Issue May 23, 2006

Five Important Questions With Young Widows

There is a certain specific art to a band’s transformation when, say, it loses a crucial member. Some painful, embarrassing reinvention hacks like Van Halen (Hagar) and INXS (that disgraceful reality show) shine the international spotlight on just how bad it can be when your singer bails — or is chucked.

 And although it’s been more often than not that a band missing an original member fails horrendously to recapture some glory or respect, it happens that several have made solid changes that, in turn, made the band better. A good case exists for Pink Floyd.

 Same with Young Widows. Formerly Breather Resist, the band parted ways with singer Steve Sindoni (his new band, Pusher, is worth checking out — May 31 at Keswick) last December and came forth as a three-piece, with guitarist Evan Patterson and bassist Nick Thieneman taking over vocal shares.

The result is, in some ways, a natural progression toward where the band seemed to be going. There’s still the crushing, dirty rhythm section and up-front guitar, but Patterson lets Thieneman and drummer Geoff Paton carry a bigger load — in other words, there’s a lot more space here. The pace is markedly slower and more pensive, though the songs are still individual destroyers with as much weird-angle melody as attack.

The biggest change, of course, is behind the microphone. Whereas Sindoni’s work in Breather consisted mostly of throat-rattling screams and well-read lyrics a little too swallowed in delivery to comprehend, Patterson — who does most of the singing — is pretty easy to hear, and he barks and talk-sings more than screams, much in the DC tradition.

Taken altogether, the new mix is terrifyingly good. Young Widows’ first full-length, Settle Down City, will be out soon on Jade Tree, and this weekend is their first show. Patterson took a few minutes the other day to answer some important questions.

LEO: If you were Mayor, what would you do to help promote people like you in this city?
Evan Patterson
: If I were Mayor, I would help start a non-profit all-ages music venue. This would not only help our local music scene, but it would build a worldwide reputation for Louisville. I have tried to contact the city/state via e-mail, but of course no replies as of yet. One day I need to take the idea to the next step. If for some reason the Mayor reads this article, please get a hold of me!

LEO: Which Louisville musician needs to get more attention?
EP
: It feels great to have anyone recognize that you have worked hard to create and perform a piece of music. All Louisville musicians need more attention.

LEO: If music were food, what kind would yours be?
EP
: K8 with tofu courtesy of Vietnam Kitchen.

LEO: Tell me about one of your favorite works of art aside from your medium.
EP
: I just saw “Art School Confidential” the other day and it was one of the funnier movies I have ever seen. I guess you can consider that a work of art. Some wouldn’t agree.

LEO: What do you want to say that you know you shouldn’t?
EP
: Olives taste like urine.

Contact the writer at sgeorge@leoweekly.com