Q And Not U's Christopher Richards Speaks Politics
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After some mutual admiration, Christopher answered questions about the band's beginnings, its disappeared member, DC gentrification, and other hairy politics.
Q and Not U has its origins in the Maryland/DC-area, beginning in and around the year 1998. In the beginning, there were four. Today, after 2 full-length albums, and some extensive touring, both nationally and internationally, there are but three: John Davis (drums, percussions, vocals); Harris Klahr (guitars, vocals, synth); Christopher Richards (guitars, vocals, bass, synth).
What is the origin of Q and Not U? Take us through the events at the very beginning. How did it all start? Where did you guys meet?
Well, the long story goes like this... We all grew up involved in the DC-scene and basically met each other through music. I went to high school with Matt in Annapolis, MD and played in a band with his little brother. Matt would often drive us to our shows in his Pontiac because he was the only one old enough to drive. Matt eventually started playing bass in his own band and we would set up shows together.
At that time, I was a huge fan of John's band, Corm, who were playing constantly in the DC-area. He also ran a mail-order distro from which I purchased a seemingly endless stream of Emo 7"s which currently lurk in the depths of my closet. I met Harris in 1996 when I saw his old band, The Glenmont Sound System, play at a place called Resin House--this was basically the young punk rock house where everyone played and hung out. Mike Kanin lived there and kept the energy high--he played drums for the Better Automatic and went on to play in the recently defunct Black Eyes.
Anyway, Resin House was the epicenter for suburban teenage punks circa 1997, so when we all found ourselves bandless in the summer of 1998, I rounded everyone up to play in Q and Not U.
Where did you play? How did you make a name for yourselves?
We started playing shows like crazy in 1999--the DIY scene was really vibrant at the time and there were lots of small venues open to us. There was a bizarre anticipation in the air that year--I think people were waiting for the next crop of bands to rise up, or something. I feel like we did a show in every punk house and church in the greater metro area that summer. We even did a tongue-in-cheek "DC Tour" where we played four days in a row. That was such a wonderful time--we felt so good about our music and we had attracted such a wonderful energy from people in the DC-scene.
What ever happened to Matt Borlik?
After a lot of touring for "No Kill No Beep Beep" in 2001, things were not working out with Matt, both personally and creatively, so we asked him to leave the band at the end of the year. He just started a new group in DC called Like Language. I saw them play last week and they reminded me of a faster version of early-Unwound. Very aggressive sounding.
After Matt's departure, how did the sound change (if at all)?
Well, I think the sound is always changing so it's difficult to say to what degree Matt's departure affected that. We definitely felt mo
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