Plow Monday (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Plow Monday[1] is a five-piece musical group from Austin, Texas. They officially disbanded in 2003, but have played several "reunion" shows since then.

Members[edit]

  • Jon English - lead vocals, guitars
  • Ryan Holley - vocals, rhythm and lead guitars
  • Clif Haley - rhythm and lead guitars
  • Michael "Bobbo" Swanson - bass
  • David English - drums, vocals

Early Formation[edit]

Drummer David English and guitarist Clif Haley first met each other at Marble Falls High School in 1990, where they started playing together with other friends in garage bands. The two formed their first official group, Mente Captus, in 1991 and played their first public show together at a Marble Falls civic event called "Pickin' in the Park" at Johnson Park in Marble Falls, Texas that summer. Later that year, David's younger brother Jon joined the band as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. High school friend Todd Beasley of Burnet, Texas, also became the band's bass player, and they changed their name to Conversion Factor. The group was a Christian Heavy Metal act, and they played most of their shows at Christian Music Festivals, including Rock Fest, also in Marble Falls.

Through Beasley, the band developed a relationship with Ryan Holley, who had recently moved to Burnet. Two years later, David, Clif, and Ryan all found themselves in Austin together in college, at which point they formed a new group, Societal Jive. This incarnation of the band featured David on drums, Clif on guitar, and Ryan on bass and lead vocals. The group's lyrics were still heavily influenced by religious themes, but they no longer billed themselves as a Christian group. They recorded an EP that was distributed at their shows, entitled "No More Mister Frowny Face." The group's style at that time was still mostly a form of heavy metal, with notable influences from the burgeoning grunge movement of the early and mid-1990s.

In 1995, the three-piece changed their name one last time to Plow Monday and formally released another EP, calling the record "Societal Jive" after the band's former name. The record was met with favorable reviews, receiving three out of four stars by the Austin Chronicle's Christopher Hess.[2]

In 1997, Jon English graduated high school and moved to Austin to attend college. He rejoined the group on bass, with Ryan moving to guitar. The next year the group finished work on another EP they called "Head Full of Windows," an eccentric mix of metal, grunge, funk, pop-rock, and Latin influences. Several songs received moderate airplay on local radio stations, and the group began playing regular shows at Austin and regional clubs.

First Hiatus and New Sound[edit]

In 1999, Jon made the decision to leave the band, and the group ceased their live shows and song writing. Approximately a year later, Jon recorded a 10 song solo album entitled "Blank." [3] The album was composed mostly of Jon's original songs that had never been adopted by Plow Monday, and a few songs the band had developed together before their hiatus. The band decided to reform with a new, radio-friendly sound and a few lineup changes, with Jon on lead vocals, and distribute the album as a new Plow Monday record, with the addition of a previously recorded Plow Monday song featuring all the band members. Several new bass players joined the band for a short time and Jon also handled bass duties before Michael "Bobbo" Swanson became the permanent bass player in 2001.[4]

Blank and Early Internet Success[edit]

With the advent of file sharing and distribution over internet music sites like Farmclub and Mp3.com, the group relied heavily on the internet for distribution of Blank. Their track "Joke" was a Farmclub top 10 hit in 2000 and the title track to "Blank" was the #1 song on AlternativeAddiction.com the same year.[5] Several tracks hit #1 on various Mp3.com charts, and the group amassed almost 100,000 downloads and streams of their songs from Mp3.com. For almost a month, "Blank" was one of the top 40 tracks in America on Mp3.com.[6] Several times they sat at the top of the charts as the most downloaded Austin group in that year.

Plow Monday began work on their first studio album with the new lineup and new sound, and pre-released an early single called "Lies." Lies became their second #1 song on AlternativeAddiction.com, and the group was voted the Best Unknown Band of 2001 by the website. That year, AlternativeAddiction.com wrote the following about Plow Monday: "With their incredibly unique sound and extremely addictive lyrics, it's amazing the group remains as unknown as they are! If you check out just one band on this website, make it this one!" [1]

In 2002, the band was the runner-up in the international Music For Youth foundation talent search, sponsored by Starpolish.com.[7]

In 2002 and 2003 the band was selected by KLBJ FM 93.7 in Austin as a "Schmoozefest" selectee, used to highlight the city's best unsigned acts during the SXSW music festival.[2]

Second Glance Appeal[edit]

Plow Monday finished work on Second Glance Appeal with producer Mark Dufour in 2002 and released it locally and over the internet in spring of 2003. Insite Magazine gave the CD a letter grade of "A", and called the album "familiar and new, retro and fresh… Plow Monday is uniquely Austin with major mass appeal. The band regularly sold out Stubbs during this period, and landed two top-10 videos on the local Austin Music Network.

Breakup and new musical acts[edit]

In September 2003, guitarist Clif Haley decided it was time to leave the band, and a month later, the group decided not to continue in his absence. The full group performed a sold-out farewell show that November at the Hard Rock Cafe in Austin, and signed on for an encore that New Year's Eve, which also sold out.

Ryan Holley has continued to play regularly in Austin with several groups, including Pavlov's Dogs, (a+) Machines, The Wartime Social, and Johnny Goudie and the Little Champions.

Jon English has contributed songs to Austin sports radio shows The Buck on Sports on KVET FM 98.1 and The Morning Rush on KZNX 1530 AM. His song "Hooked on the Horns" has been featured by the University of Texas at Longhorn football games.

Discography[edit]

  • Societal Jive
  • Head Full of Windows
  • Blank
  • Second Glance Appeal

References[edit]

  1. ^ Until the 19th century in England, Plow Monday, the first Monday after Epiphany, occasioned the antics of the gang of young plowmen, calling themselves the "plow-bullocks", who went door to door with the caparisoned "white plow", collecting pennies; when these were withheld they might plow up the dooryard (George C. Homans, English Villagers of the Thirteenth Century, 2nd ed. 1991:360f).
  2. ^ Marc Gunn, Celtic American Musician and Podcaster
  3. ^ Starpolish Interviews: Plow Monday
  4. ^ Starpolish Interviews: Plow Monday
  5. ^ Alternative Addiction.com, "Plow Monday parts with lead guitarist"
  6. ^ Starpolish.com
  7. ^ Star Polish Interviews: Plow Monday

External links[edit]