The story of the indie rock era has rarely been told as well as it has in ‘Your Band Sucks’ the new chronicle by Bitch Magnet guitarist Jon Fine. Subtitled ‘What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution’ the book tells how a handful of outcasts came together to form an indie subculture all over America – spending time on rainy campuses (the group began at Oberlin)- in quirky record stores – beer-stained clubs – and foul-smelling vans.
Fine offers both a close-up of being in a band on the road – there is a slow-motion car crash scene nearly as lyrical as something by Denis Johnson – as well as a big picture look at the ‘80s and the tribe that clustered around post-hardcore and alternative rock.Written with both anthropological detachment and deep romanticism about the making of music – Fine’s book belongs on the shelf alongside Michael Azerrad’s ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life’.
We spoke to Fine in New York – where he is executive editor of Inc. Magazine.
There have been a number of books about indie over the last few years. What part of the story did you think hadn’t been told?