Fifteen (band)

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Fifteen
Origin United States
Genres Punk
Years active 1988–1996
1998–2000
Labels Lookout Records, Grass Records
Associated acts Crimpshrine, Monsula, East Bay Mud, No Dogs
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 Jack Curran and Jeff Ott. According to Ott, the band's only consistent member in its 11-year history, Fifteen had a total of fifteen members by the time the group 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 Ott himself.[1]

History[edit]

Fifteen formed in 1988 during the tail end of the Crimpshrine tour while Ott and Curran were writing songs together. During this time, Curran's younger brother Paul played bass while Jean Repetto played drums. After Crimpshrine broke up, Fifteen started playing shows. Jack Curran took up bass, and Ott and Curran recruited Mike Goshert to play drums. Fiteen embarked on their first tour in the summer of 1989, and recorded their debut EP in April 1990 for Lookout! Records. Fifteen went on their first US tour in the summer of 1990 with Filth (band) and Econochrist. Mark Moreno took over on drums and they recorded their first full-length album, Swain's First Bike Ride, in December 1990. In 1991, Rich "Lucky Dog" Gargano joined the band on bass. Curran switched over to second guitar briefly, before leaving the band in 1992. In summer of 1992, the band toured the US and Canada, and recorded their second album, The Choice of a New Generation. Afterwards, Lucky Dog and Mark Moreno left the band and Curran returned, joined by Jesse Wickman on drums. The band released their second EP and third album with Chris Flanagan on drums, and went on three more US tours before their first and only European tour in fall of 1994. Afterwards, Curran left for good.

Fifteen released their 1995 album Extra Medium Kick Ball Star on their own Cool Guy Records label with John Ogle on bass, followed by their fifth album, Surprise!, 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 former members Ott, Mark Moreno, and Jean Repetto, along with Scott Pierce. 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 Scott 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.[3] In 2007 he abandoned his solo career as well, saying simply that he was busy with school. In December 2011, Ott and Curran reunited Fifteen to play two Bay Area benefit shows.[4]

Songwriting and politics[edit]

Fifteen was notable for their lyrical content and political beliefs as much as their music.[5] Ott approached political issues in a more personal, "storyteller" mode than is typical of punk rock music.[6] 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 spin on the Descendents' use of the "age" suffix in their song titles. Some Fifteen songs, such as "My Friend II" and "Liberation II", are often sequels to songs written by Ott

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 are featured prominently on the first three Fifteen albums, but are completely absent from later releases. This is because the love songs were primarily written by Curran. 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 Fifteen Lookout! Records 7"
1991 Swain's First Bike Ride Lookout! Records CD/12"/CS
1992 The Choice of a New Generation Lookout! Records CD/12"/CS
1993 Ain't Life a Drag Iteration Records / Spring Box 7"
1994 Buzz Grass Records / Plan It X CD/12"/CS
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"/CS
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"/CS
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
2016 Live At Gilman St. Dream Militia 7"

Members[7][edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A.K. "Jeff Ott". Punk Globe. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Proefrock, Stacia. "Fifteen | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Cober, Justin. "Jeff Ott: Will Work for Diapers". PopMatters.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  4. ^ "Fifteen, The Wunder Years, The Grady Sisters - Tickets - The Phoenix Theater - Petaluma, CA - December 30th, 2011". The Phoenix Theater. 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Fifteen: Lucky". Inmusicwetrust.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  6. ^ ": Fifteen - Lucky : !earshot : reviews". Earshot-online.com. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  7. ^ Ott, Jeff. "Fifteen, the band". www.skatedork.org. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 

External links[edit]