Gar Wood - vocals, guitar
Caroline Records press release for Ill-Gotten Gains LP. 1995
In San Diego, the guitar rules. And not too long ago, before the word got out about the city's abundant six-stringed talent, there was one band that flew wildly ahead of its time, cranking out a chaotic, sometimes zany frenzy. In 1993 that band, Fishwife (perhaps significantly, the first group signed to pioneering S.D. label Headhunter), lost its vocalist--on the best of terms--and went into a sort of hibernation.
Call it Summer vacation. Matt Ohlin and Gar Wood hit the road to do sound and sell T-shirts for pals Drive Like Jehu. Chris Prescott played around town with Hemlock.
After a few months, the remaining Fishwife members regrouped, rethought, and reformed... as Tanner. "No big deal" says Gar. "The natural process was to continue on," he explains. "We already had a chemistry together, and we all kind of knew what we were into. It was pretty easy to start writing. It was gonna be different, and everyone was inspired to get going."
Within a year, the fierce, efficient trio had recorded two singles and was back on the road with Jehu, this time opening shows across the United States and Canada. When not occupied with all things Tanner, Gar's working up a solid rep as a local engineer from his garage studio.
Tanner teamed up with Jehu drummer Mark Trombino to record it's Caroline debut, Ill-Gotten Gains. It's a perfect combination, as the thirteen-track album proves. Intricate, complicated, and rife with rhythmic tension. Ill-Gotten Gains surges blindingly through explosive passages, melding melody with anxiety, pushing the trio's dynamic, edgy songwriting straight into he cranium. Tanner taunts you with hooks, but then bulldozes you with power.
Hope that summary doesn't bum Gar out, who humbly requested, "Don't hype us up too much--hopefully the free copies of the record will be enough."
Tanner is planning a U.S. tour this September following the August 15 release of Ill-Gotten Gains.
--Mark Woodlief, 1995
During Tanner's lifetime, (1993 - 1997) they put out 2 full length albums, half a dozen 7"s and toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Bands that shared the stage on tour included Jawbreaker, Drive Like Jehu, Rocket from the Crypt, Red Aunts, Doo Rag, Custom Floor, Jawbox and Delta 72.