Roadside Monument

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Roadside Monument
Origin Seattle, Washington, United States
Genres Math rock, Instrumental rock Emo
Years active 1994–1998, 2002–2003
Labels Tooth & Nail
Website Official site
Members Doug Lorig
Johnathon Ford
Matt Johnson
Past members Mike Dente
Todd Florence
Joel Metzger

Roadside Monument was a Christian math rock band from Seattle, Washington who were signed to Tooth & Nail Records. They were active from 1994–1998 and then again from 2002–2003.

History[edit]

Before Roadside Monument began, singer Doug Lorig was involved in other bands. During junior high, high school, and college, he performed in the bands Cow Shrapnel, Waterfront, and Sixth Hour, all of which also featured another future Roadside Monument member, bassist Todd Florence.

Roadside was signed to Tooth & Nail Records only about four months after they formed in 1994, because they had good fortune in being discovered by Brandon Ebel. They released their Tooth & Nail debut, a 7-inch vinyl EP called My Life Is Green, in 1995.

Roadside Monument followed up their debut with their first full length Beside This Brief Hexagonal also in 1996. After the release of this album, complications emerged with keeping the band together due to medical issues and other obligations. After the other members departed, Lorig was left to find Matt Johnson (of Blenderhead) on drums and Johnathan Ford on bass. Lorig, Ford and Johnson became the core of Roadside Monument, and its sole members in all future releases. In 1997, Eight Hours Away from Being a Man was released, along with a pair of split EPs (with Puller and Frodus). Eight Hours Away from Being a Man was the album in which they became a prominent band on the Tooth & Nail roster, gaining popularity in the indie rock, emo and Christian underground music scenes.

Roadside Monument broke up after the Cornerstone Festival in 1998, when Ford moved to Chicago, Illinois. They had already written and recorded another album, called I Am the Day of Current Taste, which was released several months after their breakup.

In 2002, Ford returned to Seattle, and Roadside Monument reunited as an indie band. The new incarnation of the band played local shows, toured with Pedro the Lion and lasted for about one year, when Johnson decided to end the band again because of an inability to be a part of a full-time touring band. During this short time that the band re-united they created several new songs, including "Zzyzx" which was recorded during a live performance at Cornerstone 2002, and subsequently released via the band's official Web site.

Side projects[edit]

Since their breakup, Roadside Monument's members have participated in a variety of bands:

  • Suffering and the Hideous Thieves is an experimental band founded by Jeff "Suffering" Bettger of another former Tooth & Nail band, Ninety Pound Wuss. Bettger writes most of the songs, but Ford and Johnson have also played in the band.
  • Lorig was in the final lineup for Raft of Dead Monkeys, another band that Bettger fronted after Ninety Pound Wuss. Ford and Johnson also played in Raft of Dead Monkeys, a controversial band that broke up in 2001.
  • Lorig has since played in the space rock band Black Eagle and currently fronts the grunge band Patrol.
  • Ford was a founding member of the "doom hardcore" band Warlord and filled in on bass for them during live shows. He left Warlord before they recorded their lone full-length album, Rock the Foe Hammer, which came out in 1999. [1]
  • Ford filled in on bass for Pedro the Lion from time to time after Roadside Monument's first breakup.[2]
  • Ford is the core member of Unwed Sailor.
  • Johnson is the drummer for The Out Circuit

Critical response[edit]

Throughout their history, Roadside Monument has had several clashes with some Christian bookstore chains, who cited their songs as being "controversial"[citation needed]. Examples of such songs included "Sperm Ridden Burden" (which Lorig said Ford wrote about seeing a child on a bus who was being raised by a single mother[citation needed]) and "O.J. Simpson House Auction" (the news on television when Lorig was looking for the title to the song he was working on[citation needed]). The band members did not mind that their music was not being sold in Christian bookstores, because they preferred to think of themselves as a "band" rather than as a "Christian band"[citation needed]. In an interview with HM Magazine soon after their breakup, drummer Matt Johnson said, "... I think the problem comes in when you start using the word 'Christian' as an adjective. And when I start hearing talk like that, my first inclination is to run totally in the opposite direction.... It's just a debate that I've been over and over with people so much, that I'm not even sure what to say anymore. It's like, I'm a Christian and I play music, and if that means my band is a 'Christian band', then whatever."

Many fans of Roadside Monument like the band because of their creative sound[citation needed]. They are credited[by whom?] as being key contributors to the original emo sub-culture and sound of indie rock which existed in the mid to late nineties. Their songs featured unique structure that was a blatant rejection of the verse/chorus structure followed by many popular songs[citation needed]. In addition, their unusual guitar parts, abnormal rhythms, and abrupt tempo changes, topped off by Lorig's emotional vocals[citation needed], gained them acclaim[citation needed] and made the band's style almost unable to be labeled[by whom?]. Indeed, reviewers of the band would describe them as emo, math rock, or just regular rock[citation needed].

Current members[edit]

Founding Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

External links[edit]