The White Octave
I met Stephen Pedersen in the fall of 1998 — I'd just finished my undergrad and moved to Chapel Hill with every intention of starting a rock band. Steve was from Omaha, living in Durham while he worked on a law degree at Duke. He'd played in a band called Cursive, but I didn't know who they were. Steve sent me a tape with some new demos and I thought they were great. I thought I could help make the songs what they needed to be. I lured my friend Robert Biggers (a friend and fellow Philosophy grad from Guilford College) into trying out on drums. We wrote a bunch of songs really quickly and made a record at Mitch Easter's fancy new Fidelitorium in 1999. We hired Bob Weston to help.
After the record came out, we decided to add another guitar player, and found one in Finn Cohen (who'd been a huge fan and supporter of TWO). Thus began the second phase of songwriting, and a whole lotta touring. We gained decent footholds in some great cities and met a lot of amazing people. We played with some big bands, but often felt promoters couldn't figure us out — we didn't mesh neatly in any genre. We made another record in Athens, GA at Chase Park Transduction. Bob came down again. He likes the south. Things sounded far more ruthless this time.
We toured more. Things were on the up. Regular shows with groups like Cursive, The Faint, and Bright Eyes… big help in Chicago and New York from The French Kicks, 90 Day Men, Atombombpocketknife. But in the van there was heaviness because Steph's departure seemed imminent. I think nobody wanted the band to end, but Steph had made the call to move away. So we played a couple of sold-out shows at the old GO! Room 4 in Carrboro and called it a day.
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