It Took a Book to Reunite Disembodied
“It was 100 percent the reason, basically,” bassist Tara Johnson told Noisecreep, citing author Brian Peterson as the unintentional reason the seminal Slayer-loving hardcore band Disembodied came back from an 11 year death.
Peterson’s book ‘Burning Fight’ compiled interviews with ’90s hardcore bands for an oral history of the politics and passion in the age of distros and zines. The members of Disembodied began to return to speaking terms with each other after contributing their parts to the book separately, and soon after they were asked to reform for a festival around the book’s release.
“I hadn’t ever really thought of it,” Johnson recalled, somewhat stunned and shocked upon being asked if the seminal band could play again. “We just kind of talked and it just kind of f—ing happened. We started practicing in October for the show that was going to be in May, because it had been 10 years since we practiced those songs. We were gonna need time, and we were just planning to do it as a one-off, but the moment we stepped on stage in Chicago, the feelings were still there. It just felt good. It just felt right. ‘F— it. Let’s do it until it’s not fun and don’t want to do it anymore.’”
Johnson defined the existence of the band now about making sure it’s a fun this time — no more fighting. Even getting former Martyr A.D. guitarist ‘Chaz’ Johnson on board rather than one of the original second guitarist (there was a boat load of them) was in the name of good times. “I knew if Disembodied was to do a reunion it wouldn’t be anyone else but him,” she admitted. “I knew it wasn’t going to be any of the old members ’cause the second guitar person was always an open door.
“At this point it has to be on our terms, not on a label or any of that sh–. Because I’m not in it at this point to make money or be a rock star and live on the road for f—g ever.”
The excitement people hold for the Minnesotans makes sense. Being one of the first in hardcore to wave a flag of metal and throw pentagrams and goat heads in the face of basketball jerseys resonated, but the band’s status in the days before Internet dependence was always something of rumors and hearsay. One zine would say they’d broken up, another said they were soon to be on the road. and another boasted names of new members. The band made a mark, but they went out with shrugged shoulders.
“Everybody knows being in a band is like being married to four or five other people,” Johnson explains. “It gets hard. I think the longer you’re in a band the harder it gets to communicate.”
One-day frontman Aaron Weseman didn’t show for practice — something Johnson pointed out happened frequently. “We could never get ahold of him, so we were like, ‘What’s the f—ing point. We’re not going to get another singer.’ So we tried to have a band meeting, and he didn’t show up. So it was done.”
Things are different now — everything is more relaxed. Johnson said in delight, “Going to practice is now about having a good time and hanging out.”