$3 Depth Charge

$3 Depth ChargeI started 3$ while still playing guitar in the local pop-punk stalwarts doug. Struggling with some creative differences I decided to recruit long time friend Roger Peffley to play drums on a few songs I was working on, so they could be submitted to the upcoming Trapezium, a Mystic Music Sampler. I wrote 3-4 new songs with the help of my then girlfriend, GinaMarie, on bass. I was ready to go. We recorded three songs with Matt McClosky at his house and picked the one that I thought was my sound...”the wobbler” made the cut and I was now planning our world domination.... things get rough here though. Roger was only interested in doing the recordings and was already busy with Charley Eastman and Doug Hodges in Mona Gritch. So we spent almost a solid year without a drummer. We played our first show ever, with Matt “Pudge” filling in on drums, and then we started looking.

Eventually we were introduced to Bill Pia. We played a few times at Bill's mom's house and things seemed really great. We were writing tons of songs and doing some home demoing with Bill's gear, having a lot of fun and coming into our own unique mystic music scene spot. We were playing regularly at the German Club, and other local venues, and had a few “out of town” trips. Then what seemed very suddenly, Bill was tempted away by the promise of better things. Bill joined members of “doug”, Dayne and Dan, to start Small Town Hero. Fortunately, we had developed a little interest within the scene and Meghan Killimade joined the band very shortly after Bill's exit.

Meghan was what the band really needed at the time. Bill left the band with no drama or bad feelings - we remain today to be good friends and even regrouped to start a new band, the distance from here. Meghan was a breath of fresh air. She is a great feel drummer - she had a flow that made the groove of the band change in a way that I really liked. We started rehearsing, immediately relearning old songs, re-arranging songs, and writing some really cool new songs. We wanted to get something released quickly and get on the road with our new-found momentum. We recorded again with Matt McClosky, this time 3 new songs, 2 of which ended up being pressed onto a 7” clear vinyl.

The “Magnets” 7” was a great experience for me to really learn the other side of being in a band: contacting manufacturers, working art design, booking out of town shows, etc. Things other than writing and playing. We ventured out to the Midwest a few times, struggling to put last minute shows together in OH, IL, and MN. Our first and only tour was exceedingly fun, but financially and emotionally draining.

We were fast becoming involved in the transplanted Mystic/New London era. My interests were starting to wane.

TAZ was becoming something other than a coffee shop. We rehearsed there and hosted several bands, playing several times a month, while still trying to make connections and keep ourselves active with the band. We recorded a few EP-type sessions with Mathew Potter at his home in Groton, as well as a few sessions in the rehearsal space at TAZ, never really releasing anything concise. I never got that part of it. I was way more interested in playing shows. I always assumed we would get around to it.
We continued to play out as much as possible, making an appearance at Boston's Upstairs at Middle East that was a memorable stage.  We had innumerable shows at New London's EL-n-Gee club, as often as possible sprinkling in an all ages show for the kids.

Eventually TAZ consumed me and I think that is when I started to lose interest in 3$. I was looking into adding another guitar player, so I asked Ken Havens if he'd be interested. Shortly after that Gina wanted to focus on other things and the bass position was taken up by Brooks Townsend. As a four-piece we moved up to the 3rd floor of TAZ where we wrote some new songs, and we recorded a trio of those. We played a show or two at TAZ, as well as a show in Boston with our pals Vic Firecracker.

At some point I decided it wasn't going to end up the way I had hoped. I think there was a short conversation with Meghan, and then I remember bringing my gear down those stairs for the last time. It was a long deep breath that I had been holding out for far too long.

It was sad to me that I hadn't been more successful, but I was very happy with what I had done, I never intended to start something, or be a front man. I just wanted to contribute something to a local CD compilation and I let the muse carry me away. It was a great time in my life, and I look back at it often and fondly. I have regrets - I wish we recorded and released something official. I wish I was better at cataloging timelines, all the shows we played, all the amazing bands we played with, and all the awful bands we played with. 3$ Depth Charge was my first real band. My little scuff on the music world.

Zach Johnson

4-6-09 1:03am