Poison 13, Meat Purveyors, and Churchwood Guitarist Bill Anderson Loads Out of Town: If not for Austin, “I don’t know if I would have been a musician at all” – Music

Poison 13, Meat Purveyors, and Churchwood Guitarist Bill Anderson Loads Out of Town: If not for Austin, “I don’t know if I would have been a musician at all” – Music


Invoice Anderson enjoying with the Horsies on the Austin Outhouse in 1995 (Picture by John Anderson)

Ask a seasoned musician what number of bands they’ve been in. Their pupils will dart up and to the left, accessing the reminiscence a part of the mind, their lips will transfer ever so barely as they silently rely, then they’ll provide you with a quantity. For lots of us, it’s a single digit.

I posed that query to Invoice Anderson, the ingenious guitarist who’s been a staple of thrilling Austin bands over the past 4 many years, realizing I ought to’ve packed a lunch ready for his response to unfold. He didn’t even attempt.

“I’ll get you a listing,” he promised.

Right here’s that file, with tough dates of existence:

Completely satisfied Loss of life (1984)
Poison 13 (1984-1987)
Shockhead (1985-1986)
Ballad Shambles (1985-1988)
Daniel Johnston (1985-2019)
Hand of Glory (1989-1992)
Blow Up! (1990)
Joan of Arkansas (1991-1993)
Horsies (1992-1999)
Huge Foot Chester (1994-present)
Meat Purveyors (1996-2008)
Jon Langford & the Far Forlorn (1996-present)
Neko Case & Her Boyfriends (2000)
Cat Scientist (2003-2007)
Deano & the Purvs/Ice Chilly Singles (2007-present) Unprofitable Servants (2008)
Churchwood (2008-present)
Bamako Airways (2014-present)
Fontanelles (2016-present)
Magic Moments Band (2017)
Ouiness (2018-present)

That’s 21 bands, involving greater than 70 musicians, over a span of 37 years.

An distinctive guitarist – aggressive, versatile, constantly conjuring memorable riffs – Anderson noticed induction into the Austin Music Corridor of Fame in 2003 for his elite band membership. He relishes group dynamics and lives for musical chemistry. He thinks of bands as assemblies of fascinating people as a substitute of models.

Anderson’s favourite a part of this complete music factor? Band observe.

“I form of really feel responsible, as a result of this final 12 months’s been arduous for therefore many individuals, however I’m retired and I’m in 5 bands and I’ve talked most of them into working towards weekly,” he admits. “So I haven’t even missed doing reveals as a result of I’ve been getting the half I actually like: the camaraderie, the creating, the collaboration.”

Pocket Fishrmen frontman and Chronicle information contributor who’s performed with Anderson within the bluegrass/alt-country social membership Joan of Arkansas, in addition to in style Nineties international groove outfit the Horsies, and extra just lately vocal harmony-driven dance group the Fontanelles, Brant Bingamon characterizes his good friend as ceaselessly the man organizing rehearsals and pushing to by no means miss every week.

Invoice Anderson, within the studio, monitoring the Horsies album Contact Me Columbus (Picture by John Anderson)

That band observe schedule gained’t proceed – a minimum of not at its standard frequency. Anderson’s transferring away this month. He and his spouse bought the home they constructed greater than a decade in the past and are placing down roots in New Mexico: El Prado exterior of Taos.

The Maryland-raised musician moved to Austin in 1982, at age 23, following a girlfriend who’d enrolled on the College of Texas. The LeRoi Brothers enjoying at campus space Texas Tavern notched his first present right here.

“I fuckin’ beloved them! Steve Doerr was my hero,” Anderson gushes. “If there was any band that I noticed early on and mentioned, ‘I wish to play guitar like that,’ it was these guys: Don Leady and Steve Doerr. I believed Steve was tremendous fuckin’ cool.”

“I’m not an excellent wide-ranging guitar participant, however I do know a bit about a number of issues, so I can form of squeeze into something,” he demurs. “I assume I’d say I’m good at being in bands.”

A younger Anderson abused his place as a ticket taker at a movie show inside UT’s Jester dorms, letting in without cost anybody who appeared punk rock. That’s how he met Chris Gates, a friendship he says modified his life. Anderson roadied for Gate’s now-legendary punk/funk band Huge Boys.

Gates additionally launched him to members of humorous hardcore band Completely satisfied Loss of life, which cemented the guitarist’s first band function. Within the spring of ’84, Gates invited Anderson to play in a brand new band with Huge Boys guitarist Tim Kerr, fellow roadie Mike Carroll, and drummer Jim Kanan. Poison 13 performed storage blues punk, toured nationally on payments with Black Flag, the Replacements, and the Minutemen, and have become progenitors of grunge.

“Austin punk wasn’t one form of music. It was a giant umbrella,” posits Anderson. “I actually beloved the method, the do-it-yourself best.”

By the mid Eighties, Anderson met his lyrical foil in singer/poet Joe Doerr, who’d made the scene as frontman for the LeRoi Brothers. The 2 shared artistic house in rock/blues quartet Ballad Shambles and into the following decade behind arduous rock venture Hand of Glory.

“[That’s] undoubtedly the band I got here closest to signing with a giant label, which in all probability would have been absolutely the worst factor that might have occurred to me at the moment,” he confesses.

In 2008, impressed by Captain Beefheart’s flipped-out blues, he and Doerr got here collectively as soon as once more to type Churchwood, a musically exhilarating, lyrically surrealist venture that’s put out five incredible LPs.

Churchwood: (l-r) Joe Doerr, Billysteve Korpi, Julien Peterson, Invoice Anderson, Adam Kahan (photograph courtesy of Leon Alesi)

The 62-year-old confirms that his proper arm by no means received extra drained than within the Meat Purveyors, an excellent charged, but totally acoustic bluegrass outfit that performed at hardcore punk tempos the place his frantic guitar rhythm fill in for the drums. The quartet, through which Anderson wrote the lion’s share of the songs and Jo Walston sang lead, clicked with alt-country scene and launched a handful of albums on Bloodshot Information. The latter Chicago indie isn’t the one esteemed cult label he’s labored with, both – Sympathy for the Report Trade, for one, issued two albums by he and Walter Daniels’ blues rippers Huge Foot Chester – however the Meat Purveyors stays “by far the band I lined probably the most miles in a van with, and it was enjoyable.”

Anderson with the Meat Purveyors on the Gap within the Wall in 1999 (Picture by John Anderson)

Anderson’s additionally acted as a sideman for artists of worldwide acclaim. A good friend to Daniel Johnston from 1985 till his loss of life in 2019, the axe slinger contributed to the albums Continued Story and Rejected Unknown. Since 1996, he’s performed alongside the nice Welsh wordsmith and unique punk rocker Jon Langford in numerous ensembles. In 2000, he toured as part of Neko Case & Her Boyfriends, who had simply launched Furnace Room Lullaby.

“I’m not an excellent wide-ranging guitar participant, however I do know a bit about a number of issues, so I can form of squeeze into something,” he shrugs. “I assume I’d say I’m good at being in bands.”

Invoice Anderson at residence in 2004 (Picture by John Anderson)

Although he’s headed off to New Mexico pronto, Anderson’s stashing a pair guitars and amplifiers on the town so he can come again and play reveals. Exiting this floor the place he turned a musical fixture for generations of bands left him reflective final week about his time in Austin.

“There was a component of likelihood that I even ever got here to Austin and I’ve all the time felt tremendous fortunate that I landed right here after I did,” he says. “It was an ideal time for somebody like me to get right here. By the punk rock scene, it was tremendous straightforward to go searching and see how you can play music. I didn’t perceive that rising up.

“I believed you needed to be a rock star, however I didn’t understand how to do this.

“Then I received right here and it was like, ‘I do know these individuals, I can do that, I wish to be in a band too.’ Though it was an acerbic punk rock scene, it was actually supportive and also you simply did it. I don’t know if I’d have been a musician in any respect if I hadn’t landed in Austin in my early 20s.”





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