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|Associated acts||Crimpshrine, Monsula|
|Past members||Jeff Ott
Fifteen was a punk rock band formed by Jeff Ott. 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.
Fifteen formed in 1989 in Benicia, California. Their early releases were on Lookout! Records. Then Grass Records. Then put out one album themselves, extra-medium.
The band broke up for the first time in 1996, following the release of Extra Medium Kick Ball Star (17). Their last show was memorialized on the live record Allegra.
Fifteen 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 albums 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.
Ott returned to his solo career for several years, releasing another record, Will Work for Diapers. 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.. (http://www.thephoenixtheater.com/event/53009-fifteen-wunder-years-grady-petaluma/)
Songwriting and politics
Fifteen was notable for their lyrical content and political beliefs as much as their music. Ott approached political issues in a more personal, "storyteller" mode than is typical of punk rock music. 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.
A running theme in Fifteen song titles is the "-tion" suffix, a nod to the overuse of this suffix in Crimpshrine song titles. 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.
Love songs featured prominently on the first three Fifteen albums, but are completely absent from later releases. Ott addresses his stance towards love songs in the track "Liberation II", a song about codependency.
|Year||Title||Label||Format and comments|
|1992||Swain's First Bike Ride||Lookout! Records||CD/12"|
|1993||Choice of a New Generation||Lookout! Records||CD/12"|
|Ain't Life a Drag||Iteration Records||7"|
|1996||Buzz||Grass Records / Plan It X||CD/12"|
|1996||Surprise!||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|
|1998||Extra Medium Kick Ball Star (17)||Cool Guy Records / Sub City Records||CD/12"|
|1999||Allegra||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"|