Nine False Suns’ focused final performance
By Timothy Anderl
There comes a time in the lifespan of every rock n’ roll band (unless you’re The Rolling Stones or U2), where members reach a difficult crossroads and face choosing between divergent paths or continuing on with a machine that may not be firing on all cylinders. When a combination of cancelled shows and waning interest took the wind out of Nine False Suns’ sails, the members chose breaking some ties and ending on a high note.
The original five piece band, consisting of members of such notable Dayton acts as Red Earth, Magic Jackson, Sunset Elixir and Puzzle of Light, performed funk, jazz and psychedelia-informed rock originals, soaring improvisations and well-crafted covers for regional audiences for over three years. Rather than mourning their end, the band stays true to form by delivering their swan song in the form of an A-game performance at Oregon Express on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Dayton City Paper recently caught up with vocalist/guitarist Rich Reuter who reviewed the band’s origins and achievements, and previewed what’s next. Here is what he told us…
When did you guys first begin playing together?
It was born out of a previous band that the other guitar player, Chris Lee, had with our bass player, Greg Lewis, and our current drummer, Justin Moore. They were really one of the only jam bands going. Seven or eight years ago there wasn’t a huge jam band scene here like there is now. So they were playing out a lot. They split up, and Chris and Greg wanted to start a new project and were looking for someone who could play guitar. Through mutual friends they got in touch with me and we started jamming.
We got together and a month later we played a festival gig. That was June or July of 2009. That was the first time I’d played with other people in a couple of years. We hit it off very well right off the bat and started playing out almost right away.
When you started playing out after just a month you didn’t have an entire set of originals did you?
We’ve always split our originals with covers. We’ve always tried to keep our sets somewhat fresh. Some other bands will play the same set every show for two years straight. Even though it’s not always our stuff, we did want to bring in new songs every show to keep people engaged and keep ourselves interested too. Especially playing in front of the jam band audience, we figured we’d learn a couple of Grateful Dead songs, which we do really like, but was also a calculated move to get people up and moving.
Did you ever record or release your original material?
No. That was one of the things we missed the boat on. We kept coming up with better and better stuff and said, “Let’s see if the stuff around the corner is more indicative of what we can do.” Then by the time we would have been ready, we were done. We talked about it a lot, just never got to it.
Were there professional and personal benchmarks you met with Nine False Suns that you hadn’t reached previously with other bands?
The things I ended up getting out of this were getting introduced to a new scene and new people. We got to play some shows in front of a few hundred people. That was always great. I have a lot of professional and personal relationships that are a direct result of playing in this band for the last few years. Even now we’ve all got other stuff going and people that we could potentially work with. That helps us to end in a nice spot with a lot of opportunities on the horizon.
What’s the reasoning behind your split?
It just kind of ran out of steam. Everyone had their eyes on other things. I could feel the wind go out of our sails over the last few months, and rather than drag it on we just called it a day. When we finally decided to pull the trigger everyone was good with it. Nobody wanted this to end how these things sometimes go; in fights, or name-calling or stolen equipment.
What’s next for you musically?
I play with the percussionist Eric Reith (Jah Soul, Puzzle of Light) in an acoustic project called North Star Society. We are going to start bringing people in as guests and have it be an ongoing collaboration kind of thing. We are going to work with the people we want to work with, do a couple shows together and see how it pans out.
When you guys play this final show will you be playing the breadth and scope of everything Nine False Suns have done to date?
I think we touched on that more at our last show at Jimmie’s Ladder 11 where we did an acoustic set and played almost every original that we had and most of the covers. For this we are just concentrating on bringing our A-game so we can end on a high-note. And the band that we’re playing with, Jah Soul, who Eric and Justin play with, are performing too, which will be a blast.
Nine False Suns will perform on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth. St. Also on the bill are Jah Soul. Admission is $5 for 21 & up. Doors at 9 pm. For more information visit facebook.com/ninefalsesuns.
Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at TimAnderl@daytoncitypaper.com