Rockers put tragedies behind them
THE FLINT JOURNAL
Friday, October 18, 2002
By Doug Pullen
JOURNAL ENTERTAINMENT WRITER
members of the trio Eyes Adrift could easily call themselves The Survivors.
They all have watched from the front row as heroin addiction ravaged or killed
colleagues in their former bands.
former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, ex-Meat Puppets frontman Curt Kirkwood
and former Sublime and Long Beach Dub All-Stars drummer Bud Gaugh just went to
get on with their lives and careers.
don't think we're all scarred or anything, but we're definitely a little wiser
for the wear after what we've been through," says Kirkwood, who put the
Puppets on hold last year because of his younger brother and bassist Cris
Kirkwood's drug problems.
dabbled himself and saw Sublime singer Bradley Nowell overdose six years ago.
Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, hailed as one of the most brilliant songwriters in rock
in the 1990s, committed suicide in 1994 after a long battle with heroin.
don't want to put myself back in that situation," Kirkwood says from his
home in Austin as the band prepared for a fall tour coming to Detroit's St.
Andrew's Hall on Saturday. "I want to have a little wisdom prevail. You
can't just throw yourself in again. You have to be clear about what you
important for the members of Eyes Adrift to make music without their
considerable baggage. Says Kirkwood: "We want to have an easier ride, to
capitalize on what we did, use our sweat equity, and move along in our careers
without ignoring what we did."
Adrift's self-titled debut album was released Sept. 24 on the independent
Spinart Music label. It doesn't sound anything like the members' former bands,
though Kirkwood's throaty vocals and penchant for country-rock recall early
Meat Puppets records.
don't think anybody's that vain, you know, and we have a lot of respect
individually and as a group for where we've all been," explains Kirkwood,
a 43-year-old, Texas-born, Phoenix-bred singer and guitarist. "It's easy
not to think about. We just said, Let's do what we want to do.' "
Adrift came together quickly last fall. Kirkwood and Novoselic, whose bands had
toured together (Meat Puppets are featured on Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged"
CD), hooked up last October in Seattle at the end of the guitarist's first solo
tour. Kirkwood was driving home to Austin when he got a call saying Gaugh, whom
he'd never met, was interested in doing something. The group was born by
was kind of just, Let's get together and play some music,' " Kirkwood
says. That a band would grow out of those early sessions "was definitely
kind of a surprise."
was blown away that it's as cohesive as it is since we did it off the
cuff," he says.
Adrift did a short spring tour this year, including a stop in Detroit, before
recording the 12 songs that make up the "Eyes Adrift" CD.
sad, weary, relaxed songs have taken on more of an edge in concert, Kirkwood
says, noting that he and his bandmates barely learned the songs before
recording them. "It's louder onstage," he says. "It sounds a lot
like the record, more full, but it's fun, a little more spirited."
Novoselic (whose former group has a new single and box set coming out), Gaugh
nor Kirkwood have placed many expectations on their post-grunge supergroup."We just want to do what feels good. That's what
we're thinking," he says. "We're making sure we can do that and not
putting ourselves into any situation that would make it too strange that we
can't wriggle around."