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Radiohead U2 Midnight Oil

Genres You Will Love
Rock: 90's Rock Rock: Album Rock Moods: Mood: Brooding

By Location
United States - California - LA Sell your music everywhere



"The best band to come out of the Southland in years."
Bob Ezrin, Legendary Producer (Pink Floyd - The Wall, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Nine Inch Nails)

What does Jabberwock sound like? Well, Jabberwock. Traces of influences turn up, from the obvious (Radiohead, Elvis Costello, Midnight Oil, U2) to the obscure (Julian Cope, Mark Eitzel).

Jabberwock was the original flagship band on Lost Dog Records. Formed in the early 1990s in the Los Angeles area, the original members were Wishnefsky (guitar, keys, vocals), Dave Rodgers (drums), Todd Jameson (keys, vocals), and Rod Clark (bass, vocals). Rod exited after a few years of experimentation (not on live animals or humans, thankfully) and songwriting. The remaining three carried on.

In 1994, Jabberwock released their debut record Southland. Noted alternative producer/engineer Michael James (Alternator Records, Hole, Jane's Addiction, Too Much Joy, New Radicals) co-produced and mixed Southland. Chris Bellman of Bernie Grundman's (Alanis Morisette, Ani DeFranco, Dr. Dre, Ry Cooder, Joni Mitchell, Heavy D, etc.) mastered the CD.

Lost Dog Records announced:

"Southland is the debut album from the alternative band Jabberwock, a trio of savage miscreants based in Pasadena, California. Resonant images of physical and psychological deterioration sing from this conceptual tour guide of post-modern Los Angeles. These excursions into the darker aspects of urban hysteria and suburban neurosis prove to be wickedly replete with powerful grooves, vibrant lyrics and melodic sensibilities."

Michael James described Southland as:

". . . a fatal attraction to the City of Angels, filtered through not-so-rose-colored glasses. Musically, this band has all the angst of the current breed of new-rock (i.e., alternative), but also has a far more sophisticated approach to arrangement and harmony.”

Southland was a moderate success, which the band defined as selling enough copies to pay back Wishnefsky's dad for the cost of making the CD and then some. A few songs made their way to the college radio charts, notably Oblivious, Year of the Rat, and Fire Has Sparks. Freezing and Big Green W were used for a long time as bumper music on the infamous Mr. KFI radio show.

In support of Southland, the band played a slew of shows in Southern California in 1994. To fill out the sound, they were joined by guest musicians Stephen Bock (guitar, backing vocals) and Chris LaCagnina (bass).

Southland garnered the attention of uber-superstar producer Bob Ezrin. Bob told Wishnefsky that Southland reminded him of Roger Waters' demos for The Wall! We asked Bob for a quote to use in our PR and he said Southland was "as angst ridden, bleak and dangerous as the L.A. landscape." Bob wanted to work with the band and started pushing a major label deal. Unfortunately, at the same time, he also fell in love with his computer start up company, 7th Level, and temporarily left the music biz. Hence, no major label deal, only major bummer deal.

The band forged on. They spent 1995 in the studio, writing and recording.

In 1996, they released a three song cassette EP entitled Wishful Sinking.

In 1997, Jabberwock completed its second album Letterbomb. Producer extraordinaire Michael James again mixed and co-produced with Wishnefsky. Chris Bellman again applied his mastering mastery.

Letterbomb headed in darker direction than Southland, as Wishnefsky continued his conceptual tour of Los Angeles. The lyrics address, among other things, the beckoning enticements and creeping danger of the City of Angels; the bleak disparities between the haves and have-nots; and the confusion and anger that lie beneath the surface of the beautiful faces sailing over the freeways like glamorous wraiths.

Musically, Letterbomb is more guitar driven and a bit more raw than Southland. Yet, clever melodies and chord progressions still abound as Jabberwock is far more sophisticated than your basic rock band. This is music for your brain as much as for your soul.

In 1996 and 1997, Jabberwock played a number of shows and showcases in the So Cal region for which they were joined by Archie Frugone (bass) and Stephen Bock (guitar and backing vocals).

In 1998, however, tragically, the band split up.

Jabberwock recorded many brilliant songs that never saw the light of day or were only played live. However, in 2007 the Lost Dog Records website made available a compilation of unreleased songs, Her Faithful Battalions (The Unreleased Songs - 1994 to 1997), as well as other obscure nuggets.

Her Faithful Battalions presents a cross-section of songs co-produced by Michael James and Wishnefsky that were slated for later release or simply did not fit on Southland or Letterbomb. Some of the songs were staples at Jabberwock live shows (Our Blessed Isabella, (I Want to) Disappear, Beginning of the End). Some of the songs constitute the clever results of the band's experiments with sound and writing (Untitled, It Must Feel Good, Wigged and Spun, With a Bullet).

Where are the members of Jabberwock now?

Wishnefsky went on to record as a solo artist, in his piano based project Veneer, and in his current project Brahms' Third Racket. Along the way, he fathered a couple of beautiful little girls named Sophie and Ruby.

Dave went on to play drums in a bunch of bands including Mary Magdelane and Vie. Dave recently rejoined forces with Wish in Brahms' Third Racket. He has two sons, Joshua and Jordan.

Todd returned to the world of graphic arts, calligraphy, and marbling. He still does graphic design on Wish related projects on occasion. He has three sons: Max, Sam, and Anders.

Jabberwock may not be together, but their music lives on. We hope you enjoy it.