Yesterday's excuses just aren't relevant today
It may take time it may take a strong will
But we don't have to swallow such a bitter pill
Better to have tried
Better to have learned
Better to take that risk
Than let this world wear you down
Half our time's spent wishing for something else
The other half lost in a breath
The standards I set were always for myself
Sorry if you thought they applied to anyone else
I always promised I'd try my best
I can't stand to see you waste what's in yourself
And now I'm asking
Are you happy with second best
It's so contrived and disappointing
To see you complacent like all the rest
Bio thanks to Anthony Pappalardo
"In My Eyes started about five minutes after I was kicked out of TYF. I walked from 38 Calumet st to my new place with Pete at 103 Calumet and during the 5 minute walk had already decided that I wanted to do a band with Pete as the singer. Damian and I were heading out to San Francisco for our winter semester break and by the time I came back IME had a full line up. Luke and Neal from Tenfold and Fastbreak were going to play drums and guitar respectively and Damian was cool enough to switch from Guitar (his natural instrument) to Bass. Everyone was that psyched and in Jan 1997 we took all our crap into the basement of 103 Calumet and started writing songs. I think Pete quit the first practice and we later got kicked out of our basement practice space for being too much of a bum out to the neighbors and so our Chinese landlord could raise puppies in said basement...not joking.
By March 1997 we had shows and a 5 song demo. We didn't actually settle on the name IME until 5 minutes prior to hitting the stage at our first show @ the New Milford Teen Center. Craig Mack booked the show and just put "a new band featuring..." on the flyer and we worried about the name for weeks and for the entire car ride. We had no problems coming up with the worst joke names like N.W.E. or The Good Guys but a real name was a total mental block. I always thought the lyrics to IN MY EYES were the best Straight Edge lyrics ever written based on the fact that they weren't typical "you drink YOU STINK" type shit, it was a song that was really powerful and specific and seemed like a good reference point. One thing that really fueled IME early on was that we all wanted to be a straight forward straight edge hardcore band but we wanted to push the structure without being too over the top. Damian was always hashing out flyers that referenced different aesthetics, we tried to have different types of visuals whether it was having Pushead create a record cover with the guidelines of "no skulls" or Xing up the D.R.I. dude for a one off shirt for a laugh, we tried to have fun to balance out how serious we were about things. "
IME was lucky in the sense that people always went out of their way for us. Pushead offered to do our art work, Eric Ozenne booked our first west coast tour out of the goodness of his heart and it seemed like our phone was ringing off the hook with show offers and encouragement. It was pretty amazing and we appreciated every last bit of help we got. We took plenty of shit for having record offers so early on and for getting offered great shows but at the same time we felt our attitude and commitment had earned it so instead of feeling guilty we felt honored and tried to use this momentum and opportunities to the best of our ability. We hit up the west coast with a bag of shirts and a box of demos and came home as Revelation Records recording artists. By November we had the Difference Between recorded with Brian McTernan and were ready for the next step.
There was a bit of lag waiting for the artwork as Pushead doesn't erase a line and is a perfectionist. At times we were busting out of our skins waiting for this thing to arrive because the band was a ball of fire at this point. We didn't catch our breath that first year and then the waiting game began but the thing that kept us motivated and psyched was that fucking PUSHEAD was doing our cover art, a legend, ...fuck if it took 2 years it would be worth it, Revelation was getting anxious as anyone who paid for a recording would have but as soon as they gave an ultimatum the cover arrived and the controversy started.
"It's just a face...like...a face with a weird background...we can't use this" Those were the words of Richard Birkenhead. I'll never forget that call, Richie was working as the designer for Rev at the time and called me at work to say how against the cover he was. He suggested we switch it to one of the live photos that Rev had at the office. None of us had seen the finished cover yet , we only had a B&W fax so we didn't have much leverage but it was exactly what we wanted and we couldn't figure out why the fuck a dude whose band had a cartoon butterfly/mothman/alien on their record cover was against something "arty" but whatever. We said 'thanks but no thanks, we LOVE the cover" and that was that.
We went back to our routine of playing anywhere and everywhere on the weekends and kept rolling. By Summer 1998 we had the LP ready to go and a tour booked as the Rev Summer Tour with Better Than a Thousand, Battery and Speak 714. On the first day of the tour we realized..."holy shit we're going to be our tour with Dan'O and Cappo for a month". It was pretty classic; we had some great hangouts and plenty of story time sessions. Everyone got along and I even managed to snap a picture in a Niagara Falls Casino of Dan O's return to gambling which got me in trouble with the pitboss but made a sick photo.
At the end of the tour Neal informed us that he was going to join Fastbreak full time and quit IME, he was totally up front about the fact that he wasn't feeling it in the capacity he once was and left that fall. It was weird to see this little nucleus change but Neal was our boy and we understood, we supported what he really felt and had a lot of respect for how he handled it. Rather than being a secret sipper he just told us the deal and moved on. It was tough because Neal is one of the coolest and easiest dudes to be around and play in a band with but that's how it played out.
We hit up the West Coast again in early 1999 and tried to figure out how who we'd get to fill Neal's shoes. At the time Will Travers who was in the Trust was living with Pete and I and wanted to fill in for Neal. We didn't want to make anything official right away because we had it in our heads that IME was going to be the five of us until we broke up so we were still in that mode. After coming back from the West Coast weekend Luke and I started jamming on new songs a few times a week. We wanted to have everything for the next LP ready far in advance so we could pick and choose what songs we were going to use. We convinced Jeff Neumann of BT1K that the difference between bass and guitar wasn't much harder than adjusting to the 2 extra strings and we had IME back to a 5 piece but more importantly 5 dudes that were all on the same page again. We started recording Nothing To Hide prior to the summer but the process was really long and fragmented. Instead of doing a solid week we had to piece things together because Brian McTernan was moving to DC to start a studio. We tracked drums and guitars in a few days in Allston, MA at Supersonic in the spring. Pete and Damian had tapes of the stuff and were learning what we didn't know collectively as a group while trying to balance our shows, college and full time jobs. Damian had also started the Explosion and was really getting super productive with his art work so his time was a little spent, we ended up having Stand Hard or Jeff play bass when our schedules would conflict but Damian was flexible about it and it kept us moving.
Summer 1999 had us doing a brief tour with Kid Dynamite and Good Riddance, which had Sick Of It All headlining a few dates as well. We were asked to drop off the tour for one date and play the Youth Of Today reunion but we were over it. Jeff had quit BT1K during a group dinner in Italy when Cappo started pouring himself a glass of wine. I guess having straight edge songs and X's on your shirts but drinking wine wasn't what Neumann was into so he defected to IME and the lame controversy started. Dicking the booking agent and other bands on the tour over so we could play with Youth Of Today wasn't even a consideration, so we played DC instead with SOIA headlining and had a fucking killer time. We later watched a video of the YOT show at a dude named Ken's house in Atlanta. He was complaining about some dude in the crowd that was acting like an asshole wearing a "choate" shirt which turned out to be our boy Noah Butkus, Ken was bummed when we didn't empathize with his plight and we enjoyed watching Noah go crazy.
Later that summer Damian recorded most of his bass parts in DC at Brian's new studio and in the fall B McT came back to Boston to record Pete's vocals and Damian's remaining bass parts at the Black Egg behind Fenway Park. We then had to go mix the record a few months later at the Outpost in a marathon session that ended when we were running the final mix during a rainstorm, which shorted our power and made us lose the entire mix. We started over and the record was finally done.
Nothing to Hide was released in 2000, we didn't have any CDs or Shirts from Rev for our record release show due to a shipping error so the Rev Can Suck It cover was crafted, at first they thought we were actually pissed but we deaded that pretty quick, it's just tradition for things to "suck it" in HC and they were the target that time. We finally were offered a European Tour that we all could commit to (on our 5th try) and we were set to go out in the Spring of 2000. Damian had to back out but we pulled the trigger because we all had the sense that this was it. Damian couldn't just drop out of school for a semester and had commitments with the Explosion later in the year that would make his time compromised so we had to get a fill in which was bittersweet. We were so psyched that Azy came in at the drop of a hat and learned the songs but it was a bummer not to have the full line up there. We also were informed a few weeks before leaving that our tour was now combined with the recently reformed Cro-Mags and that it was now a joint tour.
So yeah...the infamous tour. Pete left, Ray (our long time friend, not roadie as we aren't CREED) sang until his voice blew out, then we had to make a decision so Azy sang and Jeff switched to bass. It's not really important why things panned out this way but what is important is that we were in Europe, with non-refundable tickets, with thousands of dollars worth of merch that said 2000 TOUR on it and a booking agency breathing down our necks. Instead of pissing off everyone we rode the tour out. I hope anyone that saw IME in that form understands and doesn't feel cheated, we busted our asses to be there in the capacity that we could and of course having Pete there would have been ideal but it didn't play out that way...so be it.
I'd say that the Euro Tour pretty much took the wind out of our sails. We had achieved everything we had talked about prior to starting the band, we were all splintering off into other things and the time was right. We booked a few final shows and that was the end of it.
During the whole ride we were only as successful as the energy we fed off, it felt like the entire network of friends that we had were in our corner and would bend over backwards for us and we always did what we could to honor that. We had some cool guys like Will, Azy and Jesse Stand Hard fill in for us when needed. Our friends Geoff, Eric and Ray came with us to every show and tour and made the rides the actual highlight of playing show and of course we have a list of fellow bands, promoters and general good dudes a mile long that fed our fire.
1997-2000 was the best.