Everyone and everything goes through phases, and the Inland Northwest is no different. Those in the local music scene have become accustomed to change with regard to the accepted local music style. Starting from the old-style hardcore that was so prominent, then moving on to ska, pop-punk, metal, "screamo" and so on, it seems as if one style has not been able to weather the storm. Coeur d'Alene's Scatterbox, however, is one band that has been able to outlast the last few phases, and now they are set to release their third full-length album and go out on a mini-tour toward the Midwest. The five Idahoans will stick around long enough, however, to put on two shows -- one Aug. 4 at the B-Side and another Aug. 5 at the Tea House in CdA -- before taking their act on the road.
Scatterbox first formed five years ago and has continually been producing an old-school punk onslaught that has now shaped the group into an act on Clickpop Records that boasts fans worldwide. For their third full-length album, A Wake for the Weak, Scatterbox enlisted the help of legendary Northwest producer Conrad Uno (The Presidents of the U.S.A, The Supersuckers, Zeke, The Groovy Ghoulies). Uno's unconventional approach helped Scatterbox get the sound they were looking for.
"We recorded everything in analog, as opposed to digital," drummer Scott Rozell says. "It made the recording sound more full and warm."
Real authentic punk has not found much of a home in recent years in the Inland Northwest, and Scatterbox's growth has mostly occurred out of the area. Other genres have found local popularity, but Scatterbox has not found the acceptance that they wanted around here.
"There is a lot of different stuff going on around here, a lot of metal," Rozell says. "As far as punk goes, it would be cool to see punk and metal come together for shows. You don't see that here."
For now, however, Scatterbox will head back out on the road, on their own, where they will play nine states in 10 days, going as far east as Chicago.
Before they leave, hometown crowds will be to see a 21-and-over show at the B-Side or an all-ages album release at the Tea House in Coeur d'Alene. The release party will be sponsored by Something Weird video, and it will be filmed for a DVD by the band.
Playing live has been central to the growth of the band, as they reached from Coeur d'Alene to western Washington and on nationwide.
"When we have an on night and play well, it really shows with the crowd," Rozell says. "We try to play as well live as on the album."
Punk has always had an uncertain future in the local music scene, without a steady venue or fanbase to support it. With Scatterbox's new album and desire to be heard, however, punk may be able to have another revival.
"People have always said that punk is dead, or that it deserves to die," Rozell says. "Sometimes here, it seems like that's true." --Brian Everstine
Scatterbox, Farewell to Arms and Starting Over play the B-Side on Thursday, Aug. 4, at 9 pm. Cover: $5. Call 624-7638. Also at the Tea House, 401 N. Second St., Coeur d'Alene on Friday, Aug. 5, at 7 pm. All-ages. Tickets: $5. Call (208) 664-3083.