After 15 years, Andover’s finest hang it all up this weekend
PROFILE. A lot has changed for Piebald since they first started in Andover, Mass. some 15 years ago.
“When we were first starting, demo cassettes were how you got your new music out there,” says drummer Luke Garro. “Only bands that were on labels had actual CDs.”
In more recent years, Piebald, who play their final two shows this weekend, went on to release a series of increasingly complex punk tinged pop records like the recent “Accidental Gentlemen,” and became pioneers in the eco-friendly touring movement with their reliance on bio-fuel alternatives. “Converting our twelve passenger van to run on vegetable oil in 2005 and doing our first tour on it,” was one of the highlights of their run, says Garro.
The band spent under $400 on their entire U.S. tour. It was a few years before that, though, that they realized they had something special. In 2002, “we sold out the Worcester Palladium at 2,200 people. That made me be like ‘holy s---!’ I think we’re a real band.”
Not for much longer, unfortunately. On tour last fall, Garro says, the decision to end things just clicked for all of them at once.
“We didn’t even need to really have a discussion about it. It was just kind of known through all of our collective minds.”
Garro says he wishes he had known about the power of momentum during the band’s early years.
“It’s important to follow the energy while it’s there and to take on opportunities as they come,” he said.
Piebald may not have always gotten the credit they deserved for hashing out the type of shouty, anthemic indie rock perfected on their ’02 classic “We Are the Only Friends That We Have,” but for many young bands, they’d prove the blueprint for wry, witty, and yet still often sentimental post-hardcore.
“Have you ever heard of the ‘Piebald Syndrome’?” Garro asks. “Alternative Press used the term first, but it had always been something we were aware of ... It means an influential band that played with a number of bands in their genre that went on to become huge acts ... I don’t think our sound was ever catered for mainstream appeal.”