The cult of Blake is still alive and kicking today and we all should bask in its glory. He’s a real working class hero who we can all relate to and in his words you feel his pain and it somehow makes you feel safe to know that others feel the same doubts and concerns we all have and you could honestly imagine sitting in a local bar and sharing your thoughts and pain over a beer or shot of spirits.
That’s what these Jawbreaker t-shirts are all about coming together as part of a culture of sharing and understanding even if it is the things we don’t often want to talk about. If they’re emo led or more punk to use it doesn’t matter both circles can find something to enjoy with the band and they don’t leave that sweet taste in your mouth more polished sounds like Green day do.
The bands life though simply wasn’t going to last. They had split up back in the beginning but had more opportunity to reconcile so the hiatus was short lived. Famed for their raw independent sound the band and in particular Blake Schwarzenback who said they’d never sign to a major label they amassed a cult following after 24 Hour Revenge Therapy.
The first glimpse of mainstream success was lurking over the horizon and the fans that searched high and low for jawbreaker t-shirts were able to see the guys gracing bigger stages than the more intimate ones they’d been used to. Talk of major labels now wanting to offer them a deal given the success of Green Day were afoot and the band took a choice to tour with Nirvana on their In Utero tour.
Possibly surprised by the feeling against this tour the band may have thought this feeling would pass. However as the gruelling tour continued friction started to appear and the band had already decided to break up citing stress, fatigue and personal reasons but they were however prepared to come together for a major label deal and narrowed it down to A&R and their last ever album was soon to be upon us.
Dear You and The Break Up That Followed
Dear You were released as their major label debut and Jawbreaker were now close to breaking point. The recording of the album saw Rob Cavallo who produced Green day’s Dookie at the helm and that caused problems. Increasingly Blake took centre stage and Bauermeister and Phefler found themselves increasingly on the outside through no small part of their own.
Both resisted what they thought was a diversion from the original identity of the band. Blake wanted his voice heard more according to Cavallo and if that was the case he felt like the records needed a little more precision which in turn some would suggest they were dumbing down for a mainstream audience.
That was always going to turn the cult following them had brought together against them. What was once a preacher of pain and somebody who could inspire the feelings they felt everyday on a similar level through music now seemed a polished and introspective singer songwriter who gave up mellow tunes they just didn’t connect with.
In their minds rightly or wrongly it was a sell out and what the other band members feared was happening actually became true and sales dropped. The following largely rejected the new material despite heavy investment in marketing. For long periods the band were called the think man’s Green Day but what followed was a revolt in terms of sales.
The bands final end came at a run of concerts that went badly. Playing at the Roxy when new stuff from their album Dear You were played teenagers turned their backs to the stage and completely blanked the band they were so upset with the change of direction.
It makes for an interesting story a band created by the people ultimately had their people turn against them and reject something new. Evolution is part of music however one journalist suggested the youth invested their pain and understanding in Jawbreaker and when it turned its back on that they did on them.
It makes from a great story and part of the sadness of that ending is still part of its charm in showing the power the people possess when not corrupted by spin or propaganda. People vote with their wallets now and whilst Jawbreaker t shirts remain popular and bands such as My Chemical Romance and Good Charlotte cite them as major influences you can’t help but wonder of the Jawbreaker t-shirts out there now are a last defiant sign they rejected the new path and still hold the old dear.
For some in depth information on this great band you can find it here at their offical wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawbreaker_(band)