• Eight Hour Company

Eight Hour Company

In the fall of 2003, a group of friends from high school got together just to play their instruments for the fun of playing. Guitarist Steve Elmore, drummer Teddy Schrishuhn, bassist Dave Stinnette, and guitarist (soon to be singer\guitarist) Kevin Lange didn't think it would amount to much, never really imagining that they would play shows or record music.

Running through some cover songs from bands like Brand New and Alkaline Trio in Teddy's garage, they became more in-tune with each others' playing styles and abilities and soon began writing their own songs. At first they were pop-punk anthems that you could pump your fist at, but the quartet quickly got bored of the simplicity. The group's ideas got darker and more theatrical. Planning out an entire story, then writing a lyrical scheme to tell that story and pairing it up with deeper chord structures and dramatic, sometimes sudden, changes in dynamics or tempo, the band had defined itself.

Throughout 2004 and 2005 the band played countless shows around the Chicagoland area and achieved great local success. They had an extremely loyal following whom the band loved, and played to cheering crowds of hundreds. Although they were unaware at the time, on Halloween 2005, Eight Hour Company played their final show. The group had hit a writers' block. It seemed every song they wrote had to out-do the previously written song and too much pressure and emphasis was placed on living up to their own standards. They could not continue and went on hiatus for over a year.

In early 2007, Eight Hour Company began conceptualizing a 6 song EP telling the story of an obsessive-compulsive card shark being tormented by the devil in the old American southwest. All of the song ideas were story-boarded like a movie, and which pieces of the story went into which song was carefully planned out. Lyric ideas were scratched down for each song, and music for most of the songs was written and rough skeleton demos recorded. The first song of the EP was the first (and ultimately the only) song fully recorded and was titled "Once in the Old American Southwest." It was the introduction to the story, and a fast paced song that proved to fans that EHC was as powerful as ever. Unfortunately, due to conflicting school and work schedules and some creative differences (how cliché), the band was no longer able to continue work on the album, nor the subsequent tour to support it. With no likely chance of ever playing a show again, Eight Hour Company finally called it quits in the spring of 2007.

The rough demos and story boards currently sit high on a shelf in Lange's studio. Someday perhaps, in between all the current projects going on with former members of Eight Hour Company, the EP may get finished, even if just for the band to be able to finally say "it's done. This is what we wrote."

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