Saskatoon’s The Decline offer up recordings for download
Hello Shit, We Were the Decline.”
Chris Morin messaged me on the Facebook a few days ago asking me to write about a band I used to play in with Tyler Baptist (now in Soulmates/Eyebats) and Ryan Dean (now a Level 99 Mathematics wizard). That band sucked and was only an excuse to hang out with friends, so I offered to write about a band I was in years earlier.
For better or for worse, I came into the lives of Mark, Adam, and Devon in November of 2002. I had come into contact with them through the forums on an upstart local music website by the name of Threeohsix.org. The only bands I had been in at that time were shitty high school bands and an embarrassing wedding cover band that never played weddings. In fact, I was fresh out of high school. I met Adam and Devon at a Husky Gas Station in Saskatoon’s North End and followed them to a house where Adam lived. They offered me a beer and I declined, citing a ‘straight edge’ ideology I had recently acquired as my own as the reason for refusing a perfectly good beer. They led me to a small room in the upstairs of the house where I met Mark who was playing guitar. Adam took his place behind the drums and Devon took hold of the mic and they taught me a few songs and we played some covers and I showed them a song I was working on. The cops eventually showed up to shut us up so we decided we were up to something good.
We would move into a jam space, on January 1st 2003, above a truck stop restaurant with some sketchy details which I don’t really remember. We were almost thrown out immediately by Kris Klyne of the band Morally Sound, who ran the space, but he thankfully let us stay as it would be our home for majority of the time we spent as a band. It was also the place where we recorded our first release which was kind of titled “Live from the Jam Space”.
In the fall of 2003 I had an old tape player with a mic input that I took from my parents basement. We put a mic in the middle of the room and hit record, it turned out great for what it is. Only about six or seven copies were copied onto old tapes I had sitting around at home. Artwork was done by Stevie Morari (Poser Disposer, Axed up Conformist, Richard Marshal Division). I’m fairly certain they were all basketball related somehow. We gave them out or sold them at a show with either the Paper Kites or with Shackleford in September or October 2003.
We would attempt to record with James Rosowski (Junto, the Pinch) but had to flake out on the session for a reason I’ve long forgotten. We went on a bit of a hiatus for a couple months then got back together and wrote a bunch of new songs. We recorded an EP in April or May 2004 with Chris Douglas (Sparky) at the house he was living in at the time in Saskatoon (listen to the new Lavagoat to see how great he’s become at recording bands). Simon (later of Mechanical Separation) and the entire band provided the backing vocals. We would sell a few homemade CD-R’s at the one of the two shows we played after the recording but kind of split up that summer after playing a strange set at Georgestock. I suppose it was just time to pack it in. We would play again in the February of 2005 for the first Narcissistic show then not play together again until the winter of 2010 when we decided to try to play the old songs again just for fun. Aaron Scholz (Auld Beak, Savs, Haunted Souls) was there and Mark broke his guitar. An omen, we should probably never play together again.
You can catch Devon’s new band Good Enough playing around Saskatoon. My old band Night Danger transformed into a new group called Soul Mates and they rule. Go see these bands.
— Contributed by Joey Cliff, photos by Ryan Jackson
Live At The Jam Space