The Buddha Den

Everything you wanted to know about the Dayton music scene and more but were afraid to ask

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


...hey there, it's been a while. We've been keeping an eye on things from a distance and enjoying one of the best seasons we've seen in a while. We also still take time occasionally to do some work on this blog. We recently had the pleasure of talking with John Schmersal from Enon, who will be rolling into Dayton this weekend to perform at Gilly's. Here's what he had to say...

The Buddha Den: It's been a while since Enon has palyed in Dayton [Dayton Music Fest 2007, to be exact]. What is the impetus for getting the band out on the road at this point? What has been keeping you and the band busy in the interim?

John Schmersal: Well, we have been working on a new set up with our new drummer and some new tunes and wanted to give it some air. We've never really needed a reason or an excuse to go on tour. For me, it is easy as I am from Ohio, to come back to the Midwest. It's as much of a family/friends visiting affair as it is a musical one. What's kept us busy. Well we released Grass Geysers and toured and toured and toured. That ended around last July. We went to europe like 3 times and again for festivals in the summer. Since then we've just been regrouping and working on new stuff. We are playing with a new drummer Thomas, from here in Philly, he used to play drums for Man Man.

TBD: We understand you've been working with some bands from this region that have records coming out this summer, Human Reunion and Eat Sugar. How did you come to work with both of them? How do you feel about being sought out as a recordist/producer?

JS: Well, HR I have known those guys for years and it was just a matter of time I suppose.Eat Sugar, we played with them last year on tour and then they wrote later on and asked if I'd be interested. I actually did their record in August right when I got back from finishing the touring. I like recording groups but, I am pretty selective about it as it becomes very time consuming and it always takes more time than budget allows so, it has to be a labor of love. I wouldn't want to record/produce bands all the time but, it is a nice break from Enon and other commercial stuff I do when the timing and the music is right! I am glad people approach me about this stuff. It's nice to be in demand a little.

TBD: With the recent demise of Touch and Go Records, where does Enon find itself in terms of releasing new music? How has this reconfiguration of the indie label scene affected your approach? Where do you see the music industry going from here?

JS: We aren't thinking too hard about it, just trying to write a good batch of new tunes and we will take it from there. I have no idea what is/will happen with the music industry. It's still in flux and it's affecting everything from bands, to labels, to distribution, to recording studios, budgets, even videos. You name it. I don't have any answers. People will always want to listen to new music and in fact people are kind of becoming like vampires about it which is a real turn off, in my opinion. Not too cool.

TBD: Your work with Enon and previously with Brainiac seems to have spread its influence fairly wide over the last several years. How do you feel about your work being so influential? Why do you think so many musicians have tuned into your work as a reference point?

JS: I have no perspective on what I have done from the outside looking in. I try not to dwell on the past but, I am glad that people still care about anything that I've been involved with. Music can be pretty disposable, here today and forgotten tomorrow so, it's nice that some of it is sticking in peoples' minds. That will always feel good.

TBD: Within the last year, a site came online called The Brainiac Live Archive Project. The site has collected numerous live audio and video sources in an attempt to gather together Brainiac's legacy. How do you feel about your work in Brainiac? How do you remember the Dayton music scene in the early- to mid-90s? Do you feel there is something unique about making music in Dayton as opposed to a higher-profile city?

JS: I had no idea about the Brainiac Archive Project, that sounds cool. Where is it? etc. Brainiac seems like so long ago now. It really was a happy and much simpler time. Well stocked thrift stores, pawn shops, flea markets... unraided by the successes of Ebay. Mostly pre internet, certainly pre high speed. I feel like the web has changed that dynamic a bit.. making music in a high profile city vs. a Dayton sized city. Everybody has access to culture even if it doesn't come right to the doorstep of a local venue. I don't think it matters where you are from as much anymore. Living in a small town definitely still affords you the time and space to be creative/bored/creative vs. the race to just pay rent in a major metro city. But, that's really the largest difference that still remains. Even just being in a band and going on tour is not such a big deal these days. Everybody has access to approximations of vintage keyboard sounds through computer synths, etc. Any band can cobble together some semblance of a tour through myspace or the like. Being in a band is about as dangerous or rogue as working in a fast food restaurant anymore wherever you are from. A kid from Virginia might not look much different than a kid from L.A. via American Apparel stylings readily available. I'm glad information etc. is available to all but, is homogenization cool? I don't think so.

TBD: Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?

JS: Colman's original English mustard is the best! I wasn't paid to say that. catch Enon out on tour this Saturday, June 20 at Gilly's along with D Riders (ex-US Maple) and local flavor from Human Reunion, Astro Fang, and Nathan Peters...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Being in a band is about as dangerous or rogue as working in a fast food restaurant anymore wherever you are from."


1:40 PM  
Anonymous buddhist amulet said...

Beautiful photo.

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Do Tell books multiple out of town bands on the same show, then screw the local bands with no payment. Awesome!

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

setting the record straight;

DO TELL did not book "multiple out of town bands" on the ENON show, D RIDER (feat. US MAPLE guitarist) was the only other "touring" band on the bill & were part of the deal as insisted by ENON. also, everyone was paid fairly. DO TELL are one of the few promoters in town bringing in national acts. know the facts before you start complaining & look at the expenses; paying out a guarantee of WELL OVER $1,000 + gilly's rental, per diems, opening acts' pay, promotion, soundman, doorperson + YOUR BITCHING! when they stop bringing in acts, we'll just deal w/clear channel- is that what you want? then, an ENON show will ONLY cost $24-$34 + service charge w/NO local openers (or those bands can play some sort of "battle for the ENON show" & earn the "privilege" of opening w/o pay. it's the few fuckwad naysayers that are furiously banging the final nails in the indie rock coffin. i should know, i quit promoting shows because of people like you, hope you like my DJ'ing 'cause that's all you're getting. time spent complaining could be put to much better use.

Jay Madewell

2:15 PM  
Blogger ben said...

You don't know what you are talking about, all the bands got paid! Enon brought a band with them, like a normal national show would be. If you need anymore detailed financial information, please feel free to contact me anonymously no balls!

12:48 AM  
Blogger Juliet said...

All I know is that at the end of the night all of the bands (local and national), the crowd and the staff at Gillys (myself included) were very happy with the way the night went.

So kudos to Do Tell for a good show.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've heard from at least three people that the sound was absolutely terrible.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

both the easter bunny and santa claus told me that the show was fun and people should find something more constructive to fabricate / whine about.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous astro fang said...

we got paid!

9:01 PM  

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