THE WAY THEY WERE Kemp, Summersquash, and Auchenbach.
For those of us continually pining and praying for more early '90s indie-rock reunions (Archers of Loaf, the Promise Ring, and the Afghan Whigs all on tap this year!), we just scored a big one on the local front: a triple-dip revival with Providence indie-pop heroes Small Factory, Honeybunch (with ex-Velvet Crush guitarist Jeffrey Borchardt), and Flower Gang (give a yell for "Junkdrawer") (Dave Kendall, Lewis Largent, and Matt Pinfield nod with approval). Expect a packed room come Saturday night at the Met, so grab your tix now.
Small Factory guitarist/singer Dave Auchenbach is highly-regarded as a Providence music community lifer, dating to his days in What Now in the '80s. Auchenbach, with singer/bassist Alex Kemp and drummer Phoebe Summersquash (who added plenty of harmonies) formed in 1991 and kicked out two beloved albums before splitting in 1995 (a collection of rarities, Industrial Evolution, was released in '96). Reading from the SF bio: "With their artfully tuneless vocals, primitive but indelible melodies, and singular combination of innocence and abandon, the group captured the sound and spirit of their moment to perfection."
I caught up with Dave Auchenbach just prior to deadline.
HOW DID THE REUNION INITIALLY COME ABOUT, AND WHY NOW? Gail O'Hara of Chickfactor fanzine organized three nights of shows [April 10-12] in NYC around their 20th anniversary and a lot of our old friends and touring mates are playing so it seemed like a good time to get everyone back together.
ANY CHANCE WE'LL GET MORE SMALL FACTORY SHOWS THIS SPRING/SUMMER? Yes, but probably not right away
WHERE DO PHOEBE AND ALEX LIVE THESE DAYS? AND DO YOU GET OUT TO LOCAL SHOWS OFTEN? Phoebe is living in NYC where she has been for awhile, Alex resides in LA. I have been active in seeing live shows here for a long time and I think we should take pride in all the great stuff that Providence has spawned.
DID ENGINEERING THE LIGHTNING BOLT ALBUMS INSPIRE YOU OR RE-DEVELOP THE ITCH TO PLAY OUT AND/OR RECORD AGAIN? Well, they are always an inspiring and creative challenge to work with. The spirit of getting something to happen is an undercurrent of both things, though my ears ring less after Small Factory.
THAT SAID, MIGHT WE SEE NEW (OR MORE UNEARTHED) MATERIAL FROM SF DOWN THE ROAD? It's not impossible, though we haven't made any plans. We are at least getting a couple of the records up on the web so people can find them.
REHEARSING A SPECIFIC SET OF SONGS FOR THESE SHOWS OR MIXING UP SETLISTS? We had fans make suggestions and narrowed ourselves down to the ones we all felt we could do justice too . . . Though at the Met we may be forced to bring back some unrehearsed gems for the fun of it . . . I suppose we were never above a bit of embarrassment.
SMALL FACTORY + HONEYBUNCH + FLOWER GANG | Saturday, April 14 @ 8 pm | The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket | $12 | 401.729.1005 | themetri.com