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.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

1000 views (and a reflection)

Yay! We did it! We got our 1000+ views!

We crossed the 1000-view mark four months to the day of longshot's release back in July (in case you ever wondered what "7117" is all about- July 1, 2017).

That's a VERY big deal!!!

I'll tell you why.

Twenty years ago we could get a few hundred people out for a release party. We might have played for a few thousand people as openers for national acts. We had networks after years of gigging that could help us get the word out about new music or upcoming shows.

Twenty years later, a lot of that has dried up. People have moved on. I sure thought I had.

I hadn't spoken to Chris in all that time, and when I emailed him a year ago, I knew it was a long shot. But he was all in. And so was Issac. And our first new piece of music, longshot, came out of that very first meeting.

In many ways, walking away from Stillwater Black twenty years ago was about trying to do the right thing. In the end, I had nothing to show for my efforts. Quite the opposite. I had lost everything.

That's a long, ugly story I won't get into just yet. My point is that I wrote Chris last year in desperation. And if you've ever been in a situation like that, there is nothing more affirming than the familiar. We had history. He was my creative partner. Through him, I found things in myself that were beautiful, even magnificent. And with him, I could bring that out.

I needed to feel beautiful and magnificent again. I needed to find song and all of the emotional catharsis that is its origin and endpoint. And while some claim to make music only for themselves, I consider music an entirely communal enterprise, so with creation there must be sharing.

We uploaded longshot to YouTube wondering if anyone would notice. Would anyone care?

Turns out, the very first people who ever cared, our family and friends, still cared! The music was noticed and relationships that had gone dark for decades were rekindled.

That 1000 views- there might be a few people new to what we do. But it's mostly mom. It's mostly the friends we used to stay up late with years and years ago. It's mostly extended family members curious to look in on what their cousin is up to.

And that's a wonderful lesson in who and what ultimately matters.

Because Stillwater Black is going to play sold-out stadiums all around the world. We're going to be all over the covers of Rolling Stone and Spin and whatever else the gossip-mongers are reading these days. And it's all going to happen ridiculously soon.

And when that happens, my prayer is that we never forget the people and the lessons behind the first 1000 views.

We're back in the studio 11/11. There is more music coming, all of it Grammy material.

And for our nearest and dearest, we've got a very intimate little live set planned in honor of you and us and what we'll build together. Be sure to put your email address into the "Get on the Blacklist" widget to the right (be sure you're looking at the web version on your mobile device) to make sure you are on our mailing list for show time and location.

And don't forget to connect with us on all of our social media platforms: FacebookInstagramTwitter, and SoundCloud.