With the release of his latest 7″ on Revelation Records, we caught up with Jeff Caudill (Gameface, Your Favorite Trainwreck, March) to talk about the record, his friend Jon Bunch (Sense Field, Reason To Believe, Further Seems Forever) and his plans for 2017. The proceeds from the record will all be donated to the Jon Bunch Memorial Fund, and WSR has also decided to donate all proceeds to the JBMF. Pre order the record directly from our webstore here on Teal vinyl and here on Burnt Orange vinyl.
Hi Jeff, how did the idea for this new 7″ come about?
I just wanted to do something more after the ‘Jon Bunch Forever’ benefit concerts, I wanted to continue the charity and keep people thinking about him. It’s more about continuing to celebrate Jon’s music and legacy. Jon was such a huge influence on me from the moment I saw Reason To Believe in the late 80s. I have to admit that I was starstruck even after we became friends in the 90s. Gameface played with Sense Field so many times but every time was something special. The band was just on a higher plane, and Jon’s voice and stage presence was always inspiring. So it’s a big deal to me. There was some initial talk around the shows about a full tribute record but those things are really difficult to manage. I was really proactive about recording and I sent a demo to Jordan at Revelation and Rodney from Sense Field with my idea. I asked about Revelation releasing it and making it a charity for Jon’s son Jack. There wasn’t much convincing to do.
I believe it was 1987 – when I first started going to punk shows. I can’t remember the exact show. It was probably SNFU, M.I.A., D.I. or some other band with initials for a name. One of the opening bands was Reason To Believe. They were fast and melodic and the singer seemed about 7 feet tall with dreadlocks and was wearing a long shirt that looked like a dress. I was transfixed. I bought their 7″ that night. I even wrote to the band and I remember the letter I got back. It was very kind – from Jon of course.
Why did you choose those two songs, and the Sense Field song in particular?
‘Voice’ is one of my favorite songs – ever. There are tons of great Sense Field songs, and arguably songs that are better than ‘Voice’ but for me the song represents a time, place and feeling that is unmatched. It’s an epic jam, man. And given all that has happened, the song takes on a new meaning for me that is even more powerful even though my version is more introspective and folky. On to the b-side…speaking of incredible voices that have changed my life, Ronnie James Dio is the best there ever was. The albums he did with Black Sabbath in the early 80s are some of the best rock records ever. I felt like the song ‘Wishing Well’ was a fitting partner to ‘Voice’. This one is pretty deconstructed compared to the original.
Do you think we could ever see a compilation album made up of bands who played the Jon Bunch Forever benefit shows?
I know there is a live DVD of the California show in the works. It will include the entire Sense Field set and tons of interviews with all the bands that played that day. Everyone working on it has done such an amazing job. I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I imagine it will also be available soon.
How surprised were you by the reaction to Jon’s death last year from fans, bands and labels all expressing how he had affected and inspired them either personally or professionally?
It was absolutely incredible. I was really moved by how everyone came together to honor him. Both benefit shows were awesome. I talked to so many people that I hadn’t seen in years. It was a really nice way to grieve together but more importantly, celebrate Jon’s music.
What is your favourite track recorded by Jon in any of his various bands?
I honestly can’t pick one. ‘Leia’ and ‘Will’ from the ‘Building’ LP are pretty amazing vocally. And again, hearing them now they take on a whole new meaning. Hard to listen to without tears in my eyes.
What is the current status of Your Favorite Trainwreck, it’s been a couple of years since the debut LP?
I think that record will stand as a one-off. I’m really proud of that album and I loved making a record with my dear friend Popeye, but that was a difficult band to maintain due to all of our schedules and commitments. We caught lightning in a bottle.
What was your favourite record of 2016, and are there any releases that you are particularly looking forward to in 2017?
Two words that make no sense on their own, but when put together they say everything…’Hypercaffium Spazzinate’. Any time you get a new Descendents record, it’s going to be a favorite. I also really liked ‘The Ride’ by Catfish and the Bottlemen. I don’t even know what’s coming out this year. I’m at the age when keeping up with the new stuff isn’t a priory like it was – plus I like being surprised.
What are your own plans for 2017?
I’m releasing a solo EP in the spring called ‘Reset The Sun’. It’s a 6-song concept record. I’m really excited about it. It was something I had been working on since before Gameface reunited in 2012. I finally had the time to get back on it last year. It’ll be released on vinyl/digital on April 21. After that I’m hoping to get out and play.
Thanks for that Jeff, best of luck with the 7″ and the rest of your plans for 2017. WSR
Follow the link to make a donation directly to the Jon Bunch Memorial Fund.