Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Inkwell Discography

Marty Rioux - New Bedford, MA - March 22, 1996

Here is the download: Inkwell Discography

Track Listing:
1-3: from the "By Design" 7"
4-5: from the split 7" with The hal al Shedad
6-7: from the "Shine So Bright" 7"
8: from the Placebo compilation 7"
9-10: previously unreleased

Actually, this is not a complete discography, as the original demo is not included, however I will respect the wishes of the band and not drag any more skeletons out of closets than is absolutely necessary. I really want to thank Joe Myers (Inkwell, Re/Model, Black Venus) for making me a CD of these songs included here - they come from the original cassettes and are as clean as you can get without having an official discography released. The only songs that do not come from this format are the the "Shine So Bright" single songs, which sounded a little strange on Joe's CD, so I transferred those directly from the vinyl.

By the way - there is a lot of Inkwell footage on YouTube - check it out.

Phil Dwyer - Driverdome - April 27, 1996

I just have to say for the record that Inkwell was one incredibly intense band. If the mood was right, and they were into it, their shows could be truly transcendent. Easily one of the best shows you have ever seen. But I also want to emphasize how funny and nice guys they were, and what a good time you could have with them on the road or at a show. Despite what you may think from listening to the music and watching the videos, their shows were actually a lot of fun. Some of my greatest memories of those years were at Inkwell shows.

In fact, when you look at their history, the golden period of their existence was only one year - Spring 1995 to Spring 1996, a perfect amount of time for a band such as this. They came in, blew everyone away, and then were gone before any of the charm wore off or got stale. We were truly fortunate to have them in our town.

Here is a history of the band, written by Nordic Joe himself:
We started out as an idea between Joe and Phil one night in early 1994 while at work. Phil found a drummer named Josh and Joe asked Marty if he wanted to play bass. With a little bit of reluctance, Inkwell was formed. Our initial practices in Josh's bedroom were awkward at best, but songs were beginning to seep out. Then a month or two later we played our first show with Jara and Atlanta's own Quadiliacha. It was described by Mike D (now known as Mike Phyte) as "piss poor." We improved with every show and every practice as we started to take it more seriously. We recorded a demo at Sleepless Nights studios with Issa (who is now in Good Clean Fun - Haha). Then around the end of the year we went on a small "tour" of the east coast. We played a show set up by Scott Beiben that was in a small two car garage in the middle of nowhere. We played that show to mostly the other bands, with mostly our friends being the other attendees. Gavin was there with his pink haired crust friend. Though the show was a bust, that night the Moss Icon - Lyburnum LP was finally released. Something positive came out of it, as we all bought copies and Gavin got some for his distro. Later that night we found out that we could have played a show in Philly at Sean McCabe's house with a much bigger audience. Oh well. We ended our mini-tour with a show in Virginia Beach with Channel and a few other bands. We didn't think the crowd would like us because it was a bit of a chugga chugga town, but it turned out that it was the best response we had ever gotten. That was a nice way to end it. Then we came back to Atlanta to play a Car vs. Driver album release show. Then Josh moved to California the next day. For a few months Inkwell was stagnant without a drummer. Our friend, Theo, who was playing in a band called Scout at the time, had a friend from Arkansas who had recently moved to town. We weren't really sure what to think of Mark, as he could recite Coolio lyrics on demand and had a little bit of the gangster style to him. But once we played with him we knew it would work out. Mark was a great drummer. After just a couple months we were back in step. Our sound was faster and a lot less sloppy with the inclusion of Mark. We started playing shows again. It also happened that Mark worked as a sound engineer at Purple Dragon studios where he did things like assist on TLC and Outkast songs. So we recorded there and released our first 7". Phil did the the master design work, and also seemed to find the most expensive materials to release it with. With Gavin trading 7" worldwide, we started getting letters from all over the world and were gaining quite a following. We also helped to start a thriving hardcore scene in Atlanta that didn't exist before. We went on to have a split 7" with the Hal al Shedad released. Then our second 7", "Shine So Bright", got released. We did a little mini tour again, this time a few more shows and this time there were a lot more people at the shows. Then we came back home. We played one last show at the Driver Dome with all of the bands on the Placebo comp 7" that had just come out. It was the largest attendence in the history of the Driver Dome (Steve Wishart's basement), and it was on a hot Georgia night, so it felt like an oven. But we played all of our songs except one and then it was over. Like the flyer said, "the end of an era."

Marcus Lowe - Godless Red House - May 21, 1995

This is the artwork for the "By Design" 7". Unbelievable packaging for the time - full booklet, pictures, essays, design. It was more than just another single by a local band.

This is the artwork from the split 7" with The hal al Shedad, including the repress with that great photo of the band. In fact, I like the repress artwork better than the original.

This is the artwork for the "Shine So Bright" single, with and without the transparency so you can read the insert, and the $1.50 alternate artwork version. Clever packaging guys.

This is the Inkwell page from the Concurrent "Placebo" compilation (a Scott MC joint):

Here is a list of all Inkwell shows played, and here are some flyers:

June 30 @ Andy Stivers' house w/ Jara (Ca.) and Quadiliacha (ATL)
July 12 @ The Somber Reptile w/ Spirit Assembly (Pa.) and Car vs. Driver
August 5 @ the MikeD house w/ Bleed (Pa.?)
September ? @ Ladson Homemakers Club (Ladson, S.C.) (Benefit for a women's shelter) w/ Iodine (aka LineXDrive) (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Lifeline (Columbia, S.C.), Fragment(Columbia, S.C.), Stretch Armstrong and others
October 16 @ the MikeD house w/ Scout (ATL) (Walleye cancelled)
October 22 @ The Somber Reptile w/ The Smoking Popes, Scout and others
October 23 @ Theo's house w/ Silence Equals... (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Thumbnail(Knoxville, Tn.), Scout
November 5 @ Ladson Homemakers Club (Benefit for CISPES) w/ In/Humanity, Stretch Armstrong and others
December 2 @ the Driver Dome w/ Car vs. Driver and Scout (Assfactor 4 cancelled)
November 12 @ the Driver Dome w/ Deus X (N.C.) and Deterrent (N.C.)
December 9 @ the MikeD house w/ Daysleeper
December 27 @ some one car garage (middle of nowhere, N.J.) w/ Plunger, Iodine (LineXDrive), Lifeline
December 28 @ V.A. Hall (D.C.) (Beehive Collective) w/ Frail (Philly), Spirit Assembly, True High Fidelity, Anasarca
December 29 @ King's Head Pub (Va. Beach, Va.) w/ Introspect (Pa.), Channel (Va.) and others
December 30 @ The Somber Reptile (Car vs. Driver - Deja Grateful LP release show) w/ Car vs. Driver, Scout, Lowboy (ATL) Goodbye, Josh.

March 31 @ The Somber Reptile (Scout/Freemasonry split 12" release) w/ Scout and Freemasonry
April, ? @ some club in Pensacola, Fl. w/ The hal al Shedad
April 17 @ The Driver Dome w/ Bloodlet and The hal al Shedad (Thenceforward cancelled)
?,? @ Ladson Homemakers Club (benefit?) w/ Prevail, Premonition, The hal al Shedad, and others
May 12 @ some house in Auburn, Al. w/ The hal al Shedad
May 13 @ Village Apartments Clubhouse (Athens, Ga.) (Food Not Bombs benefit) w/ Year Zero and The hal al Shedad
May 21 @ The Godless Red House (formerly the Mike D house) w/ Prevail and Outbreak
May 24 @ Senseless Beauty Cafe (Columbia, S.C.) w/ Converge, Channel, Assfactor 4, and Fragment
June 2 @ The Driver Dome w/ Gus, Selfish, Gheish, Regicide, and Thenceforward
June 17 @ The Sea Galley Lounge (Charleston, S.C.) (benefit for My Sister's House battered women's shelter) w/ Chokehold and ? (most of the bands we knew cancelled)
June 21 @ Under the Couch w/ Chokehold, Boy Sets Fire, and Act of Faith
July 6 @ The Driver Dome w/ Daredevil and Benchmark
July 15 @ The Somber Reptile (ATL Fest) w/ Assuck, Hot Water Music, Channel, Introspect, Bleed, Assfactor 4, Gheish, Quadiliacha, etc.
July 21 @ The Somber Reptile (Car vs. Driver's last show) w/ Car vs. Driver and Braid
August 19 @ The Driver Dome (Rock Against Rape benefit?) w/ The hal al Shedad, Wheeljack, Pagan Holiday, Blondie, etc.
August 20 @ Colton's Garage? (Pensacola, Fl.) w/ Blank? and ?
August 23 @ the Shaft record store (Gainesville, Fl.) w/ The Cleavers and Vanbuilderass
August 25 @ The Wreck Room (Act of Faith CD release) w/ Act of Faith and Crisis Under Control
November 18 @ The Driver Dome (Empty the Shelters benefit) w/ Hal al Shedad, Scout (1st last show), Act of Faith, and Broken
December ? @ The Driver Dome (Farm Animal Reform benefit) w/ Falling Down and Thenceforward
December 29 @ The Wreck Room w/ Avail and Squatweiler (Crown.Hate.Ruin cancelled)
December 31 @ The I Defy w/ In/Humanity, Autumn, Broken, End of the Century Party, Palatka, etc.

February 2 @ BLT's w/ Chokehold, Thenceforward, and Scout (7" release last last show)
March 14 @ some place on State Street (Little Rock, Ak.) w/ Class of 84, Shakeray Turbine, Red 40
*March 16 @ somewhere in Virginia Beach (the only show we ever cancelled) w/ Hose.Got.Cable and Channel? (they actually played, we couldn't make it)
March 17 @ The Happy Hardcore House (Washington, D.C.) w/ Marble, Astoria, and Mid Carson July
March 20 @ the 314 house (Philly) w/ Ink and Dagger, I Hate You, and Tricycle
March 22 @ some community center (Buffalo, N.Y.) w/ Chokehold, Abnegation, Hourglass, and Chalkline
March 25 @ the YWCA (New Bedford, Ma.) (New Bedford Fest) w/ Chokehold (last show), Damnation A.D., Autumn, Stillsuit, Lifetime, Promise Ring, Texas is the Reason, Switched On, Reversal of Man, Dahlia Seed, Cable, etc.
April 27 @ The Driver Dome (Last Show) (Placebo comp 7" release) w/ Order of Importance and Reversal of Man (Prevail cancelled)

Thanks Inkwell.
BLT's - February 2, 1996


  1. wow, cool! haha. i don't remember writing that "history," was it joe? aside from the music, i think the trip through my adolescent design career is more cringeworthy..haha.

    anyway, thanks a bunch, james! some very kind words. almost too kind!

  2. Only 10 songs? Can that be right? This must not include the material on those two reels that have been sitting above Justin's kitchen cabinet for the last 12 years.

    Phil, what was your graphic handle? Clone.Graphic.Werks? Is that right?

    The 90's.

  3. Joe - are these songs straight off the DAT or are they from 'cassettes' as James mentions? I think I got these from Becca already, but I remember those being pulled off the vinyl.


  4. yeah, thanks james! i also have a short tour diary that i think is quite hilarious. maybe someday i'll post it somewhere, but here are some highlights:

    -van has new engine and the gas has to be constantly pushed so the van doesn't stall. so to stop you have to put it in neutral and brake while still hitting the gas
    -locking keys in van at home depot while trying to get a lock for the roof bubble
    -cutting the connector to the middle window of van so mark could climb in and unlock van
    -said window falling off of van while on the highway to little rock (we hadn't even gotten to our first show yet)
    -finding cardboard box to put over huge hole on side of van and duct taping it on
    -leaving little rock towards the coast and someone forgot to close the bubble, so phil's stuff (and only phil's stuff) falls out onto the road
    -truck runs over phil's stuff as he's running towards it trying to keep them from running over his stuff
    -getting to d.c. at like 5am and it's freezing and no one wants to go wake up people at the house we're going to, so we sit crammed in the van and try to sleep (one of the most uncomfortable situations i've ever been through)
    -heading to georgetown around 9am and encountering "the bagel nazi" (similar to soup nazi)
    -being told by the d.c. folks that people were waiting for us to show up so we could have slept in warmth.

    and yelling at catholic school girls from sean mccabe's window first thing in the morning and the new bass player for chokehold's smelly ass feet and me avoiding the weird post-show abortion debate in buffalo and on and on. good times.


  5. gray - yeah, 10 songs. there were 4 or so songs we never got recorded.

    scott - some of the songs were recorded onto cassette from the dats at the studio. i didn't get the 2nd 7" songs though, so those songs are actually off the 7". (i do have instrumental versions of those songs on cassette from the dat) yes these are the ones i gave to becca i believe.

    joe - shut up!


    p.s. if it matters to anyone, there is also a second pressing of the by design 7" with different packaging. also, some of the shine so bright 7"s have blue ink, some have red. and there was a 3rd pressing of it on green vinyl with different, though similar, design work.

  6. This rules! I've been listening to my shitty sounding mp3s of these tracks for a while now. Can't wait to hear this! Thanks


  7. i want to say i remember there being a song called 'march of the ants' that ya'll played live. am i insane? did i make that title up?

  8. you are correct. that was one of our last songs we never recorded which was slated for an LP which obviously never made it.

  9. Great post about Inkwell! I first heard the shine so bright 7", which i bought from the stickfigure distro. However, the record came in the by design 7" sleeve with the insert and lyrics! Even the sticker on the cover of the record had the song titles of the in design 7"!
    I found this one video of Inkwell
    Is this that march of the ants song?

  10. So glad I found this. I've been listening to my terrible 7" rips for a while now and was missing plenty of songs. Inkwell shaped my music taste more than any other band.