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Archive for Thursday, November 5, 1998

S ANSWERS ON THE ROAD

November 5, 1998

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This tour is do-or-die for the North Carolina indie rock band.

Archers of Loaf, Chapel Hill, N.C.'s journeymen of indie rock, are still touring with ferocity and searching for answers. But after years of great records and shows, the band may be on its last tour.

The raspiness in frontman Eric Bachman's voice reflects the heavy road work the Archers of Loaf have endured.

"We've done four weeks," Bachman said. "We're going to do another four. We're halfway through."

The Archers have completed the East Coast and Midwest legs of the tour. They now embark on the West Coast portion of the two-month journey in support of their new Alias release, "White Trash Heroes."

The Archers' recent show at The Bottleneck was earmarked with quality stage presence, including lots of movement and nonstop music. Bassist Matt Gentling physically represented the music, with lots of jumping and a bass neck that pounded up and down in rhythm. But the show was more than just loud, in-your-face rock 'n' roll.

The Archers shine in the field of dynamics. Quiet and mid-range volumes make the band's explosions into higher volumes that much more impressive, and a mix of styles and volumes gives the band a unique sound.

The Archers also have moved in new directions, including keyboard segments and a slower, more melodic style.

"We don't want to be a hack band. I don't want to do the same thing twice," Bachman said. "You've got to keep yourself interested. Otherwise, what's the point?"

As for the rumors that this is the band's last tour? Band members say they just want to do what's best for the group.

"People come up to me and say, `Oh, it's a shame you guys are going to break up,' and I say, `Well, wouldn't it be more of a shame if we started to suck?'" Bachman said.

The notion of breaking up the band -- which has four releases and thousands of shows under its belt -- was mentioned after the last tour.

"We had not-so-good opinions about how it went and stuff. So we said, `Let's do one more tour and see how we feel, and if we feel the same way, that's two strikes, and we'll stop,'" Bachman said.

-- The Mag's phone message number is 832-7146. Send e-mail to jbiles@ljworld.com.

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