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Black Spring bridged the gap between the hardcore bands of the mid to late 80's and the Leon's Temple clique of the 90's. While hardly revolutionary, Black spirng was certainly on of the oldest and most testosterone laden bands of the Kalamazoo scene.
It started in the mid 80's in Grand Rapids. The band Holy Terror had split, some members created the new, softer-edged Man Alive. Man Alive never really found its identity and its original version was short lived. When singer, Andy Karnitz split with MA because of creative differences, Charles Bradford stepped in. Man Alive recruited former Violent Apathy drummer Andy Bennet to play drums, and later another VA member, Tommy Fuller joined the group. Eventually, Man Alive split as well, forming two bands - Black Spring and The Confirmation. Man Alive bassist, Tom Griffioen and drummer, Andy Bennet discovered the incredible Dave Grant (Rollinghead, Dead River Drag) and formed The Confirmation. Guitar player, Tommy Fuller and singer, Charles Bradford discovered the young impressionable Craig RitXXXX enour and formed Black Spring.
Black Spring recorded a few 4-track demos, most notably the infamous "Bims From the Orient," but in 1991 the band traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to record with Killdozer producer Butch Vig. Black Spring booked two weekend days between the Smashing Pumpkins "Gish" sessions and shortly after the Black Spring recording, Vig went on to produce Nirvana's "Nevermind."
Funding problems delayed the release of "Girth" for more than a year. Eventually the band released the album on the newly created Swollen Lip label with cover artwork by Motorbooty artist, Mark Dancey. They went on to tour most of the country to promote the CD, but played to mostly empty bars from Memphis to Seattle.
In 1994, Black Spring went back into the studio (this time at WMU) to record a second full-length album. The new album exhibited some measurable growth in terms of songwriting and musicianship, but those recordings were never released. The band played a few more shows here and there, but slowed to a stop in the mid-nineties.
(As remembered by Jeff, someone please send a real one to cool @ leons temple . com (remove spaces))
Black Spring, presumably named after the Henry Miller novel, were a hard rock trio who perhaps were one of the earliest in the LT clique, playing prior to TI and Twitch. Also earliest was their signing by a label. "Why Not?" records was funded by two locals interested in getting into the music business, and funded Black Spring's pro-level recording with Butch Vig (who had recently finished the Nirvana Nevermind project) and a neat cover illlustration by a famous illustrator. Despite good intentions (?) the label folded and Black Spring started their own label, Swollen Lip, and financing the release of "Girth", their full-length CD, themselves. Black Spring toured the US in 1993. Later, they broke up despite writing enough material for a follow-up record.
Black Spring - Girth (1992)