Many (many) years ago, my band played a show at The Mill, situated on the ground floor of The Jacksonville Landing. Being a progressive rock band, as prog-rock goes, we were paired anomalously with a band called Rein Sanction. I was unaware at the time that the Jacksonville trio – once signed to Sub Pop – was nearly legendary in the post-punk grunge scene of the early ’90s. I was also unaware the band was about to implode under its own weight, shortly after our show together.
Several years later, I was on stage at Murray Hill Theater at an early-afternoon jam session with some local punks. One of those punks was Ian Chase, former bass player for Rein Sanction. Hair now shorn, the manic Chase pushed the jams into high-speed whenever he could, and I found myself wondering who the hell this guy was. “Oh, yeah, that Rein Sanction guy … ”
Turns out, Chase has a long history in Northeast Florida, as a musician, visual artist, and restaurateur (he owns The Fox in Avondale and co-owns Downtown’s Chomp Chomp). He’s a friend of fellow musicians and artists; hiring them to work in his restaurants, often hanging their art in said establishments. But until recently, he had been noticeably absent from the music scene.
That absence is soon to come to an end. Chase has been working in a doomy quartet called LA-A (I’ll let Chase explain the pronunciation in a moment), and they’re gearing up for a series of shows beginning in November. The ever-intense Chase recently spoke to Folio Weekly about his new band and what it means for Northeast Florida.
Folio Weekly: LA-A. And that is pronounced … ?
Ian Chase: LA-A is pronounced La-dash-a. [The band] came to be earlier this year, after the band Rites ended, and the lead singer, Colton Lane, became available. I dug his high-intensity stage antics. I have musical history with a friend named Sco [Scotty Bayer]. I knew both had a passion for making heavy music. All coming from different but similar musical backgrounds, we knew we could bring a good band. We enlisted Tyler Manning, who’s played in many local bands, a super-talented drummer. The name LA-A just sounded heavy to us, and having a name that’s a bit confusing is cool to me.
Having been in Rein Sanction, you have quite a rep to uphold with this new project.
Rein Sanction was an all-encompassing entity that existed in the late ’80s and early ’90s. We had a small amount of national and international success, signed to Sub Pop records out of Seattle. We had to call it quits at the height of our success, due to health concerns. Definitely book material. After the band, I focused on my career, the whole time practicing my guitar and quietly plotting my return – but don’t call it a comeback.
LA-A is kind of doom metal, yes?
I’ll leave the genre monikers like “doom” or “stoner” to others. We call it hard rock. I think the sound is not that far a departure from Rein Sanction, both power trios, but this time, the focus is more on the vocals. LA-A might wear its influences a little more on our sleeves. In many ways, LA-A is my homage to RS. A eulogy.
Any plans to take this thing national?
I expect this band to last as long as we want.We definitely have plans and some goals we’dlike to achieve. Right now, we’re enjoying beinga stress-free band. We just finished our first demo recording, and are playing a handful of local and out-of-town shows.
We have only been a band for a few months, so in a lot of ways, we’re still getting our feet going. Our sound has already developed so much from the demo with the songs we’re working on now. We are just trying to play some shows. Hopefully, do some weekend touring in the near future. We have big plans for 2016.