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Exasperated by landmines

Ex-Cuckoo Chaos find clarity in Exasperation

Exasperation recalls (and learns from) their chaotic Cuckoo Chaos days.
  • Exasperation recalls (and learns from) their chaotic Cuckoo Chaos days.

Exasperation has yet to tour, but guitarist/vocalist Garrett Prange and drummer Dave Mead first played together in 2010. Upon their recent departure from post-punk outfit Ditches after one EP, the two Encinitas natives began playing shows and preparing a full-length. Over years of percussive matrimony, one experience sticks out — a hasty drive in a GMC Safari and David Byrne while in their old band, Cuckoo Chaos.

“We drove from Redlands to New York in four days and broke down with 36 hours left in the middle of nowhere, Utah,” Prange recalls.

"Break-In"

...off of Ditches' debut EP, <em>Scraped Off</em>

...off of Ditches' debut EP, Scraped Off

“By the time the car was fixed,” Mead continues, “the show started in 28 hours, so we drove straight through without stopping. We arrive and everyone there is very fancy. We stumble out of the van. Unslept. We had four hours until soundcheck.”

They slept on Dave’s cousin’s nearby apartment floor for three hours then played to what is still the biggest crowd for which either has performed. David Byrne was there, and complimented the band.

“I sauntered up to him deliriously and was, like, ‘Hi, my name is Dave, too,’” Mead remembers. “Then we drove to Toronto, Chicago, Minneapolis, and then nonstop to Seattle. I went crazy.” The Seattle show took place just six days after the New York show.

“Felt like three weeks,” Mead recounts.

Removed from that “race against time,” Prange feels at home in Exasperation’s Encinitas home studio.

“I finally get to play what I want,” the 30-year-old Prange says. “I would like to eventually bring music from serious-hobby level to semi-professional level.”

Exasperation plays a grungy, angular post-punk and are kindred spirits with bands such as Sonic Youth, Polvo, and Women.

“We’ve learned what we don’t want to do,” says Prange, who is recording and mixing the Exasperation album, “which is more important than what you want to do, because you can avoid landmines. Now you go around stuff instead of plowing right through and getting your legs blown off.”

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