|Inspired by my love for Giants Chair and my need for an alter-ego to Cave In, I decided to form what began as Ester of Wood Rosin in the late summer of 1996 and ended as Kid Kilowatt in 1999. To do this, I recruited a well-respected local drum junkie with a knack for jazz & marching band named Matt Redmond along with bassist Adam McGrath of Cave In and guitarist/vocalist Aaron Stuart of Piebald. With myself on guitar and lead vocals, we began to formulate some good ol' sappy-but-not-too-sappy rock n' roll tunes.|
Ester of Wood Rosin rehearsed for a few months, carefully writing our first batch of songs which included "Ted Nugent" and the original, 9 minute long opus version of "Tug Of War". In the fall of 1996, we recorded a four-song demo with Kurt Ballou (who would later join the band) at his 8-track home studio, GodCity. It sounded decent, and it only cost us the price of a 1/2" reel of tape, a DAT, and dinner for Kurt. I hand-crafted the demo inserts in my high-school graphic arts room and it was, ironically more work than I had ever spent on a single class assignment! About 400 copies of the demo were pressed, but they were gone in no time.
We continued writing songs and playing out locally with Aaron Stuart until the springtime of 1997 when Aaron decided he'd rather focus 100% of his energy on his main band, Piebald. The rest of us were completely understanding of the situation, Piebald being the wonderful rock band that they were (and still are). To replace Aaron, we asked guitarist/vocalist Kurt Ballou of Converge and GodCity studio fame to join the band and he happily accepted. The name Ester of Wood Rosin was dropped in favor of the name, Kid Kilowatt (inspired a Guided By Voices song of the same title) and rehearsal for the group resumed.
Kid Kilowatt, with Kurt integrated into the band, re-worked songs we had written with Aaron such as "The Bicycle Song", "7th Inning Song Formation", "The Scope", "Peeping Tomboy" and "Red Carpet", and began writing fresh with "Radio Pow For Now". At our first live show as Kid Kilowatt, we were honored to play with my heroes, Giants Chair, in my hometown of Methuen MA! The highlight of the show was a staged fight between Kurt and Aaron during the set to dispute who the band's real guitarist was. Kurt, of course, defeated Aaron with some harsh words, one punch to the face, and a few kicks in the groin. After Jon from Piebald dragged Aaron's corpse off of the stage, the set resumed, the audience in shock of the vulgar display of power they had just witnessed.
For the next 6 or 7 months all of us were juggling other musical projects, so we rehearsed very infrequently and played shows even less frequently. When we did play out, we had the opportunity to play with some great bands like Piebald, Jejune, and Regulator Watts as well as the honor to play the first show ever at the current location of "The Space", a non-profit, DIY artist space in Worcester, Mass. Bright-colored snazzy suits ala "Dick Tracy" became the uniform of choice for our live shows. In July of 1997, we recorded two songs at Kurt's 8-track studio for a split 7" that never saw the light of day. "The Bicycle Song", recorded during this session, eventually made it's way onto the first Hydra Head CD sampler.
Due to the crazy schedules of both Cave In and Converge (of which I was now a member), the time we were able to devote to Kid Kilowatt was minimal. That, coupled with the fact that Matt had moved to New Hampshire caused enthusiasm for the band to fizzle. Attempting to keep the band going, we played what, unknown to us, would be our last show in January of 1998 at the Met Cafe in Providence RI. Soon after this show, I quit Converge to do Cave In full time, now as, not only the guitarist, but as the vocalist. Adam and Kurt continued their duties with Cave In and Converge respectively, and Matt joined a new power trio called Eulcid. There was simply no time left in our schedules for Kid Kilowatt and the band collapsed.
Still having a bulk of rock that was without a good studio recording to do it justice, we knew that we would eventually have to put these songs on tape. So, after almost a year apart, we regrouped in November of 1998 at the new location of GodCity, now a somewhat professional 24-track studio, to put down basic tracks for an album. Songs such as "Memorial Drive", "Cadence For The Desert Sun", "The Glass of Shattered Youth", and "Cadence for a Rainy Day" written while the band was together but never played live, had come together while in the studio and were added to the band's repertoire. After 11 months of piecemeal recording and mixing sessions, the finishing touches were finally applied in Rocktober 1999, the record was mastered at M-works in Cambridge, and "Guitar Method" was now finally complete!
Epilogue: We have talked about regrouping Kid Kilowatt for a couple shows to celebrate the release of Guitar Method after our listeners have had the chance to get reacquainted with our music, but for now, this is only talk and should not be considered as anything but talk. If you feel as though the vibe of the recording is a bit disjointed, understand that is just the way things turned out for the band so it is only natural for this to be reflected in the finished product. We are, however, generally pleased with the results, and we hope you are too. Happy
-Steve Brodsky (with help from Kurt Ballou)
|**KID KILOWATT SHOWS|
|No Shows Scheduled|