From humble beginnings as a solo acoustic project in guitarist Dave Conway's bedroom, Juneau's What Remains has evolved into a full-fledged guitar-guitar-bass-and-drums punk band. Now, the group is ready to release its first full-length compact disc.
"What Remains Destroys All Monsters" comes out on Friday, May 20, with a CD release show at the Silverbow Inn. Music begins at 9 p.m., and admission is $5. DJ Astronomar and a few special guests will open.
The night will begin at 7 or 7:30 p.m. with the world premiere of "Nice Steven," an 85-minute comedy written, directed, filmed and edited by bass player Ryan Sotomayor. He started the project in Portland, where a shortened version of the project also screened before a punk show. He spent two months editing the full version as part of a humanities capstone course at University of Alaska Southeast.
The story chronicles a week in the life of an aspiring writer who finds himself at a crossroads in his professional and personal life. It was filmed with a Hi-8 camera.
Dave Conway (guitar, vocals) formed What Remains a few years ago as an acoustic solo project. He released a five-song, self-titled EP. Drummer Walker Janelle joined, and the two recorded the five-song "After Texas" EP with Janelle in Juneau and Conway in Bozeman, Mont. Both EPs were combined on "EP collection Vol. 1," which came out last winter.
Sotomayor (bass, vocals) and Nick Parmentier (guitar) joined the band last fall. The new four-piece version of the band played at the National Guard Armory during the Alaska Folk Festival.
"A lot of kids were there, and there were a lot of adults too," Sotomayor said. "We were loud and we're kind of bratty, and we were making fun of Pink Floyd and hippies, so we thought people were going to hate us. But everybody was dancing, and everyone moved up to the front of the stage."
Conway recorded, engineered and produced "Destroys All Monsters" on a digital 16-track recorder. The band's been working on the record since February. It includes eight songs written by Conway, and five by Sotomayor.
"Mine are probably more like a math equation, not like math rock, but verse chorus verse bridge chorus and maybe something else," Sotomayor said. "Dave writes in a really interesting linear sort of way. In traditional pop songs you get your hook and you play it as much as possible. Dave will write this great two-measure part, and say we're only going to do it once so they get that part in their head and have to listen to it again."
Korry Keeker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.