growing up a lot of bands that we loved had that freak element - the Butthole Surfers were one, they were a weird band, and we just thought that we were another weird band.” Regrettably, intense touring combined with a fond relationship with alcohol lead to the demise of Gary Young, and ultimately Young quit the band. “He had a drinking problem. Once we started playing a lot of shows he just couldn’t keep it together and it became pretty hard. We basically had to tell him – for your health you’ve got to quit the band. He realised it was not a good thing. We never realised that after Gary we would continue being a band. We didn’t know what that would be like until we started doing it”. Gary Young was replaced with old friend Steve West and the band continued to record. In 1994 Pavement released the album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, a release that received mainstream success reaching number 1 in the alternative radio charts above bands like Nine Inch Nails and Greenday.
Terror Twilight would be the final album the band recorded together as they finally decided to call it a day while on a promotional tour of the album. Their final concert was held at Brixton Academy in London on November 20, 1999. Kannberg believes that the decimation of the band was due to band members varying interests. “We had been doing the same kind of shit for ten years, and it’s just like a job that you get tired of. We were just getting older. We all lived in different cities, some of us had gotten married and we all had different responsibilities. It wasn’t like we could be the same band. Most bands live in the same city and practice once a week – we never did that. We just got together to do records and play live… that only lasts so long. You get different friends, different activities, and the thought of going on the road for 9 months and leaving stuff behind definitely contributed to the break up.” Ten years on and Pavement has since been hailed as one of the world’s most prominent independent acts – achieving major international success without signing to a major label. However, that was 15 years ago. Does Kannberg believe that a band can achieve the same success nowadays?
“It’s not like we were that famous. We got a little more notoriety in the press and began We were really young and we didn’t know “Oh totally. If there’s any time to not need playing to more anything. We did anything that anyone major label help it’s today. Distributors people, I guess we come and go, but you’ve got good indie never realised how would ask us to. So if we were asked to distributers in place in the world where you important it was at play 40 shows in 42 days we just did it. can get around it. It depends on what type the time. It was also of band you want to be. If you want to be a at a time where Nirvana just happened, so it opened up the band that plays stadiums then major labels are probably the only way airwaves for songs like ours and we could get into magazines you can make that happen. But if you just wanna be a cool band and that wouldn’t touch us in the past. We never thought of make a living and play small shows and have cool people come to your ourselves as famous. We were still playing 40 shows in 42 days shows then you can do it. Especially with the Internet now, there are and eating pizza and drinking warm beer.” so many more marketing angles. Smart bands are using that to their advantage.” Contrary to debate, Pavement had certainly become a larger and more renowned band suddenly aligned on festival bills Is Kannberg surprised of the reaction to the news of the bands with acts like Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters and reformation? “Who knew that in ten years time people would still want Beck. This success continued upon the release of their albums to pay money to come and see us? A good friend of mine told me the Wowee Zowee in 1995, Brighten the Corners in 1997 and other day that indie rock is back. Things go in cycles. Bigger bands Terror Twilight in 1999. that are around now are reciting indie rock bands from the 90s as their influences. I think that when somebody talks about a band in an interview, music fans will want to find out what that band’s all about... and then they discover Pavement. And when you discover Pavement you discover a whole new world of possibilities.” - Cara Williams
Sponge Magazine Issue 5