Abashed/Tonight We Die, Tomorrow We Kill consisted of James Lawrence, James Oswald and Dirk Michener. Abashed formed in East Texas in 1994 and recorded some demos with the guys from the Mid-cities band Audrey for their record label Bottlecap. James L. did most of the singing. Oswald drums and I played bass.
Abashed – Exploitation Is Cool!
“Exploitation is Cool” was featured on the 1994 Green Light Go! compilation alongside Cub, Furry Things, Nothing Painted Blue and many other bands from the emerging lo-fi indie-pop scene. We did several shows at house parties and pasture parties in East Texas. The crowds there were so hyped to see any rock band that they very rapidly brought themselves into a state of uncontrollable frenzy the likes of which I have not seen since. This included the brandishing of guns, destruction of cars, fist fights, furniture destruction, etc.
Abashed – One in favor Three opposed
Each of us lived in separate cities for about 2 years which stalled any kind recording/performing progress to a snail’s pace before settling on Denton to get down to business.
About the time we all settled in Denton we decided to change the name from Abashed to Tonight We Die after a convoluted debate about name-relevance which I probably spearheaded. Long band names were new and exciting and yet to be considered “emo” and this particular name had a nice ring to it. Soon after, it proved to be a difficult name for people to remember (see article below)
Mr. Gattis became our most oft played venue besides house parties.
Condo Orgy (from “Style”)
An interesting juxtaposition started occurring between loose improvs and tight mathrock song constructions. It seemed a bit schizo and unfocused in a sense but I believe it portrayed a sense of versatility that many bands at the time lacked.
We began focusing on “soundtrack” style recordings. It suited us well and we recorded two “soundtrack” tapes to the unscripted films “Perish The Everlaster” and “Style”. Both were mostly instrumental and 75% improv exposing our latent Krautrock influences.
Autoshards One (from “Perish The Everlaster”)
The final straw came after a Good/Bad Art Collective benefit show at Rubber Gloves which went so terribly that it got written up in the Fort Worth Weekly. A bass string broke after maybe 3 songs and none of the 3 other bands would lend me a bass. I began berating the bands and Jenni Rotter began dismembering The Passenger and throwing his limbs at us on stage. Some guy on the side of the stage wanted to fight one of us for an unknown reason and I threw my bass on the floor like a brat. This came after a long series of instrument/amp malfunctions at shows since we couldn’t afford new equipment. I stated that either we get some new equipment or stop playing. None of us got new equipment and that was that.
Bats In My Belfry (live 97)