By Sam Pfeifle
The boy is no longer twitching. One of Portland’s most progressive musical acts, Twitchboy, have decided to make their recent New Year’s Eve show at the Shady Lady their last. For fans of thoughtful, electronic metal, this is bad news indeed. Their 2000 album, American Far West, was very well received, and they were one of a handful of local bands to crack local radio playlists. They could never quite get over the hump, however.
“I think the one thing that drove us apart was just frustration,” says guitarist Todd Hutchisen. “We had no management, no representation, almost no focus. The band got bigger than we anticipated it to be. It got to be where it wasn’t just a fun thing, it got to be a job, and all of us had day jobs, and none of us could do it.”
He stops short of agreeing that they were victims of their own success, however. “More victims of our stature,” he corrects.
“At one point,” says drummer Jason Stewart, “we had nine major labels asking for press packs and everything, but nothing panned out.” They were too outside of the traditional mode, says Stewart, for any label or manager to take a flyer on them. “We’ve gone to this altar several times now with labels and the music’s been too different for anybody to back it and say ‘let’s run with it,’ ” says Stewart. “Everybody wants to wait and see what everybody else will do.”
Well, that, of course is the question: What will these talented musicians do with themselves? Plenty.
Bassist Ryan Fleming and keyboardist Jade Prout will continue with Colostomy. “We just finished our album,” says Fleming. “I think we’re going to call it Feces Pieces.” Also, Fleming says he plans on hooking back up with Stewart to work on future projects.
Stewart just missed landing the Rustic Overtones drummer job, but isn’t disheartened. (Marc Boisvert, of Trivium, barely beat him out. And while I’m at it, I’ll let you know the ’Tones have also gained a sax player in Keith Reynolds, a high-schooler out of Winslow. But you don’t care about that, this is a Twitchboy story.)
“I’m going to be busy,” says Stewart of the imminent future. “That’s my goal. I’m going to try and work less and play more. I’ve got some projects bubbling with friends of mine that I’m going to try out.” That should include some work with Trivium, at least until they decide what to do with their drummer slot.
Hutchisen reports that he’ll be putting his voice degree to work teaming up with former Colepitz guitarist Ray Suhey and a couple other members of the local scene to do something “a little more atmospheric.” They’ve been writing since July and “have plans to start playing out this spring.”
Finally, it’s unlikely lead singer Brant Dadaleares will stay quiet long, as he’s been active in the local scene since at least the early ’90s with Tripe.
And there’s even hope for one last Twitchboy gasp: “We’ve got one tune recorded over at Big Sound,” reports Hutchisen, “that we might try to get on ’CYY — once we get the vocals done.”