Fifteen (band)

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Fifteen
Origin United States
Genres Punk
Years active 1989–1996
1998–2000
Associated acts Crimpshrine, Monsula
Past members Jeff Ott
Jack Curran
Mikey Mischief
Mark Moreno
Jean Repetto
Lucky Dog
Chris Flanagan
John Ogle
Jesse Wickman
Joe Cable
John Quintos
Scott Pierce
Jim Prior
Lisa D.
Vanessa Bain

Fifteen was a punk rock band formed by Jeff Ott and Paul Curran. Ott was the group's main songwriter and only consistent member. According to Ott, the band had a total of fifteen members by the time it finally disbanded in 2000: Jack Curran, Mikey Mischief, Mark Moreno, Jean Repetto, Lucky Dog, Chris Flanagan, John Ogle, Jesse Wickman, Joe Cable, John Quintos, Scott Pierce, Jim Prior, Lisa D., Vanessa Bain and himself.[1]

History[edit]

Fifteen formed in 1988 in Benicia, California after the dissolution of Ott and Curran's former band, Crimpshrine.[2] Like Crimpshrine, Fifteen's initial releases were on Lookout! Records, through which they issued two LPs before moving to Grass Records.[3]

Fifteen released their 1996 album Extra Medium Kick Ball Star' on their own Cool Guy Records label, after which the band broke up. Their final show on June 14 of 1996 was later released as the live record Allegra. The group reformed in late 1997 with Ott and several members of the original line-up. In 1999 they released Lucky on Subcity Records and participated in that label's first Take Action Tour. Most of the Lucky album, are song first done by a band that attempted to not have a name, but was named by others, Jeff, Tim, and Adam. This line-up dissolved following the departure of Jean during the album's recording, and then Scoot leaving just after the Take Action Tour. A new line-up existed briefly, recording the Hush EP and the album Survivor, but this version of Fifteen did not tour. Fifteen broke up again in 2000.[2]

Ott returned to his solo career for several years, releasing another record, Will Work for Diapers.[4] In 2007 he abandoned his solo career as well, saying simply that he was busy with school. In December 2011, Fifteen reunited to play two Bay Area benefit shows.[5]

Songwriting and politics[edit]

Fifteen was notable for their lyrical content and political beliefs as much as their music.[6] Ott approached political issues in a more personal, "storyteller" mode than is typical of punk rock music.[7] Fifteen addressed issues such as environmentalism, pacifism, homelessness, drug addiction, child abuse, racism and sexism. Ott's lyrics were often written in the first-person narrative style, as he himself was a victim of child abuse and was homeless for much of the band's early career. Jeff Ott is also a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.[2]

A running theme in Fifteen song titles is the "-tion" suffix, a nod to the overuse of this suffix in Crimpshrine song titles.[citation needed] Some Fifteen songs, such as "Run II" and "Liberation II", are often sequels to songs written by Ott or other artists.

Many Fifteen songs are tributes to friends of the band who have died, including "Front", "Chris' Song", and "Welcome to Berkeley". "Brian's Song" on the album Survivor refers to the death of Brian Deneke.[citation needed]

Love songs featured prominently on the first three Fifteen albums, but are completely absent from later releases.[citation needed] Ott addresses his stance towards love songs in the track "Liberation II", a song about codependency.

Discography[edit]

Year Title Label Format and comments
1990 Self-Titled Lookout! Records 7"
1991 Swain's First Bike Ride Lookout! Records CD/12"
1992 Choice of a New Generation Lookout! Records CD/12"
1993 Ain't Life a Drag Iteration Records 7"
1994 Buzz Grass Records / Plan It X CD/12"
1995 Extra Medium Kick Ball Star (17) Cool Guy Records / Sub City Records CD/12"
1996 Surprise! Rebel Alliance Records / Grass Records / Plan It X CD/12"
1996 There's No Place Like Home (Good Night) Lookout! Records CD
1996 Ooze Lookout! Records 7" (Contains only '924' and 'Landmine' from There's no Place Like Home
1996 Allegra No Records / Cool Guy Records/ Sub City Records CD/12"
1999 Lucky Sub City Records CD/12"
2000 Hush Sub City Records CD/12"
2000 Survivor Sub City Records CD/12"
2010 Can You Spare Some Change? Solidarity Recordings 7" (Split with For.The.Win. and Hanalei) NEED/Long Haul Benefit EP

Members[8][edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A.K. "Jeff Ott". Punk Globe. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Proefrock, Stacia. "Fifteen | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Prested, Kevin (2014). Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records. Portland, Oregon: Microcosm Publishing. ISBN 9781621067221. 
  4. ^ Cober, Justin. "Jeff Ott: Will Work for Diapers". PopMatters.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Fifteen, The Wunder Years, The Grady Sisters - Tickets - The Phoenix Theater - Petaluma, CA - December 30th, 2011". The Phoenix Theater. 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Fifteen: Lucky". Inmusicwetrust.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  7. ^ ": Fifteen - Lucky : !earshot : reviews". Earshot-online.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  8. ^ Ott, Jeff. "Fifteen, the band". www.skatedork.org. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 

External links[edit]