Meet the bands performing at Fredericksburg All-Ages’ fall show
Fredericksburg All-Ages (FAA) opens their fall shows on September 9th at the downtown library theater with two groups that have previous connections to the area. Milliseconds is a power trio made up of former members of The Dismemberment Plan (who played a very well-attended FAA show about ten years ago) and The Vehicle Birth. Dead Billionaires are touring with bassist Jeremy Flax who attended the Universiry of Mary Washington and led a band called The Vermillions who were a local favorite while living here.
Milliseconds is Joe Easley (drums), Eric Axelson (bass), and Leigh Thompson (guitar). They are getting ready to release their first album titled “So This Is How It Happens” on October 13th. A single from the album “Time And Distance” has been released which has the tight post-hardcore sound that their respective bands were known for. The album was produced by legendary artist/producer J. Robbins who had produced “Emergency And I” for The Dismemberment Plan in 1999. Milliseconds lists bands like The Replacements, The Smiths, and The Kinks as influences. They had previously played together in a band called Statehood which was led by vocalist Clark Sabine. Sadly Sabine died in 2009 and the band split up for a while. Last year they reformed as Milliseconds and Axleson reluctantly took the vocal duties which he says has been a journey from mouthing “Happy Birthday” at parties to delivering full-on rock and roll at shows. Since the members are scattered between Philadelphia, DC, and Richmond their practices were initially over the internet with some wonky software designed to let bands play together online. The show on September 9th will be a rare opportunity to see this group play live.
Dead Billionaires is a Richmond-based band that started as an acoustic and electric guitar indie folk duo led by Warren Campbell. Hunter Rhodes came on as drummer and the group turned into a rock trio. The original band name was Little River Creek Police but that name seemed out of touch in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and in the band’s truth to power lyrics.
“So we did some brainstorming and thought what is the opposite of that position, that people will get the right idea instead of the wrong one,” said Campbell. Dead Billionaires reflects the group’s anti-capitalist leaning songs which are collected on a new album titled “Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book”.
“Our album just came out,” said Campbell. “It’s got a lot of themes of solidarity and it’s a pretty political album. It’s all about the troubles of trying to survive in a world like the one we live in now. I write a lot more of those songs than love songs. It’s meant to reach people and say you are not alone in dealing with these things. We like to keep a sense of humor involved in it as well.”
The music is a combination of pop hooks with sparse punk beats and a minimum of overdubs. The band cites The Avett Brothers, Delta Spirit, Deertick, The Thermals, and Bomb The Music Industry! as influences. Their stripped-down approach is by design.
“The trio evolved out of the idea of how can we be as lean as possible so we can still play a bunch of shows and make some cool music happen on a regular basis,” said Campbell. “Sort of ‘let’s write some punk songs that you can hear all the words to’. Let’s get something that’s clear but still punchy and powerful.”
Campbell’s father is a long-time federal employee working in geography and geology, who told Campbell about an actual publication that the band chose for their album title.
“He told me about this thing that NOAA put out in the 90’s called the Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book,” said Campbell. “It’s meant for children to understand what to do in case of a fire or a tornado. I thought that was kind of dark that these kids were drawing pictures of these tornados ripping up their houses. I thought that concept might be funny to apply to where we are today, the rich getting richer and people still struggling every day.”
IF YOU GO
Milliseconds, Dead Billionaires, Captcha, Fredericksburg Library Auditorium, 1201 Caroline St. Saturday, Sept 9, 7 pm. $5 at the door (cash only)