Police and protestors face off after arrest
Former local singer-songwriter Jason Mraz recently played three dates with Dave Matthews, from Sept. 6-8 at the Gorge in Washington State. During his hour and a half set, Mraz noticed Matthews approaching the stage.
“Dave looks around at the people waiting to get in and then wanders over behind Jason and his band,” reports his tour manager, Jerry Lindahl. “He starts going up the stairs to the stage and says [to Jason], ‘Hey you're sounding really good, how's it goin?'
“And Jason goes, ‘Hey, you wanna play a couple tunes?' Dave says, ‘Yea, sure' and takes Jason's guitar. At this point, the 20 of us around Jason's performance explodes to like 300.”
Matthews took Mraz' spot and joined Jason and the band in playing Matthews' songs “Loving Wings,” and “Nancies.”
On his way out, Matthews shook hands with the band and hugged Mraz on his way out, and he gave Mraz' pick to a fan who was yelling for it.
All said and done, Mraz had this to say of the affair:
“Damn, he stole my pick! Ah well...”
“Kaput,” says guitarist Chris Lewis, longtime Pivit guitarist who joined the band last year.
Originally named Riverfenix, FenixTX moved to San Diego from Houston a few years ago and enjoyed a healthy slice of the limelight. Co-managed by blink-182 guitarist Mark Hoppus and blink-182 manager Rick Devoe, the band signed to pop-punk specialty label, Drive-Thru Records. MCA (the major label that uses Drive-Thru as a feeder) signed the band and released both their 1999 debut and last year's Lechuza.
Hit songs like “All My Fault” and “Phoebe Cates,” along with high-profile tours with blink and numerous Warped Tour spots, ensured the band a large national following. While their self-titled debut was straight pop-punk, Lechuza saw the band diverging into a harder-edged sound. It may have been this evolution that eventually caused the split.
“They weren't really into pop punk,” Lewis says. “When I came on board, it was all going a different way-I just think maybe it went a bit too different.”
Lewis says the break was amicable. “Everyone just kinda wanted to do their own thing. They've been doing this for so long. It wasn't anything like, ‘Fuck you guys.' It was more like, ‘Let's just do something else.'”
Many bands would kill to have been in FenixTX's spot-signed to a major label, with financial backing and major national and international tours. But Lewis says commercial success wasn't a consideration.
“When you're not feeling it, staying together is even worse,” he says. “Thinking like that shouldn't be a factor. If everyone's not happy, that's the most important thing.”
FenixTX was scheduled to headline this year's San Diego Music Awards, held at Humphreys by the Bay on Oct. 15. The event's posters have advertised their appearance for weeks, but now No Knife has officially replaced them on the bill.
Lewis says he's currently working on songs with FenixTX guitarist Damon Delapaz and bassist Adam Lewis. They plan to enlist a few more members and regroup as a new outfit called Big Black Box. As for frontman Willy Salazar, Lewis says he's “going his own way.”
“We have a bunch of songs,” Lewis says. “Everyone just kinda wants to jam. They're happier as people now-everyone's kinda mellowed out. I think when you're getting to the point where there's a lot of pressure all the time and you gotta make music, it's tough.”
Lewis remains as the guitarist for Pivit, who just released their new album, Thanks for Coming Back. Other than that, he says, “I'm ready to start delivering pizzas, whatever. Come visit me at Round Table in Rancho Bernardo.”
Pivit performs with Lucky 7, Off by One, Larger Than Life, and Lance's Hero for the San Diego Music Awards Week showcase at the Scene on Oct. 11. www.sdmusicawards.com.