The Hiatus

Summer 2001-Fall 2003


As the hot shitty summer of 2001 wound to a close, Vomit Sauce was all but forgotten. The old blue 4-track lay in a pile of dust and cat hair in a corner in Alex's apartment on Stevens awaiting a new Vomit Sauce song that wouldn't come for years. Having run out of money, I moved back in with my parents in the suburbs (although I did end up with my first car), and Alex eventually moved out of the Stevens house to live with his new girlfriend Lindsay a couple of blocks away. I had a distraction of my own at the time, so the V-sauce went on the back-burner.

That fall I switched majors, finally ending my failed sojourn into the world of Electrical Engineering. Then some planes crashed into some buildings, which I witnessed live, and it totally sucked, and I still went to class, which sucked even more (I was the only one who was late for some reason).

Then a rather shitty period began in my life. I think it was in the fall or winter of 2001-02 that Alex called me to ask if I wanted to join a band being formed by one of Lindsay's friends. I wasn't too picky at the time, so I decided to go for it. This dude's name was Kjell (I think that's how his name was spelled). He was your typical frat-boy with issues and an internship with some record label. We practiced in the basement of his house near Dinkytown with a couple of other guys, Brian and Schwant (sic). Brian was the bass player, a licensed pilot and pretty good guy (but still in a frat), and Scwant was only a freshment (I was 21 at the time), but was great guitarist and song-writer compared with what I was used to (he went on to form the Evening Glow). Our practices would usually start serious and somehow become keggers with 20 people just watching us practice. I felt like a fish out of water, with my dirty sweaters and hair so long I needed to wear a stocking hat to keep it in control (I was really letting myself go at the time). On a slightly better note, I learned how to do keg stands and sleep in my car during this period of my life.

Kjell had very high hopes for our little group (which he named "Robbing the Till", which I argued against vehemently). Nothing ever came of it. I lost interest more and more as time went on, and at our last practice, I just sat on my amp feeling like I wasn't contributing anything (which I really wasn't). I still don't work very well in groups, which has kept my music career from really ever going anywhere. One day we took a walk down an alley to the pedestrian bridge at Van Cleve park. I felt like someone was going to execute me mafia style or something while I wasn't looking. When we got to Van Cleve, they broke the news to me that I was being kicked out of the band. Later on, Kjell admitted that he was afraid that I wouldn't take it very well, since he felt my self-esteem was pretty fragile. Well, it was, but in this case it was a relief to just get away from the people these guys were hanging out with.

The summer of 2002 was completely sans-Vomit Sauce, but not sans-alcohol (that's technically a double-negative, isn't it?). I was working at the UofM Bookstore still, and Alex was still living with Lindsay I hated going home after work to the suburbs in rush-hour traffic, so I'd always try to make contact with Alex, and we'd go to Grumpy's and get hammered. Alex was painting houses with former crack addicts that summer, so drinking was a nice escape for us I think. I think I was pissing of Alex's girlfriend by always showing up after work to hang out and drink. By the end of the summer however, Alex and Lindsay had decided to move out to New York. At this point, Vomit Sauce hadn't recorded a new song in a year, and it was looking like Vomit Sauce would never unleash another song on an unsuspecting world again.

Drinking at Alex's and Linday's going away party at Grumpy's, Washington Ave. Summer 2002.

After Alex and Lindsay left at the end of the summer, I started my last year of school at the U of M, trying to finish up with a geography degree. In January of 2003, my new friend Peter (not Creepy Pete) asked me to join his band "Sigcell". Sigcell had been around for a few months, but Pete's guitar player had left because of other obligations, and he needed someone to fill the gap. We started practicing in his basement (all of his music was based on sequences rather than live drumming), and we built up a pretty good set of Peter's songs. Over the next few months we managed to get shows at the Kitty Kat Club, the 7th Street Entry, and Mario's Keller Bar (around 5 shows if I remember). It was a nice change of pace to be in a serious band for once and get some real experience gigging.

While all of this was going on, Alex was doing his thing in New York, where I visited on a couple of occasions (once in the fall of 2002, and then again right after I graduated from college in 2003). During these visits we would drink and reminisce about Vomit Sauce and how fun those days had been. While in New York, Alex started a web site to advertise the art and comics he was drawing, which he aptly named "Vomit Comics". Some of the old songs went up on the site in MP3 form, as well some of the old V-Sauce art and lyrics. The site is still around, and can be found here (we used the comics site up until we launched in june of 2005).

I still didn't think Vomit Sauce would ever rematerialize at this point, as I had Sigcell going on at the time. Then Alex called me to tell me that he and Lindsay were moving back to Minneapolis in the fall. They had really only been gone for a year, so I was naturally surprised that they would be moving back so soon. On my last week working at the UofM bookstore before leaving for my first post-college job, Alex and Lindsay returned to Minneapolis. The next week I celebrated my first day of cubicle life by getting completely destroyed at a Built to Spill concert and falling asleep at orientation the next day. My job sucked, but I could hear Vomit Sauce calling me back.

Next: The Resurgence of Vomit Sauce


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