In a way, I was reconnecting with myself.

I remembered what it was like to believe in something as much as I believed in Stillwater Black. 

Molly on remembering:

If I remember correctly, the first couple of times I saw Stillwater Black was because my friend Misty and her sister were going to a show. One of them thought that [early frontman] Isaac was hot (editor's note- he was/is). When you don’t have a car, you go to the shows that the driver wants to see.

I don’t have a timeline for when things started, but the first Stillwater Black show I remember was at the Live Oak Inn in Corona. I don’t know how many shows I’d been to before [early frontman] Isaac flipped his shit, but I was there and saw that, too. It was kind of awkward, and a tad scary. But the band played on!

After that, I remember that Stillwater Black auditioned singers. Some people I knew went and tried out. Or they said they did. Maybe they lied. It is not healthy for people to hear me sing, so I was not one of them.

The debut of the new line-up was on 11/5 (editor's note- unbelievable that anybody remembers this), and I had tickets for the Pearl Jam show in Indio that night. I felt that it was more important for me to be there and support Stillwater Black during their “rough times” than it was to go see Pearl Jam with 2,458,261 other people. Pearl Jam has enough fans.

I have no regrets. I still haven’t seen Pearl Jam and could care less.

I was at both album release parties, and a few less than a million points in between with all of the shows. Coffee shops, the Showcase Theater, Pitruzello's, that place in Redlands, and some other places, including my back yard. Yep my yard.

Molly on being a fan:

Pictures! I went through rolls of film. This was before digital! You had to buy film that had a specific number of frames you could take, and then you had to pay to get them developed and actually see them. No do-overs if you have a double chin. And of course you had to pay extra to get the double-prints, because someone is going to want a copy of that one picture. I think that most of my money went to shows and photo developing. Don’t even ask me how many times I purchased the Adam record.

With Stillwater Black, I felt the need to share. All I was doing was telling other people that they should check them out and like them, too. Really I just like telling people what to do.

Ok, maybe not. But I do like to share. And I would hand out fliers. The fliers were fun. I’d get the fliers from Ahmed and Sam’s mom because she worked by my house. And I’d hand them out at school and stuff.

At Molly's high school

If someone wants to know why I put the effort in that I did, it was because I wanted to. I believed in Stillwater Black. I still do. I can’t articulate why. I never believed in something the way that I believed in them, and I haven’t since. I never once thought that I made any kind of an impact on the Stillwater Black fan base/community until I read the blog post that Ahmed sent me. 

I kept things for a long time. Over the years, living in four states and having moved ten or more times, things have been pared down, donated, thrown away, or lost. I was able to dig out three t-shirts, a promo photo and the flier for the Adam release.

Molly on the experience:

When I think of my love for and my experience with Stillwater Black, it is more than just the music. It is the people. Chris, Issac, Ahmed, and Sam were not your "I want to be a rock star" types. They were normal people who were working, going to school, and in a band. The experience went beyond the music and the band, though. A large part of the experience was the community. Parents, family, friends, and significant others all worked toward and supported the success of the band. The reason I missed Pearl Jam was because of that sense of community. I think that was behind my personal need to support the band. Like I said before, I don’t regret it one bit. 

I was part of the community, and they cared. I can remember receiving at least one phone call checking on me after I’d missed a few shows. I’d been sick. Damn tonsils. I didn’t get them out for another 15 years. 

I’ve followed other bands, and was "lucky" if they knew my name. And those bands, I wouldn’t even want to know how to reconnect after so many years. In all reality, I can’t even remember some of the band names, let alone their members.

In a lot of ways, my experience with Stillwater Black was the foundation upon which the adult Molly was built. I am grateful that I met and followed them. I am grateful that I was allowed to support them the way I did. I’d do it all over again. 

Molly on being Molly:

If Stillwater Black puts out more music, I will own it. I will do what I can from here, deep in the heart of Texas, to support the band. If there were to be a show, and I were to be given notice for planning, I would be there. I mean I’d also get to see my sister and have some carne asada fries, but I’d be going for the show. Anybody who knows me knows that I would totally do this. I used to drive from Ann Arbor to Chicago for pizza so, yeah.

At the end of the day, I still have MAD LOVE for Stillwater Black: the band, the community, and the memories.

Stillwater Black on Molly:

We toss our music out there like old fisherman. We're looking to find kindred souls, companions in our journey through this strange, bumpy, and very short life. We are so thankful that Molly was swimming in our part of the sea, then and now.

And we are so ready to hear from other beautiful people that our music has allowed us to meet. There are so many stories to be told, so many memories to kick around, and so much love to share.

Listen to longshot. Listen again and listen a lot! It's the first thing we've done in 20 years and there's a whole lot happening in that song that you might not catch the first five or ten times you listen :)

But seriously, add it to your playlist and share it with your friends. We've got a surprise in the works for longshot, but we need to hit 1000 YouTube views before we talk more about that.

If you haven't already, pop your email into the Get on the Blacklist! widget to the right. You'll get blog updates right into your email inbox.

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SoundCloud!

No comments:

Post a Comment