Season to Risk Biography
Duane Trower - guitar, synths, recording engineer
David Silver - drums, samples, found objects
Billy Smith - bass, guitar, synths
"Metal for recovering Indie-rockers." CMJ magazine
Season To Risk is the luckiest band alive. They have survived van crashes, studio floods, a desert tour during the 98 heatwave, evictions, and several line-up changes, and they continue to push the envelope of underground music. Since 1989, Season To Risk has remained a rock band that is constantly changing, avoiding trends, and challenging themselves and their audience to continue evolving. Members of the Season To Risk collective are involved with several other bands including: Roman Numerals, The Great Fire of Sixteen Sixty-Six, Vortech, Kingdom of Snakes, Stella Link, Dirtnap, From Autumn To Ashes, Shiner, Overstep and Olympic Size.
Shortly after getting together in art school, they won a 'Battle of the Bands' which brought them into the studio for the first time. The only copy of the resulting demo cassette that was actually mailed out ended up in the offices of Red Decibel records in Minneapolis, MN, who as luck would have it, were starting to work in conjunction with Colombia records. Before they knew what hit them, the band was signed to Columbia records, recording more demos at Sony Studios in NYC, and then living in Chicago, IL to record their self-titled first album at Soundworks Studio.
The band is known for their constant touring across North America; returning briefly to their hometown of Kansas City, MO for a few days or weeks, sometimes on the road 8 - 10 months out of the year. Odds are high when you spend most of your time driving that vehicles will break down day after day, vans will have blowouts, wheels will fall off, drivers will fall asleep, engines (and people) will crack or burst into flames, vans will flip over in the middle of a frozen highway and 22-foot RVs will roll backwards with no brakes down the hills of Seattle, WA, and that's exactly what happens, year after year. How they've survived is a long story.
They lived at Bisi Studios, NYC for the Summer of 1994 recording their second album In a Perfect World. The music was a darker, more complex collection of songs, and the album was received with rave reviews from fans, and puzzled looks from the people at Colombia records. There was no place on the radio for music like this yet, and exactly what category in the music store was this CD supposed to be displayed in? By chance, the band was heard by someone at Sony who was looking for a band to play during a scene in the film 'Strange Days'. Within days the band was in Hollywood, playing the song 'Undone' over and over again for two weeks, living in a trailer on set. For the next year, the band was in a different city every night, which led to total exhaustion by the end of a summer 1995 arena tour with Corrosion of Conformity and Monster Magnet, resulting in the cancellation of their European tour scheduled for the Winter of 1996. The band was then dropped from Columbia records. And the bass player quit.
Pooling their resources, the band spent most of the next two years building Trainwreck Sound Studios in Kansas City, MO. As floors, walls and ceilings were built, new Season To Risk songs were written, members worked with their other bands, and recording started at Trainwreck, including work by Casket Lottery, The Farewell Bend, Dirtnap, Iron Rite Mangle, Gunfighter and the Pornhuskers. They built their dream studio from the ground up: a 15 x 20 control room, equipped with a 1974 24-channel Auditronics (Quadrophonic!) console and a 2-inch tape machine, a 30 x 50 foot tracking room with antique oak floors, and a huge apartment/rehearsal studio upstairs on the second floor. In October 1998, shortly after the studio officially opened to the public, a sudden flash flood of the Missouri river totalled everything in the neighborhood in 15 minutes, destroying the building, their tour RV in the parking lot, their bank account and almost everything else. They're lucky noone was killed. Luck never gives, it only lends. And the river takes. And then another bass player quit.
Fortunately, the third album was finished prior to the flood, and the band was able to wade through the five-foot deep freezing, muddy water in total darkness out of the building to safety. Unfortunately, they discovered that the album Men Are Monkeys, Robots Win (Thick Records) was printed 'out-of-phase', making the songs sound hollowed-out. Some might see this as a blessing in disguise, which adds to the cryptic messages hidden the album, that can be decoded with a simple modification of the listener's stereo wiring. And then yet another bass player quit.
Legendary punk rock drummer/producer Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, Decendents) has always been a friend to Season To Risk, and has brought the band on tour with ALL several times. This led to the recording of the album The Shattering in 2000 at the Blasting Room in Ft. Collins, CO and its release on Owned & Operated records in 2001. The Shattering album is more diverse than ever, fusing elements from all of the band's previous work and some new experimentation into twelve heavy, melodic songs. After a tour to support the album, the drummer relocated to Boston - and returns to the midwest for the occasional tour. Band members remain busy with multiple projects as Season To Risk rests, recoups, and regroups.