Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Paper Lions - Our First Peer-Rockstars
Here is the download: Paper Lions Album
I saw Josh Lott the other weekend at the Highland Inn, and he told me that after 14 years of living in Athens, he has made the move back to Atlanta and started law school. This is in a way the end of an era, as more and more old friends from Athens have left that town for good and now I know nobody there when I visit. As you probably know, Josh was the drummer for many bands including At the Price of the Union, The Walt Lariat (as bassplayer), Paper Lions, and later Teenage Methlab and Elf Power. Paper Lions was the amalgamation of two postpunk Atlanta/Athens heavyweights Some Soviet Station and At the Price of the Union, with Josh adding drums to the SSS strings of Jesse Smith, Chris McNeal and Justin Snyder (also formerly of the Kossabone Red). To me they were not so much like Some Soviet Station with a different drummer, but something else entirely. They were much more melodic and less aggressive compared to their previous bands, and with a little Jawbox in them along and some modern postpunk that would seem to fit right in with some of the edgier popular music today.
They were the first band from our immediate network that really made a run for it as a professional band. They quit their jobs, toured as much as possible, and put out a quality recording on a reputable label. They bought real equipment, had a real van, played real clubs (not DIY house shows), worked very hard on their songs and their musicianship, and generally put everything they had into their music. I remember every show I went to of theirs was packed, and they seemed to get very popular very quick, at least in Atlanta and Athens. I am not sure of the later history of the band, as I moved away while they were at their apex, but my understanding is that Kindercore Records who put out their album folded suddenly after a bad business deal and left Paper Lions with no label or records to tour under. Also the grind of heavy touring, etc. burned them out and they threw it in sometime in 2004 or so. They had all the elements of a great modern popular postpunk band, and could have taken it farther than any band before them, but somewhere along the way things went off track. Maybe that is not what they wanted in the end, or maybe the frustrations of the grind got to be too much. I know I couldn't do it myself, it's not an easy life. I wish them all the best, and success in their current endeavors.
Here is an interview they did for Performer mag back in 2003:
Here is the artwork for their album "The Symptom and the Sick":