Inverness was born in the winter of senior year. I had played in bands throughout various stages of school, with friends from both Loyola and nearby Sentinel high school. None of them had really fleshed out in the way I envisioned, and things became busy as time went on. I quit one band to play basketball. When basketball ended, I suddenly had no band to play in. And so Inverness was created.
Assembing the right people was, in many ways, essential to the success. I hated playing guitar, I wanted to be freed from an instrument. Geoff got me into loud music, music with screaming, bands like Norma Jean and Between the Buried and Me. Growling and screaming and drums that pounded and rattled. Geoff was a drummer, so the intrigue for him was obvious. Pounding drums. Here was so much fury, so much anger. So I talked to Geoff about it, and we decided, that spring, after basketball, to play music that was furious.
Geoff played drums, and he did so well, in my basement. Nick came along the first time as well, toting a six string bass guitar. I had played in bands with Nick and Geoff before, same with Jeremy, who wound up playing guitar. This was a lot of noise. But I wanted more. I wanted more people on stage to thrash about and be loud. Geoff’s friend Zach had never been in a band, but he could play guitar. So there were five of us, and that meant it took forever to learn the songs.
I wrote all the songs, every note. For a long time we had only one song, called “The Atronauch.” It was complicated and changed time signatures. And I screamed on it. For the longest time I didn’t know what to scream about. Then Danielle joined the band. Danielle and her twin sister, Elyse, were the two most beautiful girls I had ever met. Danielle was tall and slender and blonde. She liked the same music I did. We went on dates around Missoula, to Big Dipper, to Liquid Planet. We skinny-dipped in the hot tub at my house one night in the middle of the night. I wanted to have sex with her. And I liked her, too.
Using two plywood book cases, my dad built us a series of lights, with different colors, red, blue, and white. They could be fired off by pressing buttons on a control panel he built. The lights were bright and spectacular. Danielle started coming to practice and running them while we played. It was fantastic. But Danielle and Geoff had gone out once. She fulfilled the role as the girl in a group of boys. We talked about her. Geoff found out we were seeing each other, and, in this passive aggressive way of his, he got upset. So I stopped talking to Danielle for a while, and then other things happened and she became frustrated with me. But she still ran the lights.
We played a concert in my basement, which was great fun, but it was still early in the get-go. It was already summer, and I became painfully aware of the limitations on my time in Missoula. I grew out my beard, and the songs, they became terrible and agonizing. I wrote words about Danielle, and that became “The Atronauch,” or THEATRONAUCH as I wrote it in my notebook. I wrote a song about Paige, and that became THEBROTHEL, a song about Jessy became THEPILOT, and when we would practice I would trash about and scream about these people, these girls, until I made myself ill. Then, in just two or three days, we recorded all the songs we had, and in some ways it was a last will and testament.
Our one show at a real venue was my last night in Missoula. We were slated to play third. I sat in the back room at Union Hall, which was a theater with fold-down seats. A crowd of people gathered in the room, and Jessy came and Paige came and Danielle was of course there, ready to play the lights.
Geoff dropped the first drum fill and I stared at the crowd with the lights flashing and the band churned through the first riff of THEATRONAUCH. I stared at the people, some my friends, some I didn’t know. Then the first words were about to start. I grabbed the microphone. I was so furious. I was angry and sad and I stared out at the people and thrashed about. And when I screamed about Paige I pointed and shrieked and wailed and when I sang about Jessy I got up in her face and pointed at myself and screamed and I lay on the ground for a while and was soaked in sweat, and I tripped and hit my head a few times and all of this occurred while I was completely sober. Thrasing and screaming and in so many ways wanting to die.
We packed everything back into our cars. I gave pieces of the equipment I owned to my friends as though I was leaving them forever. We went to Geoff’s apartment and drank PBR and smoked weed and started to watch a tape of the concert, but that was so weird for me, being high and drunk, and I got up from the couch and turned it off. And that was that. Inverness was done with. I stayed with them until four in the morning, and as I drove back to my house, Danielle sent me a text message, telling me how much she would miss me. I sat in my garage in my car, then finally went inside and slept for three hours. Then I went to college.
released August 15, 2008
Dan Evans (vocals)
Geoff Thomas (drums)
Jeremy Meine (guitar)
Zach Bauer (guitar)
Nick Corn (bass)
Danielle Winn (lights)