Local Current Blog

Stereo Confession: A post-break-up retrospective

Stereo Confession perform in The Current's studios. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

Just over a week ago, local surf rock band Stereo Confession announced that they’d open for the Vaccines on Aug. 24. Now, word is that Monday’s show at the Triple Rock will be the band’s last ever.

According to the band, Stereo Confession are breaking up, and members Theo Pupillo, Alex Lothrop, Noah Swanson, and Max Timander are headed toward new chapters in their lives. “It was hard to give up because of some of the crazy shows we’d get,” said Timander. “But it’ll be better in the end. It was turning into more work than play, I think, and we just needed to end it.”

The news comes almost a year after the band dropped their album No Coast, which they celebrated with an Oct. 12 release show at the 7th St. Entry. The album features songs like “Video Games” and “Getting Out,” both of which the band performed during last year’s Back To School episode of The Local Show. During their accompanying interview with David Campbell, most of the band expressed their excitement to finish high school and move on to more free lives.

Since then, they have accomplished amazing things. They just finished their first East Coast tour, and First Avenue actually asked them to open for British rock band the Vaccines (who, in turn, have opened for the mighty Mumford & Sons). On Aug. 13, Stereo Confession became immortalized in local history when they played the 7th St. Entry during First Avenue’s partial ceiling collapse.

Over the years, the band’s lineup has stayed fairly fluid, though founding frontman Timander has stuck through it all. Corey Hagen played guitar for several years before moving on, while Lothrop, Pupillo, and Swanson all joined in 2014. Founding drummer Jordan Blevins departed earlier this year, and Noah Paster (of Zoo Animal) has been filling in for him at recent shows. “We’re pretty good friends,” Blevins told David Campbell about the reason the band stayed together so long. Timander added, “It’s helped that we all really like the same music.”

Music has been the key. Timander talked through his tastes and personal history of music blogging this month on the Local Current Blog. He’s also excited to announce the start of Cherry Cola, a garage pop solo project; guitarist Stephanie Murck, Stereo Confession’s Alex Lothrop, and Bruise Violet drummer Danielle Cusack will back him up. Though he hasn’t released any music online yet, Cherry Cola will play his first show at Mock the Garden (a punk fundraiser at Memory Lanes) on Aug. 31.

Other band members will have different projects to work on; Alex Lothrop is also a member of pop-punk duo The Bombshells, who released their debut album, Bake Sale Hotties, last June. Paster will continue to play in Zoo Animal after helping out Stereo Confession, and Pupillo and Swanson will have more time to pursue other interests, as well.

As is often noted, Stereo Confession have gained a huge amount of experience despite their young average age. They played last year’s Basilica Block Party and this year’s Stone Arch Bridge Festival in town, and they’ve enjoyed being at smaller venues, as well. Timander said, “I could play the Entry every night of my life and be happy.”

Thinking of Stereo Confession highlights, Timander thought it was important to mention other bands he shared bills with, as well. He looked back on nights with Jeff the Brotherhood, Bully, Parquet Courts, the Vaccines, Motion City Soundtrack, and Twin Peaks. He said, “Those are some good bands to be remembered playing with.”

Hopefully Stereo Confession will be remembered just as fondly.

Cecilia Johnson is studying English and Spanish at Hamline University. Her favorite things include linguistics, Jeremy Hawkins’s The Last Days of Video, and travel stories.