Year Zero

Year Zero - The Class of '96 "As requested, Retconned sent me a video still, as he couldn't find an official glossy for the band, must have used them up on press kits for the Masquerade. When Cough Syrup and Astrosmash folded in late 1994, Ben Lukens started The hal al Shedad with Ed Rawls and eventually myself, and Retconned (Ultivac, Amverts) started Year Zero with Matt Cicarelli (from Cough Syrup) and two guys named James Dunn (on guitar) and Brandon McDearis (on drums). Later, Matt Cicarelli was fired and/or moved to Cleveland for his studies and was replaced by Heather McIntosh, who I knew from my early college education at UGA. Depending on your temperment Year Zero could be a bit overwhelming to the listener, as Retconned would sing/scream/blurt lyrics at you the entire song, and the guitar and drums would just plow through and assult you all the while, so that it was really the bass that seemed to provide the dynamics and changes within each song. Sometimes they were confusing, but sometimes they really connected and it was amazing. Their only official release was the split 7" with Wheeljack, but they self-released two demos during their time and played a lot of shows. They were part of the stable of Driverdome bands from the mid-90's including The Forty-Two and Wheeljack. I'm not sure if they ever officially toured, but I'm sure they played a few out of town shows from time to time. I do remember James the guitarist was really into guns, and had a permit to carry a concealed firearm, which he kept on him at all times. When hal came up to Athens to play a show once, we were supposed to go shooting with James, but it never worked out. I never really knew James or Brandon before or since, but I have played in many bands and projects with Retconned over the years, and seen Matt Cicarelli from time to time as well. He is now an attorney for Dekalb County, so if you are around the Decatur courthouse during lunchtime you might see him. I see Heather from time to time as well, mainly when she is playing with the band Dark Meat from Athens, but she has been in so many bands since Year Zero, including Japancakes, Gnarles Barkley(!), Lil' Wayne(!) and even has a solo career. I also remember from the old days that she is a cellist and didn't own a regular electric bass, so she would borrow the Music Man stingray bass from the guy in the Martians, and turn whatever bass amp she was using all the way and control her volume with the knob on the bass. Naturally she blew up a lot of bass amps during this time." - James Joyce

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