Psychotrash

From The Secret History of the Cedar Valley
Jump to: navigation, search

History

Psychotrash was the collective, eclectic off-spring of five individuals: the talented voice of Jeff Eastman, the creativity of Mike Moeller's guitar, the soul of Jason Kerns, the frenetic energy Aaron Curtis, and Grey Wedeking's nascent guitar stylings (as well as his willing parents who hosted the band in their basement).

Psychotrash was at heart a hardcore band, but presented as many jangly, melodic tunes as it did blunt, noisy hardcore statements. Moeller and Wedeking were the primary music composers in the band. Mike wrote many of the band's faster hard core songs, often bringing complete songs with lyrics (like the classics "Bad Speed" or "Like a Dog") rendered with a haiku poet's knack for clarity and brevity. Mike also brought an influence of noisy psychedelia to the band, not unlike early Sonic Youth or his other band at the time, Primitive Ritual. Grey brought more of the jangly music to the band and some of the hardcore notes as well, often relying on Jeff Eastman's ability with words to complete the songs. Aaron was by far the most experienced rock musician in the band and brought a much needed rythmic foundation to Psychotrash. Jason had, by far, the largest amplifier and longest bass guitar in Cedar Falls at the time. Musically Jason brought his wide interest in alternative music and excellent taste in music to help Psychotrash improve musically. Grey considers Mike and Jason the asthetic soul of the band.

The band morphed over the years, losing Mike Moeller when he graduated from UNI and moved to Minneapolis. Later when Wedeking moved to Iowa City and Kerns to Cedar Rapids, the geographically challenged band switched drummers to base itself in Cedar Rapids and Wedeking took over the vocals with Jeff so far away in Cedar Falls. At this point the band also changed its name to Stone Wakening, a name more appropriate to the musical direction--more melodic and psychedelic power pop than hardcore.

In 1992, Grey Wedeking moved to San Francisco and accidentally ran into Mike Moeller at a show. Mike was playing with a bass player at the time and the two were reunited, with Grey on drums, in a three peice instrumental noise band called Bang-Utot. Bang-Utot lasted for about a year until Grey went abroad to live in Berlin.

Band Members

Discography

Albums

Live Shows / Tours

Psychotrash played mostly in Cedar Falls (with the occasional foray to Des Moines or Iowa City), opening for more established acts like Static Farm, House of Large Sizes, or the great Des Moines' band the Hollowmen. The band also played the house party circuit with friends like Crock of Dookey and the Dead Souls among others. If Grey's very fallible memory is correct, the most famous bands Psychotrash (or Stone Wakening) opened for were Killdozer at Gabe's Oasis in Iowa City, and the Flaming Lips at Stebs in Cedar Falls. We also had great fun with the hard rocking Voodoo Gearshift a time or two.

Anecdotes / Memories

  • tHE rEAL wORLD quotes Psychotrash guitarist Grey as saying that the message of the band "deals largely with how fucked up things are--that means everything from our own scene to society."